Dear Help Squad,
On Oct. 28, 2013, I took my 46” flat screen TV into this well-respected TV repair shop, which has been an iconic store here in Norridge for over 40 years. This so-called reputable business broke my TV beyond repair and is taking no responsibility whatsoever for that.
They did not immediately plug in my TV to see its condition when it was dropped off. When they finally looked at it after it sat in their store for three days, they called me and told me my problem was that the “screen was cracked” and it could not be fixed. The problem here is that all that was wrong with it was three thin black lines in the upper left area of the screen. There was a beautiful picture, sound, and it was a good TV otherwise.
When I complained to them, of course they said they did not do it and that was the way it was brought in. I know for a fact that was not the way it left my house. They claim it must have happened in transport, the whole three minutes it took to get it there.
I now have no TV and am poorer by the $39.95 they charged me up front to destroy my TV. I really hope your write something on this matter to give unsuspecting consumers a heads up to not be trusting of even some nice guys running a TV repair shop for 40 years.
Tina Truszkowski, Norridge
First of all, we are so sorry that you no longer have a working television, especially during the height of football season! That really stinks.
We called Amlin TV and spoke with co-owner, Ron Amodeo, who told us what happened, in his opinion.
Amodeo said that you were not present during the drop off or pick up of the television. He also stated that one of his employees helped the man who dropped off your TV unload it from a van. Amodeo said that in his opinion, the way that the TV was positioned in the van, the LCD panel could easily have gotten damaged in route to his shop, either when it was placed in van, or if the driver went over some bumps that could have knocked it onto some nearby tools in the van.
He said he offered to give back your $39.95, but that you refused it. He still is willing to give it to you. Per your request, Help Squad asked Amodeo if he would send you a check versus having you come in and pick up the money. He agreed and said he would send the check out immediately.
In our opinion, what happened to you could have been avoided, had someone from the shop plugged in and turned on the television while the person who dropped it off waited, just to verify what the problem was. They would have known at that moment if the screen was cracked or not.
Amodeo said he has never done business like this, and neither do other TV repair shops. He also said this is only the second time in a 40-year career that a customer has accused the business of a wrongdoing.
We decided to get another opinion, and called A&G Radio and TV in Burr Ridge, which has been in business for 50 years. We spoke with owner, Greg Fifer, who verified what Amodeo said, that at most shops, customers drop off the TV, explain the issue, and leave it there on good faith.
Hmm … doesn’t quite make sense to us here at Help Squad. If all TV repair shop employees took the time to plug in and turn on each TV, what happened to Tina wouldn’t happen to other customers, right?
While we had Fifer on the phone, we decided to get some tips on how to preserve a television for as long as possible.
Here’s what he had to say:
1. Invest in a surge protector: Also known as a surge suppressor, a surge protector is a device you insert into a power line to limit the voltage supplied to the TV. In the case of a violent storm, the initial spike in power can cause damage to the TV, but the protector prevents that.
2. Cleaning the screen: When cleaning the screen, do not spray liquid directly onto the screen because it can drip down and leak into the electronics underneath. Instead, spray the towel and then wipe the screen. Also, use a microfiber cloth and a non-alcohol based solution. Lastly, clean the screen gently. The screen is very soft, and too much pressure on it can crack the internal panel.
3. Heat is your enemy: Make sure your TV is not in an enclosed cabinet. The back of the cabinet needs to be open or have holes in it to allow heat to escape and air to flow through it.
4. When moving a TV: Going back to Tina’s case, when moving a TV, make sure nothing touches or puts pressure on the front screen. The screens are soft and crack very easily.