/ Technology

LG turns a bad TV story into a (potentially) good one

LG’s updating one of its popular LED Smart TV ranges after our testing revealed a sound fault was so bad we had to make it a Don’t Buy. And, if you’ve already got one, LG’s offering to send an engineer out to fix it.

Sound quality comes second to only picture quality for most of us when buying a new TV. So, ending up with a model that buzzes and reverberates when listening to voices speaking is a pretty big no-no.

At Which? we make every effort to go the extra mile in our testing. That means when we find a problem, not only are we able to tell you not to buy it, but when it’s an issue we feel is so bad it must be a design fault, we take it back to the manufacturer. Firstly to let them know about it, and more importantly to see what they’re going to do about it.

Which? TV testing

That’s why I’m very encouraged to see manufacturers going the extra mile in response to our verdicts. When we met with LG to alert the company to the sound issue with its 32-inch LED Cinema 3D TV (the 32LM620T to be precise) it came back to us in just over a week.

Its engineers had been hard at work investigating the problem and found the sound issue was not caused by the speaker units, but by the way they had been mounted in the TV casing.

LG assured us that it had looked at all screen sizes in the LM620 series – not just the 32-inch version we’d tested – and all models leaving the factory will be updated from now on (hitting shops in mid-October). LG’s customer services teams have also been made aware of the issue and will send an engineer out to mend any TVs that are reported to have this fault. And most importantly, they’ll do it for free.

LG respond to concerns

It shows that quick responses from big companies are more than possible. It’s great to see manufacturers taking action to make sure customers are not getting a raw deal. Obviously it’s good for them too – what manufacturer wants to be known for selling a rubbish product?

But while I’d like to applaud LG for its swift action, this is with the caveat that we haven’t yet tested the newly improved version. We’ll do this as soon as it hits the shops in mid-October.

We often hear about bad customer experiences, but have you got any of your own examples of companies going the extra mile?

If you think you’ve got one of the affected TVs you can call LG customer services on 0844 847 5454.

Comments
Profile photo of wavechange
Member

That looks like a quick win. Well done Which?

Now we need to have a proper phone number for LG, rather than expecting customers to pay LG money to discuss their problems by using an expensive 084… number. There is a geographical number but a note saying that this cannot be used to contact Customer Services. Sorry, but that’s not good enough, LG. I think we need your help again, Which?

Profile photo of howpeopletick
Member

01753 491500 and ask for executive care team – see my comments below.

Member
Alan says:
4 February 2016

Thanks for this. However, when I called this number all I heard was a continuous buzz. Surprise surprise! LG avoiding customer complaints I wonder?

Member

The person who comes to fix it is an engineer?

I bet you they’re not.

Member

So a manufacturer makes a product that is clearly defective, they admit the defect and agree to sort it out free (of course they should, why should the customer pay) and this is described as taking swift action and is praised.
What I think this really shows is that expectation of customer service has fallen so far that by doing the ‘right thing’ it is seen as exceptional when in reality it is the least that would be expected.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I agree that expectations of customer service have fallen. I’m even more concerned about goods that are unreliable and difficult to repair economically.

I reckon that TV manufacturers should offer a ten year guarantee on TVs, covering both parts and labour. That should ensure that the build quality and quality testing is greatly improved.

I believe that it is fair to praise LG because they are honouring their responsibility, which is more than some manufacturers do.

Profile photo of xopher
Member

My sentiments entirely! Thank you for your comments.

Profile photo of thelm
Member

Unfortunately my experience with LG isn’t so positive. When I queried why I wasn’t able to switch my LG 32LF7700 LCD TV on when I had a computer connected to it via the VGA port: I was told –

“Based on the information you have provided me with and reading through your query, I can advise you that as inconvenient it may be yes this is normal. As the two will not automatically configue the resolution settings on start up. Also a computer is only meant to be connected to the television for the time of use.”

i.e. you have to plug and unplug the computer (at the back of the TV – just disconnecting at the PC end didn’t resolve it) when the TV is ON to use a PC via the VGA port. This is about as practical as a chocolate teapot if you have a media PC or have the display mounted flat against a wall.

I did get around the problem using a display port to HDMI connector at extra cost and the loss of audio playback through the TV which is inconvenient to say the least.

In the case described at the top it took the intervention of Which to point out and resolve problems – without it your normal punter is probably left out in the cold with spurious explanations and a general feeling of being hoodwinked.

Member
Laurence says:
30 September 2012

I have phoned up LG just now re this, 18 minutes on the phone. They are NOT (they claim) aware of any fault on this tv.
They refused to read this website and the which report and stated that they have no known faults on this model.
Complete joke!

Profile photo of Catherine West
Member

Hi Laurence, sorry to hear that. LG told us it sent a bulletin to their customer service centre detailing the issue the week after we highlighted the problem to them. I’ll alert LG now that this wasn’t your experience.

Member
stuart says:
4 October 2012

I have a 47LM670T and an engineer is coming out soon!
I get the buzz more from HD broadcast such as Dallas on 5.

Member
Laurence says:
4 October 2012

@catherine west, thanks. John Lewis are exchanging my tv tomorrow. I’ve tweeted to LG UK re this and copied in this website however they’ve chosen to ignore it and not reply….

Member
Alan says:
4 February 2016

No reply? This seems to be typical of LG.

Profile photo of howpeopletick
Member

I’ve just had this kit fitted to an LG 32LS570T. The reverberating sound problem was fixed but the sound is still poor to my ears. The engineer came with a box/kit of dampening tapes, pads, and cushioned speakers, but it took weeks for LG not just to fix it, but to tell me when they’d know when they could fix it. Useless customer service. And when I asked if they’d lend me a soundbar in the meantime, back came the classic response ‘What’s a soundbar?’
This TV was a replacement for an older [one year old] model that developed the same problem. Richer Sounds were brilliant, though. But LG have killed their reputation with me and my friends because of their drawn out handling of this.
You can ask for their “executive care team” on 01753 491500

Member
Alan says:
4 February 2016

I did try to call LG using this number, but they have disabled it. Rubbish customer service?

Profile photo of Catherine West
Member

We’ve now re-tested both the LG TVs from this range – you can read the latest news on the outcome here http://www.which.co.uk/news/2013/01/which-testing-impacts-2013-lg-tv-design-change-307256/

Member
ghassem yarollahi says:
2 June 2013

I’ve bought a TV from your company, but unfortunately it does not support Arabic or Farsi. I want to help you

Profile photo of Standup
Member

I own an LG 32L S575T bought from Curry’s which also has this fault (and judging from the internet blogs, so do a lot of LG TVs). Curry’s were dismissive, arguing that we needed a firmware update and the problem was hard to reproduce in the shop as it only happens at certain frequencies.

We have put up with this fault for over 12 months, but spurred on by your blog, have now contacted LG directly to see whether they can resolve this issue.

I suspect that their speaker mounting was common across a range of models that Which have not tested if our experience is anything to go by. LG should write to all those affected as it does make the TV unusable at certain frequencies.

Member
Brian says:
25 June 2015

We are currently on holiday and watching an LG 32 inch TV in a villa in Lanzarote. The sound is atrocious. The Sound is on Clearvoice 6 ( the maximum possible ) while the sound control is on 24 ! So by rights it SHOULD be blowing our eardrums out !? The TV is connected via an HDMI lead on HDMI 1 to the villa owners satellite dish. Yet we struggle to hear voices clearly ?
We have two LG TVs and normal sound setting for them is around 12 which we can hear quite comfortably.

Member
danny says:
30 April 2016

i would never recommend LG tv’s to anyone . I bought one just over 2 years ago and it has started to turn itself off and then back on . This prob can happen as 7 times in 20 mins , LG wont stand over their products and currys who i bought it from just shrugged their shoulders but an email to their CEO and low and behold i got a phone call to arrange a pickup to see what the problem was . So now i have to wait for a week without a tv until they decide what to do . This is a very common problem with LG tv’s going by the forums about LG tv problems . Just to round this off , a salesman in currys told me he would never recommend anybody buy a tv from LG , check the forums for yourselves and see how many complaints there are

Member
Doreen Harvey says:
25 June 2017

We also have a 55 inch LG smart tv. It is about 3 years old and now the sound is garbled. It sounds like someone else has a tv that is mixing with our input. I am not sure if this is the case but you can hardly uderstand the words

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

Not quite to the same degree, Doreen, but the sound on our Sony smart TV started to deteriorate and I have had to buy a sound bar to make it acceptable and compatible with the quality of the picture.