Samsung Customer Service Operates At Knuckleball Speed In Replacing Bluetooth

Despite what that rascal Shakespeare would have you believe, all that ends well isn’t necessarily well. Example: When your Bluetooth headset breaks and Samsung wouldn’t warranty it out for several weeks, denying you your basic human right to roam hallways talking loudly into your own ear.

Craig tells us how Samsung got on his s-list:

On 6/3/09, I received authorization to return a defective WEP170 Bluetooth headset for warranty service. The headset was then sent back to me, without service. The reason given was that the proof-of purchase I supplied didn’t have the seller’s name and address printed on it. The invoice I provided actually did have that information, but for whatever reason, it was still returned to me.

I contacted customer service again on 6/19/09 to attempt to resolve the issue. The initial CSR I spoke to, after an hour or so of back-and-forth and being placed on hold numerous times, assured me that the reasons given were valid, in spite of me holding an invoice with the requested information. After getting nowhere with the initial CSR, I asked to be transferred to a supervisor. I did, and was disconnected after she placed me on hold.

I called in again, and immediately asked to be transferred to a supervisor. She looked into my file, and found that the reasons given were as I mentioned earlier. I offered to send her a copy of the invoice, with the information requested, and she accepted. She then apologized for the confusion, gave me a new repair ticket number, and informed me a new headset would be on its way shortly.

On 6/22/09, I checked the UPS tracking number provided to me, and I discovered the new headset was apparently heading to Lousiana. I’m in Oregon. So on 6/23/09, I again contacted customer service to inform them of the issue. The CSR I spoke with, after being placed on hold for about 10 minutes or so, informed me that I had to contact UPS myself to correct the error. I refused, as this is clearly an error on the shipper’s part. I mean, I’m no geography expert, but I’m pretty sure Louisiana isn’t anywhere near Oregon.

I then asked again to be transferred to a supervisor. After being placed on hold again, she informed me that an investigation would be taking place as to why the package was scheduled for delivery in Louisiana. I can make the investigation pretty simple – UPS is delivering it there because it’s clear it was addressed there. Now, as to WHY it was addressed there, I don’t know. That supervisor then told me that I would find out in 24-48 hours exactly what happened.

24-48 hours passed without any notice from them. Finally, on 6/24/09, I received an email notice informing that my a replacement (the original headset I had, WEP170, has been discontinued and it was replaced with a WEP180) headset had been shipped. However, no tracking number was provided. I waited two days to see if it would show up — the initial replacement shipment was sent UPS Next-day — but still nothing. I’m going to call again tomorrow (6/29/09) to see exactly what is going on now.

I don’t really expect this situation to be resolved expeditiously (or even resolved at all) at this point. All I want is a functional headset, and now that we’re going on three weeks and a whole lot of time wasted on the phone, I don’t know if I’m ever going to get that – that is, unless I give up and just buy a new one.

However, I will say this. Although there are surely thousands upon thousands of other potential customers out there, Samsung has done a wonderful job of losing me. I have, in the past, been quite satisfied with Samsung products. But I know now that should these products ever go bad, I can pretty much assume I’ll receive no help from Samsung customer service. I doubt that I’ll ever purchase anything else from Samsung, and I’ll make sure no one I know does either. Sure, a small drop in the bucket, but I’d rather save others from the frustration of dealing with Samsung’s non-existent customer service.

Craig kept nagging — no doubt doubly resolved to win because he was forced to do so with the indignity of holding his phone to his head as he spoke — and eventually got justice:

It was finally resolved! After calling again on Monday 6/29, the initial CSR once again had no idea where my replacement headset was. After being connected to a very terse-sounding supervisor, I was finally given a tracking number. Interestingly, this time it was sent UPS Ground, after being sent intially (to the wrong address) UPS Next Day. I received the headset on 7/1, charged it up, and it’s good to go. Thus ending my nearly month-long customer service saga.

Things may be OK for Craig now, but Samsung can’t give him back his lost month of hands-free talking. Which is a tragedy of lost potential worthy of King Ear — I mean Lear.

(Photo: Eric Hauser)