Technical problem solved by getting rid of device

A few days ago I asked my readers for advice and/or help solving a strange problem.  I had just bought a new Panasonic Blu-Ray, and couldn’t access Netflix from it, even though it had a nice little Netflix menu, and even though I could get every other Internet-based subscription service through the machine.

The results

1: Netflix couldn’t find anything wrong with the account and suggested I call my ISP.

2: Comcast checked the modem remotely and found out the “uplink” was slow.  The person I spoke to couldn’t explain why the uplink was slow, how it became slow, or how we can prevent it from becoming slow again in the future.  Or, for that matter, what the fuck the uplink is.  But she knew how to fix it.  She urged me to wait fifteen minutes after the modem was reset and try again.

After fifteen minutes, it still didn’t work.

3: Netflix checked again and still couldn’t find anything wrong.  This time they sent a new show to my queue and asked me to try it, in case the problem was with our pre-existing queue.  It still didn’t work, although this may be because the Blu-Ray has even less interest in seeing the pilot episode of Heroes than I do.

4: I put “Panasonic Blu-Ray problems with Netflix” into Google and got this.

5: I called the Panasonic support line and spoke to a nice Indian fellow for a half an hour.  I told him the device had been reset, the modem and router had been reset, and I’d already spoken with both my ISP and Netflix, AND I had found a review online indicating that this was a common problem with this model.  He still made me reset the device, router and modem.  Then he escalated the problem to “level two” which is supposed to mean I get a call in 48-72 hours.  I do not expect to get this call.

6: I called Paul’s TV, where I bought the device, and with whom I had already traded my first Panasonic Blu-Ray because of this issue.  I couldn’t get the salesman who helped me (he wasn’t in, or he was hiding) but I did get another salesman who had the nerve to say “sometimes you just can’t get a signal and have to run an ethernet cable.”  It didn’t appear to matter how often I reiterated that A: we had bought this specifically to access Netflix wirelessly, B: our Nintendo Wii could get Netflix from the same spot, or C: another application deemed our WiFi signal robust enough to stream in full HD.  No, “you know this happened to me and in the end I just used an ethernet cable.”

It’s a good thing this was a phone call, because I’d probably be in prison right now otherwise.

Enter Samsung

I called Paul’s TV again the following day and reached the salesman who’d gotten us into this mess in the first place, and soon I was driving back out there and handing over the Panasonic for the equivalent Samsung device.

Netflix came through without any problems whatsoever on the Samsung.

The moral of this story

Sometimes companies make products that just don’t work.  Telling the people who make that product or the people who sell that product that the product doesn’t work is utterly futile, and may result in concussions for one or more parties.

Also: buy Samsung.

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No Comments

  1. J.W. Bettencourt on May 23, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    I hate the tech support “You have to go through the whole script” thing.

    On a more positive note, congrats on having movie access.

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