GS400 Users, TAKE ACTION - Write Letters, Send Emails on Tape Transport Defect !!! at DVinfo.net

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Old December 3rd, 2004, 05:21 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
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GS400 Users, TAKE ACTION - Write Letters, Send Emails on Tape Transport Defect !!!

Cross-posted from Panasonic 3CCD User - Tape Transport Thread:
http://www.pana3ccduser.com/article.php?filename=Tape-Transport-Noise:-A-QC-Issue-

Before I would even consider buying a GS400 again, I'd need answers from Panasonic to the following questions:

1. What was the cause of the tape transport defect? Has Panasonic corrected it?

2. If I purchase a GS400, how can I be confident that I won't receiver another unit with a tape transport defect? (Can I tell by looking at the serial number? Would Panasonic offer an extended warranty for this problem? Will they offer to REPLACE - not just repair - GS400s with a tape transport defect?)

In my opinion, Panasonic's offer to repair PV-GS400's with defective tape transports is very inadequate. What it really amounts to is an offer from Panasonic to simply honor its existing warranty. The warranty already covers defective products, so Panasonic isn't actually telling us anything new. When I purchased my GS400, I expected to be the owner of a NEW, fully functional camcorder, not a REPAIRED camcorder.

It's not easy for large companies to admit having made a mistake - they get defensive. As consumers, I think we should do our best to shine a VERY intense spotlight on this problem - to warn others about it, and to let Panasonic know that people won't accept this level of quality. Companies that strive for excellence and care about their reputations will address problems head-on, even if it's somewhat painful to them. Companies who don't care will either minimize the problem or deny that it exists.

I'd urge the readers of this board to take a little time to do something about this. Write letters or send emails to Panasonic, video magazines, online product review sites, other boards, or wherever else you can think of. Especially those of you who've experienced this problem first-hand (like I did).

It really burns me to think that there might be people who invested a lot of time and money in purchasing a GS400 who are now unable/unwilling to walk away from a defective unit, and are just "living with it". Or first-time buyers who don't know any better.

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For those of you in the U.S., here's Panasonic's snail-mail address:

Mr. Masaru Kono, President and Chief Operating Officer
Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company
Division of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America
One Panasonic Way
Secaucus, New Jersey 07094

For email, you can try U.S. Panasonic's online form (maximum of 1000 characters) at:
http://www.panasonic.com/support/contact_us_form.asp?Inquiry=privacy

If you write comments to an online product review site, avoid using URL's when writing your text - some sites don't allow them (check their policies about content).
Jane Molero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2004, 05:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Sample Letter to Panasonic U.S.

In case anyone is interested, I've attached a copy of a letter that I've written to Panasonic (U.S.) below.

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Mr. Masaru Kono, President and Chief Operating Officer
Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company
Division of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America
One Panasonic Way
Secaucus, New Jersey 07094

Re: Defective Tape Transport in PV-GS400 Camcorders

Dear Mr. Kono,

I am one of the many Panasonic customers who are deeply disappointed with the defective tape transport mechanisms that have been discovered in Panasonic's PV-GS400 camcorders.

I have purchased many Panasonic products in the past and I eagerly awaited the introduction of the PV-GS400 camcorder. After purchasing the PV-GS400, I was surprised to find that the tape transport mechanism of my camcorder made a mechanical grinding noise that was very noticeable; the noise could be clearly heard while I was using the camcorder and it was even more noticeable when I played back the recorded tapes. I returned this camcorder and asked for an exchange. I never expected that this exact same defect would also be present in the second camcorder that I purchased. I have reluctantly returned this second camcorder for a refund.

As you should know by now, this tape transport problem is much more widespread than Panasonic has acknowledged to date. This problem has been reported by PV-GS400 owners all over the world; it is astounding that such a defect could have gone undetected in one of the finest camcorders that Panasonic has to offer.

Panasonic's offer to service these camcorders under the terms of its warranty (see attached letter) is clearly inadequate. I do not expect to pay over $1000 for a new camcorder and then receive a unit that is essentially "factory refurbished". Furthermore, Panasonic's attempt to minimize the scope of this problem is definitely not appreciated.

In order for me to even consider purchasing this product (or any other Panasonic product) again in the future, I would need to know the following:

1) What caused the tape transport defect in the PV-GS400 and why did it go undetected?
2) How could I be assured that I would not encounter this problem again? Is it possible to identify the problem units by serial number or date manufactured? Would Panasonic agree to REPLACE defective PV-GS400 units as opposed to just having them factory serviced?

Companies that strive for excellence address these kinds of questions directly; those that don't typically try to minimize the extent of the problem.

To date, my deep interest in the Panasonic PV-GS400 camcorder has cost me a considerable amount of time and aggravation, as well as over $60 in merchandise shipping fees. As of today, I have nothing to show for this except frustration and skepticism about Panasonic's concern for its customers.

Sincerely,
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Jane Molero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 4th, 2004, 10:02 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
err dude, i dotn mean to rain on ur parade but its quite common for manufacturers to release products which for some reason have a defect which can be amended, such as the pd150 and vx2000 when they first came out and software being a perfect example.

sure under warranty they are obliged to fix a manufacturing defect, but i wouldnt be demanding them for anything as with Pana they wouldnt release a unit with a known problem.

from my history with pana, theyve built solid machines which dont skip a beat, sur ethe issue ur descibing must be real, but i wouldnt expect any manufactuer to repalce any unit as its a warranty issue in the end anyway..

good luck with the repair
Peter Jefferson is offline   Reply
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