Sharp Stands Behind Its Product

Just when I was about to ship my four-year-old Sharp LC-32D4U to my parents, who are still using an analog TV, the 32-inch TV's speakers went silent. According to this guy, the problem is "a design flaw by Sharp in which the silicon grease they used to cool the audio IC tends to break down and melt after a couple years, shorting out the audio." I've spent this week reviewing a JVC sound bar, so at least I didn't have to do without my local 10 o'clock newscast--the TV's analog line output still worked well enough to feed a signal to the bar. But I wanted to fix the TV before it went off to its new home. My parents have been good to me. I didn't want to send them a less than fully functional TV.

So I called Sharp. The set was out of warranty. But because the problem is a known manufacturing defect, I got a free repair. Instead of asking me to ship the set to a service center, the company sent a technician to my home. He got busy on the rug (though I offered to clear a desk). The sound board was buried deep inside the set, so the repairman's power screwdriver whizzed and whizzed, but eventually I smelled the chemical aroma of the new grease on the new board and the set was soon back in business. I'm very impressed with Sharp. This is a company that stands behind its products. I never even identified myself as an editor of this magazine--this is apparently how Sharp would treat any consumer with the same problem.

I had a similarly positive experience with Canon when the imaging sensor of my SD200 camera gave up the ghost after three years of use. When I phoned tech support, I was told this was another manufacturing defect and was offered two alternatives. Either the company would sell me a more recent model for the low-low-low price of $100 or it would repair the old one for nothing. Since the old one had accompanied me to Venice, Copenhagen, Vienna, and a few of my other favorite places, it had a certain sentimental value and I asked for the repair. Canon later notified me that the repair wouldn't be possible after all and sent a new SD1000 for nothing. So I went from two to seven megapixels practically overnight. Here's another company that stands behind its products. That's commendable.

kelsci's picture

It is always good to hear stories from notable people about notable companies that go out of their way to back up their products. Reliability and out of the way service ordeals such as these stick in peoples minds when they consider buying products from companies. That is one of the reasons why the Japanese auto industry did so well, particulaly Honda, to my knowledge.

Steve in Manitoba's picture

Mark, I was unsure how else to reach you so I'll try here. I read with interest you review of the Denon AVR-4810CI. Please confirm if the power rating is correct on the measurements, 123.5 watts 5 channels driven, 0.1% distortion and only 30.9 watts with 2 more channels driven? Is this normal for such a drastic power drop by adding only 2 more channels?Thanks...Steve

Douglas L. Sanders's picture

This is a true revelation - Sharp has been notorious lately for NOT standing behind anything except their lawyers when they refuse to fix their overpriced TV's. Let's hope this is true for the rest of us. (I'm not convinced that Mr. Fleischman's "results are typical," nor am I convinced they did not know who he is.)Anyway, thank you for the update and all the best. - DLS

Easy Home Theaters. 's picture

Competition in this day and age includes the likely screeming of an unsatisfied customer not just to the consumer watchdogs but to their thousands of twitter facebook etc friends. or a good comment or two in someones blog. They have to try harder nowdays..

gsdgsh's picture