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A hard shopping lesson taught by APEX

Matt Burns

Lets be honest. How many of us have been tempted to buy an entry-level (read: cheap-no-name-but-it-is-a-heck-of-a-deal) consumer electronic? Most have 'cause they might have a great picture or the styling is rather nice. You would think that in these days of class action lawsuits and consumer watchdog groups that manufactures would not be able to get away with selling...crap. Well, this isn't entirely true. Walk into any major electronics store like Best Buy or Circuit City and take a look at their lineup. They will have some nice name brand products and then some no-name entry-level products at the other end of the price range. Ron Donoho bought the APEX at the low-end of the scale and is now paying the repercussion.

Most people remember APEX as a rock bottom priced product line-up sold almost exclusively by Walmart and Circuit City from 2002-2005. Ron purchased his 27-inch APEX LCD from Circuit City in February of '05 and well, it broke. Very long story short, he declined the extended service plan from CC but it still had parts covered by APEX and local service centers won't touch the set because of bad relations with APEX. In fact APEX themselves are in heaps of trouble with the Chinese government (CEO was physically tortured for fraud and bad debt - can we send Ken Lay over there?) so they aren't any help at all. So the moral of the story? Sometimes those entry-level products that look like such a good deal might not be that. Sure, there are always exceptions to the rule and even name brand products go bad, but more often then not, they outlast no-name products.

Mr. Ron Donoho has a very lengthy write-up on his experiences with APEX that might be worth a read if you are in the market for a new TV. We are curious to hear your experiences with entry-level product lines like APEX. Tell us everything - good or bad.

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