By Chris Nicholls

MELBOURNE: Pioneer Australia will cease its trademark free installation and delivery service on Kuro plasmas after 1 September, saying consumers were no longer concerned with service and more focused on other features when buying a TV.

In its announcement, Pioneer Australia said the decision came as the flat panel market had matured and “future-readiness of the product, energy efficiency and product reliability” had substituted installation and delivery as “primary purchase concerns” for consumers.

While no details were given of any possible replacement offers, obvious options include replacing the incentives with another offer and maintaining the price of the current eighth generation models or dropping the price.

The decision comes after a turbulent six months for the brand, with a major restructure, the consequent decision to cease in-house panel manufacturing and a recent local price drop.

The free installation and delivery service had also come in for criticism from retailers, who missed out on lucrative delivery fees as a result.

Pioneer said it will be keeping its five year warranty, though, despite the removal of the other incentives.

“With Pioneer closing the door on a defining chapter in our flat panel business, we commence a fresh new era and are currently exploring new business opportunities that help create a strong point of difference for the brand in a very competitive flat panel market,” said Pioneer home entertainment PR and events manager, Michael Broadhurst.

Details on the upcoming replacement offer will be “available soon”, said Broadhurst.