Updated 10/26: Now Includes Best Buy

After uncovering complaints from Vizio owners who were told by the company that their recently purchased, but out of warranty, defective TVs were “unrepairable” link, HD Guru contacted the largest Vizio dealers: Wal-mart, Target, Costco, Amazon, BJs and Sam’s Club. Each retailer was asked if they will continue to sell TVs the manufacturer calls unrepairable, and what policies they have in place that would be helpful to buyers of defective HDTVs.

We contacted the PR departments looking for a comment on the corporate policy regarding selling products that a vendor doesn’t support post-warranty. In addition, to determine what, if any, assistance the company provides to set owners. Target was the only company to respond, referring us to their consumer electronics support phone number.

The results were varied. None of the companies have any corporate policies regarding vendors that don’t support repairs after the factory warranty expires! The only help any of them offer are refundable return periods, which vary from 15 days to 90 days, plus offers of extended warranties. The length and conditions differ from store to store. Five of the six dealers offer extended warranties from National Electronics Warranty Corp. (NEW). We also contacted NEW to learn more about its offerings through these five companies and list them below.

Best Buy

Best Buy only carries one model of Vizio, exclusively online. It’s a refurbished 32 inch TV. Best Buy will not offer an extended warranty on this Vizio or any refurbished TV, limiting the warranty to 90 days. Considering extended warranties are a profit center for Best Buy, its refusal to offer extra protection for refurbished TVs do not speak well for the risk of failure. For comparison, we substituted a 42 inch RCA from Best Buy priced at $650. The RCA TV brand name is licensed from Thomson-Technicolor to On Corp. a Korean company that manufactures its TVs in China.




TV return period: 15-days with purchase receipt

Other assistance: Extended warranties by NEW (see below)


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Sam’s Club

This paid membership warehouse club is a division of Wal-Mart.

TV return period: 90-days with receipt

Other assistance: Extended warranties by NEW (see below)



Target PR directed us to “877-myTGTtech” (1-877-698-4883), Target’s special consumer electronics helpline. It is operated by NEW.

TV return period: 90-days with receipt

Other assistance: Extended warranty by NEW (see below)


Amazon (Direct)

The policies only apply to TVs purchased from etailer Amazon Direct, not one of their authorized stores.

TV return period: 30-days after delivery

Other assistance: Canopy extended service plans from NEW or plans from Square Trade


Costco Warehouse Club (paid membership)

TV return policy: 90-days

Other assistance: Costco members get double the manufacturer’s warranty, free with the purchase of a TV (two years parts and labor for Vizio). They also sell warranties from Square Trade. (see below)


BJ’s Warehouse Club

TV return policy: 30-days

Other assistance: Extended warranties from NEW.


Best Buy

TV return policy: 30 days

Other assistance:  Best Buy offers its own extended warranty plan called Black Tie Protection. For the $650 RCA it costs $79.99 for a total of two years (1+1) or $119.99 for a total of four years.


NEW Warranties

NEW sells service contracts through Target, Amazon, Wal-Mart Sam’s Club and BJ’s. The terms, conditions and prices vary from store to store.  For comparison purposes we picked a $628-$649.99 Vizio LCD. NEW warranty covers power surges during the contract period. We asked NEW: what is your repair protocol for TVs, specifically Vizios?  What do the terms state regarding replacement for TVs? Their response:

“Regardless of brand, NEW will always try to repair a customer’s TV first.  If we are unable to repair the TV or if parts are not available to do the repair, NEW provides the customer with a replacement product, check or gift card for the original product purchase price. While our terms for the program listed below state that replacement products may be new, remanufactured, or a product of like kind and quality that performs to the factory specification of the original product, NEW does not provide remanufactured products to the customers of the clients listed below” ( BJ’s, Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart)

NEW Service Plan prices and terms for each Vizio dealer:

Wal-Mart: $88.33 for a 4-year total service plan. Term begins after expiration of 1 year factory warranty.

Sam’s Club $79.96 for a 4 year total service plan. Terms begins after the expiration of the 1 year factory warranty.

Target: $79.99 for 3-year total service plan. Term begins date of purchase.

Amazon: $147.99 for 5-year total service plan.  Term begins on date of purchase. Amazon also sells Square Trade warranty (see below)

BJ’s: $39.99 for 3-year total service plan. Term begins after expiration of 1-year factory warranty.

Square Trade CEO Steve Abernethy told HD Guru: If a TV is deemed unrepairable or the cost of repair exceeds the price of the TV, Square Trade will reimburse a TV owner during the Square Trade contract period the cost of the TV not including the sales tax or the cost of the extended warranty.

Square Trade Plans

Costco: $59.99 for 5 year total service plan. Remember, all TVs purchased at Costco have free doubling of the factory warranty. Terms are one year factory warranty, then one year Costco Concierge plan that duplicates factory warranty. Square Trade plan adds  3 years to that.  If you purchase the TV and Square Trade plan with the American Express card your total plan becomes 6 years.

Amazon: $99.99 for 4-year Square Trade warranty. Term begins on day of purchase.



Given the choice between a name-brand HDTV (i.e. Panasonic, Samsung , Sony, Toshiba) with their own parts network and established nationwide service, and a Vizio or a no-name brand (i.e. Sceptre, Seiki , Curtis) we recommend going with the name brand set. If you buy with American Express card or MasterCard (link) you get a double length warranty (usually two years total) at no cost. If you do need service for a problem, the name brand companies stand behind their products.

If you want a Vizio,  based on all the complaints about getting its sets repaired, we highly recommend purchasing an extended warranty.

While we would like to see dealers not sell products the vendor calls “unrepairable” or claims they cost more to repair than to purchase as Vizio does, warehouse club Costco has by far the best return and warranty policies. For Vizio dealers that do not require membership, Target has the longest return policy but the most expensive ($40 per year) and shortest-term extended warranty. Amazon offers the best compromise with a 30 day return and a $33 a year cost for its 4-year total term Square Trade warranty.



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