This is Samsung, Welcome to Hell


I have a big fancy refrigerator which is a bit over a year old. It’s one of those gigantic, double French door contraptions that currently does everything except keep stuff cold. A week or two back, the top fridge compartment stopped cooling below 54 degrees, which left us with a device actually optimized to spoil food and drink.

Thus began our quest. You start (of course) by calling 1-800-SAMSUNG and you carefully navigate the phone tree of responses and options. Bear in mind that since Samsung doesn’t have any other telephonic points of entry, you get to start at the very beginning and work forward every time you call.

I made three failed attempts to get a human (“Did you know we have FAQs, how-to videos, and lots of other ways to solve your problem online?” Yes having heard that info every time I call, I’m very aware thank you).  My first victory was to get a case number, which I was informed would prompt a local service company to call to make an appointment. They didn’t, so I called back (“Did you know we have FAQs, how-to videos, and lots of other ways to solve your problem online?”) and I got the contact info for the local service people so I could chase them.

At this point, every conversation I had with them opened with, “You do realize, Sir, that your equipment is out of warranty, so unless it’s a failure of the sealed cooling system, you will have to pay for the call out and parts?” Literally every conversation started and ended with this admonishment. Since the fridge didn’t cool, I felt reasonably good about this issue; but since we won’t know until it gets looked at, what choice was there?

Eventually, a nice service tech showed up and after many calls to home base and much tinkering, he informed us that the equipment was “beyond repair” and would have to be replaced or perhaps Samsung would buy it back. Unbelievable. A multi-thousand dollar, almost-new fridge entirely beyond repair. That makes little sense, but hey, it’s their money.

Now the fun begins. If you have ever been impressed with the alacrity a large company can display when it’s selling you an expensive piece of equipment, wait until they have to replace or refund it on their dime. It’s a different kettle of fish. I should add that pretty much all of the many people I spoke to were nice, or very nice. The call center is somewhere very southern, so I’m beset with charming southern accents right out of Dukes of Hazard. At each stage and on each call, I have to re-explain the situation from scratch.

I had to provide proof of purchase (miraculously, my lovely wife had hung on to that in the kitchen junk drawer) and the calling continued. I’m now up to my third reference number — maybe tenth phone call (“Did you know we have FAQs, how-to videos, and lots of other ways to solve your problem online?”) and now I’m working with the important sounding “Executive Customer Service” folks waiting for the technician visit report to be reconciled with the theory of gravity and quantum mechanics.

Then what? Well, it looks like they might give me my money back, in which case I have my beady eye on a nice LG unit. Perhaps they will replace this worthless warm box entirely. Either way, I’m headed back to Samsung hell same time tomorrow (“Did you know we have FAQs, how-to videos, and lots of other ways to solve your problem online?”). Aaaaargh!

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