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)


Edit Your Comment

  1. MostlyHarmless says:

    I bet Craig did not expect a backhanded compliment when he sent this in. And in before the people who yell “people who drive while talking on bluetooth headsets should be euthanized”.

    • DoubleEcho says:

      @MostlyHarmless: No, only the ones who talk on them while in the bathroom. I have no idea why someone needs to urinate while seemingly talking to themselves in front of other people.

      The even weirder ones do it in the stall. With grunts.

    • DefineStatutory says:


      I’d rather they talk on their bluetoof while driving than text, so I don’t mind that so much. But, once you’re out of the car, take the freaking thing off.

      Nothing says douchebag more than a person in the grocery store, or the coffee shop, or pretty much anyplace except a car with a bluetooth in their ear. Its an appliance, not jewelry.

      • Shaftoe says:

        @DefineStatutory: Aye. I bought a couple of cheap headsets at costco for my wife and myself to use in the car. Once I got them charged and bound to our phones I we put them on and remarked at how much of a douchbag we looked in them. To this day we dont call them headsets but we call them douchbags

        • pigbearpug says:

          @Shaftoe: Douchebag is a term so perfectly descriptive of people wo wear those headsets. I just realized that you used the term in this thread before I did…didn’t mean to poach. I would argue that bluetooth headsets are more douchebaggy than an actual douchebag…if such a thing exists.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @MostlyHarmless: I don’t understand why bluetooth bugs people.

      I understand why being unnecessarily loud bugs people.
      I understand why hearing TMI bugs people.

      But both of those things happen even when someone’s not even using bluetooth. Hell, people do that without even using a cell phone.

      • MostlyHarmless says:

        @Rectilinear Propagation: I suppose its just because the headsets facilitate doing that to a greater degree.

        And also because people looooooove to generalize and call things/other people names.

      • pigbearpug says:

        @Rectilinear Propagation:
        @MostlyHarmless: It’s also because it makes you look and act like a total douchebag. There is no other device, accessory, gadget, appliance, or utensil that lends such an air of self importance. 80% of people who wear them don’t need them 90% of the time, they just think it says to those around them, “I’m super important, and I get so many calls that I need my phone to be accessible at a split second’s notice.”

      • PsiCop says:

        @Rectilinear Propagation: It’s pretty easy to understand why people walking around with BT headsets is unnerving. Actually there are a couple reasons:

        1. They usually talk LOUD. Just like people who are holding the phones up to their heads … having the sound injected into their auditory canals by the BT device doesn’t appear to help them stop YELLING.

        2. They’re talking, but to no one present. It looks weird. Before the age of BT, one would assume the person is either schizophrenic and talking to a hallucination, or a medium talking to someone who’s “gone over.”

        Having said that, if someone is driving a car, I’d WANT that person to be talking on a BT device rather than holding the phone. But if you aren’t driving, or working at a job that requires your hands to be free, you have no business having one hanging on your head. Take the thing off and leave it in your car. That way, when you’re walking around SCREAMING into your phone, it doesn’t look as though you’re John Edward or Sylvia Browne wannabes.

  2. rewind says:

    Kuckleball speed? orly

  3. Daniel Parmelee says:

    I will never forget the sign I saw hanging in the printing plant for the Chicago Tribune newspaper:

    “It takes months to earn a customer, and only seconds to lose one.”

    I bet Samsung thinks people are so brand-loyal that they’ll just keep buying even after being d*cked repeatedly.

  4. GearheadGeek says:

    I realize it eventually came down to an issue of principle, and I know I would have doggedly pursued them to make them do the right thing just for meanness… but Craig should probably order up an extra for the next time this happens. At $15.99 buy-it-now on eBay with free shipping, it’s better than having to hound Samsung customer service drones for a month. Then he can at least talk hands-free on his spare while he is subjected to their incompetent runaround.

  5. dragonfire81 says:

    Why are customer service people such robots?

    The OP’s story gave me nightmares about my call center days. Especially the part about how the CSR said “oh the computer says this is what happened.” and the OP said it clearly wasn’t and the CSR was like “well the computer says it so it must be right.”

    I remember times when the computer showed something had been denied/not shipped/not processed for reason X, and that reason made absolutely no sense whatsoever. I would ask supervisors about it, who of course would say “If the computer says X, then that’s why” even if I provided clear as day logic that it was not.

    There was also NO communication between departments whatsoever, all we could do was send an electronic inquiry for an investigation and tell the customer it would be 24-72 hours for a resolution (which would usually end up either taking much longer or even worse, not address the problem whatsoever!) and what do you think we could do if you called back in 5 days after there was no resolution? Just open another case and give you another 1-3 day turnaround time.

    We couldn’t call anyone at the other departments, they didn’t let us. We couldn’t give the customer an e-mail contact because they didn’t do email.

    It was unbelievably frustrating, both for the customer and me, the poor CSR who was trying to help but was trapped by mysterious departments who couldn’t be contacted and supervisors who showed little in the way of rational thought.

  6. OggJoshua says:

    Note to non-baseball-fans: A knuckleball is slow.

  7. ToddMU03 says:

    I had a nightmare trying to get my Samsung LCD TV fixed. Needless to say I will not buy another Samsung product and being the tech guy in my family, I will discourage others to buy them as well. TV works great when it is working, but when there’s a problem you can’t get any help.

  8. AkakmanH says:

    Ditto for the TV. Samsung wound up replacing it after 2 months of haggling back and forth. Never, never again. Did you know that Samsung is also into appliances? Just another way to s*r*w the customer!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    First off, I understand the ridiculousness of the situation, and the frustration it might cause the customer to be in said situation.

    But do not blindly attack a group of CSRs; if you do, please have some sort of evidence in order to back said attack up.

    For example: the OP says that it was Samsung’s fault for shipping the first replacement to the wrong state. What information does he have to back this up? What paperwork did he see where Samsung actually sent it to the wrong place? UPS only goes by zipcodes, not actual addresses. Notice how Oregon’s zipcodes start with 97 (for the most part) and that there are a few 79’s in Lousiana? Simple typographical error.

    Don’t get me wrong. I feel bad for someone who expected a service and get less than what they deserved, but do not make up arguments and attacks for things you have no basis in arguing or attacking. Chill out. It’s a bluetooth headset.

  10. rlee says:

    On the UPS mis-direction, I recently learned something that may be relevant: UPS re-uses tracking numbers that are still in their DB from the previous use! I got a shipping confirmation from a vendor, hit with the tracking number, and was informed my package was already en route to the wrong state. Contacted them and got that explanation; eventually, the web site had the expected info and the package did arrive.

    • PsiCop says:

      @rlee: I once had a problem with a reused UPS tracking number. However, I knew immediately that something was wrong with it, when I looked online and found that my package had been delivered over a year previously … in addition to having been sent to the wrong place.

      If that had happened to the OP, I suspect something similar would be the case, it would show as “delivered” on some prior date.

      Actually what makes more sense to me — and I was in charge of shipping at two different jobs I’ve had, so this supposition comes from experience — is that the shipping staff who sent the package, sent another to Louisiana at the same time, but mixed them up somehow when adding the tracking numbers to their computer system. The guy who was getting something in Lousiana probably thinks his package went to Oregon. Or maybe many packages went out at the same time, and it’s a multiple mixup … the guy in Louisiana thinks his package is going to California; someone in California thinks his is going to Oregon; and so on.

      The possibilities for foul-up here are, literally, endless. But all it is, is a foul-up. The real problem here is not that there was a shipping=documentation snafu, but a whole pile of folks who absolutely refused to acknowledge there could have been a snafu. Inexcusable.

  11. Smashville says:

    People who refuse to take their Bluetooth off in any situation annoy me…but not as much as people who use the speakerphone while holding the phone. If you can hold the phone, you don’t need the speakerphone.