Flat screen TVs give you great pictures but the slightest crack can disable the entire set and most warranties won't cover cracked screens. This woman says her brand new TV cracked coming out of the box, but the warranty didn't cover a repair and she couldn't return it to the store.
After work, Shannon Barnes of Marin City looks forward to a relaxing evening at home, watching TV with her family. She and her children flip channels, disagreeing about what to watch, but on the day we visited them, they are just happy the TV set actually works.
"I plugged it in because I was excited to have a TV," said Barnes.
Barnes told us about her ordeal. She bought a plasma TV at Walmart back in February, but when she turned it on nothing happened.
"No picture, no sound," said Barnes.
She figured no problem, it was brand new and under warranty. She contacted Samsung, which sent out a technician, who discovered the problem.
"He found three little cracks right at the borderline," said Barnes.
The technician pointed to tiny fractures at the top of the screen, which disabled the entire set. The Samsung warranty didn't cover cracks so Shannon contacted Walmart. The retailer said it would not take back a TV with a damaged screen.
She also had this extended warranty, but that didn't cover a cracked screen either. Barnes kept telling everyone this wasn't her fault. The TV came with those cracks.
"Right out of the box and it was shocking, like, 'Really? Did I just spend all this money on this TV?'" said Barnes.
Barnes says she paid $500 for the TV, $44 for the extended warranty, and all she got was a broken television.
"To be told, 'Oh, we can't help you. Sorry, you've just got to take that loss.' It was just like wow. I work hard for my money and I just want a TV that works," said Barnes.
She contacted 7 On Your Side and we contacted Walmart and two weeks later, the retailer gave her a call.
"They said, 'So what's going on with your TV?'" said Barnes.
Walmart agreed to take back the TV and provide a full refund. A Walmart spokesperson said it was not clear what caused the cracks, but: "This is not the experience we want our customers to have. Ultimately we did the right thing by taking care of Ms. Barnes and resolved the issue with her."
She bought another Samsung TV, which works perfectly. Now the family is snuggled up, debating what to watch once again.
A warranty usually will not cover cracked screens for TV sets and repairing a screen can often cost more than the price of the entire set. Barnes did everything right by reporting the problem on the very same day she bought the TV. Our thanks to Walmart for providing her with that full refund.