I can’t believe what I’m reading… the post from August 30, 2012 is exactly what I’m experiencing. I just wish I had read it earlier.
My wife and I purchased a Samsung Chromebook through Amazon.com on December 12, 2012. The product received great reviews everywhere we looked, and it was so popular that it was sold out at the big box stores like Best Buy and Staples. It was on back-order at Amazon as well. We finally got our Chromebook on December 27 and opened the box and read through the instructions to get it started up.
Right out of the box the thing didn’t work; it had a blank white screen and wouldn’t do anything. I went to the Samsung web site followed the Samsung troubleshooting process to no avail. So I called 1-800-SAMSUNG and was able to quickly get a ticket number and return authorization with a UPS label. I shipped it out the next day. So far, so good; I was upset but sometimes things just don’t work so I wasn’t too worried about it.
We received our Chromebook back from the repair center on January 9, 2013 and it worked just great… for about 36 hours. Then the blank white screen came up again. I called the customer support number and they told me I would have to send it back a SECOND time. I wasn’t too pleased with that reply so I requested a replacement instead of a repair. The front-line customer service rep wasn’t authorized to do that, so I was transferred to speak with someone in Executive Customer Relations. The representative from the ECR group repeated the line that I would have to get it repaired a second time before a replacement or refund could be granted, so I stupidly agreed to those terms and sent the Chromebook back again.
In hindsight, I should have returned it to Amazon for a refund, but I liked how the Chromebook worked on that one day that it actually did work so I figured I’d give it a shot. The ECR rep swore on a stack of Bibles that if the second repair didn’t work that I would be able to get my money back or get a replacement issued immediately, as long as the malfunction occurred within the 1-year warranty window.
The Intelisol repair center received the Chromebook on January 16, and the online tracking page stated that the repair was estimated to be complete by January 21 or thereabouts. I hadn’t received any updates as of January 23 so I called 1-800-SAMSUNG to see what was going on. The Customer Service rep found out that the parts were on back-order. I checked the repair tracking page and now there was an estimated repair date of January 28. Unfortunately for me, the return window from Amazon expires on January 31. So I called back and asked to speak with the Executive Customer Relations group again, this time to ask for my refund or replacement immediately. I was told that it would take anywhere from 2 – 3 days to get authorization for a refund or replacement. Wait… aren’t these the guys who are supposed to be able to authorize these things???
So, barring a replacement or refund, I asked if they could get the defective unit that I paid for shipped back to me so I could then send it back to Amazon to get my money back. I was put on hold while the ECR rep supposedly called the anti-repair center to request that it get shipped back to me. They came back on the line about 4 minutes later only to report that they couldn’t reach anyone at the repair center and had to leave an “urgent” message for them to send the unit back to me. I asked for the Intelisol phone number so I could call myself – (FYI it is 817-230-5230) – and I entered a voicemail maze. I could not reach a human being.
At this point I’m considering the CEO email option – and interestingly there are some email addresses on the “On Your Side” wiki (http://onyoursi.de/wiki/electronics/samsung-electronics-corporation/). Fortunately the Chromebook was cheap (I guess you get what you pay for) but it’s still money that I can’t afford to just donate to an international conglomerate.