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NESDA Ethical TV Service Centers Ask For Opportunity To Serve Consumers In Wake of TV Repair "Sting"

WEBWIRE – Tuesday, June 18, 2013

FORT WORTH, TX. — On June 5, an American Broadcasting Company (ABC) program called “The Lookout” featured a segment where program staff called for TV service to a single service center that had been identified as having a poor reputation. Volunteers and staff then dressed up to look like elderly consumers when the TV repair person came to their home.  They wanted to see what kind of response an elderly customer, who might be your grandmother or your parent, would receive from a TV service provider if no one else was there with the elderly person to question the service technician about necessary repair work. The service center contacted by the program for the “sting” was a servicer in New Jersey.  That service company has an “F” rating by the local Better Business Bureau and the program wanted to see if this particular service company would attempt to defraud the consumer.

Technical personnel from Panasonic worked with ABC to prep the TV sets used in the “sting” by noting the serial numbers of key circuit boards and parts so any part replacements potentially made by the service center could be verified.  Panasonic personnel also rigged a set by partially unplugging a speaker wire cable that could be easily plugged in to restore full sound operation.  In two other scenarios, they adjusted the color on a TV set with the remote and they also changed a format setting on another TV noting that it was a simple adjustment and would only take a few minutes to restore the color and format settings with no actual repair being necessary.

On three different occasions, this company provided repair estimates and services that were much higher coupled with parts that should not have been needed to repair the television sets.  It was revealed after approving the estimates and having the TV’s “repaired” that no parts were actually replaced to repair the televisions in question although the service center had stated they had been replaced and billed for parts in all three cases as part of the repair process. A television journalist then set up a final service appointment whereby she revealed herself in the “sting” and tried to obtain comment from the technician who immediately left and refused to answer any questions. The journalist finally went to the service center and was also denied comment again from the technician and the identified owner.

Another service company with a similar company name, located in the same geographic area, with an “A+” Better Business Bureau rating began to receive threatening calls as a result of the program’s airing, and respectfully appealed to the producers of the ABC show for help in letting the public know he was not the company they had featured.  ABC agreed to air additional information about the two companies to let the public know the good company was still a good company, and they have done so. Unfortunately, this does not help the remaining honest and ethical service providers that may have been affected by the conclusions drawn in the program.

NESDA’s Board of Directors and members believe that the tone set by the program was one that left the viewer with the impression that all television service centers were dishonest although the subject of the “sting” operation was one unscrupulous service center in New Jersey.

For over 60 years, the members of NESDA, the National Electronics Service Dealers Association, have agreed to a comprehensive Code of Ethics that protects consumers from shady business practices.  The NESDA Code of Ethics may be viewed on the organization’s website here:

The 700-plus service center members of National Electronics Service Dealers Association (NESDA) are ready to help consumers by offering professional television repair service.

Consumers looking for an ethical and professional servicer are encouraged to visit and search for a professional servicer by ZIP code.  The website lists contact information for each servicer, brands and products they repair, technical certifications held, length of time as a NESDA member and whether the service provider has undergone a background check and a drug screening.  You may also select a servicer, supply information about your product, and request a service call via the website.  Many members of NESDA also provide professional installation and service for big screen and HDTV television.

NESDA is the premiere association in the consumer electronics service industry.  For more than sixty years, NESDA members have represented the best and most professional electronics servicers available.  For more information on NESDA and NESDA membership, visit the NESDA website at or call the NESDA office at 800/797-9197 ext. 116.

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