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Are Kogan TVs any good? Here’s how it all went wrong for me.

Recently I found myself in the market for a new TV. After moving to a new house, my old 42″ LG LCD panel was looking smaller than ever – or perhaps my eyes simply aren’t as good as they used to be? Whatever. I felt like there was a hole in my life and the only thing that could fill it would be a brand new flatscreen – something in the order of 55-inches or bigger.

Like other people who have found themselves in this situation, I first jumped online and trawled the websites of all the local retailers. I knew exactly what I wanted – a 55″ LED LCD panel which could display 4K at 60Hz, plus a minimum of 4 HDMI inputs and DVR capabilities via a memory stick made up my short list. After seeing a mate’s Smart TV in action, I decided to forgo those capabilities and instead rely on my existing PlayStation 4 and Google Chromecast to satisfy my video streaming needs. A quick price check on models meeting my needs suggested that I’d be up for a minimum of AU$1,200, moving up on a sliding scale beyond AU$2,000. And then the Aussie online retailer Kogan.com got my attention.

Kogan were offering their self-branded 55-inch TVs (KALED55UHDYA) built using a 4K Samsung LED panel for just $789. After reading a few favourable reviews, I took the plunge and placed my order online. But was the deal too good to be true? Well, I found out just 5 days later when it arrived on my doorstep on October 2nd.

kogan-tv-1

First impressions were good. The TV was packed well and looked fantastic – with a nice slimline black bezel surrounding the huge 55-inch screen. After hanging it on my wall-mount, I marvelled at how perfectly sized it was for the room and the distance at which I was sitting… but something was wrong. By default, the screen looked overly bright – the colours were washed out and blacks were far from black. Luckily, I was able to rectify these issues after I played with the image brightness, contrast and gamma settings for 5 – 10 minutes. But unfortunately, it wouldn’t last…

Kogan, we have a problem…

Unfortunately for me, when I powered on my brand new TV the very next day I was greeted once again by a very washed out looking display. After flipping through the display settings, I noticed that the adjustments I had entered the previous day had all been forgotten, and the TV had returned to the default. Thinking nothing of it, I quickly adjusted the display back to where I liked it and continued enjoying my brand new TV… until the next time I turned it on. Yup, it forgot my settings… again.

At this point, I began to regret the decision I made of buying something as large as a TV online. If I’d of purchased it from a local retailer, I could have returned it to the store and either exchanged it for a new one or obtained a refund – but with Kogan you’re sort of screwed in this regard.

I called Kogan’s support number and spoke to one of their service representatives, who claimed they would send me new firmware which would fix the issue. Great! I felt so relieved as I downloaded the file and copied it onto a USB so I could load it onto the TV. A few restarts later and I confirmed that the new firmware had indeed fixed the problem – an awesome result. But unfortunately for me, Kogan’s new firmware may have fixed my existing problem, but at the expense of creating a brand new one.

While my TV was now remembering the custom display settings I had entered, the Backlight brightness setting was now working incorrectly. The Backlight setting is a sliding scale from 1 – 10 which affects how bright the screen illuminates, with 8 being the default I left it at. But while the Backlight may have been set to 8, every time I turned the TV on the screen was incredibly dull – the equivalent to having the Backlight set to 1.

Kogan’s support team had no way to resolve the issue and suggested that I return the TV to them for inspection. At that point, the question going through my mind was “Can I live with this problem for the rest of this TV’s lifespan (5 years?) or do I send it back to Kogan for repair, which at the very least would take a few weeks?”

After mulling over it for a week, I had to choose the latter.

And so the long wait began

The danger of buying from an online retailer like Kogan is that generally, the cost to return a faulty item is the buyer’s responsibility. Luckily for me, Kogan organised a courier to collect the TV on October 18th at no cost – which was a bonus I guess. It would have cost a bomb to freight something that large from Brisbane to Melbourne.

Kogan received the TV on October 24th and suggested that they’d need up to 14 working days to rectify the problem. Once you take weekends out of the equation, it meant I was going to be without a TV for almost 3 weeks – and that doesn’t include the 4 or 5 days required to freight it back to my house when they’re done with it. So make that a month.

To make matters worse, Kogan’s 14 working day claim meant they should have fixed my TV by November 10th… which is today. But surprise surprise, I contacted them and the response was “the new firmware isn’t ready yet“, and that maybe next week it will be.

New firmware, different problem

Perhaps I was naive at this point to think that Kogan’s new firmware would fix the issues I experienced with my new TV, and that I’d once again fall in love and be singing the praises of this sleek 55″ 4K beast. But sadly, this wasn’t the case.

Kogan’s new firmware (which arrived a week or two after they promised it) did indeed fix the brightness problem, but it introduced a brand new and perhaps even more annoying problem – a weird volume spike everytime you turned the TV on.

Let me put it like this. Imagine the typical volume you like to watch your TV at and let’s say that is “10” on the volume scale. Now imagine how you’d feel if your TV volume spiked to say “30” for a fraction of a second before returning back to the level you set it at, everytime you turned it on. Yeah, that’s what mine does now. Every. single time. You could set the TV volume to 1 or even mute it, and you’ll still hear the same volume spike. It’s pathetic.

It’s almost as if Kogan were trying their hardest to cause maximum offence, because once you couple this sound with their pure white splash screen which appears on startup – you’ve got a pretty damn annoying TV on your hands. By this point I’d had enough of dealing with Kogan’s support team and simply lived with the issue. It’s still happening years later, and I never heard from Kogan ever again.

This whole experience really boggles my mind, and to me, there is only one way I can summarise this situation, and that is:

Kogan’s returns policy ensures you’re treated like a second rate citizen

I mean in what other retail environment would this sort of outcome be acceptable? Imagine buying a brand new iPhone 7 from Apple’s online store, only to discover you received a faulty handset when it arrived on your doorstep a few days later. So long as you returned it to Apple within 14 days, they’d immediately offer you a brand new replacement phone or even a full refund should you be that dissatisfied with your experience. But with Kogan, there’s no such luck. They’ve already got your money, and you’re left waiting like a fool for weeks on end while they attempt to repair the bloody thing. No brand new replacement. No easy fix to make the customer happy.

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So, would I recommend Kogan.com?

After reading the above, what do you think? Absolutely not.

While there are significant savings to be had on items such as flatscreen TVs, my overall experience thus far means that in hindsight I would have much rather paid a little bit extra and purchased a new TV from one of the many retailers in my local area.

The risks with purchasing their TV’s are simply too great – and if you decide to go ahead and do the same, well, you’re just rolling the dice.

24 comments

Len Towers September 11, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Hi Sigh
Your story reads word for word as our purchase of Kogan 55″4K LED TV Ultra HD, Arrive in mid June 2017, and failed with a RED Stuck Pixel, after some weeks, we finaly ring help centre, luckly we kept the full TV packaging this time,? First action August 14th 2017 take photo of red stuck pixel, and Email kept on coming, pack the TV straight back into orginal package, with many complys standards in regards to packing, (please take photos of inside package and then sides and postage details, and email & then wait for ok, TV is ok for pickup and then some (3) weeks, then no further follow-up from the help centre, NO reponds, NO replacement, NO refunds, as of Today 11th of September 2017, NO repond, NO contact, just a return notice & number on 29th of August 2017, Please people dont BUY TVs online, especaily from KOGAN… BEWARE dealing with KOGAN/DICK SMITH online purchases

Regards
Len

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Huey October 4, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Thinking of purchasing tv from Kogan ,but reading customer views ,perhaps not a good move .guess Kogan company do not read customer reviews , so expect service will not change ! PS this would be normal practice of business standards of today ,So suck it up Buttercup you have done your dough !!

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Tony Harris December 18, 2017 at 4:31 pm

I would NOT recommend Kogan either. I bought a 55″ Kogan with 4K capability. Guess what? I need a Chromecast to stream Youtube or Netflix – it won’t work on the native TV. Not only that, but the remote control is dodgy – and by that I mean it often simply does not work – I have to turn it off via the power on/off button. Regarding the non-streaming capability, many emails and calls to Kogan resulted in them advising me to download updated software – guess what, it didn’t work and still doesn’t. Would I buy a Kogan again? – never in a million years.

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Sean McKellar January 6, 2018 at 5:19 pm

Sorry to hear that you guys have had problems too – hopefully more people can see this post and heed our warnings.

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Michael November 4, 2018 at 5:16 am

I got into this trap too…oh what a shit should i seen this blog earlier i would not step in definitely

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Michael November 4, 2018 at 5:48 am

IWarning…
Pls do not ever attempt website for their product..anything goes wrong you are better off without it..kogan tv is one of them..there is so much negative blog about this but i miss out. Kogan tv is a defective and faulty tv and mine broke down in one month. Dont be fooled by the function and price..it will not work.

Don’t buy online kogan TV..save a little longer to buy a store brand TV.

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Johanna Levis January 7, 2018 at 11:15 pm

Same for me im afraid, Hope more people read these reviews and stop buying from Kogans, i certainly will never do that again. Havent descided if its worth returning the tv i just bought. Mine dosent accept a simple dvd player as there is no sound? bloody hopless….

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Vicki January 26, 2018 at 3:11 pm

Sorry to hear of people’s plight with Kogan. I purchased my 42″ TV from them 8 years ago – there was a hiccup at the start but it was sorted relatively quickly and I have had 8 years of good viewing from it. However, it seems to have a died a natural death. My question is – is it worth repairing an 8 year old television? Is that its lifespan, done and dusted? Being a Kogan TV I would have to transport it to Melbourne and as it is out of warranty, I would be liable for costs.

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Sean McKellar January 26, 2018 at 9:30 pm

Unfortunately I’d say it probably isn’t worth repairing – unless you tried taking it to a local repairman and it turned out to be something minor. Otherwise it is old technology and new 42″ sets are quite cheap – even with 4K.

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Alan Crabtree May 10, 2018 at 7:25 pm

Just bought a 49 inch smart tv from kogan and it is rubish.. never again

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Sean McKellar May 17, 2018 at 9:15 am

They’re rather ordinary for sure.

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James September 17, 2018 at 9:27 pm

crap crap and more crap, tv does’nt work,and unlikely will I just go around in circles, just like dealing with a computor! No empathy or understanding,their even responding with emails sent weeks ago. Just fix or replace the problem,asap James

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Luke Parsons October 1, 2018 at 7:56 am

Thanks for the confirmation that they sell junk TVs. I will continue to save for a genuine Samsung TV instead. Even a Hisense seems like a better choice. At least buying from a brick and mortar store, I could easily return it

On another note, Kogan is still bound by Australian Consumer Laws. If you’ve gone through their standard complaint or repair process and still not happy, then you have the right to a refund or a repair on YOUR TERMS, not theirs. If they try to squirm out of your terms, just get fair trading involved.

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Sean McKellar October 18, 2018 at 6:31 am

You’re right about the returns – with something like a TV it is a massive issue. You could go for a cheap brand like Hisense and Changhong from a retailer and be in an infinitely better position than me. It is easier to hold them accountable, and like you say, it’s as simple as taking the TV back and demanding a refund – which you’d definitely receive.

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Tony October 7, 2018 at 2:59 pm

I just got my Kogan 65″ 4K LED TV (Series 8 JU8000)

DELIVERY
Delivery was a big issue. Each item (TV and Wall Mount Bracket) was dispatched by different couriers, but was advised of that only after confirmation of the order. The nearest location to my home that Kogan would deliver to is Tullamarine and meant a return trip by me 80km each way to collect from there. Incorrect Australia Post tracking number was provided for the Wall Mount bracket, and because of that I needed to make 2 trips to Tullamarine (unable to redirect it without the correct tracking number).

PICTURE
From the website:

A 4K television is the only way to truly experience films the way their makers designed them to be seen; reproducing all the subtle detail and texture of the original image with an intense depth that draws you into the picture. Colours reach their full potential, with every blend and tonal shift appearing bright and brilliant on the screen.

This description is downright false. Colours are washed out and varies between channels.

SOUND
I did not buy it for the sound, but I did not expect it to be this bad. Horrible to even hear it, hard to understand. In another (smaller) TV which has similar speakers inside has at least an equalizer enabling me to make the sound tolerable. This one only has treble and bass adjustment
which does very little.

This has to go back.

Currently the website contains this statement:
> We are unable to accept this product for return under the terms of our Returns Policy for ‘change of mind’ purposes.

At the time I ordered mine, there was no such statement. Besides there are statutory rights.

Now they want me to take a video or photo from the screen. For starters I don’t have a decent camera and a photo will not show the louzy picture. They can say my camera is faulty (which it is).

I read some reviews, wished I had read these.

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Sean McKellar October 18, 2018 at 6:34 am

The sound on mine is also incredibly shit, but you do get used to the shit-ness over time. It’s also incredibly difficult to take a photo of the screen, as most cameras will adjust and make the screen look better than it does in reality.

It’s too late for us, but warn your friends and your family. At least we can save them!

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Tony October 7, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Forgot to mention:

Even on HD channels, the picture is blurry.

Just made another discovery:
THERE IS NO PROGRAM GUIDE !!!

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Sean McKellar October 18, 2018 at 6:34 am

There probably is a TV guide (it took a while for me to find it) but it is one of the worst I’ve ever seen.

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Stuart bowers October 8, 2018 at 8:06 pm

Absolutley useless tv. Hate it. So much fucking about. Have to change batteries in remote every 4 days. Fuckimg ovet kogan. They can get fucked. Bring on samsung

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maverik October 17, 2018 at 10:35 am

yep… 42 inch smart TV… three years old… they say they cant fix it….they say theres no spare parts but i know i can buy them on line…which i will…. this sort of contyrived greed from the rich and the elite has got to be looked at… we cant go on with legal scams like kogan and the rest of them… and keep taking it on the chin…. ill never buy from them again … in fact im sick of their plastic technology and their fake news and scams like kogan… and will probably just play a guitar in the future

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Paul Edwards October 17, 2018 at 5:03 pm

My Kogan 52″ Curved 4k failed to work from first use and they had the cheek to get me to do firmware updates, which failed to make it work. If I was a pensioner with no tech savvy then how would I have been able to sort this! Now 6 emails later they will not respond to advise on collection of the faulty TV. There are no contact numbers that allow you to speak to a human and I’m now at the point where I need to go legal on them. Costly, but they cannot get away with this extremely poor service. Why have a customer care service when it obviously does not care.

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Sean McKellar October 18, 2018 at 6:37 am

Sorry to hear that Paul. I hope they’re able to rectify your issue, although I imagine you’re going to be without a TV for a while.

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Marc October 18, 2018 at 9:52 pm

Received my Kogan 55 ” HDR 4K TV today after 2 weeks chasing up the courier (TOLL) who couldn’t locate it despite telline me EVERY DAY I would receive it the next one.

Verdict: It is bad. The image is blurry, the colours are uneven and the sound is straight out of a can.

Remember the horrible TV you had in that cheap roadside motel room? Yes, that is the one.

I found this thread trying to found out what my rights were regarding returns.

I too would be happy to pay to send it back to get a refund, like you would expect from any retailer when unsatisfied.

What I am reading is that it is not possible, which means I am stuck with this piece of rubbish.

Very disappointed.

It is not the first time I have had issues with Kogan but I gave them the benefit of the doubt despite their painful customer service. This time I won’t.

It is the last time I deal with them. And I will be spreading the word.

Please don’t take a chance as you WILL be disappointed.

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Tony October 23, 2018 at 4:06 am

Kogan are THIEVES.

As confirmed by email from them, if they accept the return of your TV, they will give you an in-store credit, WHICH EXPIRES AFTER 6 MONTHS.

What does that mean? They will forfeit your credit.

22 Oct 2018:

Paul M (Kogan.com Help Desk)

22 Oct., 12:42 AEDT

Hi Toon,

Thanks for your reply, and I’m sorry for the delay in our response.

I can confirm that the credit will expire at the six month date, after which it can no longer be used.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

Kindest regards,

Paul M
Customer Care Team

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