Sears upsells plasma television "recharging" service (Hint: no such thing)

I just bought a Plasma TV from Sears. I declined to buy the $300/3 yr protection plan because of the price. Sears called me at home a few days later. The sales lady asked my why I chose a Plasma TV instead of an LCD. I thought this odd, but just answered the truth - there was a deal on this TV. She then told me a personal anecdote about her friend who repairs Plasma TVs who told her that Plasma TV's needed to be recharged every 5 years for a cost of $500 or so. She then tried to sell me the protection plan that would cover this service (the same one I declined before, which would expire before the 5 year recharging date anyway). I declined, ended our call, then got on the internet and discovered rather quickly that this is a myth about plasma tvs that lots of salespeople are propagating. I am certain that there are people buying these protection plans to cover their plasma tv's future "recharging" which they will discover never happens.
lolwhut? Sears Calls Several Days After Purchase To Upsell Unnecessary Protection Plan With Lies [Consumerist]
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18 Responses to Sears upsells plasma television "recharging" service (Hint: no such thing)

  1. robulus says:

    Ugh. Early generation plasmas suffered quite badly from burn in. The last few generations have reduced the issue to the point it is not even worth mentioning anymore.

    Occassionally I have left my 2 year old Panasonic plasma paused on a frame for a couple of hours, and theres been some burn-in. About 2-3 minutes of normal viewing completely wipes it out.

    The problem was more severe on early sets, and one of the solutions was to run noise or white signals for extended periods to reduce the burn. I am guessing this is what is being referred to as recharging.

    Don’t get too cocky if you’ve bought LCD, your black levels are inferior!

  2. theawesomerobot says:

    Sure there is – I just have to wave this special recharging wand over it – and voila! see?! much better!

    The bill is in the mail.

  3. Adam Fields says:

    This isn’t new – a friend of mine bought a plasma TV years ago, and was told this by the sales guy. Except back then, it was after only 3 years. I guess they last longer now…

  4. MrC says:

    Thanks funny. Although almost every Plasma own I know has had the power supply replaced at least once in the first 5 years. Admittedly they were all early adopters, but it did put me off plasma.

  5. The Lizardman says:

    Don’t forget the undercoating

  6. technogeek says:

    Plasma can suffer burn-in, which is my main objection to that technology.

    But that shouldn’t affect you very quickly unless you are running manymany hours of fairly static content. And I’m not sure what “recharging” could be done, other than replacing the screen.

    So this could be partly confusion … but, yeah, it sounds like mostly rip-off.

    I actually do have an extended warranty on my Sears refrigerator, and so far that’s been a win wince this was a new design and had a few weak spots. But let’s face it, extended warranties are insurance policies. It’s up to you to understand the risk/benefit tradeoff before deciding whether it makes any sense at all… and if you can afford to take the loss you are almost always better off self-insuring.

  7. RedShirt77 says:

    Hello Fraud!

    Always a boom in a recession. Reminds me I need to have a new coat of rust protection put on my car.

    I do feel for the salesperson. Getting paid on commission at a time were no one is buying anything they don’t need. probably needed to rip you off just to make rent.

  8. TharkLord says:

    This may not be a bad idea. The Tachyon recharge for my Tivo was pretty expensive.

  9. jamois says:

    This reminds me of buying my first CD player back in the late ’80s. The Best Buy associate tried to sell me an extended warranty on the basis that, “about once a year, the laser will have to be recalibrated.”

    Lolwhut, indeed. I’d write more, but I’ve gotta take my DLP in to have the mirrors shined….

  10. airship says:

    Ripoff. My simple do-it-yourself plasma recharging kit allows you to perform a plasma screen recharge at home for only $100! Simple instructions are included. PM me for details.

  11. bonafidebob says:

    I’ve got an 8 year old plasma at home, original power supply. I did have some burn in from watching too much letterboxed 4:3 TV, but I changed my viewing habits to use more widescreen modes and it’s self-corrected. The display has never been “recharged” and looks every bit as good as it did 8 years ago, but then it didn’t come from Sears. Hey, maybe Sears has some magic new rechargeable plasma technology. It’s better ’cause it’s, you know, rechargeable!

  12. guy_jin says:

    how about, instead of giving people bullshit parking/speeding tickets, cops go into stores, plainclothed, and fine the ass of of salespeople who pull this fraud, and the stores that allow them to do it.

  13. Jarvik7 says:

    Some of the displays in the picture need re-calibration (or maybe recharging?), the color balance is way off.

  14. technogeek says:

    Remember, “recharge” can also mean “to demand money again”…

  15. DeWynken says: mean this Plasma Generator I built from Instructables is worthless for this? What do I do with it now?

  16. Anonymous says:

    The Sears Protection Plan people called me and offered me a $300/3 year protection plan when I purchased a TV with them.

    The woman on the phone was quite adamant that it was a good deal, despite the fact that the TV only cost $150.

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