Why Is Samsung Sending A Dish Network Tech To Fix My Washing Machine?

Image courtesy of CPSC

The mechanic at your local garage might also be savvy enough to fix your furnace, but you probably wouldn’t expect the furnace company to send her out to your house to do a recall-related repair. So why is Samsung sending out Dish Network techs to fix defective Samsung washing machines? And why is Dish okay with techs using this opportunity to upsell satellite TV service?

When Samsung recalled nearly three million washing machines last year, the company gave customers the option of having their devices fixed by a certified technician.

Samsung might be a massive global conglomerate, but one thing it doesn’t have is a quickly deployable fleet of washing machine techs to provide in-home service. So with a recall of this size, Samsung says that it had to use a “nationwide network of service providers” to complete the repairs as quickly as possible.

A rep for Samsung confirms to Consumerist that this network does indeed include techs from Dish. A full list of partner provides can be found online, the rep says.

To minimize the “what the?” factor, Samsung tells us that it provides washing machine owners with advance notice of the name of whichever third-party provider will be performing their repair.

According to Samsung’s recall page, the network of authorized service partners all “have high rates of customer satisfaction” and that all “technicians who are supporting this recall have been trained to perform the repair.”

Despite the reassurances, some Samsung washer owners tell Consumerist their experience with outside technicians were unsatisfactory. In some cases, they claimed that the repairmen knew little about the specific fix for the Samsung device or tried to sell them other products.

Reader Dora says she first learned that a Dish tech would fix her washing machine through email. Despite the heads up, she wasn’t convinced a repairman from a satellite company could properly fix the appliance.

Dora asked the tech how much training he’d been provided on this repair, and she claims he said “absolutely none,” and no training was really needed because they weren’t really repairing anything, they were “just putting clamps on so the top would not fly off.”

She asked the tech to wait while she tried to run a cycle, to ensure the fix had worked. It did not.

“The machine vibrated and reset back to the beginning of the cycle,” Dora recalls.

The repairman instructed her to call Samsung while he called a supervisor. As of mid-February, her machine was still not repaired correctly.

Reader Gary says the fix by a Dish tech also didn’t work for his machine.

“The machine is no better, now [they’re] sending a Samsung repairmen, but I don’t know how many days it will be,” he tells Consumerist.

Although Samsung tells Consumerist that it notifies consumers which service partner will be performing their repair, Kelley says she was still surprised when a satellite TV installer showed up for her appointment.

“He told me he knew nothing at all about washing machines,” says Kelley, adding that the tech couldn’t explain what he was actually doing to her machine because he didn’t understand it himself.

Instead, he said he would send an email after the repair explaining what the repair entailed. You can probably guess that she never received the email.

Despite complaints like these, a rep for Dish tells Consumerist that, as an authorized repair partner, the company’s techs do receive training from Samsung. This includes, according to Dish, hands-on experience on how to reinforce each machine with repair parts provided by Samsung.

“Over the years, we’ve gradually expanded the capabilities of our trusted technicians,” the rep says. “Today, we assist Dish and non-Dish customers with the nuts and bolts of TV, audio and in-home wireless networks installation, as well as smartphone repair.”

Would You Like Satellite TV With That?

By contracting with other companies, Samsung runs the risk of those businesses trying to sell their other service to Samsung customers.

Jim tells Consumerist that Samsung initially set him up with a repair appointment with a local TV and appliance repair company, but then that meeting was unexpectedly canceled and the next available spot wasn’t for two weeks, so Jim asked for a new company.

At that point Samsung connected him with an appointment with a Dish tech.

On the plus side, Jim says Dish provided a narrow, accurate window of time for the tech to show up, and even gave him the tech’s name in advance. Then there’s the down side. According to Jim, the Dish rep spent a good deal of time trying to sell him on satellite TV service.

Shaun shared a similar story, saying that he’s already a Dish customer but the tech that came out to fix his washer “tried to upsell me some services anyway.”

The Dish corporate rep tells Consumerist that selling other services isn’t unusual: “At any appointment that Dish technicians are performing in-home repairs to Samsung washing machines, our technicians are focused on supporting the needs of that customer and may discuss other offerings on a case-by-case basis.”

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.