We bought a 42 inch W4201C plasma TV in January 2007, that we've been extremely happy with. Suddenly, we started seeing a grey shadow over the top half of the screen. We could still see the picture, but there was a shadow over it. That still happens occasionally. Now, the BOTTOM half of the screen keeps going black, sometimes it goes back to normal, sometimes we have to shut the TV down.
Since it has been 17 months, it is past warranty, and I don't want to pay an absurd amount to SHIP IT to a Dell repair center. I can't use the tech help online chat because it's beyond warranty, and the phone lines I call give me someone in India who isn't very helpful. I think I've seen on the boards that it has cost people over 1000 to ship it???
In addition, the local plasma tv repair shops won't touch a Dell TV.
I'm very upset with this situation, since we've always been a Dell household (we currently have an Inspiron Notebook and an XPS system), but this happening only 5 months after the warranty expires is ridiculous. I feel like we're left out in the cold.
Does anyone have any suggestions? I think its the X and Y boards? Can I replace them myself? Has anyone had a national company repair theirs? Can anything be done?!?! I'm trying not to freak out, but I don't want to pay 1800 to repair something I paid 1900 for!!! I've seen people call it a "throw away TV" once it's broken. Is this true?!?
Thanks for your help!
You may have already looked at this link but it has information for getting Dell plasma or Dell LCD TV's repaired that are out of warranty. http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=dce_W1700LCD&message.id=14293 I have not had to use this so I can't comment on the cost of shipping or even getting a tech to diagnosis a problem......sorry. The reason your post caught my eye is because I too have a 4201c TV and have started having problems with it. As of now we have no picture at all, just sound. When we turn it on the Dell splash screen shows for a short time (maybe three seconds) and then fades until the screen is black. It normally shows the Dell splash screen at power up and then if you are on the TV tuner that is a part of the TV it's self the picture comes on or if you are on another input the name of the input shows along with the video of what is coming from that source. Thankfully I do have extended warranty and Dell is going to replace the unit. What I am posting here about is how Dell missed getting my contact information to Manna Distribution Services (they are the company that will be delivering the replacement 4201c) and because of that the TV will be delivered later than it would have been had Manna been supplied with a customer phone number. Had I not made phone calls to inquire as to where Dell was in the whole process it may have an even later delivery date. When I did get a hold of Manna they had the TV on hold until Dell gave them my contact number. So having a "Next Business Day" contract for repair/replacement defeats the purpose if Dell cannot communicate the necessary information to the people that make the deliveries!! I will end with this note. Dell has been responsive with hardware issues that I have had in the past and they have been resolved quickly. I realize that humans do make mistakes. On the other hand if issues like this are never brought to the attention of the people in charge of it can be easy for things to spin out of control. I wish I could be more help.
Thanks for your reply, Jeff! I did see that information. I don't know HOW on earth we'll be able to get the very heavy and huge TV to a post office/UPS store. Other posts I've seen have said that shipping costs a lot (one posted upwards of 1000k) and then costs of repairs.
We had a tech from Best Buy come out, because they thought it was an HP TV, they called around, and said they couldn't even find parts for it anywhere.
I've always been happy with Dell, and this whole experience has brought to light the changes in policy and customer service that has been going on with Dell as of late. Nevermind legal issues brought against them for improper financing practices!!
Long story short, we're going to basement the TV and hope we find parts for it someday, and buy another, better rated TV from another company for less than it would cost to fix our Dell.
I want to say this before making my next statement, I'm not saying that you've seen bad information or that someone has lied to you. I'm just finding it hard to believe that it would cost $1,000 to ship the TV. If that is the case Dell is really spending money when they have to replace a faulty unit. In my case they are using Manna Distribution Services to deliver the TV. They are to setup the replacement and then a representive from Dell will pack the defective unit for return by Manna.
I had never heard of Manna before today so I don't know much about them. I will see if I can find out what the cost for shipping through Manna would be.
Oh no problem. I'm just saying what I've seen on the boards. Another string I'm involved in, the person said that for them to ship from Texas to Ohio (the closest repair center) shipping was going to cost THEM 1500 dollars, before even repair costs.
Could people be exaggerating? Possibly. But it seems like Dell should have a country wide repair service, where the technicians come to your home, like all other plasma repair people. The fact that they don't even offer extended warranty's (sp?) on TVs anymore (after December 2007, I believe was the date) suggests that they know something is very wrong with their plasma TVs. It seems like a LOT of trouble to go through to repair a TV that's less than 1.5 yrs old (also, see the thread titled TV less than 2 yrs old or something like that)
It seems like poor customer service, is all, and we've already bought a Panasonic for 1200 bucks, which at this point, seems like close to (if not less) than what shipping and repairs will cost.
definitely let me know how it works out for you, if its not too bad, we might send it for repairs down the road and keep it as a backup TV :)
I don't know if mine is the same problem as yours, but I've had times where my 4201c, upon power up, doesn't even show the Blue Dell logo. The entire picture is black/greyed out like you are looking through the dirtest screen door you've ever seen. I can sometimes see a very small portion of an image, but it's a really small part of the screen. I've called Dell and fortunately i'm still within my warranty period. (the image does eventually come back to normally, but it's taking longer and this is happening more frequently)
Did they stop offering warrantys on the T.v.'s.? I'm almost done with mine and was considering reupping.
Where are thier repair centers? I live in Ohio and if one is here, maybe it won't be as expensive to ship.
(P.S. I have pics of my screen if anyone wants to see them)
Mine started out with the grey "film" over the top half of the screen and then changed to the bottom half going completely black. I suspect that it is either the X or Y board, or a fan or cooling system on them, but have no idea!
If you're within the warranty period, I believe that a technician should come to your HOUSE and fix it, but they might have stopped doing that as well. Or they ship you a "refurbished" tv as a replacement. I was never offered an extended warranty when my 1 year warranty was up (in January) and apparently they stopped offering extended warranties as of December 2007. So I don't think you have the choice to re-up even if you wanted to now.
I've heard a repair center is in Ohio, but I don't know where (or if there are!) other centers might be. But it might not matter if a tech comes to your house. I tried lifting our TV and my husband (a big strong guy) and myself (average 5'4" woman) could barely lift it from the floor to the stand - its HEAVY!!! So I can't even imagine lugging it to a shipping center or even to my front porch if someone picks it up!
At this point, we've already ordered a Panasonic Viera (highly rated) that has a GOOD warranty and even my local TV shop will repair in our own home, since no one other than Dell themselves seems to be able to look at a Dell plasma!
What did you ever figure out? My Dell tv is doing the same thing now.