The Case Of The Disappearing Samsung Television, Will It Ever Be Found?

What do you do when Samsung is supposed to ship you a replacement TV, but all you get is a list of excuses?

Samsung can’t tell reader Marta which carrier shipped her replacement TV or provide her with a tracking number. The TV can’t be located in the retail warehouse that Samsung says they sent it to, and they won’t authorize the warehouse’s owner to give her a different, identical TV. This has been going on for 4 months.

Here’s Marta’s letter:

All I want is my TV!

Hi there, do I ever have a tale of customer service gone awry.

This past April I bought what I thought was a beautiful big screen Samsung LCD flat screen TV. (47″ LCD LNS4696) I took it home and loved it, until it died on me two months later. The back light was dead. Now I had volume but no picture. On June 18th I called the customer service people from The Brick, Transglobal Services. They sent a tech out the following day. The tech found the problem and a part was ordered. By mid August, still having no working TV I was told that the part was stuck in Korea and so Samsung will provide me a replacement. On August 29th I was offered a replacement TV by Samsung directly. I accepted the offer and asked how long it will take to get it to me. I was told about 2 weeks.

I asked whether they could simply authorize the Brick to give me one out of their stock (they had lots of the replacement models in stock) and was told that it would be much faster and better to simply take the one they were going to ship as the paperwork to authorize the Brick to give me one would take a month or more. So I said o.k.

By mid September, still no TV and no news from Samsung, the Brick or Transglobal. I called all three, got passed around to various people at various levels of authority. Finally I was told that it takes Samsung 14 days to process the order (before they ship it). No one told me that in August. I then inquired how long it takes to get it to me. I was told 5 or 6 days. Two weeks go by, still no TV.

On October 4th I again contacted Samsung, Transglobal and the Brick. No one knew where the TV was. No one could even tell me what shipping company it was sent with. Later that day, having heard nothing, I called again. By this time there are probably 10 to 15 different people “working on it” for me. Finally, someone at Samsung was able to tell me that the TV was shipped on September 20th, which was two weeks earlier. Of course, not knowing who they shipped it with, we had a useless tracking number that wasn’t from Canpar, Purolator, UPS, FedEx or any other shipper that I could think of to suggest to Samsung to check. I again asked that they allow The Brick to replace it. They tell me they can’t do that until they find out where the TV is.

Again, I was told they would keep looking. The following day, still having heard nothing I call Samsung again. They tell me that they had located the TV and that it was delivered to a Brick warehouse in Mississauga. I live in Ottawa, 6 hours away so that is still no good to me. They did tell me that someone would call me for a delivery date shortly. Having had the runaround for months, I ask for the number to the warehouse so I could call. They don’t have a number. They tell me to talk to The Brick store and they’ll get me in touch.

I then go to the Brick and a wonderful customer service woman gets on the phone. She experienced the same runaround as I did and spent an hour and half on the phone trying to find the TV for me and to get Samsung’s permission to simply give me one out of the back store room given that I was standing right there.

Samsung refused, saying the TV they sent is the TV I can have, and it has to be that specific one, notwithstanding that they have tons of the same model in the back – all they needed was a P.O. number authorizing the exchange. That was met with a resounding “no”.

It’s now October 9th and no one has been able to even physically locate the TV in Mississauga so that it can be shipped to me. I haven’t had use of it in 4 months and have only owned it for 6 months. Samsung has done nothing to assist me, and only wasted hours and hours of my time.

Please help!! I need some suggestions from your readers on how to proceed! Has anyone else gotten a 4 month runaround from Samsung?

Thanks again,

Marta S.

Let’s see. Yes, we have heard of the Samsung runaround before. We’re going to recommend the Executive Email Carpet Bomb in this case. You’re caught between two companies pointing fingers. Feel free to escalate your complaint with both companies, but it seems to us that Samsung should have shipped the TV to you directly, and it was their mistake to ship it to the wrong address.

It might even be time to start whispering “small claims court,” but since you’re in Canada, we’ll turn the mic over to our many fine Canadian commenters.

(Photo:nomad73)

Comments

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  1. gatopeligroso says:

    Have you had any success with Samsung Customer Care at 1-800-747-5618? Aside from that, Maybe you could get your Credit Card company involved. A charge-back might be a good place to start.

  2. Trevor says:

    I had the SAME exact thing happen to me. I purchased a 42 inch Plasma in November of 05, they had to repair it the next month, then later in the year the same part broke, the said they’d send me a new tv. They couldn’t tell me who they were shipping it with or when it would come, they informed me that they would be sending me a new TV in October, I didn’t get it until MARCH. You have to really keep on top of them, I didn’t get anywhere with executive customer support. Eventually they did deliver the TV, but I don’t think I’ll ever buy another Samsung TV again.

  3. kerrington.steele says:

    what is this Brick she keeps referring to? I assume it’s the electronics retailer she bought the TV from. so my next question is: should one really buy delicate and easily-troubled consumer electronics from a place called THE BRICK?

    and yes, I realize this is mostly Samsung’s fault. but still — hilarious wordplay!

  4. XianZhuXuande says:

    That is some truly crappy customer service. I would be livid.

    I agree with the executive carpet bomb suggestion.

  5. KernelPanic says:

    I had a similar problem with a an old school 21″ CRT monitor. The replacement monitor they eventually sent was damaged in shipping and getting a prepaid return tag took weeks. They did eventually get their original replacement monitor back and did ship out a new replacement that wasn’t all that great of a replacement. From what I could tell the replacement process was outsourced to a third part that really didn’t give a shit. I was constantly reassured that the product had shipped or the shipping tag was in the mail. In all it took almost 45 days and nearly 10 phone calls. There was a lot of “You told me that last time” or “you said it shipped on…”

    As LCD manufacturer I love Samsung (I have four on my desk at the moment and one in the corner) but their repair/replacement service really sucks.

    Get a clue Samsung.

    kp

  6. motoraway says:

    @GeneralLeigh:
    Correct, the Brick is a electronics/furniture retailer. Oddly enough, the company is owned by NHL star Mike Comrie’s (who is dating Hilary Duff) father.

  7. Crymson_77 says:

    I would be expecting some serious compensation for time spent on this from Samsung, to include the upgrading of the replacement tv to a 50″+ model rather than a simple replacement. Four months to have a tv fixed is outrageous and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canadian consumer authorities would like to get involved on her behalf. EECB to Samsung, and CC the Brick as backup and demand that Samsung provide a PO to the Brick for the best model on the floor in your choice of size (leave room for negotiation as that is a rather expensive proposition anyway).

  8. DjDynasty says:

    American’s have a name for Samsung. it’s “Samsuck” because their products, their after the sale customer service, and the general policy of dealing with that company just SUCK!

  9. Crymson_77 says:

    Nah…they are Korean and all the crazy that is Kim Jong Il seems to percolate into their bloodstreams regardless of whether they are North or South or how much they fight it.

  10. Imaginary_Friend says:

    I’m constantly amazed by tales like this — not only by the sheer amount of suck that is Samsung customer service, but I’m equally amazed that grown adults will let themselves be jerked around like this. Don’t you have any pride? Do you put any value whatsoever on your time? Geez!

    Call your credit card company and insist on a chargeback. That’s what it’s for. If that doesn’t work, go to the store where you bought the defective merchandise and reason with the manager. If that doesn’t work, small claims court.

    If consumers would stop rolling over and letting these companies get away with this bullshit, they’d be forced to mend their evil ways.

  11. dmann99 says:

    Is it too late to get a credit card chargeback moving?

    Tell them they can have their money when they deliver a working TV.

    And lets hope the replacement TV last longer than the first one.

  12. Sidecutter says:

    @DjDynasty: Do we? They’re actually quite highly regarded for their products in the computer world.

    I happen to have three of their monitors. I also have a CRT TV and cellphone from them and am happy with them all.

  13. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Crymson_77: Okay.

  14. w_boodle says:

    Does the clock on your warranty keep ticking while you wait? I’d look into it.

  15. howie_in_az says:

    My father got a DOA TV once. Took it right back to Circuit City, who tried to give him the run-around, until my father started yelling “ARE ALL THE TVS IN THIS STORE BROKEN LIKE MY TV WAS BECAUSE I DON’T WANT ANOTHER BROKEN TV” in earshot of potential customers talking to salespeople. I was trying so hard not to laugh, but there were two salespeople and a manager trying to keep him from yelling about broken TVs. He got a free DVD player out of it though.

  16. Imaginary_Friend says:

    Howie’s Dad is my hero.

  17. XTC46 says:

    @howie_in_az: While I don’t typically agree with that type of behavior, under the right circumstances it would funny as hell. Mistakes happen, people get sent broken TVs computers, etc people need to realize that and just be patient some times. However, managers also need to realize that there store made a mistake and fix it as fast as possible, and not dick around customers.