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BBB Alert: Chambers TV Customers Complain About Poor Repairs, Delays

The BBB is warning consumers Chambers TV Service on West Florissant in St. Louis. Consumers say the shop failed to repair their sets or the sets broke again after the repairs.

The BBB is all about promoting ethical business practices that improve trust in the marketplace. We also call attention to companies that aren't living up to their promises.

Today's BBB release concerns a business that has been disappointing customers for years, Chambers TV Service, which has had several different addresses in the area, mostly in North St. Louis County but now in St. Louis.

BBB Investigator Bill Smith heard from customers who had paid hundreds of dollars for repairs on their televisions, only to have them stop working again. Others couldn't get their TVs back from the shop or were told that their televisions had been damaged while they were at the business. Some even found their sets outdoors, in front of the business.

The BBB encourages consumers to check BBB Business Reviews to find out whether a business has been satisfying consumers. The reviews are available online or bay calling 314-645-3300. 

St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 23, 2012Chambers TV Service, a television repair shop that was the focus of Better Business Bureau (BBB) news warnings in 2004 and 2007, is facing a new wave of criticism from St. Louis area consumers.

Most of the complaints involve ineffective repairs, poor communication and long
delays in returning sets.

The BBB suggests caution when dealing with owner, Freddie L. Smith, and Chambers TV Service, which also uses the name Atlantic TV Service.  The business is at 6715 West Florissant in St. Louis. Smith previously operated at 5653 Page Boulevard and at 6721 West Florissant.

Chambers TV Service has an “F” grade with the BBB, the lowest grade possible. The BBB has recorded 17 complaints and reports on the company in the past 36 months.

Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said the BBB’s long history of problems with Chambers TV is reason for concern. “This has been a chronic issue with this
shop,” she said. “Customers have a right to expect good quality, professional
service when they deal with a business.  Too often, they are not getting that with Chambers TV.”

Smith told the BBB that he is attempting to respond to the BBB complaints.

Several customers told the BBB they would never recommend the business.

“I was fed up with them,” said a 78-year-old retired schoolteacher from Ferguson,
whose TV still was not repaired after two months.  At one point, the woman discovered her set on a sidewalk outside the business. “I don’t think they did anything but shuffle it from one spot to another,” she said.  She later had the set repaired by another company.

Another woman, also 78, said she paid the business $145 for repairs, but returned it a few days later after it stopped working. The business told her it was awaiting a part and would call her when the set was fixed.  Three months later, the shop still had not returned the set.

A St. Louis man said he paid Smith $325 to repair his set on May 29.  But after three failed attempts to fix the TV, Smith stopped responding to the customer’s phone calls. More than two months later, after the customer filed a complaint with the BBB and threatened to take Smith to court, Smith replaced the man’s TV with a used set.  “It was a can of worms,” the customer said.

“He doesn’t need to be in business,” said another customer who paid $100 for a
repair only to have his TV stop working again.

The BBB offers the following tips for consumers looking for a good TV or appliance
repair business:

  • Check with friends, neighbors and family members for recommendations. Don’t rely on advertising claims or website testimonials, which may not be legitimate.
  • Get any agreement in writing so you know exactly what to expect of the business. Ask for a guarantee that lets you return the item for additional work if it breaks down too quickly after the repair.
  • Check for a BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org or by calling
    314-645-3300.

About the BBB

The BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior.  The BBB provides
objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews on more than 4 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.  Please visit www.bbb.org for more information. 

Follow the BBB on Facebook or on Twitter @stlouisbbbeditor.

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