I achieved a semblance of closure on this whole television issue yesterday when I spoke with the manager of the Beaverton Magnolia A/V store (whose name is Dick) and he said he’d give me trade-in credit of half the purchase price of my distort-o-vision toward the purchase of a new TV.


I’m going to go in on Saturday and pick out a new set. They’ll pick up the old one, fix it up, and sell it as a used/refurb. That takes care of all my problems: I don’t have to figure out how to get the behemoth out of my living room, and I don’t have to eat the whole cost of a new set.

I’m looking at direct-view LCD TVs (not rear-projection). The Magnolia service rep recommended the Sharp Aquos line of TVs, and that’s pretty much where I ended up with my research, too. I’ve seen some other brands out there that look okay, but everywhere I turn, someone tells me to consider the Sharp.

The 37” models are sort of in my price range (with my trade-in credit and some price negotiations), so I think that’s where I’ll go. I’d like the 45” model, but that’s a bit pricey for me.

Saturday, here I come!

We’ve been watching a lot of DVDs lately. In particular, TV on DVD. Wonderfalls has been a particular favorite (I highly recommend it).

I got an email today from Amazon that mentioned La Femme Nikita season 3 is coming out on June 28, so I had to pre-order that. I also saw that Lois and Clark season 1 came out, so I ordered that as well. (I had every single episode of that on videotape until we moved, when I realized I couldn’t be carting around that many videotapes all the time. I kept the first and last episodes, and I think that’s it. Hopefully they’ll come out with the rest of the seasons on DVD as well.)

Those should be shipping out July 2. Maybe by then I’ll have a fully functional TV to watch them on.

Speaking of the TV… did I mention that this weekend it made the loudest *snap* noise and the picture went out for a second? Happened twice. The audio was fine the whole time, but the picture sure wasn’t. I told the guy I’m working with at Magnolia about it and he said he’d talk to their service guy about it. I’m hoping to hear something back soon. Maybe today? I can only hope.

I bought the Blokus game (which you can play online, too) from Amazon and it arrived yesterday.

Short a piece, natch.

So I called the customer service number they provided and a lady with a thick Texan accent answered the phone and…

Lady: How may I direct your call? Me: I’m missing a game piece. I’m not sure where I’d be directed for that… Lady: Is this the Blokus game? Me: Well, yeah. Lady: Okay, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to redirect you to a voicemail box where there won’t be a message. When you hear the beep, leave your name, address, and a description of the pieces that are missing and we’ll mail them to you. Me: Um… okay. Lady: Here you go. *beep*

There’s a missing piece hotline for this game. Yow.

We played anyway last night, faking the missing piece with a slip of paper, and it was a lot of fun. I recommend it, but keep the instructions around - that’s where the missing piece hotline number is.

The TV got returned to me at 11:00a today, still exhibiting the discoloration and distorted picture they took it away to repair all that time ago. They replaced the tube - it’s still there. Of course, now they claim it’s “factory spec.”

Interestingly enough, I requested documentation twice from the repair shop that showed my TV being within factory spec parameters. What I got back was a rather unhelpful invoice with my original problem description on it and any cost-oriented information blacked out and an equally unhelpful email saying, “The set is within factory specifications. You may contact Sony for those numbers. I asure you that all numbers are well within the ranges.”

That’s… that’s great.

Since the warranty company won’t help me because the repair shop says it’s factory spec, and the repair shop won’t budge on its determination of factory spec, my last ditch effort is to contact Magnolia A/V (where I purchased the set) and see if they will help me from a dissatisfied customer standpoint.

So far, I haven’t been disappointed. I spoke with the store manager on the phone and he promptly contacted their regional service manager, who, in turn, is going to contact the repair shop that “fixed” my set and find out their story. The regional service manager is then going to call me back tomorrow and talk to me about… something. Next steps? Tell me I’m screwed? Something.

This is pretty much my last avenue, short of small claims court (which is just going to cost the same as it would if I bought a new TV anyway) or filing formal complaints (which still leaves me a TV short).

A final, interesting note: When the repair shop guys delivered my set, they were curious why I wasn’t putting the set in the garage. They were under the impression the set was going to be switched out for a new one. I told them the story of how it’s now “factory spec” and they agreed that was a pretty fishy situation. Hmmm. Even the delivery folks from the repair company think it’s weird.