How to get your TV set from the shop to home unscathed - or risk a hefty loss

13 November 2019 - 06:30
The office of the Consumer Goods and Services Ombudsman has issued a detailed advisory about how to get a new TV from store to home unscathed.
The office of the Consumer Goods and Services Ombudsman has issued a detailed advisory about how to get a new TV from store to home unscathed.
Image: 123RF/marcociannarel

A lot can go wrong with a TV set from the time the salesman demonstrates that it is working just fine to the time you switch it on in your lounge - leaving you with no recourse.

Unless you thought to insure it before you left the shop.

The office of the Consumer Goods and Services Ombudsman (CGSO), having received many complaints from consumers about their new but cracked TV sets, on Tuesday issued a detailed advisory about how to get a new TV from store to home unscathed.

In one case, a woman reported to the CGSO that when she bought a TV set in May, a salesperson took it out of the box and switched it on to show her  there were no cracks on the screen, and then switched it off and put it back in the box.

She then put the box into a trolley and went home. In her lounge, she discovered a crack in the screen.

"The retailer refused to replace the TV on the basis that the set was in her possession when the damage occurred,” the CGSO said.

Consumers are entitled to return defective goods within six months of purchase for their choice of a refund, replacement or repair, but not if the damage or fault was caused by the consumer rather than the supplier.

“As the supplier relied on the fact that the TV was checked in store and the defect occurred after the TV left the supplier’s control, the CGSO had no option but to close the case," the ombud said.

A TimesLIVE reader recently reported that he had bought a TV from a major retailer in Woodmead. The salesman did the same checks as in the case flagged by the CGSO before handing over the devicer.

“He loaded it into a trolley and initially tried to load it in my back seat, but it didn’t fit. We dropped the seats of my car and loaded the TV flat,” he said.

When he switched on the TV  at home, there was "a colour across the screen”.

When he took the set back to the retailer, he was told the screen was cracked due to his negligence.

“The salesman’s exact words were: ‘It’s not my problem’.'"he said.

“I did not bump or use any force on the TV for the screen to crack, and now I have paid close to R6,000 for a TV I am unable to use.”

The CGSO said the most common cracks formed around the edges of TV sets from finger pressure as their new owners struggle to remove the sets from packaging.

The organisation issued the following guide on how to avoid damaging your TV before you’ve had a chance to switch it on for the first time:


  • Consider and research the size and weight of the packaging plus TV set;
  • Plan for appropriate transport in advance;
  • Carry pillows to cushion and support the TV set if transported in the boot or backseat of your car;
  • When in store, read the handling/transport guide on the packaging before picking up the TV;
  • Ensure that two suitable persons handle the TV at all times;
  • Ensure the trolley can accommodate the TV properly;
  • Do not lay the TV flat into the trolley;
  • Be careful that nothing strikes the TV packaging as this could damage the device;
  • Be careful not to bump any object when pushing the trolley; and
  • Push the trolley slowly and carefully over any bumps on the mall floor or parking lot surface.

If using a truck or van for large TV sets, the ombud advised:

  • Lay down a moving blanket to protect, create a cushion and prevent damage;
  • Carefully lift the television and place it on the blanket. Keep the television box upright at all times;
  • Place it firmly against the side of the truck bed;
  • Pull the cargo straps across the box, and avoid twisting the straps as you feed them through the ratchet;
  • Tighten the straps. If the straps are beginning to tear or crush the box, it may be too tight; and
  • Check that it’s secure by pulling on the straps. The TV should be snug, and not be able to wiggle or pop up.

If using the back seat of your car for smaller TV sets:

  • Pull the seatbelt across the TV set and buckle it in to secure it in an upright position;
  • Slide the front passenger seat back so the headrest is in front of the box. This helps minimise potential damage if you hit bumps in the road. Use pillows to cushion the TV all around;
  • Check the set is secure and won’t slide out or wobble;
  • When assembling your set in your home, ensure that two people handle it when carrying it from your vehicle to your home, as well as during assembly;
  • Examine and follow the packaging guidelines provided on the exterior of the packaging; and
  • Ensure  the TV screen is never touched during removal of the set from the packaging. The most common cracks form this way around the edges as a result of  finger pressure.

TimesLIVE adds this advice: Contact your insurer by phone or website and add your new TV set to your policy before you take it home.