After spending two and a half years in the United States, Rohit Sud was excited to return home to India and surprise his parents with a flat-screen TV. Unfortunately, the television did not survive the trip on Etihad Airways. Does he have a claim? “I want Etihad to reimburse me for my big screen TV!”
Ann Trehub is a self-advocacy success story. When her mother’s out-of-warranty TV stopped working, she used our company contacts to find a sympathetic ear at the manufacturer. When the TV couldn’t be fixed, they did something unexpected. “A Sanyo self-help success story holds a lesson or two about the power of advocacy”
Latonya Holloway’s TV stopped working. Good thing she bought the extended warranty from Wal-Mart. Or is it?
Question: I bought a 24-inch Element Electronics TV from Wal-Mart with an extended warranty a year ago. Last month, it stopped working and I couldn’t get a picture on it. I contacted Wal-Mart, and a representative told me to contact Element, because it was still under its manufacturer’s warranty.
I contacted Element and told them the problem. They told me to fax them the proof of purchase. I did. I received a case number and was told to ship the TV to them, which I did.
I’ve been in contact with Element since then to find out about the status of my TV. I’ve called at least 20 times and I’ve had the same conversation over and over. They ask for my tracking number and they promise to send me a TV.
“Where’s my replacement TV from Wal-Mart?”
The most satisfying cases I handle as a consumer advocate aren’t the ones where I step in to save the day. It’s the times when you, the consumers, fix a problem without any outside help.
In other words, it’s when the system works.
Take what happened to Stacey Larsen’s subscription-TV service. She signed up last December, only to discover that it didn’t work as advertised. Her TV was plagued by numerous technical glitches that often made it impossible to watch the programs she wanted.
“We have had technician visits on Dec. 24 and 28, January 12, March 13 and May 21,” she explained. “We have had three sets of equipment swapped out over a six-month period and are still having a problem.”
“How to fix any customer service problem yourself”
When Rogers Cable removes two of Ed Kurys’s favorite channels from his cable package, he believes the company is violating his contract. But is it?
Question: I need your help with my cable company, Rogers. It recently removed BBC and Spike TV channels from my cable package.
One of the main reasons that I contracted with Rogers for cable many years ago was that it included the BBC, the only worthwhile news channel on TV today.
Isn’t this a violation of contract law? A valid contract consists of an offer, an acceptance and payment. In this case, when Rogers offered the cable package and I accepted and paid for the service, a valid contract was entered into between Rogers and me. Rogers has breached this contract when it arbitrarily removed the BBC from the package.
“They canceled my favorite cable networks — do they owe me?”