Scamed by a GE extended warranty.

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by flappintoots, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. flappintoots

    flappintoots New Member

    Apr 27, 2005


    I purchased a HR10-250 in September 2004 at Good Guys for $1000 + a $100 extended warranty.

    This unit quit working in October 2005. I called GE shortly after the unit failed. I was told by a GE CSR that they would research the nearest authorized service center and give me a call back within 24-48 hours. I did not receive a call after 96 hours so I called them back. I was told that GE had no service centers near me, and I would need to ship or carry my item to Salem, OR (100 miles South of me).

    In the mean time I was paying on a DTV contract for TV I couldn't watch, I could not cancel.

    I sent my HD-DVR to Westronix in Salem, OR. I drove it there in person on 10/20/05. I was told the turn around time is approximately 2-4 weeks.

    I called Westronix a few days after I had dropped my DVR off, they said it was beyond their ability to repair in house. They were going to ship it to the manufacturer.

    December of 2005 I called Westronix for an update on my DVR repair. I was told that they were *going* to ship it to RCA (the manufacturer). So I guess they were just sitting on it for a month and a half...

    The frequent phone tag started at about this point and continued throughout the rest of my dealings with Westronix. Westronix always had very little information to give, but always promised a call back that they NEVER EVER MADE.

    I called Westronix toward the end of December, I was then told that it would be a while longer because Westronix had mistakenly shipped my DVR to the wrong dock at RCA. RCA was shipping it back so that it could be sent to the correct dock!

    I began complaining to GE about my repair that wasn't being repaired. I requested a replacement, but they had NO SYMPATHY AT ALL. They told me that there are no time limits on repairs, and that they had an indefinite amount of time to repair a product.

    I called Westronix in early January 2006, and was told that RCA had properly received my DVR, but had sent it back. RCA claimed that it was a DirecTV product and must be serviced by them. At this point Westronix told me that my DVR was going to be sent to DirecTV for a replacement.

    I called Westronix in February 2006 and was told that they had shipped my DVR to Harmon Kardon!? I have no idea why they sent it there, and apparently Harmon Kardon didn't either. They sent it back unrepaired to Westronix. This was their third failure to get a third party to repair my DVR.

    At this point I became frustrated enough with Westronix and their call back promises that they NEVER kept. I went there again in person 2/10/06. They told me that Harmon Kardon had shipped my unit to DirecTV (This was a proven lie). My unit was NEVER sent to DirecTV.

    After another week went by. I called Westronix back and was told that they had my unrepaired DVR and could ship it to me. They told me that they had negotiated a deal with DirecTV. I simply had to call DirecTV and that DirecTV was going to send me a free swap out replacement.

    Late Febuary 2006 I received my DVR back from Westronix, a bit worse for wear, and of course unrepaired. I called DirecTV for my "free" replacement and was told that they had not heard of such a deal, and that my only option with them was a $150 + $15 s/h replacement receiver. Ohh, and my contract would also be extended two more years.

    I called GE again and told them that their authorized service center had sat on my DVR for 4+ months had returned it to me unrepaired. I requested a replacement, and was DENIED! I was told that sending the unit to Westronix was a strange mistake that one of their CSRs had made (I guess all those other CSRs I talked to while my DVR was at Westronix were mistaken as well?!). Now GE wanted me to send my DVR to Accurate Video Repair in West Hills, CA. I told the GE CSR I was talking to, about the long saga this repair has been, I told him about the two 200 mile round trips I have taken for this. He was not only unsympathetic, he was an asshol*. He smartly told me that I could drive this DVR down for its 2000 mile round trip too.

    I called Accurate Video Repair. They told me that they do not repair HD-DVRs. They send it to another place!

    At this point I realized that GE will probably keep me bouncing these repairs around until I give up. They have stolen my money.

    In despair I let my defective DVR sit in its Westronix shipping box for the month of March 2006.

    4/5/06 I called GE back, I was prepared to acquiess to their new shipping demand because I hoped that I could ship it to someone that could sympathize with my plight by enclosing a letter detailing it. !!!GE now tells me that this bouncing around, and months without my DVR is probably worth simply replacing it!!! The CSR requested authorization to replace, she said it would take 1-2 days and she would call me back when she had it.

    4/14/06 Big shock, GE never called me back, so I called them. They said my replacement was DENIED. Now I need to ship my DVR to Professional Satellite Repair, Inc. in Osceola Mills, PA. Once I do this my DVR will have probably traveled to and through every state in the U.S.

    Moral of the story GE Extended Warranties are a scam. This is probably a part of their business model, just keep bouncing until the customer gives up.

    Westronix is also a disreputable little hole in the wall of an appliance store, I will never use them for service again.
  2. tazzmission

    tazzmission Active Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    Man, that is one of the worst customer service stories I have ever heard. That DVR should have been under warranty from DirecTV No???
  3. rifleman69

    rifleman69 Member

    Jan 6, 2005

    It was out of the 1 year period, otherwise you're correct.
  4. dcbarry

    dcbarry Member

    May 21, 2002
    I had a somewhat similar incident with Best Buy and a 5x repaired laptop that was never fixed. Here's how I get full satisfaction, and then some.

    Send a final demand letter to both CC and GE. Demand ALL your monies plus a reasonable extra. Send it to their corporate offices (certified mail) . For the extended warranty, read the fine print. Most likley, there is an address for the Claims Administrator.

    Assuming 2 weeks go by and it is ignored, file a small claims suit against both parties. In most states, your local court will have jurisdiction because the product was purchased and the contract (guarantee) was enforced there. You'll need to arrange to have the suit filed on their in-state representative. (You can usually get this info from your state department of corporations.)

    5 days before the court appearance, I got a call from a very reasonable and nice (!) attorney for Best Buy who profusely apologized for the hassles, expressing disbelief at what I had been through. (She actually refererred to the idiots in customer relations... that alone was worth the call.)

    She immediatly offered a 100% refund. I thanked her but told her since I was pretty much already guaranteed that already, I'd need more sweetner to drop my suit and sign their Agreement. After some discussions, the next day by FedEx I had ALL my money back, court costs, and $200 in BB gift certs. And, I got to keep the lapop, which I sold on ebay (with an honest discalimer) for a few $$$$ as well.

    Good luck.

  5. HomieG

    HomieG Nowhere Man...

    Feb 17, 2003


    Is "Good Guys" still open? Can you go there and escalate through them? They sold you the extended warranty, right?
  6. sdchrgrboy

    sdchrgrboy New Member

    Mar 9, 2004
    San Diego
    They out out of business. That's why you don't buy extended warantys
  7. forecheck

    forecheck Active Member

    Aug 5, 2000
    Roseville, CA
    CompUSA still uses the Good Guys branding in some of their stores. I don't know when they bought Good Guys, but if they were the owners back when you bought the DVR in September 2004 maybe you could still go after them?

    On a side note, have you thought about contacting a local TV station? Alot of them have a consumer affairs type guy who I would think would love a story like yours. You would be amazed how quickly things get resolved one a TV station gets involved.
  8. HomieG

    HomieG Nowhere Man...

    Feb 17, 2003

    Check the warranty. See if it is bonded or insured. If it is, file a claim with the bonding or insurance company, in writing, certified mail with return receipt.

    I hate extended warranties too. But I still buy them. Just because a company is out of business is not necessarily a reason to not buy an extended warranty (don't see the rationale in your statement). It's sort of like an insurance policy anyways. And if the extended warranty is not bonded or insured, I won't buy it.

    I also had a Best Buy issue on a $2,500 TV. On the day I was filing in small claims court I actually got a phone call from the Best Buy home office asking me to hold off for one week. Then they finally came through.

    In the OP's case, I'd stop right here. Suspend the DVR on his account. File a claim in court against whomever wrote the warranty...I'm confused as to whether its GE or Westronix. In any case, file against whose name it is on the warranty. It's a pain, but about the only way he has a fighting chance of getting a resolution.

    I'm not sure that the OP's sample of his problem with GE makes it a scam, but I can certainly sympathize with him! On all the calls, I hope he got names, claim numbers, etc. Even first names (and the numbers at which he reached them). An accurate log in his court claim will help show he was wronged. And if I were the OP, I'd make the claim to include my (documented) time and travel too. Unfortunately, though, the warranty probably limits the damages he's entitled to.

    Man, this sucks.
  9. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    It would have been easier to sign up for the DirecTv protection plan and wait the few weeks for the HD TiVo to be covered. Then DirecTV would have replaced it quickly without a hassle.
  10. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

    Aug 18, 2002
    SE PA
    valid point about the plan..i wonder what a dtv employee didn't suggest that...many stories on here where they have told people to sign up , wait 30 days, then send it in.

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