More Advent TV/Best Buy woes, printable CDs

Week 28, 2003

Q: My roommate bought an Advent TV from Best Buy in Deerfield, IL in September 2002.   He bought the Advent because it was the cheapest and they said it had a one-year warranty.   He did not buy the extended warranty.    

It ceased to function in February of this year.   When we went back to get it repaired, Best Buy said they could not repair it because it was beyond the return period.   We asked who represented the company here in the States, and they claimed they did not know.   We have made repeated trips to Best Buy asking for a telephone number or address for warranty service, and they always say they cannot find that information.  

We cannot get it fixed because no one can tell us who represents Advent TV here in the States.   Can you tell us where and how to get an Advent TV repaired under warranty?

-Dale Meade, Deerfield, IL

A:   It’s bad enough when something expensive breaks early in its life, but being denied warranty service or basic assistance is inexcusable. Your TV should be repaired at no charge.

Some electronics salespersons would leverage your situation as a good reason to buy an   extended warranty.   I have a different point of view:   it is a good reason to buy a better TV.    

Many consumers buy value-priced products and then buy an extended warranty because they know they are buying a product that is a cut below the more established brands.   But if you take the cost of the extended warranty and add it to the cost of the value-priced television, all of a sudden you are in the price range of manufacturers such as Sony, Toshiba, or Panasonic.   These manufacturers almost always deliver better picture quality than the value-priced brands.   You also get access to an established, nationwide service and repair network.   If you had purchased a Sony TV, I strongly doubt you would be writing me asking who represents them in the U.S.!

The next time you or your roommate buy a TV, check Consumer Reports before you start shopping.   They provide excellent information about the reliability of various television brands, gleaned purely from statistics with no personal bias involved.   If you buy a reliable, established brand of TV, it is much less likely to need repaired, and in the event service is needed, you will not have trouble locating the distributor.     Other inexpensive brands come with one year-long standard warranties, too.  

Speaking of distributors, I have emailed you privately with contact information for Advent’s U.S. importer.   I wish you and your roommate well and hope your TV is working again soon.

A better CD solution:   Last week, I answered a question about making high-quality CD labels for music CDs.   In my response, I warned against using CDs with stick-on labels in car CD players because of the possibility of the label separating and damaging the player.   Soon after the column ran, two readers provided an even better solution:   a printer that can print directly on CDs!

Many thanks to readers Kathy Werling and Michael Jon for telling me about Epson’s Stylus Photo 900 and 960, which can print directly on special CDs that have a printable top surface.   At $199 and $349 they are a bit more expensive than the printers I recommended, but they are definitely better tools for labeling music CDs.  

This week I contacted Epson’s PR firm.   They will now contact me whenever new products are introduced, helping me help you.

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