on February 28, 2012
Firstly, I want to thank the customer, Mr. Havlicheck for the information about what I was actually getting when I bought THIS Region Free Blu Ray Player, and just exactly HOW connected it is to Canada. I too, want to say that THIS Blu Ray Player worked exceptionally well right up until more than two and one half weeks ago. It did EVERYTHING that I asked it to do, and it was completely satisfying, and a extremely good performer. I stuck to different regions of the world, in viewing only, as well as my Blu Ray DVDs as well. It upscaled beautifully, and the quality of it working with my new Mitsubishi 40" Unisen HDTV was a wonder to behold. No problems, and I watched a particularly French 5-disc documentary that only had an English audio track on it, it was clearly made with it's own European market in mind, not the U.S. It handled that just as well. I bought it on December 20th, and it reached me in very quick time, as I got it between Christmas 2011, and New Year's Day of 2012. I was also in touch with the Canadian Seller, and that was helpful, and informative also. I, too, like the majority of you, was very happy, and content with it's performance. I thought I had made a magnificent purchase, one of my best ever on Amazon.com.
You WILL notice the past tense in my prior sentence, I hope. As from there, it will change rather sharply, and dramatically. And it DID. After owning it for a bare two months time, it began to shut itself off, and down, without any warning whatsoever; and continued to do so over the next couple of days, it shut itself off without any rhyme nor reason, and did it with repeatedly, and unremittingly, between every 5-10 minutes, without abatement. Needless to say, it was impossible to watch anything on it, it did the shut down irregardless of what was playing in it, be it ANY region, or whether or not it was a Blu Ray disc, including all Region One's. Considering how well it HAD worked before, it was a huge disappointment, as I had also bought more Region Free choices, and Blu Ray discs to view, as I believed it would continue to support them, and continue to work. Alas, at two month's it no longer did. Then came THIS.............
I called the Seiki ( United States ) number supplied on the website, and after a bit of phone-chasing that was no one's fault; as of just last week, I found this out. This Player is indeed a Canadian Blu Ray Player, which is NOT sold in the U.S., nor will it be. I was informed by a managerial person at Seiki United States, that this Player, and it's Canadian "roots", are looked on by not only the United States, but some other countries as well, as a peculiarly "Canadian plus, or minus situation", depending on how you felt about how it worked, as well as when it stopped working. Here is where it gets "dicey". As my player was only two months old when this happened, it would still be clearly within it's first year warranty period, and covered by it. Unfortunately, it would NOT be serviced in the United States, even though it was well within the first year's warranty status, because it IS a Canadian Product, as described elswhere, NOT sold here, and would not be in the future. They ( Seiki U.S. ) are aware of the "problems" with this particular player, as well as the manipulations of the internal elements to make the Blu Ray Region Free, and fully Blu Ray adaptable, and due to those specific "changes", as well as it being sold via a Canadian source/vendor, ( which it would have to be ) although NOT "illegal" in the prosecutable sense of the word, it certainly was in the very "gray" area as it means here in the U.S., and as such, the United States Seiki would NOT back up the warranty HERE, no matter when it was purchased,whether within a very viable warranty time-wise or not, it would NOT be honored, nor done, in the United States. (repaired) I DID have the choice of sending it back to Canada to be fixed, or replaced, and it was strongly recommended that I did JUST THAT. Also, that I get in touch with the original vendor of this item, in Canada, to let them know what had occured, what was going on, and what they would suggest I do, knowing that WHENEVER this product had a problem, no matter how soon it occured after purchase, nor when it was outside of it's first year's warranty-time, it would ALWAYS have to be sent back to be fixed/repaired in Canada. Period. No ifs, ands, nor buts. THAT was clearly NOT something I was expecting, nor could I have foreseen. One of the main reasons that I purchased THIS player WAS because of it's legality. I did NOT know that I was walking into a permanent relationship with Canada for the length of my ownership of this Product, from Day One, until......? As it was ALSO NOT a "cheap" Blu Ray Player, and I was more than willing to pay for it due to it's legal, Region-Free, Blu Ray accessable capabilities; I was not, however, expecting that I would ONLY be able to get this serviced in CANADA, and yes, they do have a factory there. The apparent "waived-warranty-status" here in the United States was not something I even came close to imagining. Soooooooooo????????
I am writing this Product Review with some VERY REAL mixed feelings. I also am in "negotiations" hopefully, with my Canadian vendor of this Product, whom I have had a very good ( I thought ) relationship with. I am writing this review as a means of a "knowledge suppliment" going forward to what had already been revealed about it's Canadian background, and those specifics. As stated in the beginning, the Product itself worked "like a top" within those first two months, but the Review that already appears now concerning it's connections to Canada, and just what they are, and what the buyer is getting, had NOT been printed when I purchased this Player, in fact, there were only three reviews about it on Amazon at my time of purchase. Now, with THIS further information about the "warranty issue" that I have found out quite by accident, but is still a bit disconcerting, to say the least, is something that each purchaser will have to deal with at sometime in the future concerning this product, if they are residents of the U.S. ( elsewhere? ) Let the Buyer Beware??.......
More to come, possibly............
UPDATE: 3/10/2012 (SATURDAY)
I am NOW adding my Update, as I mentioned I might in my prior Product Review, as I believe it strongly warrants it, especially to Amazon customers from the United States, as well as those in other countries that may be affected due to the prior "Canadian Walmart Seiki Regionless, and fully Blu Ray Adaptable Player that is being offered here for purchase. Please make note of Mr. Havlicec's prior Review as to it's actual "roots", so you know what you are getting for your $219.00 ( etc.), and also my above Review which has to do specifically with the "major warranty problems" that any U.S. buyer faces if they want to get this player fixed in their own country; ( mine IS the U.S. ) and what the "fall-out" will be upon trying to get it fixed here. ( some other countries as well ) I believed I spelled that circumstance out quite well enough above. ( It STILL stands, btw ) I am only appending this to let the other Amazon customers know what I just found out today, at my local Post Office, which is how my Seller specifically wants it returned, and covered, including full coverage insurance back to Canada. And here goes..........
I live in the most Northern part of Indiana, so sending something back to Canada, although it was something I had NOT had to do before, I DID expect it to possibly be expensive. I knew that there would be "duties attached, and Priority Shipping mandatory, as well as FULL INSURANCE COVERAGE REQUIRED", to send it back to Ontario, per request of my Seller. I HAD already been in touch to inform them that I wanted a FULL RETURN of my funds, and why, as are laid out before in my above original Product Review. I had decided NOT to escalate this matter to a "Dispute"; but upon finding out what it would actually cost me to ship it back to the Seller, on top of all the other problems I have come across with this unit, especially it's not working after only two month's of ownership on my part, as well as the "non-allowance, here in the United States, of the warranty" no matter WHEN the Product would not work, including ANYTIME within it's one year coverage, which most of us DO come to rely on, I decided that an Update was in order.
So, here are the last two bits of information. I found out today, at my local Postal Office, that it would cost me at least $85.00 ( U.S. currency )if not MORE ( it was an estimate, which COULD/WOULD cost more, I was told. ) I am glad I had a friend with me at the time I was told this piece of information, as at least if I had fainted, after hearing this hefty sum explained to me, someone could pick me up from the floor. I once again ask for a repeat of the amount required, as I wasn't sure that I heard it correctly. I can assure you now, and with my witness there as well, that I HAD!!Since THIS WAY WAS THE ONLY WAY THAT MY SELLER WOULD ACCEPT THE RETURN, requesting several times that I NOT use UPS, nor FedEx, for the return, as it would cost a fortune, ( BOTH OF US, perchance? ) I must say, I was/am a "little staggered" by what was supposed to constitute it NOT being a "small fortune to return". I STILL am pondering this, as I type this update. That is NOT far from almost one half of what the Blu Ray Player cost to begin with, to ship it back; And PLEASE ALSO REMEMBER, YOU WILL HAVE NO CHOICE ABOUT WHERE YOU SEND IT TO BE FIXED, IT HAS TO BE CANADA! Period! THIS WAS MY LAST STRAW, I am now going to dispute my purchase of this Player, and try to recoup at least a decent amount of what has turned out to be a most expensive, as well as least covered by charges purchase that I have yet made in all my years of purchasing items on Amazon.com.
The last bit of information is this, and also to be fair. My Canadian Seller DID offer to send me a brand new Blu Ray Player, although it would be the SAME ONE, of course. It would be up to me to decide if it was worth the risk, or not. I said, thanks, but no thanks, I was not interested in going through very possibly the same mess, and I certainly didn't want THAT permanent connection to Canada to get it fixed, I hadn't counted on that problem before, and would certainly NOT want it to occur again. After what had already occured concerning this Blu Ray Player, I didn't feel THAT lucky! Finding out about the shipping, and handling charges today, made it beyond staggering. So, NO AGAIN, and I pass; until there is a resolution via the Registered Dispute process. Those of you here at Amazon that have had a really positive experience with THIS Player, more power to you. If you feel that it is worth the cost, PLUS , it's return(s) fixing/maintaining of it NOW that you have the WHOLE STORY, then that is your choice, and you should have it. To each his own. As someone who really WAS completely in the dark about it until the Player went "belly up", and then found out AFTERWARDS, ( and thank you Mr. Havlichec, once again, for your info concerning the origins of this Blu Ray Player, wish I had known it THEN, when I got it ) it is wayyyy too costly a Region Free, All Area Blu Ray for me to have purchased. So I close THIS Update, with the same ending as I left my earlier one, LET THE BUYER BEWARE, AND ALSO LEAVE THEM INFORMED. Now you are.
UPDATE: 3-13-2012 ( Tuesday )
As I promised I would, I am adding an addendum onto the (sorry ) rather lengthy Product Review that I have written above, this one specifically having to do with TWO matters, and I will deal with the FIRST one now. I DID find out Very Early this morning, a little after 9:00 a.m., as the Postal Office doesn't open until 9:00 A.M. here, that the price that I was quoted on last Saturday, for the shipping back to my Canadian Vendor in Ontario, Canada was not $85.00, it was instead $44.45, which includes Priority International Mail ($38.55 ) and another ($5.90) for the Insurance on the 7 lbs. Blu Ray Player. So it came out to $44.45, in total. Quite a change, but remember, these are the kinds of costs that anyone outside of Canada will face, ( and likely more, if further away from Ontario ) besides what it would cost outside of the U.S. itself, if in another country. Still a pretty expensive piece of change, as it HAS to be fixed in Canada, warranties are not honored both here, as well as many other countries, and that is a fact that is applicable from the first day of purchase. An important fact to remember. However, there is one other topic concerning this matter that I want to address also, as I haven't done so concerning THIS aspect of purchasing THIS Blu Ray from MY VENDOR. But it has been mentioned before, by other Buyers on this Review Board, and I too, have grave reservations, not only stemming back to when I received mine between last Christmas, and between New Year's, but also if I were anyone else purchasing this item from my particular vendor, as until you actually receive it, ( yes, ANOTHER surprise/twist ) upon purchasing this item. Other's have mentioned/complained about it in their Reviews above/below, but I too want to give voice to my grave reservations about just how this item is shipped to the Buyer. Until you receive it, you wouldn't know, nor certainly expect, to get an Electronic Item, much less a more expensive than usual cost Blu ray Player, to reach you with only a very thin, light brown "butcher wrap" ONLY around the original box that the Blu Ray Player itself comes in. Nothing else. No other protective materials, no double-boxing, nothing to protect it in it's journey all the way from Ontario, to wherever the Buyer is located in the United States, or elsewhere. No protection at all. Which may well BE THE EXACT REASON, ( maybe not ) just WHY the Player fails to work either right away, out of the box, for other Posters here-in, as well as not-for-very-long customers like me ( two months only ) before it goes down, and remains non-working. I personally find this to be wholly disrespectful to the Buyer, as well as unseemly disreguarding of the very real fact that if an electronic ( fragile ) item is not properly protected/wrapped before, and during it's mailable route from wherever it starts from, to wherever it goes to the Buyer in question, it is certainly MORE than likely that something (s ) could definitely transpire during shipping to cause it to NOT work, or be damaged in route, in some manner, BEFORE it ever reaches it's destination. Posters here have stated that their Original Boxes were damaged, shown signs of scufffs, corner mashes, etc. of those Original boxes upon receiving the item at the get-go. My question is how do the rest of the Buyers know that our Players weren't shaken up/dislodged internally via their non-protection in Shipping so that they DID MALFUNCTION/BREAK DOWN, very soon after we received them, even if the boxes seemed alright? And how will we EVER know? Especially since this matter wouldn't even HAVE to be raised if the Seller took the normal precautions of shipping and handling seriously, and cared about their own Product, and also the Buyer; who had NO WAY OF KNOWING AHEAD OF TIME, that this the state that they would be receiving their newly purchased Region Free Blu Ray Player. So, yet again another BUYER BEWARE, and BE INFORMED. Also, hopefully, THIS will be the end of any more additional information to this particular Product Review. Needless to say, THIS PURCHASE has been frought with too many, many, problems, and wayyyy too costly ones at that, at least for me.
THIS will be my final update concerning my purchasing of this item, and post-return information for the customers who have, or may buy; this particular item, from a Canadian Vendor, and please note, that it IS THIS ITEM, and for people who may have purchased it priorly from a vendor in Canada, not native to that country. Seiki U.S.A. began to sell here, in the United States, in a much more increased distibution of their products, including televisions, etc. not too long after I had posted this Review; along with what I was told would be some improvements to THIS model, and that they WOULD stand behind American bought products, and owned warranties, whatever the product's regular warranty specifications as to length of warranty , and coverage of said item. They would continue to NOT honor THIS item, purchased via any Canadian vendor outside of Canada itself, including THIS model, and any of the prior models that came BEFORE it, that were purchased outside of Canada, itself; to other customers in other countries, which certainly WAS my experience. So that caveat', and Buyer's Beware, STILL stands. A foreign consumer needs to be aware of that which they are buying, outside the confines of their own country, visa-vie THIS item, purchased, on, or BEFORE, the date( s ) referred to in this Review. Unfortunately, I just bought a possible? "lemon", or not; and from the wrong place, and at the wrong time. As noted above, Seiki IS selling their electonics here in the U.S.A., and at a greater distibution rate, all over this country. I cannot say as to whether their products sold here in the U.S. are good or bad, after having gone through this ordeal, I decided against buying any All-Region DVD Players, Blu Ray, or otherwise, and went a different direction instead. However, I DO stand strongly behind everything that I wrote, concerning this purchase, and the issues that came out of it. This is exactly what transpired.
I would like to note, that the Canadian vendor that I purchased my All-Region Blu Ray Player, DID give me a FULL REFUND of my money, and would have preferred that I hadn't Reviewed this item. My final words on THIS purchase is what it was stated above several times: Let the Buyer Beware.