Harvey Norman Product Care - A Scam + Waste of Money or a Piece of Mind?

So this is the scenario…

Bought a high end 8K TV a bit over a year ago from Harvey Norman (A big, well known brand, not cheap brand). During the sales negotiation the sales rep (expectedly) offered ProductCare stating "if for any reason the product is faulty outside the normal manufacture period, with ProductCare we will do a replacement for the same device or at least one with the same minimum specs, or you can choose to get a refund".

Normally I am like: nope, with ACL why bother when you can get a repair or refund anyways.

This time however, being $5k for the TV, I thought for my own protection it probably is the smarter move, especially with what the rep stated, so it was negotiated into the price.

3 months after purchase the TV wouldn't turn on, no problem I'll just get the manufacture to repair it, it took literally 3-4 weeks for this to happen following the process which is beyond frustrating but was glad to finally get it done. The repair person did state though that this model did have known faults but assured me that the replacement part is better than what was faulty so it should be better than new. Ok cool, piece of mind.

13 months after purchase the TV shows a double image. Ffs… so looked online, they replaced the model with a new one with the exact same specs, the old one is discontinued so I'm like, nope I'm over this model, it's unreliable, I'll get it replaced, which is also a pain in the butt because the ProductCare I purchased was good for 48 months, and this is the first month, once it is used for a replacement BAMMO, gone.

Harvey Norman said if I get the manufacture to replace the unit, they will get the ProductCare moved across to the new TV. Ok, I'll try that.

First they pushed for repair - nope over it.
Then they tried to bribe me with a $300 voucher - nope over it.
Then they submitted a refund on my behalf (Not a RA number like I was advised by Harvey Norman to ask for) - had to go through all of the drama again.
Eventually they offered a "reconditioned" new/current/only model available.

I rang Harvey Norman and they said unless it is from their stock they won't move the ProductCare. Ffs, waste of time as the manufacture won't do that.

Now… the juicy part - ProductCare even though they advertise "Replacement" everywhere, refuses to do so - the word "Replacement" is even under their claim process. They straight up offered a refund, less the cost of ProductCare, stating their hidden terms and conditions, because the new replacement is $8.5k.

This to me feels like a scam, I could get a refund regardless due to ACL - I could also get a repair due to the same, why on earth would I pay (a large amount) for something ACL offers anyways?

Now the TV is sitting in a room and we have a really old, not fancy model sitting in its place.

From first contact of the new fault till now, it has been 3 months and 4 days!!!! Still no result.

I have logged a complaint with the ACCC and in the last week or so logged a complaint with the QLD Office of Fair Trading - waiting to hear back.

ProductCare only refer again to their T&C's.

What are your thoughts? Scammy behaviour trying to get out of something or fair game?

I use the word scam because if they clearly advertised "Repair or Refund", then it would be understandable, but they don't they use the words "Repair or Replacement".

To me this feels like false advertising trying to sucker money from innocent consumers.

Anything you'd recommend to getting the problem solved?

Would I recommend ProductCare to anyone? Nope stay the hell away from it! Complete waste of money in my opinion.



13 months old TV, Harvey Norman ProductCare refuses replacement and instead offers something consumers are already entitled to under ACL for free. Feels like a scam.

Poll Options expired

  • 111
    Scammy False Advertising by ProductCare (Harvey Norman)
  • 3
    Seems fair enough

Related Stores

Harvey Norman
Harvey Norman


  • +7

    Definitely should've gone with first instinct, these extra care plans (HN, JB, etc etc) always are a scam

    • +2

      Not in my case.

      In 2019, I purchased a $300 Nokia phone from Harvey Norman and sales guy said, its just $60 extra for the ProductCare. I said No. He then even tried to reduce the price to $30 to convince me.

      I took the bite and after using the phone for 3 years the battery doesn't hold charge. I bring the phone back to the store and $300 get refunded without seriously checking on the issue I mentioned, I would say $30 money is well spent.

  • +5

    They should've at least offered Panadol for the headache

  • was this escalated to the franchisee at all? sometimes if you want anything done you gotta make it the big dog's problem.

    • Not the original one, I moved 2.5 hours away and raised it nicely with the local one, they were the ones that recommended getting the manufacture to issue a RA number for a return/replacement so I could continue to keep the ProductCare, but they wouldn't and only would use their 'own' stock. The TV's brand sales rep that visited in store also didn't want anything to do with it and refused to help according to the store manager, which personally I find weird as back in the day those sort of people in those positions used to really care for the customer and actually made the process faster with their internal communications.

  • What brand?

    I've heard good things about Samsung replacing panels easily, even letting the customer keep the old panel etc

    • +1

      It was Samsung. Their top of the line 8k panel.

      • Surprising

        Parents had a Samsung panel develop a line through it. Samsung replaced it, and they were able to keep the original tv

        • That's good they had a good experience, I personally thought especially after 2 major faults they would issue a RA without any issues at all. Another reason we chose the brand tbh as we can get something similar for less cost with other brands.

        • +2

          Op is dealing with Harvey's and their 'extended warranty'

          If they went directly to Samsung, they'd likely get a positive outcome like that and just have to write off the $ for 'extended warranty' as a life lesson.

          The scammy extended warranty middle man part is the hurdle/ issue.

          • @SBOB: I went to Samsung, they tried to give me a $300 voucher for a repair after I refused. I think they don't want to do it as the same model of the new one they sell, less than 12 months after I got mine is $3.5k difference (which alone is crazy). But yes, the scammy extended warranty middle man part is actually worse to deal with than Samsung themselves.

      • They seem to be as bad as LG these days.

        • LGs out side the warranty are actually pretty good fixing or replacing TVs under their ACL period. I've heard of 4yo oleds having their screens replaced due to burn in I believe the ACCC kicked their ass awhile ago so they have come good I even got a 1.5yo remote replaced free of charge so pretty happy with them and my 77C1

        • We had a good experience with LG. Replaced the screen on our 18 month old TV no probs.

  • +2

    Waste of money.

  • a) You should have read the PDS saying the ProduceCare is a one-shot-wonder
    b) The initial repair you should have done under the manufacturer's warranty, not product care
    c) Get an ACL refund. Get over your loss of product care
    d) Buy a new tv.

    • I knew ProductCare was a one shot scenario; just didn't want to use it on the first month!
      Initial repair was done under the manufacturer's warranty.
      ACL refund is an option but replacing the TV in that scenario means I will get a lesser quality TV than the one I initially paid for due to price changes. A repair unfortunately would actually be a better option but then you have to think if it is a faulty model what breaks next… which wasn't even a old model, just EOL early.

  • +3

    Product care and similar warranties are only good for this:
    a) Get them bundled
    b) Check the invoice how theyve charged full price for product care and discounted the TV
    c) Get an change-of-mind refund on the full price of the product care paid within the cooling off period
    d) Enjoy your Australian Consumer Law rights

    • Fair point.

    • Haha, savage on step c.

      • I've done it once before. saved $50

  • +1

    Op refused to scroll this BBS and choose the most famous retailer.

    Falsly named dog owner Gerry is just laughing his head off.

    But he is famous for getting rich from dumbos. Even JB now just cheats and cheats, the new hen house at the ACCC is as good as Optus privacy!

  • +2

    And 91 per cent reportedly tried to sell poor-value extended warranties that often don't provide much more cover than is guaranteed under Australian consumer law.
    "We were shocked by the results of our mystery shop of Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys," Choice editorial director Marg Rafferty said.
    "Consumer guarantees mean retailers must help customers if a product breaks within a reasonable period of time – even if the manufacturer's warranty has expired.


    • +1

      My debate to the Office of Fair Trading is claiming they are false advertising. Look at the ProductCare | Harvey Norman page, their actual product is called "Product Care Replacement Plans"… complete muppets.

  • I bought a Sony Panel, I was iffy buying a Sony and got the HN extra care (panel was very cheap at the time in 2014ish)

    The panel failed 3 month past warranty, called HN extra care (provider they use), service tech came out confirmed the panel was blown and offered a replacement with a similar spec panel (LG) or store credit equal to value. Got the store credit and bought a Samsung QLED that still use today. Guess it what insurance provider they use.

    Similar story with JBHIFI, Hisense crapped it self within warranty, got a full refund including cost of insurance through Hisense RA.

  • In 2021, I purchased a $300 Motorolo phone from Harvey Norman and sales guy said, its just $60 extra for the ProductCare. I said No. He then even tried to reduce the price to convince me.

    At the end, he said you don't think this extra protection is worth even $50-$60. I said NO. LOL.

    • In 2019, I purchased a $300 Nokia phone from Harvey Norman and sales guy said, its just $60 extra for the ProductCare. I said No. He then even tried to reduce the price to $30 to convince me.

      I took the bite and after using the phone for 3 years the battery doesn't hold charge. I bring the phone back to the store and $300 get refunded without seriously checking on the issue I mentioned, I would say $30 money is well spent.

  • Brought a high end 8K TV

    Stopped reading after this, ugh

    • Sorry ser it is replaced just for you :P … it was written a bit rushed. I also doubled one comment in the explanation and corrected that too just in case you don't run into that as well. Please forgive me.

      • +1

        Did you even watch any 8k shows, sports or movies that weren't just demo footage?

        • Not really, but we planned to not purchase anything big like this in the near future (5 or so years) so it was more for future-proofing for when streaming services offer it or it becomes more common. We actually compared it side by side with a 4k version of the same, on only free to air and the colours looked better and more natural, so for that reason we went down a size but up in quality (85" to 75"), so it wasn't all about the 8k.

          Also the model had the 'one connect box', so I didn't have to bother running multiple cables when wall mounting it, an awesome feature in my opinion.

  • +4

    As soon as I saw Harvey Norman I knew this was going to be interesting…. There's a reason why Gerry Harvey is referred to as Dodgy Gerry

    • +2

      The manager (that recommended the RA) as much as I felt they were kind of helping at the time, I think they knew it was almost impossible to do as they wouldn't go out of their way to do it with their own contacts and it was an easy way to send me on a wild goose chase and leave them alone…. so kudos for the idea and a downvote for the execution. Generally speaking the consumer shouldn't be running around like a muppet trying to resolve something like this, in my opinion.

      Repair might be the best option, but I do honestly feel the way Product Care is advertised buy saying one thing (replacement) and then adding a " * " is, in my opinion, false advertising and shouldn't happen.

      The staff member that initially sold it didn't care because it raised his GP and met his KPI equalling someone else's problem for later, which is pretty fraudulent.

      • +1

        Product Care loves to market the "replacement" line though.

        Under "CERTAINTY"

        "Product Care Replacement Plans: With Product Care You have certainty that Your Product is covered for a specific period for an Eligible Fault and that You will obtain a Replacement product."


        • agree with the part that YOU shouldn’t have to get an RA, retailer is legally obligated to handle any warranty issues.

          If Product Care were able to get a hand on a new unit of your same model, they would replace. but as the next like model to yours is $3k more, they fulfil their end by offering a store credit. id more blame the initial salesperson as he shouldve explained the store credit as tv prices change like nothing else.
          but unfortunately you have no recourse here as everything is explained in product care T&C

          • +1

            @[Deactivated]: Which is why I feel the advertising material promoting Product Care is disingenuous on all retail marketing material, thus myself alleging false advertising.

  • +1

    I used to work for a company affiliated with Harvey Norman. The game with product care is to get it with the intention of replacing/upgrading it once the manufacturer warranty is over. Let's say you bought a vacuum cleaner in 2020, it has 3 years manufacturer warranty and the store added an extra year of product care. After 3 years, the product care kicks in for the year, within that year your vacuum cleaner 'mysteriously' breaks. You take it back in, they check it out, confirm it's broken, and replace it with a newer model because they don't stock that old model anymore.

    It's been a few years since I've worked there so my memory is a bit hazy on this next part. I believe you can add product care to the new item you just got, then every few years it gets replaced with a new one. Things might have changed since

    • yup, staff ‘game’ product care all the time. just gotta keep in mind how much you paid for your unit and how much the next replacement is, whether same or newer model.

    • Downside of this with high-end products like expensive TV's is the ProductCare is pretty expensive overall, you'd want to value that upgrade to be worth 1 to 2k. With a $5k TV you could claim a refund after 5 years under ACL anyways stating purchase goods be of acceptable quality then just buy whatever.

      Medium to low cost purchases it makes sense.

      • -2

        that’s not how ACL works. Refund/Replacement is only applicable if product suffers from a major failure.
        Major failure firstly is determined with how long it should reasonably last for which is determined by ACCC (that choicemag article about it is BS). In your case, you would pass this check as a $5k tv should last alot longer than 13 months.
        Secondly, Major failure is determined if the goods are;
        dont match description as advertised
        have immediate apparent issues that wouldnt stopped you buying if you had known
        substantially unfit for purpose and cannot be fixed in a reasonable amount of time.

        Your TV can be repaired by samsung, so you aren’t entitled for a refund.

        This is where product care prevails, as any eligible fault is covered by ‘replacement.’

        • I respectfully disagree. Under ACL:

          When a business sells a product or service that doesn’t meet basic rights, known as consumer guarantees, it must offer the consumer a solution. Businesses must not tell consumers to take the problem to the manufacturer or importer. When a product has a major problem, consumers can choose between a refund or replacement. When a service has a major problem, consumers have a right to alter their agreement with the service provider. Businesses must fix a minor problem with a product or service by at least giving a free repair.


          What makes a service problem major
          A service has a major problem when it:

          creates an unsafe situation
          has either one serious problem or several smaller problems that would stop someone buying the service if they knew about them beforehand
          can’t be used for its normal purpose, or for a specific purpose that the consumer told the seller about, or doesn’t achieve a specific result that the consumer told the seller about, and can’t easily be fixed within a reasonable time.

          A faulty panel that duplicates the image doesn’t achieve a specific result.

          • -1

            @coffeerequired: “and cant easily be fixed within a reasonable time.”

            • @[Deactivated]: Are you forgetting the line "consumers can choose"?

              • -2

                @coffeerequired: Are you forgetting the line, “And cant easily be fixed in a reasonable amount of time”?

                • @[Deactivated]: I think our conversation is going around in circles.

                  We could easily quote "has either one serious problem or several smaller problems that would stop someone buying the service if they knew about them beforehand"

                  We could also easily quote "The right to return a product".

                  I can be offered a repair, but I don't have to accept it, I fail to understand in the same text that we are reading that you would fail to identify that someone has that right?

                  • -1

                    @coffeerequired: “has either one serious problem or several smaller problems that would stop someone buying the service if they knew about them beforehand” is in regards to issues almost immediately apparent to the product. like if i bought a tv off of display and turns out its bluetooth is busted after 2 weeks then i’m entitled to a refund. thats why RA’s exist as these products can go faulty and thats why you didnt get a refund/replacement 3 months in.

                    • @[Deactivated]: Well firstly, I requested a repair, it was the current model, I thought it would be fast and ProductCare really wasn't even into effect in the first 3 months. I could have easily gone back to Harvey Norman, said I was was unsatisfied that the product was not in acceptable quality, validated by the fact that the motherboard was fried, unit would not turn on and requested a refund due to a major fault and then repurchased it if I wanted to, but I chose not to.

                      You use the example that "Bluetooth was busted", but this example had a different fault internal part. An RA is an internal thing to do - I return it, staff member organises the RA with the supplier to be credited for the same. There is no reason a consumer should even have to know about an RA, let alone try to implement it.

                      Regardless if it was a display model or not as well, it is still classified as a new product unless the product sold was a "reconditioned" model, in which there is an expectation of a slightly lesser amount of serviceable time which isn't quantified under ACL.

                      • -1

                        @coffeerequired: once again, agree with the RA issue, shouldnt be your problem.

                        but you’re not getting my point that this issue does not qualify as a major failure. as some who actually handles warranty claims and pushes for refunds on behalf of customers, this circumstance would not qualify as a major failure unless samsung took ages to repair the tv. customer only have right to choose when its a major failure.

                        • +1

                          @[Deactivated]: I don't want to nit-pick here, but that's ok because we can use this education to push yourself better for those customers in your workplace doing warranty claims.

                          In this example, quoted from "Electrical and whitegoods: a guide for industry to the Australian Consumer Law" we cause use the example that a consumer wouldn't have purchased a TV when A) the motherboard would fail within 3 months, and B) the panel would be faulty within 13 months.

                          Whoever has told you information unfortunately has advised you incorrectly.

                          Major vs minor failures
                          When a product fails to meet a consumer guarantee, your obligations depend on whether the failure is major or minor.
                          Major failures
                          A major failure with a product is when:
                          a reasonable consumer would not have bought the product if they had known about the problem. For example, no reasonable consumer would buy a washing machine if they knew the motor was going to burn out after three months
                          • the product is significantly different from the description, sample or demonstration model shown to the consumer. For example, a consumer orders a red food mixer from a catalogue, but the mixer delivered is green
                          • the product is substantially unfit for its normal purpose and cannot be made fit within a reasonable time. For example, an underwater camera turns out not to be waterproof because it is made from the wrong material
                          • the product is substantially unfit for a purpose that the consumer told the supplier about, and cannot be made fit within a reasonable time. For example, a video card is unsuitable for a consumer's computer – despite the consumer telling the supplier their computer specifications
                          • the product is unsafe. For example, an electric blanket has faulty wiring.
                          When there is a major failure, the consumer can choose to:
                          • reject the product and choose a refund or an identical replacement (or one of similar value if reasonably available), or
                          • keep the product and ask for compensation for any drop in its value caused by the problem, and
                          • seek compensation for any other reasonably foreseeable loss or damage.

                          Minor failures
                          A minor failure is where a problem with a product can be fixed in a reasonable time and does not have the characteristics of a major failure (see "Major failures" above).

                          • -8

                            @coffeerequired: A motor burning out in 3 months is completely different to a double image on a TV in 13 months. burnt motor means the product ceases to work. a double image is still a working product, just faulty. if your TV were to just suddenly stop working after 13 months, one could argue you would be covered by ACL. Your issue is minor as your product still works to an extent as is repairable.

                            My whole point here is that people here have a gross misconception about their consumer rights and what they are entitled to. Yeah sure iPhones should be covered for ~2 years under ACL and a $5k TV should be covered for around 5+ years. but to what that entitles the consumer to is different.
                            Thats where Product Care and other extra coverage services come into play.

                            • +3

                              @[Deactivated]: LOL that is ridiculous.

                              But ser the washing machine still fills with water, are you sure it also isn't a minor fault?

                              Stating a TV that has a panel that doesn't work is a minor fault because it produces some kind of image is the equivalent as a French chef cooking a pigeon but stating it can still fly because it has wings…

                              facepalm ergh… seriously.

                            • +4

                              @[Deactivated]: A double image on a TV is NOT a working product. Sorry, it's just not. A TV has one primary job (to produce clear picture and audio), and at that point, it's failing to do that job.

                              The pending class action against JB Hi-Fi for their protection product is going to be interesting…

                              • -2

                                @hudrob: irregardless the TV can be repaired by samsung in a reasonable amount of time. not a major fault.

                              • +1

                                @hudrob: I agree and so does the text written very clearly under ACL, not someone's personal interpretation of it. It's not just a double image, it flickers, sometimes wont turn on, colours are all messed up. Basically the panel is completely useless. The suggested fix of replacing the panel from another faulty TV that has been returned like for example one with a cooked motherboard is a short term fix, the fault most likely will happen again and then the TV is spending more time in between repairs than being serviceable, mostly likely why they released a new model with identical specifications.

                                Anyways, if a company is game to use the word "replacement" 10 times, but hides a * to try cover their arse, then that is effectively baiting the customer as well as false advertising.

                                LOL - if a washing machine had a blown engine, I could probably fill it with water and shake it and maaaaybe the clothes will eventually get clean.

                                This TV at the same time might be useful if I was also blind.

                                • @coffeerequired: I was in a similar situation some years ago with a Sony TV.
                                  The TV was repaired twice during warranty period due to a fault with the motherboards. I too purchased an extended warranty and the third time it failed was outside of the manufacturers warranty and inside of the extended warranty. JB HiFi & Sony only wanted to do another replacement of the motherboard which was likely to fail and probably outside my warranty. I refused and raised it as far as I could with Sony, posted the issue to social media until a higher-up manager at Sony saw the post and forced the Sony rep I was dealing with to replace the entire TV with another one. Keep pushing for a replacement, and don't ever shop at HN again.

                            • +3

                              @[Deactivated]: Gerry has indoctrinated you well young one.

                        • +1

                          @[Deactivated]: How is this not a major issue? The TV can't be used for the purpose it was purchase for? The OP is stating it is showing a double image on the screen. You can sure as hell tell you work for HN.

  • Having been through similar (Panasonic plasma TV) you must understand 'repairable fault' & unrepairable/therefor replaceable. Panasonic were going great guns grabbing second hand parts from TV's, even though warranty was well over. Was brilliant on their part to fix it, they were determined to keep it going.

    As a suggestion, deal with Samsung directly, the retailers only have so much they can do.

    • +2

      Tried that - My case is that it's not my fault that the model has known faults and they made it EOL early, they eventually agreed to replace it but with a 'reconditioned' version of the new model, accepting that would mean under ACL that I would accepting something that effectively have a shorter life expectancy, plus the idea of accepting something that has already been received faulty and returned cringes me. Additionally the scammy Product Care would also be useless, as they take the old model (understandably of course), so it left me no option but to claim the advertised 'replacement'. If you can offer a replacement, but it has to be reconditioned, what does that actually say to the consumer…

      • In all honesty I have no issue with reconditioned because they have, at least, checked it out and fixed the faults on it. However, I would be ensuring the full original warranty applied to this model.

        We had a similar issue with a Bosch fridge. However, Bosch just gave us a new next model fridge. The problem is it didn’t fit in the existing integrated fridge hole so we asked for a stainless steel version because it would be in display. They OK’d that as well.

        They can probably just provide the refund option because they don’t have the same model available. However, I can’t see how they won’t refund the ProductCare as well? I would, certainly, be pushing them on that.

        Best of luck.

  • +4

    Harvey Norman and Scam in the one sentence. Now there's a surprise. Who'da thunk it?

  • Not trying to agree with Gerry but this is the Product Care page

    This is at the bottom of the page under Terms and Conditions.
    “There are exclusions and limitations to Product Care. This includes a limitation of the value of any replacement product plus any freight costs associated with that replacement cannot exceed the Original Purchase Price of Your Product.”

    “Your replacement benefit is a one-time use and is not immediate. If Your Product is replaced (or We give You a store credit or cash settlement) then Your Product Care replacement entitlement will cease.” This would appear to be why the Product Care doesn’t transfer to the new TV.

    I agree what is happening sucks but they do appear to have covered themselves.

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