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Samsung, a large Korean company, makes popular electronic products and household appliances at a reasonable price.
I often work with Samsung to resolve consumer problems that may crop up in the first years of ownership. Here are a few recent stories.
Phone’s memory conks out
Terry Webb bought an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime phone online from Costco in June 2016. Within 11 months, it developed memory problems, causing some apps not to work.
Attempts to fix the phone over a four-week period came to nothing. When the phone wouldn’t start up at all, Samsung agreed to replace it.
However, Webb was told she had to supply the phone’s IMEI number. This is a unique 15-digit code used by mobile service providers to authorize a phone in the network.
You can find the IMEI number by checking the phone’s settings or entering *#06# on the call screen – assuming the phone still works. Webb’s phone wasn’t working.
Samsung told her to find the IMEI number on her Costco receipt. But Costco said it didn’t put the number on its receipts.
Webb kept calling and writing to Costco and Samsung, asking about the missing IMEI number. She never got a reply, but only a request to visit another service centre.
“This will be the sixth trip Samsung has sent me on to get my phone fixed or replaced,” Webb said.
I contacted both Costco and Samsung on June 21. Two weeks later, Costco spokesperson Ron Damiani told me the file had been closed.
“Costco gave me a refund for the phone and bonus dollars for all of my trouble,” Webb reported. “Samsung offered me a new phone after Costco came through, but I had purchased one (not a Samsung).”
Glass stove cracks
Jack Tang found his Samsung glass cook-top stove developed a crack just over three years after he bought it.
“Nothing was dropped on the cook-top and the crack formed by itself,” Tang said. “A typical stove would last 10 years.
“No matter how I explained my story, Samsung kept insisting the warranty didn’t cover physical damage.
“How can a top-of-the-line appliance last only three years? My research shows it’s about $ 500 to replace the cook top. For $ 500, Samsung is losing so much more on potential future sales.”
Samsung reviewed Tang’s file after I intervened. It sent a technician to inspect his unit, followed by a free replacement of his glass stove top.
Fridge leaks water
Angela Forgione had a Samsung twin-cooling French door refrigerator, purchased in September 2015. She found water pooling inside the crisper drawer, spilling down onto the base and freezing.
Samsung sent a technician, who used a drying device to defrost the ice. He also offered her an upgrade that would cost $ 272.
Forgione decided to keep fighting after finding a CBC Marketplace clip from 2015 featuring a woman with the same fridge model as hers and the same problem.
“When I posted my scenario on Facebook, I also had several people respond to me, saying they were in the exact same situation. I’m so frustrated I could spit,” she said.
Samsung spokesperson Jennifer Groh said the service department would reach out to the customer right away.
When I checked back with Forgione, she had received a refund for the $ 126 repair bill – and a promise from Samsung to install the upgrade free of charge.
Washer leaves residue
Kitty Sudworth had a Samsung washing machine, still under warranty, that was leaving a white residue on the clothes. After trying to diagnose the problem by phone, Samsung sent a technician to her home.
“He did not know how to solve the problem, but suggested doing an extra rinse. This doesn’t help,” she said.
Spokesperson Groh said the customer was advised that the machine was working properly. It’s meant to use less water to save energy.
“The technician provided recommendations to the customer to use the extra rinse feature and to use less soap to prevent this issue from happening again,” she said.
Sudworth said she’d followed Samsung’s instructions and always got the same result. She never exceeded the maximum amount of soap indicated by the machine’s soap filler.
An online magazine called The Spruce points out that high-efficiency washing machines – both top-loading and front-loading – use much less water during the wash and rinse cycles.
“Using too much detergent can leave residue on clothes,” The Spruce said, adding that using more than two teaspoons of detergent with high-efficiency machines can result in streaks.
My advice: Major appliances should work properly and last for years. You have to push manufacturers to live up to their legal warranties, which are more generous than the restricted warranties they offer.
Ellen Roseman’s column runs each week in Smart Money (firstname.lastname@example.org ).