Letter To President Gets Samsung’s Attention, Repaired Microwave

Laurence was disappointed that he dropped a few hundred dollars on a microwave, and didn’t get to enjoy it for very long. He isn’t sure exactly how long a microwave that cost a few hundred bucks should last, but figures it’s somewhere between “two years” and “forever.” Right?

That doesn’t matter, because while Samsung could grant a warranty extension if Laurence could prove that he bought the microwave one year and 364 days ago, they estimate based on the manufacture date that he bought it more than two years ago. Without the receipt, he can’t prove otherwise, and is stuck.

So he turned to the last person who might be able to help: Samsung president Y.K. Kim. He fired off this great, to-the-point complaint letter:

Mr. Kwon: [sic]

About two years ago I purchased a Samsung microwave oven. It as gotten probably less than average use by our family of three.

The mechanism in the door that causes the latches to grasp broke recently, with the result that the door cannot completely close. This multi-hundred dollar unit accordingly is unusable after a couple of years.

We do not expect a microwave to last forever. We do expect it to last at least more than two years.

We assumed Samsung would stand behind its product. However, after extremely lengthy calls with your “customer service” office — most recently with [T.] — Samsung said it refuses to offer its standard 1-year warranty extension because my purchase may — I haven’t been able to locate the sales receipt — have occurred a short number of days outside of two years.

(Samsung advises that Samsung uses an arbitrary dating formula to determine date of sale in this sort of situation: Date of manufacture + 2 months. Samsung extends the warranty if the purchase using this arbitrary formula is within 2 years, and refuses to do so if one cannot prove the purchase occurred within two years, and not a day or week after.) My memory is that my purchase was less than two years go, but as I say I haven’t located the sales receipt.

The unit serial number is [redacted]. Samsung’s incident number for this matter is [redacted].

Please exercise your discretion to provide me a new equivalent microwave as soon as possible.

I am soon to buy a large screen LED TV. I have done research, and it has been a close call — so far — between Samsung, LG, and Sony. You can appreciate that I will not buy another Samsung produce if Samsung does not exercise its discretion to stand behind its microwave product. Friends and acquaintances also routinely ask my buying advice about electronics. I will steer them away from Samsung of course unless you are able to stand behind my microwave purchase. Conversely, if Samsung stands behind the microwave you can be sure I will tell my friends about its very responsive customer relations.

Thank you for your consideration.



Well, that’s a good letter and a straightforward problem. How did things work out? We checked in with Laurence, and he let us know that Samsung sent a technician to make his microwave door close, as it should. He wrote:

Samsung called and e mailed within an hour of my sending the e mail. It agreed to a complimentary, in-home repair. We set up an appointment and their contractor showed up on time with the right part, and fixed it. So in this case Samsung deserves props for satisfying the customer’s request.

Other than referring to Mr. Kim as “Mr. Kwon” for some reason, Laurence did a great job of explaining his problem and even his upcoming TV purchase. If you have your own problem with Samsung, try writing to the president’s office yourself, or track down executive customer service information for other companies that are giving you trouble.

We hope that Laurence and his family get to enjoy their microwave for many bags of popcorn and burritos to come.

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