Once upon a time I was a Panasonic fan, even a brand ambassador. That all changed due to Panasonic customer service. Or lack of it. Buyer beware, lightening can also strike twice!

First it was the washing machine when I attempted to use a 5-year warranty. About 18 months after purchase it developed a sound that suggested all was not well. No problem I thought, it’s covered by the manufacturers 5-year warranty.

So I dug out the original paperwork and made the call. You know the one, IVR lottery. Press 1 for X and press 2 for Y. I’ll spare you the full pain and get to the punch line. Sorry sir “there is no record of your registration on our data base” According to Panasonic I was not covered.

“Do you have the warranty certificate”

“No, but I have a copy of the 5 year extended warranty form that I sent you”

“Sorry sir, that is not a warranty certificate, we need the warranty certificate that you would have received, if you sent us a 5 year warranty form”

“but I have the original email receipt from the online purchase and a copy of the completed registration form”

“Sorry sir, we need the warranty certificate”

“I know I sent off the claim guarantee, because I kept a copy!”

“Sorry sir, we need the warranty certificate

The main reason for choosing Panasonic, was they were on of a few brands to advertise a free 5 year warranty.  On this occasion, John Lewis, a reputable retailer who honors their extra 1-year warranty, saved the day.  So I able to request a service engineer visit. He listened to the drum turning and diagnosed the bearing was beyond repair. We now have a fully working John Lewis branded washing machine. So much for the advertised  5 year manufacturers warranty.

 

Now it’s the turn for my 55’’ Panasonic plasma TV to play-up.  First it would turn itself off and turn on again a few seconds later.  This morphed into just giving the impression it was trying. The red standby light flashes from red to green for a few seconds and then gives up. Now it just refuses to switch on

No problem I thought, it’s covered by the manufacturers 5-year warranty.

 So I dug out the original paperwork. Yes! I had the original yellow receipt from a local electrical store and a copy of the completed 5-year warranty form with the dealer’s rubber stamp and a signature by human hand! After a misplaced call to the old 01344 number and a new 0844 number I was in the correct Panasonic IVR queue and listening to 80’s music. Finally I got to speak to a human.

“Sorry for the delay”

“Can I have the model number?”

“Yes it is TH50PZ81”

“Thank you, can I have the serial number”

“Yes it is FA-8460097”

Then came the moment of truth

“ Do you have your warranty certificate?”

“ I do have a copy of the 5 year extended warranty form that I sent you”

“Sorry sir, that is not a warranty certificate, we need the warranty certificate that you would have received, if you sent us a 5 year warranty form

“Yes I know that, I’ve played this game before with a washing machine”

“Sorry sir, but we need the warranty certificate”

“I know I sent off the warranty claim form, because I kept a copy!”

“Sorry sir, we need the warranty certificate

 

So I called Panasonic office customer care and was informed that I may get “part assistance”. On this occasion I only received parts in the month May! So far I’ve parted with £180 for an approved dealer to come a collect the TV. Then another £180 to return the TV in working order.

Two weeks later the same problem returns. The red standby light now flashes from red to green for a few seconds and then gives up. So I call the local repairer.

“Sorry about that sir we will come and collect it”

The repair company then tells me that Panasonic 2nd line support team has diagnosed the problem. It might be the Plasma screen!

“Might be? You want me to part with even more money on a …might be….”

Month four………The TV is still with the local repairer, who is waiting to hear back from Panasonic.

So I’ve shifted from lifetime brand ambassador to super detractor in a few months. No electrical items will be purchased from Panasonic ever again in my lifetime.

The moral of the tale……….don’t buy a Panasonic……unless it’s from a John Lewis store ………they will always look after their customers.