EPG Bugs/Problems on LG LCD TVs
Problems affecting the 42LC2D (and maybe 37LC2D and 32LC2D) models
There appears to be a problem with the software on certain models of LG LCD TVs. I received my LG 42LC2D on 24th February and was very impressed by the quality of the screen. Unfortunately, I soon noticed a problem with the EPG (electronic program guide) functionality which renders the television unusable for periods of 1 or 2 minutes, several times a day.
This problem may also be present in the similar 37LC2D and 32LC2D models.
Slow and Corrupted EPG Menu
[Above] Video clip of the EPG slowdown bug on my TV. Warning: this video is very boring and serves as a good illustration of how bloody annoying this fault is! Note that you can't do anything during the time the EPG slowly renders, making the TV unusable for more than a minute.
[Above - Normal EPG] This is what the EPG is meant to look like when you press the GUIDE button on the remote control. It pops up instantly and shows what programmes are on each channel. Notice the coloured button labels on the bottom row of the EPG menu.
[Above - Corrupted EPG components] If your TV is affected by this problem, you may notice the right-hand scroll bar image is corrupted. It looks like a tall rectangular area of randomly coloured pixels.
[Above - Corrupted buttons] You may also find that the coloured button images at the bottom of the EPG menu do not appear properly.
[Above - uber slow to appear] The most annoying (and most noticeable) aspect about TVs affected by this bug is that the EPG menu takes a minute or two to render! Each button and text string on the bottom two rows of the EPG menu appear one by one, very slowly... During this time, it is not possible to change channel, navigate up or down, or even turn the TV off using the power button on the remote. In fact, you can't do anything at all until the EPG has finished displaying, which may take upwards of a minute! If you eventually manage to exit the EPG, the same annoying problem will happen if you try to display it again. You will have to turn the TV off and back on to fix it for however long it is until it happens again. Needless to say, this makes the TV faulty in my opinion and I am not happy about having spend 800 quid on it.
Getting a Refund
After putting up with this problem for a few days, it became apparent that it was not just a random one-off bug. I contacted LG directly on 9th March in the hope that the problem would be simple to fix. Naturally, I would have done this sooner if I wasn't busy decorating my lounge so it would have a nice place to live :-).
Unfortunately, LG customer services were not very helpful at all. At first, they kept insisting that the problem was probably due to poor signal strength, while I was pretty certain that it was a bug in the TV's firmware. After two weeks, they hadn't even confirmed whether there was a problem with my TV, let alone fixed it.
A software update was applied to the TV on 10th March (downloaded via the digital terrestrial broadcast signal - clever), but this did not seem to fix the EPG slowdown bug.
In light of LG's poor customer service, I have decided to give up on them and on 23 March, I informed the retailer (Digital Direct) that I am rejecting the unit as faulty and would like a full refund. This should happen without any problem, as the TV clearly has an inherent fault that was present at the time of purchase. I have yet to hear from them, but I will no doubt update this page if I experience any difficulties.
Update 1, 2007-03-27: Digital Direct have just written back to say that I have to phone LG to arrange service, despite the fact that I made it quite clear that I want a full refund (to which I am entitled under the Sale of Goods Act) and am not willing to settle for a repair. I have written back to them to ask them to actually read my email again and arrange for full refund and collection.
Update 2, 2007-03-27: Digital Direct have responded rather quickly to my last email (i.e. within half an hour rather than 4 days later!). They say that due to the size of the unit, the collection will be carried out by their own in house 2 man courier team, who will contact me directly to arrange the collection. (aside: if they put as much effort into contacting me as they did when they were meant to be delivering it, I might be hanging onto it for a couple of weeks!).
Digital Direct say the unit will be returned to LG, where it will be inspected for the fault reported, however, if they state that the unit is without fault, any costs they incur will be passed on directly to my account.
This makes me slightly worried. While the TV is clearly faulty, the fault is intermittent - I can imagine LG turning it on and saying straight away that there is nothing wrong with it. Quite frankly, based on my current experience with LG, I also have no faith in them getting even that far in a timely fashion. I phoned LG again yesterday to chase up the status of my problem and still nobody has looked at it(!).
Anyway, it seems to me as though there is a chance I could be out of pocket for a fair while if Digital Direct won't give me my refund until LG has said that it's faulty. I will contact my credit card company to see if they can do anything useful to help out.
Update 3, 2007-03-27: Hmm... I think it's rather obvious that the unit is faulty, so why should I have to wait for Digital Direct to send it to LG and await the verdict? I have asked Digital Direct to issue my refund immediately upon collection, pointing out that it's quite clearly faulty and that I have no faith in LG's ability to carry out an inspection in a timely fashion. Meanwhile, I am still waiting to hear from my credit card company. Hopefully the evidence on this web page should put me in a good position if I encounter any difficulties in getting a refund!
Update 4, 2007-03-30: Not a lot to report thus far. The retailer has not made any contact with me yet, so my credit card company are handling the dispute now.
I am still waiting to hear back from LG after 3 weeks(!). I don't see any value in their warranties if they are this useless at doing anything about problems, and so I very much doubt I shall be choosing the LG brand for my replacement TV.
Still, there was one interesting development. Someone in South Korea subscribed to my YouTube channel, which only contains two rather uninteresting videos of my television going mega slow. This is the only person to have subscribed to my channel, and I also notice that LG is based in Korea. I suppose it could be a coincidence, but I am feeling watched...
Of course, if they'd like to actually make contact with me and resolve the problem, that would be ever better! :)
Update 5, 2007-04-02: Well, I phoned Digital Direct today and they now tell me that they are going to test the TV themselves after they collect it. That should hopefully mean that I get my refund a bit quicker. They had also arranged for my TV to be collected tomorrow, but as I'll be at work I have told them to rearrange it.
I also phoned LG customer services, curious about where they had got to with this problem that I had raised 3.5 weeks ago. Surprise surpise, they have done nothing. Sigh. After detailing quite how pathetic I thought their customer service was, I eventually discovered from the LG customer services chap that this is a known problem! Why have they not told me this before? It sounds like they are trying to keep it covered up.
As this fault is a known problem, I asked LG to confirm that my TV is faulty so that I can provide this information to the retailer and expedite the refund. I wonder if anyone at LG will actually bother to get back to me on this! I'm not holding out much hope, to be honest.
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