TV Answer Man
Is It Safe to Buy a TV Online?
Washington, D.C. (February 10,
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Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to
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Q. All my life, I've
bought my TVs from my local electronics store. But I keep seeing
that you can get a better deal if you buy it from an online
site. I'm considering it, but is it safe? Will your TV show up
in one piece? -- Martha, Statesville, North Carolina.
Martha, there's no doubt that you can get better deals online,
although I must add that some retail stores are now promising to
match an online price if you bring it to their attention.
However, because a web site, such as Amazon or Tiger Direct.com,
doesn't have the overhead of a retail store, particularly a
large retail chain, it can sell many TVs at a significant
discount. Sometimes the set will be $300-$500 cheaper or more.
Now as to your second question, many sites are aware that
consumers are leery of ordering a TV through the mail so they
offer special guarantees to ensure your set arrives in perfect
working order. For example, most sets 50 inches or larger at Amazon come with this
"Enhanced Delivery' guarantee:
this TV, we offer enhanced delivery through one of our specialty
shippers. A representative of a common carrier will deliver your
TV to any room suitable for testing, unpack it, ensure that it
is working properly to guarantee no damage occurred during
transportation, and dispose of all packaging material."
Amazon strongly urges consumers to refuse delivery if the set is
not 100 percent. If it's not, Amazon says you should immediately
contact Amazon customer service before the delivery man leaves.
highly recommend inspection as a way to ensure that, if
necessary, we quickly replace a damaged TV as well as confirm
its condition for return eligibility after delivery,"
the Amazon site says.
And if you have a problem with the set after delivery, Amazon also
offers 30-day free tech support on most sets. From Amazon's
Tech Support for 30 days from the date of delivery. Over the
phone, our trained technicians can help you set up, configure,
connect, and troubleshoot so you can start enjoying your new
purchase. Owners of qualifying products can reach Tech Support
by selecting your product on the Contact Us page."
Amazon also offers free shipping and this low-price guarantee
for many sets:
are working hard to make sure that our prices are the best
around. If you find a qualifying site that offers a lower price
within 14 days after the date we ship your order, let us know
and we will credit your original payment method taking any
differences in shipping and promotions into account. If we lower
our own price within 14 days after we ship your order, let us
know and we will refund you the difference as well."
Also, here is
Amazon's return policy.
By comparison, here's the return policy for
So, bottom line: Ordering a TV online is safe and can be less
expensive than buying it at your local store.
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