Tuesday, April 26, 2011

UPDATED Review: Samsung Won't Honor Warranty on $1500 Flat Screen TV

Well, here goes. Last year in March my husband purchased a Samsung Flat Screen TV. He also purchased a Sound Bar Surround System by Samsung, and we purchased a Samsung Bottom Freezer French Door Refrigerator. MAJOR Purchases. This year we purchased a Samsung Electric Convection (Flat Top Glass) Range.

And very soon after, we ran into our first warranty claim with Samsung. The first Three Samsung Appliances (TV, Surround, and Fridge) were purchased at Sears. The Range we purchased at a local dealer, because of our previous issues with Sears service and their warranties. We no longer purchase extended warranties from Sears because of the difficulty that we had with our dishwasher, which ended up being replaced as a lemon. Eventually. Most of you know all about that story.... and it's here if you want to read it.

I was sitting watching Masterpiece Theater one Sunday night, and Evan came home, and said "What's that on the TV Screen?" and I said, you know, that little red line? I noticed it but thought it was just something on PBS. He looked at it and was immediately concerned, he thought it looked like a dead pixel. The problem began to "spread" as the line widened a tiny bit and started to run down the screen, like blood.

I called Sears and was told the television was TWO DAYS out of warranty. Yes. Seriously. TWO DAYS. When I started to press the issue, I was repeatedly transferred, and when I said that it was TWO DAYS after the date of purchase, but not two years after the date the TV Was shipped to the store and picked up, they then started to look into that, taking their time.

In the meantime, I called Samsung and was immediately told that the television was in fact still under warranty. They told me that an authorized repairperson would be calling us to setup a service call. I was assigned a service ticket, #4008058931. Within One Day we had a phone call from United Electronics, a small, one-person repair shop Authorized by Samsung. He came out within about a day, and looked at the TV. Immediately he was stumped. There was no damage whatsoever to the outer shell of the TV, the frame, or the screen. NONE. (which we already knew. Nothing had happened to the TV. I don't even DUST the TV, only Evan touches it, and the issue was right at eye level when you are standing in front of the TV, in the upper left area.) He took the television apart. He couldn't find what was causing the problem. He said that he would be contacting Samsung and someone would get back to us. He called back and said that he needed to take photos of the screen issue. Again, he came to the house (one week from the last time, on a Tuesday, which meant again that I wasn't home) and took photos of the TV.

The first time that he came, Evan said that he was a nice enough guy, but didn't really seem qualified to be repairing the TV. When he left that first time, he left TWO SCREWS out of the TV and Evan couldn't see where they came from. Likely somewhere inside the TV. Evan moved them to the top of our Office Armoire and when he returned the second time, he gave the man the screws and asked him to put them back, which he did NOT do. Two screws are still out of the television.

Evan was also very concerned and appalled with the way the man pushed on the Television screen. Evan said he was tapping and pounding on the screen, and pushing on it very strongly. Evan was very concerned because he wouldn't even let me DUST the TV, let alone have someone push on it. He couldn't believe that they would be that rough with something that we had thought was so delicate.

The Television shows NO issues when it is off. You can only see the pixelation when the TV is on. In fact, I just took photos of that too. Smooth as glass. Not a scratch, ding, mark, etc. And now our concern is that with all the pushing and pressing and tapping on the screen, and with having the TV taken apart AND having screws not replaced, we might have more issues than if we had never filed the claim.

The repairman called back and left me a voicemail. He told us that Samsung was not going to honor the warranty on the TV, for repair or replacement, and that the repair ticket was being closed. He said that Samsung said the damage was caused by an external force or damage to the screen of the TV. We KNOW this is not true, we never have had anything hit or touch the TV, and the repairman was the hardest on the Television that we have ever witnessed. We also know there is no scratch, knick, dent, or mark on the Television, and the repairman said the same thing himself. He told Evan that if the TV had been hit, the screen would had to have been cracked or damaged on the outside in order to cause that much damage on the inside. In the voicemail, the repairman told me that if I had questions to call Samsung Directly.

Tonight I took some photographs of the TV. It isn't easy to do because you get these strange "lines" when you photograph a television. But I assume that my photos are probably better than the repairman's, simply because I have a D3000 and he had a cheap Kodak Easy Share.

I intend to call Samsung and ask WHO made the determination, and pursue the issue further. This is very disappointing. Evan and I thought we had found a brand that we could count on, purchased FOUR appliances from them, and now with our first warranty claim, it is denied.

Stay Tuned....

We have uploaded pictures of the television, that we personally took after Samsung denied our warranty claim. You can see the interior issue that makes the pink/red on the screen when the TV is on. There is no evidence of anything wrong anywhere on the outside of the TV. it is immaculate. I took a photo of the TV off also. we are absolutely unsure of where the alleged "damage" is. The red line is located exactly 5 feet off the ground, out of the reach of anyone under 30 in this house. There are no scratches, no breakage, and no imperfections anywhere. The repairman told us that there is no damage to the TV itself anywhere, and that if the line was caused by "damage" the screen would have had to have been hit hard enough to crack the glass, which obviously did not happen. Our photos are here:

UPDATE- Called Samsung Tonight (Monday April 11th, 2011. ) Ticket is being reopened and now handled by their Executive Customer Relations Department, someone from that department will be calling me tomorrow. New Ticket Number is #4008130514 - I also told the rep about the repairman tapping and pounding on the screen. Also about leaving the screws out. - Spoke with Claude in Customer Service.

UPDATE2- called Samsung again tonight (Tuesday April 12th at 9:30pm) as NO ONE from any Samsung Department called me today. I had left a voicemail with the initial customer service rep who opened my ticket, and no call back and no action on the ticket. I also had spoke to Claude who escalated the claim and reopened the new ticket, as above. The new customer service rep read the ticket and said it has been forwarded to that department and that the Samsung Executive Customer Service Department is now conversing with the "Authorized Repair Center" (the guy who pounded on the screen) to see what he has to say. Nothing like ignoring the customer. I told them I will wait for a call tomorrrow. She said "Probably wait till at least Thursday"

UPDATE: called Samsung again Tuesday April 26th because I had not heard back from them AT ALL regarding the new ticket and the Executive Customer Service Department. Of course I had to go through two people, and tell my story over AGAIN to each of them. I was finally told that they had "called me back" and I told them that I had NOT received a call back. I told them they have one telephone number for me and I have voicemail and received no message. They told me they left me a voicemail. LIE! I was told that again the TV had been determined as physical damage and that the problem was not covered by warranty. I told them AGAIN that I wanted to know WHO made that determination and that I want to speak with THAT PERSON and I want to know exactly where this physical damage is to the TV. I was finally told that they would "see if there was a supervisor available to speak with me." (this was about 15 minutes into the call.) At about 20 minutes into the call, she was still trying to locate a supervisor. at 10am. On a Tuesday. I was eventually transferred to Shauna who is a supervisor in the Executive Customer Relations area. Shauna told me that their technicians determined the TV to be physical damage. I calmly (proud of myself) explained that we KNOW the television is not damaged and we are positive that it is immaculate. I explained that I want to speak to someone who made this determination and I want them to show me the physical damage that they see in the photographs, because we see none and know the TV has been kept safe and high in the air. She told me that there is "no phone number or extension" for the technicians and they just can not be spoken to. (the great and powerful oz! *insert image of small balding man behind a large cubical here*)

So I asked Shauna what a person like me was to do next. What is my next step. She said that while she cannot override the decision made by the technicians, she can accept additional photos (which I have taken) and forward them to the technicians for review and they can look their decision over again. She said that I could then appeal the decision at a higher level, such as sending a letter to the corporate office. She then gave me email and mailing addresses to both. I will begin by sending Shauna an email with the photos and a description of the problem.

Email address to send to Shauna- snaecr_ag52@sea.samsung.com
1-800-522-7341 option 7 extension 85158

Corporate Mailing Address:

Samsung Electronics America
85 Challenger Road
7th Floor
Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660
Attn: David Choi

email: officeofpresident@SEA.Samsung.com

Let's see if this gets us anywhere. If they can show me the physical damage to the TV, I would understand. But there just isn't any.

I also went ahead and filed a complaint with the BBB, and the BBB of New Jersey will be handling the complaint.

BBB of New Jersey
(Trenton, NJ)
1700 Whitehorse Hamilton Sq. Rd St D-5
Trenton, NJ 08690-3596
Phone: (609)588-0808
Fax: (609)588-0546
Web: http://www.trenton.bbb.org

UPDATE: on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 I received an email from the Better Business Bureau regarding my complaint, notifying me that my information had been forwarded to Samsung in a formal complaint

From the BBB

Complaint ID#: 80184788
Business Name: Samsung Electronics America Inc.

Thank you for contacting BBB. Your complaint was received by BBB on April 26, 2011 and has been assigned case# 80184788in our files. Please make a note of this number for future reference.

Your complaint has been applied to the following business:
Samsung Electronics America Inc.
85 Challenger Rd Fl 7
Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660-2118

Your BBB team has reviewed the case and sent it to the business for their response. Please note it can take up to 30 business days to resolve a dispute.

This business has an initial deadline of May 11, 2011 to respond to your complaint. If BBB does not receive an answer by the deadline, we will send a reminder to the company. You may contact our office after May 11, 2011 to check the status of your complaint.

We encourage you to use our ONLINE COMPLAINT system to keep up with the progress of this complaint. To view the details of your case please go to the following website address:


This email was received at 5:23am, and at 2:22pm today (the very same afternoon) I received a voicemail from Samsung Electronics asking me to return their call to 201-373-5429 regarding me BBB Complaint, and they gave me a transaction #3000646907. We were sleeping (naptime) so while the kids were eating supper I decided to give a call back in a moment of quiet. The voicemail that I reached said simply “Your call has not been answered.” And then gave me the option to enter another extension or to leave a message. I left a message. I then also decided to call back and try the other option to see what would happen next. I couldn’t understand the woman’s name in her voicemail, it was obvious that English was not her first language, and to be honest, even if I had understood her I don’t think I could possibly have spelled it. I am not usually concerned with anyone’s ethnicity, but the language barrier might be a difficult one when it comes to something like this. Her accent was very heavy, and I had to listen to her message three times to get the numbers correct. Hopefully I called the right telephone number. When returning the call the second time, and trying 0 for an operator, I did not receive anyone, but was instead directed back to the voicemail.


AJ said...

I totally feel your pain!! We are in the middle of a warranty battle with Samsung over our front load washer!!

Jess said...

That's a real bummer, Meagan, I'm sorry! I can't believe they wouldn't honor the warranty, and then would go so far as to send a repairman out but then have the gall not to cover the issue further. Wow. Way to lose a customer! I hope you can push them to relent, especially when you tell them how many appliances of theirs you have recently purchased and the very bad customer report you will be telling every one of your friends if they do not help you out!

Also, btw, I love that you were watching Masterpiece Theater when this all started! I LOVE Masterpiece Theater!!

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