I received a call on December 23rd from Samsung’s exchange department directly. I was pleased to hear that rather than going through yet another “customer representative” I would be able to talk with someone associated with the actual exchange department (well, hopefully). He proceeded to tell me that the could offer an LN46B550 for a $500 out-of-warranty exchange fee. I tried to keep my composure over the phone as I calmly explained that was exactly what Samsung offered back in September and October and I was trying to explain – the very fact that the TV was in warranty and the original problem was never resolved – that during the long repair process it became out of warranty. He asked to place me on hold for a few minutes to review the case after I made one last ditch effort to explain this to him. Upon coming back from hold, he informed me that I would indeed be eligible for the exchange and that they could waive the fee in light of the repair history. He asked a few questions regarding the delays in between repairs (quite frankly, most of those delays were on Samsung’s side!) but the largest gap was from advice that I should be able to consistently duplicate the issue. Although I have video (linked) of this recently, the day I recorded it I still couldn’t duplicate it. The exchange guy said he didn’t need the video and I’d be getting a call in 7-14 business days from the freight company to have the TV exchanged. Since I have no warranty, the new TV will come with a 90 day limited warranty.
I suppose it is better than nothing, but I have to wonder if I’ll truly be happy with a TV that is 4” smaller and likely consumes a great deal more power. On the other hand, I can hope that the LCD internal components and lamp will last longer than the DLP lamp / color wheel. I wonder if I should have asked for a few free bulbs and color wheel instead.
It is a shame they didn’t spend a bit more time to fix it I guess, considering that they already corrected 50% of the problem (originally, turning off on a digital channel would prevent you from tuning it when turning it on again. They fixed this with a firmware update).