Gateway Sued Over Broken Plasma TVs

from the should-have-stuck-to-computers dept

A few years ago, Gateway, in an attempt to reinvent itself, decided it wanted to be more like Apple and would start selling consumer electronics. It made a big push in the space for a while, but not too many people were all that interested, as Gateway didn’t offer anything all that special — and most people just don’t think of the company as selling anything but computers in cow spotted boxes. The company still sells some consumer electronics (and I’ve heard that it’s ditched the cow spotted boxes), but it’s hardly a major focus. However, when it first launched the consumer electronics line, one of the ways the company tried to get attention was by selling LCD and plasma TVs at low prices — and apparently some people bought them, only to discover you get what you pay for. Plasma TVs are notoriously troublesome, and it appears Gateway’s TVs were no exception — to the point that some are trying to organize a class action lawsuit against the company for selling defective TVs, while advertising them as “setting new standards in quality.” If you were feeling snarky, you might note they don’t say that those levels were the highest — just “new.”

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Comments on “Gateway Sued Over Broken Plasma TVs”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Weren’t those Gateway plasma TVs just Sampo or Samsung TVs with a G on the chassis? Gateway was doing this when they had that chain of money-bleeding retail stores. Not long after they announced their reinvention, the stores all closed. Anyway, you get what you pay for, and anyone buying a plasma TV from the notoriously shoddy Gateway should have expected at least some trouble. Caveat emptor.

dorpus says:

Gateway, heh

They had a store in Berkeley where employees (with bad attitudes) insisted on following you around as soon as you entered the store. Everything was overpriced, they required that you buy a 3-item minimum, and that you write down your address with a pen in a notebook if you bought anything.

Not surprisingly, they went out of business 6 months later.

Gee says:

Gateway :-)

All u suck, Gateway is an amazing company that has come back from death. Their PCs are non proprietary, they last a long time with reasonable upgrade pricing and good customer service. An addition, they have an awesome non-complicated trade-in program for consumers.
Anyway I have one of their Plasma TVs and it is fantastic. The Picture is crystal clear with a good amount of tweaking options. I have had this TV for 2yrs with abosoltle no problems, except its heavy as hell. Unlike DELL who? PCs have always sucked and use the cheapest components and are proprietary. What a piece of dog poo.

JP says:

Re: Gateway :-)

My first Gateway 42″ plasma didn’t work right out of the box. It was replaced with another one, (but Gateway didn’t know) that worked for five years and now sits in a box because Gateway told me to throw it out and buy a new “LG” they had on sale. Later, I find out that’s the Gateway I bought was an LG! so NO..I don’t want more crap! Anyway, Your’s is about five years old now. Better start shoping around my friend.

Let me bottom line it for you Gateway fans. No LG’s, Samsungs, Acres. you get where I’m coming from I’m sure. Good luck and I’ll race you to the used parts store. 🙂

sab says:

Re: Gateway :-)

gateway suck big time i bought a $1100.00 fx gateway and 1st month motherboard went out sence then bios and keeps going out best buy nor gatewat will exchange it and costumer service suck aswell who wants to talk to a dothead i never understand them nor do they understand me we need to hire english or someone that can speak both also americans needs jobs and they hire the oversea ppl wtf

Mike Fisher says:

Gateway defective 46" plasma


Thank you for expressing interest in the Gateway Case. To get involved you will need to fill out the attached forms. Attached are a retainer agreement and a questionnaire regarding your TV. Please fill out both and return as soon as possible.

Mail to:

1200 Third Ave Suite 1321

San Diego, CA 92101

Or Fax to:


If you have any question please call me at (619) 544-6400.

Thank you,

Miray Handal

1200 Third Ave Suite 1321

San Diego, Ca 92101




This message and any attached documents contain information from the law firm of Handal & Associates that may be confidential and/or privileged.
If you are not the intended recipient, you may not read, copy, distribute, or use this information. If you have received this transmission in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail and then delete this message.

Ismael Montiel says:


I bought a 42″ plasma and computer for father’s day 2004, t.v lasted less than 2 yrs,computer lasted 25 months called gateway no help. Called Korea Sampoo and got immidiate action, got the correct board and got plasma fixed, it is less than 24 months again and plasma went out again today. Gateway is the worst company I have ever dealt with, second is Apple and the IPod.

J Larsen says:

42 plasma tv

We are the “proud” owners of our 3rd gateway tv which has just gone out again. 1st tv lasted just over 1 year, 2nd tv lasted 2 weeks, 3rd tv has now lasted less than 1 year. Called gateway, a tech is supposed to come and repair our tv.

We are lucky that we bought a 5 year full warranty. Which doesn’t really help when you are stuck with a real stinker of a tv.

Since we still have 2+ years left on the warranty, we are considering our options. We are not satisfied with fixing the tv with a replacement that is just as bad as the original.

We still own a Curtis Manthis TV bought in 1983. Still works, no repairs, ever.

Not sure what we will do, but a letter to Gateway Executive Response is currently being written.

Joe Marquez (user link) says:

Gateway LCD

I bought a Gateway LCD (GTW-L26M103) and a year later the picture went out. Now, I have extensive electronics background and I was able to troubleshoot the problem to the power supply. I called gateway to see if I could get the part and they gave me nothing but the run around. #1 they don’t repair any of their own equipment as far as TV’s go. #2 they don’t supply parts for their TV’s. #3 since I wasn’t on their “list” of people who had purchased gateway products, they would replace it. This took hours on the phone to find out and all they could tell me is to take it to a “local TV repair shop” and good luck, thank you for your business. GDM frustrating. I’m definitely joining the class action.

John says:

Re: Gateway LCD

I am having the same problem as you and i would like to repair this unit myself do you have any information that would be helpful in this matter. I do have SOME training in electronics and this is a task I think I can handle. But at the same time if you have the knowledge and are willing to share it please do.

J.J. Lopez says:

Re: Gateway LCD

How and where do I join the class action in sueing gateway. I have the same model…see my message. I called gateway last year at Christmas , just to find out that I was 20 days too late with the extended warranty. My TV started to show green halo’s around all the images. Later no sound and no TV..and no response to any controls. I was on the jphone with gateway for hours. They counldn’t help me with anything except the Thanks for purchasing their product.

Michael Shaw says:

I am on my second set (42″ plasma) the first not a year old had to be replaced. It took me several weeks to get some one to resolve the problem and another month to get it replaced. Luckily I purchased the extended warrenty on the first one or I would probably be o my own. Another thing I didn’t like was the fact that nobody from Gateway told me of known problems or the expected life until after I had mad the purchase and needed repairs. I really felt cheated. The replacement set is a little over a year old and it is not right either.

Larry C says:

Gateway 46" plasma tv problems

I have a 46″ Gateway plasma tv. The y-sustain board blew out
causing the tv not to work. If you unhook the cable to the board the tv will work, but the picture is grainy looking.
My friend was able to buy a board from Gateway for $189.
My friend who is a technician installed the board. Wow, the
set was fixed, the picture was beautiful. Watched the tv for
about 30 hours and then the picture went out. The same problem , the same board. Although Gateway claims a 90 day parts warranty on their website, they will not honor it. They only
honor if someone from Gateway ( Decison One $900 service call ) installs the board. By the way, the board that they sold was not new, it had replacement parts soldered to it.
Gateway will not provide schematics or parts lists for this tv.

marie haar says:

Gateway 42 in plasma -broken of course

I have the 42 in plasma I bought in 2002 and now the green light goes on but no picture…any one know ifthis is fixable gateway says it 500 to be looked at ((are they nuts) 5 years on a 5000 TV set..please anyone know what this might be or where I can get the scamitics please email me also is that class action suit over? and how come all gateway clients werent notified?? Marie

J. J. Lopez says:

Model GTW-L26-M103

20 days after my warranty expired…the TV had a green Halo around the images…later no picture or sound and unresponsive to all controls. I should of known better as 3 weeks after purchasing the TV/Computer….Gateway left the area, Albuquerque, NM. Any info on repairing, please email. Also, I am interested in the lawsuit. Gateway will not give me any info on repairing.

C.D. Gandy says:

Gateway 42 inch

Is this class action suit still going on? I need to put my name on it. Like many, many, many of you, my t.v. just died. Green light comes on, nothing else. Called Gateway, $450 just to get them here to look at it, $1000 for parts- before they even know what they are going to use to repair it. After reading many comments not only on this page, but on CNET as well, I feel betrayed. Good money paid for this and all I did was throw it out the window!

Ron Westphal says:

broken 50 " GW Plasma

I bought my GW 50″ Plasma 12/03 from one of their retail stores in Clackamas,OR. Paid $5500 + a 3yr warranty mounting bracket and installation $7500 by the time I was done. A couple mo later the store closed down. HMMM! I now live in AZ. 10/06 I had a black square about 12″ sq appear ( the rest of the picture was fine. I called gw and the sent out Decision one. After they ordered the part they came back and installed it and it made the problem worse (solved the original problem but created a different one) so they ordered a new (probably refurbished) one from GW. Now it’s 12/07 and the other day while my wife was at home it happened again. What really sucks is the warranty I bought ended last Dec. (3 yr warranty really 2 yrs because the 1 yr manufacturers war is part of the 3 stupid me). would like to get it fixed but these days I could buy a DLP or LCD for what it would probably cost.

Anyone have an idea of what I should do?

P B Morrison says:

Gateway 42" Plasma

Just go down the local Courthouse and file suit. The clerks are very helpful. About $25.00 to file a claim. State what happen to your Plasma and make sure you serve the Resident Agent via Certified Mail. The Clerks of the Court will help you with any info. Gateway does business in all states so the long arm statue may apply. Gateway will have 30 or so days to respond and a Court date will be set. Just tell the Judge what happened. As a Corporation they must be represented by an Attorney. You think Gateway might want to settle your claim quickly vs. hiring an Attorney to defend each case @ $250 an hour

blkted says:

46" Plasma not working either

All, I had the same thing. I missed out on the class action suit (don’t know if it is still going on or not) but I had my Gateway 46″ Plasma for about 18 months and it went out. It didn’t go out all at once, after not wanting to come on, it just finally died. I paid $3500 for the TV, which was cheap at that time compared to others. I remember looking at a panasonic for $3700, sure wish I would have paid the extra $200 now. If any one has any class-action suit info, please post. Alot of stuff is old, my Plasma has been in storage, I was out of the country, Being All I Can Be and right now, I be pissed.

lyn says:

Gateway 42" Plasma

Ok. So I am in the same boat in NYC. I have had my plasma for about 3 years with no problems. Suddenly, it stopped working. The Power light goes on, but no picture and no sound. The remote doesn’t work, so I have to cut the power either with the main switch on the back of the set. Please if the law suit is still going on, let me know or if anyone has any suggestions as what to do. I would appreciate your input.

brian says:

42" plasma 3yrs old

These things cant even be fixed!

Here is what my repair shop has to say;

Hi Brian,

Bad news…..we will not be able to repair your set. Part we got from them got set running for three hours, then it went dead. Board we got from them is bad & it has also now taken out the power supply board.

Unit will need both boards. We inquired with gateway & although they will send us a replacement board for the one that went bad, they will not let us return it for credit.

It is to risky for me to go any further on this set…if I also buy a power supply from them & any other problems arise…I will be stuck with NO return options.

I have to cut my loses on eating the cost of the Y Sustain board. I will not risk purchasing a power supply also & get stuck with both if there is another problem.

We will reassemble the set unrepaired and have it ready for your pick up on monday. Sry for the bad news. In my expierance, there is very little good news on gateway plasmas.


Dianna Smith says:

Not one, but two defective 50" plasma TVs/both hav

I purchased a 50″ Plasma TV in 2003 – just before the warranty expired the picture became so blurry you couldn’t see a picture. After numerous phone calls and complaints the TV was replaced. Shortly after the warranty expired on the second tv, no picture. Called Gateway- Service call was going to be $500. Called Best Buy to check the problem only to find out that the TV I had purchased was NOT the TV I had in my home. It was definitely inferior to the original set I bought (in Kansas City MO) and when replacing the first tv, the Gateway technician had removed the serial # from the first set and put it on the second!!! Which I found out negated any warranty on the second set. Totally and completely ILLEGAL. Several calls to Gateway have produced no satisfaction. I was told that since the warranty was expired, it wasn’t their problem.
If there is a class action suit against Gateway, I would definitely like to be included. According to three other prominent stores that sell TVs, switching the serial #’s is fraudulent. Each set has it’s own serial #, one store referred it to stealing someones fingerprints. I’m talking about a $5999. tv. Something needs to be done to prevent this from happening to other people.

Jeffrey L. Shurtliff says:

The Defective Gateways

I am a television service center. 15 year independent. When I first saw this TV I laughed, because I knew this was going to happen. Plasma is one of the worst TVs on the market for reliability. Especially if you are buying an off brand. That is what this TV is, an off brand. It is like lean ground beef and ground beef; you get what you pay for.

Ray says:

RE: Gateway 46

My TV just went down for the count as well. It did make it 4.5 years, however, & I have been totally happy with it. Until now. Same problem as others have described: power light comes on, a loud “thunk” sound & nothing.
I took it to a local tv shop, they said a transformer had gone out & Gateway told him they will sell him a used one with no warranty for $300!
I’m probably too late for the class action suit, but if anyone has any suggestions, I would appreciate hearing from you.

Paul Bridgewater says:

Gateway's 42 In Plasma GTW P42M303

We have had our tv for 3 year’s untill it died today. The tv will power on but it has a black screen and no sound. The green light will come on but will have to shut the main power switch off before it turns off. So I called Gateway to talk a tech, he advised me that the image board was bad. For $500 and another $500 for a service call which is non refundable it might work again thats alot of money for a might. If a lawsuit has already been filed then gateway should stand up and take care of the problem and fix the defective tv’s for free. I dont understand if a tv cost over $3200.00 we should get more then three year’s of use. The tv’s that sold for $200.00 last for 15 or 20 years, so whats up with the new ones

C.My says:

Gateway to Hell

I bought my Gateway plasma 3/24/04 realizing it was not “top of the line”, I did however hope it would last at least 6 years. I am at the 4 year mark. Luckily (sarcastic) before the 1st year was up it broke, the same problem everyone is chatting about. They came out and fixed it and it has been fine up until today with the exception of the picture getting really light and flickering occassionaly. Turning the power button off on the side and waiting a few minutes, turning it back on and it was ok. Today I heard some sizzling sounds, the picture went all crazy, I shut it down immed. and now am afraid to turn it back on–LOL….needless to say I am sure it is fried so to speak. After it initailly broke and was fixed I called back a little later to get the remote replaced as my dog had chewed it, it no longer worked and to my dismay but not surpize, I was informed by the Gateway tech they no longer made/serviced my product. I could look on ebay was the suggestion. I believe whole heartedly that something needs to be done about this and a message sent to these companies that are selling faulty/bad product to consumers. I am not going to spend a penny on a TV that is 4 years old, will cost about 1000.00 to (hopefully) fix when you can buy a new, different brand LCD for a little more than the fix price for this piece of crap. I guess I should be glad I got 4 years out of it, at 3567.28 thats less than 1000.00 a year….I will never buy GATEWAY anything and will tell every person I know about this horrible company and it’s practices and everyone else should do the same. If anyone can let me know I would love to be a part of this class action lawsuit if it’s still possible. I hope they lose and have to pay back everyone’s money. Hitting them in the pocketbook the same way they hit us will hopefully teach the crooks a lesson.

Keri says:

Mine Died Too!!

The same old story.. i have the 42 inch plasma and it is slowly but surely dying… it starts to flicker and i turn it off ( by the kill switch in the back) and after a while it .. i will be able to come back on….
I figure its days are numbered… I saw alot of questions, but does anyonehave any answers to what to do.. i paid $5000 4 years ago for this pile of crap!!!!!

Pam says:

Gateway TV's are CRAP

Bought a 42″ GW TV in 2004. Had a fam member come over to accept the delivery… arrived in a van instead of a truck and the bottom was cracked in half and dangling in the middle. GW came and picked up the broken TV after a couple hrs on the phone convincing them that it arrived in that condition and that we hadn’t done it. Then, it took a full 2 months of fighting with cust. svc. to get a replacement. We were hung up on, transferred when we were mid-sentence and on and on. Finally got ahold of a mgr in some other dept. that seemed to not have his head firmly wedged and was able to get us a TV which he gave us a free upgrade so we got the ultrabright model. Two days ago a black bar appeared on the screen and we were told that it’s probably a board that costs $250 and in the end would cost about $1500 to fix but, the initial expense would be $2k because you have to buy all possible parts up front and when the tech is done they’ll give you a credit. I will NEVER own another piece of Gateway equipment again… if I were offered something free I would refuse it. Their products apparantly are garbage. They are proprietary and long after the warranty is gone they will not allow anyone else have any parts or do any work. They’re customer service is the worst I’ve ever dealt with.

Steve says:

Gateway 42" Plasma TV - GTW-P42M102

After 5 years my Gateway 42″ Plasma TV went black screen, and moving from side to side is a 10″ wide vertical bar with red & yellow speckled background with 10 vertical teal blue lines, and no sound. I tried the simple burnt plug repair, but I have a different board. Anyone with any ideas for repair, or should I just throw it away?

NANCY L. ISLA (user link) says:



Richard Smith says:

GateWay 46" plasma TV - ser # 1097515997

This has turn out to be a piece of crap. Picture shows a fusion of colors now, and hisses at me when turned on/off. George (G.W TV rep, emp ID MU023), tells me it will take at least $1500 to repair!!!!!!!!! Incredible!!! Can someone help with this..I feel like a complete fool for buying this $40000.00 junk from them.


Rachel says:

File a Claim NOW

We are all in the same boat. My out of pocket expenses were over $5,000 even after repair all 3 components blew again. Go to and file your claim before November 27th. At least you’ll get something. I’m reading about $400 per t.v. Yes it’s an insult but it’s better than fighting those morons at Gateway. They don’t care they’ve already got your money. Thats why they were sued BOYCOTT ANY PURCHASES AND LET YOUR FRIENDS KNOW then move forward.

Chantel Smith says:

50 in plasma

We bought a 50 in plasma back in Sept 2003. We paid ALOT of money for it. About 6 months ago the screen started flickering, but would eventually stop. Picture was always good. Slowly the flickering lasted longer and longer and now doesn’t stop at all. We cannot watch this tv at all. Unfortunately our warranty expired in 2006. Sounds like ours has lasted longer than others I have been reading about.I have not tried to contact Gateway, sounds like it would be a waste of time. Is the class action still pending? I’m on board if it is.

SDHusker says:


I apologize to all of you for the issues you have had with your products.

There was a time not so long ago when Gateway stood for value and reliability but that ideology went out the window when the original CEO of the company stepped down in the late 90’s. After that we were working under one mercenary CEO or another whose interest were their own and not the customer, company or employees.

I do hope you all received some sort of compensation.

audrey almanzar says:

Re: Sorry

I am one of those who bought a gateway plasma in 2003 paid 4000.00 for it, after 3 years the picture started going until a couple of days ago, when my tv went completely blank. I did receive the papers for for the lawsuit but it was too late when i filed. I felt that it was an insult to get 400.00 rebate on any gateway item this was part of the settlement and only if you had the receipt, if you didn’t have the receipt you were going to get 30.00 rebate. to get 30.00 back for a 4000.00 T.V. is an insult. from what i’ve been reading it seems like the T.V. are not able to be repaired, so should I just consider buying another one? Not from gateway, of course!

deb says:

42 in Plasma

I ment to say that we bought ours in Nov 03 and now all we can get on the reg channels is lines but guess what the HD works but not all the channels are in HD – – the Charter Guy was here and said that ours has lasted longer than most – – You would think when you pay that much for a TV it would last longer than 5 yrs?? Any help would be appreciated since we are retired and this was our retriement gift to us.
Deb and Gary

skw says:

42" GW ultrabright smoking

My wife and 8 month old daughter were in the living room this evening when my wife smelled a burning scent. The picture had a greenish grainy looking bar that would randomly come and go and the tv also started making a loud buzzing noise. Calling gateway is of no help as the phone system just directs you to go online and the web chat guy not only rudely ended the chat session on me but his only response was to go find a local repairman or contact their per per use “answers by gateway” line which I find unacceptable for an item that is potentially a fire hazard in my home w/ my infant daughter sleeping. I bought it on May 21, 2004, it was delivered on the 25th and now useless exactly 5yrs and 1 day later, go figure. Wish I knew about the class action but seems I got longer out of it than some others. Also I bought the 3yr ext warranty but that was a waste as well.

Ricardo S. Mendoza Jr (profile) says:

XHD 3000

Defective High Resolution Monitor. I send this monitor to the Service Repair Depot in Texas. Reason screen turning green. They have it since july 6, 2009. After many call, and E-Mails, they finally told me that there is no way they can fix this very expencive High Resolution Monitor. I do not have a time, when this unit, is going to be replace, or I am going to be reimburse. They are getting nasty, and rude with every call I made. I need to joing a Class Action against Gateway.
My phone number is 407-474-0045 I’ll apreciate any help I can get.

Thank you.

Courtland Sorenson says:

42 inch gateway plasma problem resolution

Long time systems integrator and business problem solver. I hardly ever post, due to the fact that I am so very busy. This one is important because it does work , about half the time and could really save frustrated consumers.

Take the input/output box OFF the back of the Plasma television. Use just the DVI/HDMI outs on the bottom. You will need to come up with another solution for the receiver portion of your television, however, the t.v. now turned plasma monitor will work.

The other half of you where this doesn’t work…I am sorry. There is no getting around the inexperienced sales team that bought these cheap plasma’s, jacked up the price and fed them to the public. Or is that the experienced sales team that KNEW these T.V.’s were going to have problems and have waited to have the cash just handed to them by frustrated Gateway loyalists?! Either way, MOOOOOO!!!!

Matthew B (profile) says:


I owned 3 Gateway computers before they were bought by Acer. Now I am in the market for another Laptop and I looked at everything but Gateway. Why? Well since the aquisition by Acer I hadn’t seen any Gateway’s advertised. I assumed that Acer had just ended the brand. Low and behold I find HSN showing a Gateway for $699 bucks with a blu-ray and LED screen. After buying and then cancelling the unit (because the host just told lie after lie) I went to the GATEWAY web-site and found Laptops at the same price as HSN but with better processors and more drive space. The only difference was the free, and mostly useless, software. Now Gateway no longer sells from their own site and they directed me to Amazon who sold me the unit on 12 payments interest free. It’s due to show up here in two days and I’m hoping I can come back here and tell you how great the product still is…. I’m crossing my fingers because it is not often that one would have four good Laptops in a row from the same company. We shall see. Anyhow, why is there no new Gateway reviews on the Web? They all seem to be years old.

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