Monday, August 26, 2013

Dad's Review - Planning to buy a TCL LED TV? Think twice!

Last 07 July 2012, I bought a 32 inches borderless TCL flat screen from our favorite SM Appliance Center at SM North EDSA basement. Actually, I was initially checking the Samsung Series 4 LCD but due to very competitive price of TCL I gave its lady promodiser a chance to explain and promote her merchandise.

My TCL receipt
According to her, SM was pushing TCL brand in the Philippines mainly due to competitive price with quality comparable to other established LCD brands such as Sony and Samsung. Indeed, I was impressed on the performance and clarity of TCL flat screen inside the showroom when compared to other brands. In short, I purchased a TCL borderless flat screen 32E5300 LED TV with 1 year warranty for 22,995 pesos.

I mounted my TCL on the wall and I wasn't disappointed because the picture was crystal clear while the audio was quite loud for our 12 square meter master bedroom. Though TCL is a Chinese brand, I have no qualms with my flat screen until a few months back.

My borderless 32" TCL flat screen at the back of my new 42" LG 3D TV

During my previous vacation in May 2013, I noticed a thumb size black spot on my TCL TV. I thought it was caused by dead pixels so I immediately complained to SM Appliance Center Customer Service. The SMAC staff logged my complaint and coordinated with TCL for our warranty claim. Since I would be leaving for my work in few days, my wife was the one who coordinated with COOLTRONICS, the service contractor of TCL, regarding the repair of our flat screen.

warranty report last May 2013

The COOLTRONICS technician came to our house and after checking the unit he explained that the thumb size black spot wasn't caused by dead pixels but rather a misplaced adhesive tape inside the panel. He simply removed the said tape and our TCL was back in service in no time at all.

This vacation, I arrived 1st week of August, I noticed a straight black line appearing intermittently on my TCL flat screen. I showed it to my wife and she told me that she remembered that the black line started appearing several weeks after our TCL was repaired last May 2013. She never bothered to mention it to me because she thought it was caused by our Digi-box since TV pixelation was occurring when our Digi-box was connected due to some technical problem according to the cable TV technicians.


I have to attend to more pressing matters thus I wasn't able to bring this problem to SMAC attention until several days back. I approached initially the TCL promodiser and explained to her the problem. She instructed me to coordinate with the SMAC Customer Service which I did. During my discussion with the CS staff, he reverted back to the same TCL promodiser. They concluded that since my unit was beyond the 1 year warranty period they asked me to contact directly COOLTRONICS. In fairness, the promodiser and SMAC CS staffs were both polite and courteous while having a discussion with me.

I contacted COOLTRONICS yesterday and explained the problem; the lady informed me that since my unit was beyond the warranty period then I need to pay 500 pesos "check-up" fee. I argued that the problem was intermittent and probably caused by the workmanship during the last warranty repair in May 2013. Since it was holiday, she replied that she would call me the following day; she would coordinate this matter to the technician who repaired my unit before, she added.

I received a call from COOLTRONICS today. The technician who repaired my unit explained to me that the black straight line I am seeing now on my TCL flat screen wasn't related to the problem he repaired last time. According to him, the intermittent black line is an indication of failing LCD panel or in layman's term "dead pixels." He added that there is a possibility that more black lines would appear in the future and the only way to remedy or solve the problem is to replace the actual LCD panel (not the entire TV) which could be very costly. After a few more minutes of technical discussions I decided not to send my unit for repair anymore.

All told, I therefore ask all hard working Dads out there to think twice before buying a cheap TCL flat screen. I am saying this not only due to the problems I have encountered but mainly because when compared to other flat screens I bought, TCL was the only unit that gave my wife and I headache and wasted our time in just a matter of one year.

My first LCD was a Samsung 20 inch which I bought in Abu Dhabi City, UAE last 2007. It was submerged under flood water during typhoon Ondoy in September 2009. My neighbor cum technician simply cleaned the unit with water and I was able to use it again. Of course, some minor problems occurred later due to flooding but no dead pixels until now.

My second LCD was a Sanyo 24 inch which I bought from SMAC 2 years back. My in-laws who are staying with us are using it right now after their 21 inch AIWA old school TV gave in recently.

This TCL is my third flat screen. In just one year of use I have experienced the problems mentioned above. I couldn't imagine the next problem that would appear on this flat screen later on.

My latest flat screen is an LG 42 inch 3D TV. I bought it recently at SMAC too and now adoring the wall of my new entertainment room. I just hope that my latest toy will stand the test of time, LOL.

By the way, regardless whether I bought a lemon TV or it was simply a poor decision on my part to prioritize a cheaply priced high-end item, hard earned money has been used. Anyway, I would just wait for other black lines to appear and when I am not comfortable anymore with my TCL flat screen I would replace it with another brand instead of spending on a costly repair.

Sayonara TCL!

09 November 2013

2 lines

3 lines

It is fortunate that my new entertainment room has been completed. In case I want to watch a movie I simply go upstairs and watch it on my 42 inches LG Cinema 3D flat screen. As a Dad, it is truly disheartening to see an expensive item deteriorated in short period of time.

January 2014

April 2014

In less than 2 years, at least 10 lines have appeared on my TCL. Way to go TCL!!!

July 9 2015

After 3 years and 2 days. This piece of crap will definitely go to the bin on December.

09 September 2015

TCL was brought by kids to their dorm; my daughter loves to watch the her favorite night time "teleserye." Yes! I found a way to dispose it without throwing it to the bin.

Since the wife also loves to watch her nightly primetime local TV series she opted to watch them in our entertainment room; I felt I was a refugee inside our house. Yesterday, I decided that I need to do drastic action otherwise my vacation would be ruined without being able to watch any sports and movie channels.

As replacement, I bought a series 4 Samsung 32 inches LED TV for 14,300 pesos. Unlike my previous TCL that can only read 500 GB HDD with one year warranty for around 24 k pesos, my new flat screen is capable of reading up to 1 TB HDD with two year warranty and with clearer video and bass audio. More so, it has built-in anti-surge protection and with 2 USB ports that are capable of transferring or copying files between 2 external drives.

While shopping for a replacement TV a TCL sales staff tried to coerce us in buying her cheaply priced products. There is no way she can convince us to even have a second look at her TCL products.

My new toy adoring our bedroom's wall

Disclaimer: This is an actual experience of a working Dad and could be different from other Dads' experiences about this brand of flat screen.