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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #31  
Old 10th July 2015
Jim Ford Jim Ford is offline
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Re: Business Economics

Sounds like if a DVD recorder (say) is within the warranty period but is behaving erratically, and you feel you might be given the runaround by the retailer, you ought to borrow a Van de Graaff generator and give the inputs a sniff of the 100,000 Volts or so.. That should make up its mind whether it's going to work or not! There's nothing more definite as a completely dead unit plonked on a retailer's counter!

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  #32  
Old 10th July 2015
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Re: Business Economics

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There's nothing more definite as a completely dead unit plonked on a retailer's counter!
......... And there's nothing like causing a commotion on a Saturday afternoon to get something done about it!
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  #33  
Old 10th July 2015
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Re: Business Economics

And there's nothing like waiting until the Olympus stand is really busy before you start complaining loudly about the battery consumption of the OM4. Olympus agree to replace the circuit boards only to lose the body and don't 'find' it until threatened with legal action.
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  #34  
Old 11th July 2015
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Re: Business Economics

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......... And there's nothing like causing a commotion on a Saturday afternoon to get something done about it!
Depends on the size of the store! Most staff in multiples these days couldn't care less.....
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  #35  
Old 13th July 2015
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Re: Business Economics

I had a further look at my Panasonic HDD/DVD recorder this morning. It's model DMR-EX86EB. 13 months old.

To those who didn't believe me about system updates, I did some delving. Buried in the menus under "Set Up" are two items. #1: "System update on standby" and #2 "Search for Software update". I've now turned off #1. I tried #2, and it couldn't find anything. Doesn't mean it hasn't been quietly updating in the background whilst turned off.

Among other issues that have developed with it in the last few weeks, the VEIRA function no longer works. I've tried everything I can think of, including a hard reset. It remains intransigent. I've decided to ring Panasonic this afternoon and see if I can talk to their service department - clearly talking to Hughes would be a waste of time.

Incidentally, I also looked at my old blown-up one. It's a DMR-EX773. (=EX83) All it does is play what's already on the HDD. Nothing else works. If you try to return from the replay "Navigator" function, it turns off. It's about 4 years old. Wonderful quality - NOT! I downloaded the service manual. This fault? It doesn't exist......

Panasonic used to make good quality electronics. Once. Would I buy another Panasonic? Is the Pope a Buddhist?

UPDATE: After a long conversation by phone with Panasonic, in which their young lady talked me through a factory reset, she concluded that my EX86 is indeed screwed up, and has authorised a repair under warranty (although it's a month out of warranty now). I'll have to take it into Norwich to the nearest Panasonic repair depot. Proves it's worth pursuing it when you have a problem like this!
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  #36  
Old 14th July 2015
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Re: Business Economics

We have two Panasonic HDD/DVD players, and an ancient but excellent Panasonic TV with a 26" tube! All have given very good service. Unfortunately the older of the two HDD/DVD players has an analogue tuner, (it must be 15 years old by now), so we can only use it to play DVD's and the programmes that were on the HDD when analogue transmission was switched off.

(You might get a feel for my enthusiasm for television here - not!)

However all manufacturers these days seem to rely on brand loyalty, as none of them build products of the quality or longevity that they once did. The problem is, if you rule out Panasonic what would else you buy, as all of the other manufacturers seem to be much of a muchness to me.

Sony do still seem to build good products, but their customer service is appalling. I have found Toshiba's after sales service to be excellent for laptops, with real human beings answering the phone right here in the UK, but I don't know how good their TV and video support is.
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  #37  
Old 14th July 2015
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Re: Business Economics

Moving on, my current consumer issue is with Vodaphone.

My main mobile phone is and always has been with O2. However, a few years ago I bought a Vodaphone PAYG SIM card to put in a spare mobile that I always carry in case of emergency.

This has proved invaluable on occasions when I have not had coverage from O2, or just when I need an 'anonymous' phone that only my nearest and dearest know the number of.

The phone isn't (or wasn't) used very much, but taking advantage of various top-up offers from Vodaphone I had a credit of nearly 70.00.

That was until last week, when I noticed that the phone was showing 'Emergency Calls Only". I couldn't call Vodaphone as there was no service so I had a look on their website.

I couldn't find a number for customer support but apparently there is a known 'issue' with PAYG phones that are not used regularly, where customers are cut off without any warning at all, and are unable to top up their accounts. Customers who think they may be affected are invited to call the number given.

I called, only to be told by a foreign gentleman that this is a known issue if the phone isn't used for a while, that they had no record of my phone number or any remaining credit, and that there was nothing that they or I could do. (We'll see about that!)

However, the gentleman did say that if I went to a Vodaphone shop I could buy a new SIM card with a new phone number. Oh aye!

Of course I have no records at all other than my phone number, which apparently doesn't exist any more, and the top-ups which I made using bank ATM's.

And there is another problem with PAYG phones. GCHQ may know who you call and when, but if you need this information from your phone provider they require a lot of forms to be filled in and will charge you at least 10 for the privilege!
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  #38  
Old 14th July 2015
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Re: Business Economics

Call the GCHQ help line. I believe it's 666.
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  #39  
Old 14th July 2015
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Re: Business Economics

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Originally Posted by byegad View Post
Call the GCHQ help line. I believe it's 666.
On a more serious note, it seems GCHQ and the mobile operators can track the location of phones, which numbers we call and when, but anyone can buy a PAYG SIM card without providing any contact details, and can have a different card for every day of the week, so how do they know who these phones belong to?

I somehow doubt that ISIS or whatever they call themselves would have a corporate phone contract.
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  #40  
Old 14th July 2015
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Re: Business Economics

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Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
Now that's really interesting, Otto; my old Panasonic behaves as though the TV tuner has died. I'll look it up.
Apologies for the delay KeithL, I've been away a few days.

Mine is a DMR-EX75. If you type "DMR-EX75 tv tuner" into Google it auto-completes with several answers that include the words "fault" or "problem"!

There's even a couple of YouTube videos which show you how to fix the problem, I don't know if they'd be applicable to your model but it was apparent to me when I examined the capacitors that all was not well - they were showing signs of swelling and leakage. The vid only mentions two but I found a third that had blown so changed that as well, and in all cases used replacements with a higher voltage rating to (hopefully) reduce a reoccurrence of the fault.

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  #41  
Old 14th July 2015
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Re: Business Economics

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Originally Posted by Otto View Post
Apologies for the delay KeithL, I've been away a few days.

Mine is a DMR-EX75. If you type "DMR-EX75 tv tuner" into Google it auto-completes with several answers that include the words "fault" or "problem"!

There's even a couple of YouTube videos which show you how to fix the problem, I don't know if they'd be applicable to your model but it was apparent to me when I examined the capacitors that all was not well - they were showing signs of swelling and leakage. The vid only mentions two but I found a third that had blown so changed that as well, and in all cases used replacements with a higher voltage rating to (hopefully) reduce a reoccurrence of the fault.

Fixing no Digital TV problem on Panasonic EX75 EX85 - YouTube
Hi Otto
Thanks for the info; I looked it up and found the YouTube video you mention. Unfortunately, my old one is an EX773; earlier than the EX75/85. The boards are different; and searching on YT I found almost nothing. I did look at a service manual for it, and the fault isn't mentioned. I think the processor board has a fault. It doesn't have the capacitors shown in the video. My EX773 will ONLY play stuff that is already on the HDD - nothing else, not even a DVD! It's REALLY stuffed!!

As Nigel said, Panasonic used to be good - when they were made in Japan. Their DVD/HDD recorders are made in Slovakia nowadays.

Sony (and Philips) don't manufacture themselves any more, I'm told - they subcontract to firms in China (and, I'd guess, India); all production is put out to tender. That's probably why after-sales service is poor.
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  #42  
Old 14th July 2015
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Re: Business Economics

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
Moving on, my current consumer issue is with Vodaphone.

My main mobile phone is and always has been with O2. However, a few years ago I bought a Vodaphone PAYG SIM card to put in a spare mobile that I always carry in case of emergency.

This has proved invaluable on occasions when I have not had coverage from O2, or just when I need an 'anonymous' phone that only my nearest and dearest know the number of.

The phone isn't (or wasn't) used very much, but taking advantage of various top-up offers from Vodaphone I had a credit of nearly 70.00.

That was until last week, when I noticed that the phone was showing 'Emergency Calls Only". I couldn't call Vodaphone as there was no service so I had a look on their website.

I couldn't find a number for customer support but apparently there is a known 'issue' with PAYG phones that are not used regularly, where customers are cut off without any warning at all, and are unable to top up their accounts. Customers who think they may be affected are invited to call the number given.

I called, only to be told by a foreign gentleman that this is a known issue if the phone isn't used for a while, that they had no record of my phone number or any remaining credit, and that there was nothing that they or I could do. (We'll see about that!)

However, the gentleman did say that if I went to a Vodaphone shop I could buy a new SIM card with a new phone number. Oh aye!

Of course I have no records at all other than my phone number, which apparently doesn't exist any more, and the top-ups which I made using bank ATM's.

And there is another problem with PAYG phones. GCHQ may know who you call and when, but if you need this information from your phone provider they require a lot of forms to be filled in and will charge you at least 10 for the privilege!
A while back I discovered giffgaff, which runs on O2. I've found that very good indeed. When they had an outage two years ago, they even refunded some money! I've never liked Vodaphone, and won't have anything to do with them. My daughter has a Vodaphone mobile, but she has had poor service from them on and off.
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  #43  
Old 14th July 2015
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Re: Business Economics

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Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
A while back I discovered giffgaff, which runs on O2. I've found that very good indeed. When they had an outage two years ago, they even refunded some money! I've never liked Vodaphone, and won't have anything to do with them. My daughter has a Vodaphone mobile, but she has had poor service from them on and off.
I have just had another long and fruitless discussion with Vodaphone, and feel a visit to the County Court coming on.

They tell me that if you "don't make a chargeable call for sixty days they will disconnect the line and close the account".

When I asked about my balance (about 70) I was told there is "nothing they can do, as they have no way of knowing what the balance was when they closed the account"!

I asked the lady whether she would be happy if her bank closed her account if she didn't spend anything for sixty days, and just kept her money.

Her reply was that "it's in the terms and conditions." Is it heck.

I was never given any terms and conditions; I didn't sign any terms and conditions, and I would aver that even if the terms and conditions say so it would fall foul of the Unfair Contract Terms and Conditions Act 1977.

I simply do not accept that any business is entitled to take money for a service only to refuse to provide that service at a later date because you haven't used it enough.

To say that I am angry is an understatement. It is not the money that concerns me as much as the principle. I don't often get mad but I always get even!
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  #44  
Old 14th July 2015
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Re: Business Economics

Nigel - this is not a new feature - it has been around since the introduction of of PAYG Sim cards. It enables reuse of telephone numbers.

I would expect that the folder/packaging that the SIM card was shipped in either had the T&Cs for the Sim card or a URL that explains the T&Cs.
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Old 14th July 2015
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Re: Business Economics

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Nigel - this is not a new feature - it has been around since the introduction of of PAYG Sim cards. It enables reuse of telephone numbers.

I would expect that the folder/packaging that the SIM card was shipped in either had the T&Cs for the Sim card or a URL that explains the T&Cs.
I was never given any T&C's, and did not sign any.

However, I don't really care what the T&C's say. Vodafone cannot change English law, even if they managed to avoid paying UK tax under a previous administration.

A business cannot simply close a customers account without their knowledge and steal their money. That is theft in my view, whatever their T's & C's say.

I accept that there are some dormant accounts with a few pounds in which need to be recycled (having sent at least two text messages to the customer), but to close an active account, to take 70 without warning, to claim that they have no way of knowing what the credit was (which is tantamount to false accounting), and to refuse to refund the balance is downright criminal in my view.
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