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Philips Electronics Customer Support STINKETHS!

Now I think I know why Philips doesn’t bother to include any sort of remote adjustment so that people who own multiple Philips units won’t have problems with one remote trying to control the wrong unit… I’m guessing that people who buy one Philips unit never actually BUY a second one. Grrr. The Philips DVDR that I have was my first ever Philips purchase, and you guessed it, it WILL be my last.

Ask them for technical assistance due to the DVR picking up stray remote control signals from another house in the neighborhood, and first they send me to the PDF owner’s guide on their website (the one that I told them in my first email that I’d already READ before I emailed them), and then since the unit was out of warranty, to look in the Yellow Pages for a service center. For a unit that isn’t actually BROKEN, just needs to be set to some sort of other IR frequency. (Something that Panasonic units have done for years; fixed it when we had two Panasonic units at home, and we have three Panasonic DVD burners at the office, all sitting on the same shelf, all with their own remotes, and given that they’re programmed with three different remote control numbers, NEVER have a problem with any cross-remote control issues. Cannot believe that a company like Philips couldn’t pull off a simple fix like that. Doh!)

But I’d have been less irked at them had they first NOT just passed the buck when it came to support. If they know their units cannot have the remotes tweaked like that, they should have just said so. And then when I emailed them back to get at least a simple yes or no answer, my 2 follow up emails were completely ignored.

Then when I tried to send a fresh email to them last night, their entire email support area was broken. >:(

Yep, that’s some SWELL customer “support” they’ve got going there. *pththththt*

I DID manage to find a website, AllExperts.com, who have knowledgeable volunteers answering questions on every imaginable subject, and I found someone to ask in their Audio/Video/Stereo section. Gave him all the info, and within two days they got back to me. Wasn’t all that happy with the answer, they didn’t know of any way to tweak the remote settings like I was able to do with the Panasonics. But they DID suggest once we had something programmed that we didn’t want to lose due to the stray IR signals coming in, to slap on some thick black tape over the IR port on the front of unit and see if that didn’t block the unwanted IR changes from coming in and screwing up the recording.

So giving that a go this weekend. One advantage of working for a video company, there are always multiple roles of thick black gaffer tape lying around so I borrowed one from the office today. And tonight, reset the clock on the unit again (I’d reset it again last night, but during the day the interlopers from outside changed it again), then after we got done watching one of the shows on the HDD, used the gaffer tape to tape a square of cardboard over the IR port. Figured that rather than putting the tape right on the unit, this way if we need to move it, all we have to do is loosen the bottom tape, and flip the whole thing up and out of the way like a door, then tape it back down when we’re done.

At last check the time was still correct. Will see what channel it’s on when we get up in the morning. If it’s Disney or Golf or MTV we’ll know that gaffer tape and cardboard combination didn’t work.

What a pain. We may end up switching to digital cable sooner than we planned (if we were going to switch, it would have been in September, when our two year price lock deal expired), if for no other reason than to get one of Time Warner’s DVRs and then we can get rid of our now completely unreliable, completely unsupported Philips DVR.

EDIT – the next day – Found the DVR with the wrong time and sitting on the golf channel again. :( Before I give up and admit that the unit might actually be broken, I slapped another few layers of gaffer tape on it, and ran it across the whole display area instead of just in front of the IR port, in case stray signals are sneaking in from the side. We’ll see if THAT works. Think we may be in the market for a new DVR though.

One Response to “Philips Electronics Customer Support STINKETHS!”

Philips Electronics Customer Support STINKETHS!

by Karen Cusimano time to read: 3 min
1