I purchased an LG TV from Argos on 26/05/2015.
Problems began around six months ago, with a dot surrounded by a circle flickering in a specific place on the backlight (not the pixels themselves, only the backlight). Increasing the backlight to maximum brightness made the problem go away so I could live with it and avoid the annoying replacement process for a little while. Recently it began showing at max backlight and grew to two dots nearby each other. Then today it grew to a completely black screen.
I contacted LG directly over the phone eight days ago, bypassing the retailer because I assumed they were off the hook after two years and ten months, and it should be the manufacturer assuming responsibility. Initially I was told I'd be granted a goodwill repair, once I'd sent proof of purchase. I sent proof of purchase on the same day.
They called back two days later but I missed it, and I followed up after the weekend, three days ago. I was told they wouldn't be granting a repair or anything, and that their warranty is for one year only.
With the unfortunate coincidence of the TV completely breaking down just over a week after I contacted the manufacturer, I rang them again today and updated them on the TV's demise, again I was told their warranty is for one year only. When I asked, "if it breaks down after one year and one day, you have no responsibility?" the agent flat out agreed.
I then followed up with the retailer to check all options, and was told I'd need to have it assessed by a TV specialist. I assume that's going be quite expensive relative to the original purchase price, with no indication of any guaranteed minimum return.
What are my options when:
- I purchased it brand new
- It's in pristine condition
- It's completely broken (besides sound) after 2 years and 10 months
- The problems began when it was around 2 years and 4 months old
- I "need" a potentially expensive TV specialist assessment to proceed with the retailer
- A cursory Google shows countless consumers boasting of 5 - 10 year TV lifespans
- Official-looking Googled results state expected lifespans of 20 - 30 years for LED and LCD TVs
Is the LG agent correct in stating that LG has no legal responsibility for this?
Are there other (cheap/free) avenues to pursue this?
Do I have to get the TV assessed to proceed with other avenues?
After sending a formal email before the TV completely broke down, which I didn't mention above, an LG agent contacted me to apologise for the trouble and say they had booked in a repair for next month. It turned out to be a typo and the collection was this month instead. They collected the TV a week ago and returned it yesterday in perfect working order.
For reference, the email I sent was:
To Whom It May Concern,
I have been informed that despite previous assurances that I would be granted a goodwill repair, after receipt of my proof of purchase that assurance has been revoked and the decision has been made not to repair the faulty TV.
The backlight of the TV constantly flickers in a specific area, it's impossible not to notice, and makes for a very uncomfortable viewing experience.
I have been using this TV since purchasing it brand new 2 years and 10 months ago. The problem began approximately 6 months ago and has become progressively worse, almost completely ruining the viewing experience, and in doing so, rendering the television almost useless.
The expected lifetime of a TV is more than 3 years. The fault is caused by a manufacturing defect, as the entire unit is still in pristine condition. The only way you could justifiably avoid responsibility for this issue is if it was caused by me, but as stated above, the unit is demonstrably in pristine condition.
Therefore, having been sold a faulty unit, I should be compensated with a repair, replacement, or partial refund substantial enough to purchase another television of the same specifications.
I await a better decision, and expect not to hear that "the warranty is one year", because I am certain that doesn't mean the unit can break down when it's one year and one day old and leave you with no responsibility.
Their response was:
I am a member of the customer resolutions team and I will try to help you with your problem.
Please let me begin by extending my sincere apologies to you for the experience you’ve had trying to get your TV repaired with us.
I hope you can understand that we offer a one year limited repair warranty on all of our TVs and as such your TV would be classed as out of warranty.
I appreciate that you’ve had a number of correspondences with our agents and may have been told on one occasion that you would receive a repair as a gesture of goodwill.
I would like to reiterate this sentiment and confirm that I have personally booked your TV to one of our couriers myself for a goodwill repair.
It is unclear why they chose to make an exception in this case, but I no longer have any complaints about them.