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Samsung Customer Service is a nightmare

by unk1911 / June 23, 2009 5:49 PM PDT

I purchased the Samsung Rant cell phone last year (December 2008). On June 7th, 2009, after only six months of operation, the phone lost its ability to charge. At first, I thought it was the charger, so I bought a new charger and tried to charge the phone with that. When that didn't work, I figured something was wrong with the charge connector on the phone, and that it would be a good idea to call Samsung to get it repaired.

I called the Samsung technical support number. After two days of two attempts (the first attempt failed because the rep didn't properly key-in the RMA information and I never got the email with the UPS return label), I got the UPS label finally emailed to me.

I shipped the phone to Samsung. After about 2 weeks of silence, I called their customer support line again. They assured me that the phone was being repaired and should be ready next week...

More silence.

I called again on June 23rd. This was now my 4th call into Samsung. This time, the rep told me that the latest update was that the phone is currently being repaired. They are in the process of replacing the LCD on the phone... The LCD screen? That sounded very odd since that had nothing to do with my problem but... ok... I figured the manufacturer knows best what to do...

I asked for an ETA again. Again, the same thing they told me a week ago: it will be available within 2-3 weeks from today, excluding Saturdays and Sundays... Now at this point, I figured ok, this is going to take a while, so I dug up an old 2003 Sanyo phone I had laying around, and reactivated cell service on this old phone, so that I could at least have cell service while they took their sweet time fixing my Samsung Rant phone...

Interestingly though, about 30 minutes after that call, I got an email saying that the repair has been completed! Here's is the content of that email:


Dear **** ********,

Thank you for your patience.

Your product was shipped on 06/23/2009 at 13:13 EST.


Service Ticket Number: 4003774739
Ship Company: UPS
Tracking Number: 1Z6VF637429025****
Serial number: A1000008E7EC6D
Please view additional information below for more details.

Original Problem:
Technical Inquiry
Power
No Power Up

Problem found:
LCD BLANK/SEG. MISSING/LINES
BER - ABUSE, NOT REPAIRABLE

Solution:
BER


BER (Beyond economical Repair) Comments:
Your phone is damaged beyond economical repair in the form of a warped board, or missing or damaged components. The factory warranty has been voided.
If you have any additional questions, please call us at 1-888-987-4357 and reference Ticket Number: 4003774739.

Thank you.
Samsung Electronics America


When I saw that email, I could not believe my eyes! Instead of fixing the phone, Samsung broke the LCD, and waived off my phone as being beyond repair! Never mind that the phone was in working condition when I sent it in. The only thing wrong with this phone was that it wasn't charging! When I would charge my battery inside my coworker's phone, everything worked fine.. There was no reason to break my phone, Samsung... You are supposed to repair, not break...

They are now shipping the dead phone back to me, and I can track its progress on the UPS tracker. How wonderful...

I called customer support once more today after I got that email and was able to get the issue escalated to level2 supervisor. The supervisor was not helpful at all. She kept telling me that my LCD was broken. I kept telling her my phone was perfectly healthy when I sent it in, save for the charging problem... But she kept insisting that there was something wrong with the LCD and that they had to replace the screen on the phone, and that now it was broken... After half an hour of arguing back and forth I gave up. This is going no where.

In conclusion, I wanted to say that, in the past, I have been impressed with Samsung products. Ironically, I have purchased an LCD monitor from them, many years ago, and have been very happy with it for many years, never had a problem... But now that I have learned what their customer support is like, I do not think I will be buying anything else from Samsung ever again. Why take the chance?

I also have decided to forward this letter to their corporate headquarter guys, the addresses of which I found from another poster on another forum, who was in deeper shiite that I (he had purchased an expensive LCD which broke down and was having similar issues with the support. At least my phone was _only_ $400...)

Just trying to raise awareness and protect other people from falling into the same trap here...

If anyone's customer support experience parallels mine, feel free to write to their corporate guys, as well:

Mr. Yoon-Woo Lee, Vice Chairman
Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
105 Challenger Rd Ste 1
Ridgefield Park, NJ, 07660

and

Mr. ****-Jin Oh, President
Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
105 Challenger Rd Ste 1
Ridgefield Park, NJ, 07660

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Samsung Customer Service is a nightmare
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / June 23, 2009 6:13 PM PDT

unk1911,

I'm sorry to hear about your experience.

I've read your report thoroughly, and have escalated this up to see if perhaps an appeal can be made. I do not get to make those decisions, but I believe your concern is valid, and I try to give everyone here the benefit of the doubt.

I cannot follow up on what our escalations department will do, but someone (higher than level 2) will review the transaction. Again, I can't promise what I can't personally deliver - which is a solution, but I have sent it up for review on your behalf.

--HDTech

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Appreciate it
by unk1911 / June 23, 2009 6:21 PM PDT

Let me know if you need any additional information from me.
As I already said in my post, you guys have great product but in the event of something going South, what good is the product without good customer service/relations?

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Just to follow up
by unk1911 / July 2, 2009 3:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Appreciate it

Just to follow up on my story... despite the reply by Samsung_HD_Tech to escalate my case, nothing was ever done (to no surprise) but of course as someone who doesn't give up, I took a different route: I brought the phone to a Sprint store on Lexington Ave and 56th Street. (I should have done this before getting involved with the manufacturer...) The tech guys there told me to come back in an hour. When I returned they issued me a brand new phone. That's what I call customer service...

It should also be noted that the phone I got back from Samsung, although the tech description said that they had replaced the display and that there were lines on the LCD, looked like it wasn't opened. It still had all of my contacts and everything... So it sounds to me like they did absolutely nothing with it. What a waste of time and money.

So the takeout from all this is that although I was able to get my phone replaced (all the credit goes goes to the guys at the 677 Lexington Ave Sprint Store), I will never buy another Samsung product again. I also hope that my cautionary tale will make you think twice before buying Samsung products or services...because God forbid if something should go wrong...

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SAMSUNG SERVICE ....OMG
by hogheavn / February 10, 2011 4:59 AM PST

The customer service is beyond awful...I have been on the phone for over an hour...trying to get a very simple request-a replacement home power cord for my Blue/Ray DVD player.
Rude...just plain stupid...awful...on hold for 20-30 min...can not answer simple questions..I gave up.

I am writing the corporate office and thanks much for their addresses.
Kate

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Samsung fails to deliver for 4 calendar months
by theregdunlop / February 14, 2011 9:35 AM PST

I am dealing with same thing. I sent my monitor in early November and keep being told to expect it by Friday. Except Friday's come and go and no monitor arrives. I have asked for a tracking number or any tangible confirmation it has actually been sent and keep being ignored.

November-No delivery of Monitor
December-No delivery of Monitor
January-No delivery of Monitor
Febuary-No delivery of Monitor as of yet.

I am now in the process of contacting the corporate head offices in Canada as well. What a complete failure of service on Samsung's part.

It is the deception employed by the CSR's and TSR's that really is disappointing it is so rampant and widespread you can only draw the conclusion it is officially sanctioned because it continues to happen at every level of service.

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Agreed. Samsung Customer
by rojo623 / February 2, 2012 2:12 PM PST

Ur story is nuts. Mine isnt that bad, but I have to share.

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Agreed. Samsung Customer
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / February 3, 2012 4:38 AM PST

rojo623 -

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Samsung Tech Support Scam
by marti-gras / March 30, 2013 7:38 AM PDT

I called Samsung Tech support 3/30/13 to ask for help on a software update for my 54 inch LED TV. They demanded I pay $99 before they would either (1) give me instructions on the download or (2) give me instructions to delete the download message from my TV screen. I should also mention that I waited on hold for 49 minutes to hear this information!
What I was *not* told was that I could find clear instructions on the download at the Samsung website. (which is what I did) It would have been so much easier for them to tell me to go to the webiste, rather than create an angry consumer. Shame on you, Samsung.

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Re: Samsung Tech Support
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / April 1, 2013 3:22 AM PDT

Hi marti-gras,

I apologize for your experience thus far. I'm glad to found the instructions on our website however. I would like to assure you that this is not standard procedure in the US whatsoever. We will answer questions about a product you bought a decade ago at no cost to you. If you could post your transaction number from the phone agent you spoke with, I'd like to see if we can investigate this issue for you. In addition to this, what's the phone number you dialed; in case you dialed into someone who claimed to be representing us, but was not.

Regards,
HD Tech

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Samsung Service is baddd
by CarsonTan0718 / July 19, 2013 4:33 AM PDT

I got a Samsung galaxy S4 2 months ago (switched from apple) and I accidentally got water damage on the device so I sent it back to Samsung Service. They claimed that they will call me up and quote me on option to repair it but they didnt. The repair status just changed to "Repair - Closed" and provide me with a tracking number for the phone shipped back. I was waiting for the phone thinking that it is repaired but then it wasn't. I think they should at least be more clear about that.
Also, Apple offers flat rate $220 replacement for water damage device but samsung doesnt do anything but have us go get another device for full price? That's sooo wrong. They should at least do better to offer a replacement plan out of warranty too.

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Samsung Gives Great Lipservice, Little Customer Service
by AlienTransplant / November 6, 2013 11:06 PM PST

I just wanted to add to this conversation, by saying not much has changed at Samsung Customer Service since this thread began a few years ago. It's now November 2013, and I just went through almost 3 weeks trying to get an answer from Samsung as to why they made their Galaxy Tab 3 7" tablet without the quite standard (for Android since about version 3.1) host USB port which normally allows you to connect thumb drives, card readers, keyboards, game controllers and mice to the tablet, a feature even much less costly tablets usually offers. Google has indicated that all certified Android devices since version 3.1 SHOULD (their emphasis) have a host USB port, to allow for OTG USB. Samsung included this feature in their earlier Tab 2 7", and it is also found on most other current Samsung Android devices, but not on the Tab 3 7" model. Samsung made a point of not mentioning this exclusion in their specs.

After a chat on line with them to verify this feature was indeed missing, I emailed to ask for an explanation, they responded that they'd get back to me. One week later no reply, so I called and escalated to "executive customer service" and am told they will escalate my request and email me with a reply. A week later no reply. I email again, they tell me they will "get back to me". I call customer service again and they ask me for my phone number through different three levels, and again ask what I want, I explain for the 6th time, and this time the guy at "executive customer service" asks me what I want Samsung to "do about it". I explain I'd like them to explain why they removed the feature (I always try to give a manufacturer the chance to explain before I publicize things) and, I would like them to further correct the reviews and spec sheets on line from them, which hides the missing feature by grouping all the Tab 3 products together (the Tab 3 8" and 10.1" do have that feature, so it appears like they all do).

The guy from "executive customer service" tells me "Samsung can do whatever they want, because they have the power", so if they don't want to put a feature in (even if it is considered a standard by Google for Android devices) they don't have to... in other words, they don't need to explain themselves to people like me, their customers.

Final line, it's my last Samsung purchase, and I am publicizing the lack of this common Android "feature" on every review forum I can find for the product. I don't want anyone else to get burned by this non-disclosure, if they may need the feature. Samsung is good at being "present" on groups like this, on the web (although their website is a bit of a disaster when you need to contact them), by phone, etc, but it would appear they are only good at one thing.. lip service. From reading this thread, and my own experience, they don't seem to actually do anything but make promises to do something and then not follow through, and I think their attitude was pretty well described by Frank at "executive customer service"... they can do whatever they want, because they have the power.

However, I too have power, to inform others, and to not buy their products anymore.

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If I look at the many android tablets out there.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 6, 2013 11:11 PM PST

It's a mess. I think the biggest issue I encounter that think this is a replacement for a common windows/apple laptop.

Android's pretty neat but the misconceptions about features and capability have people flaming makers over and over.

And let's not look at the rather skimpy documentation I see with today's PCs and tablets.
Bob

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Where's Google in this?
by AlienTransplant / November 7, 2013 8:18 AM PST

While I agree that tablets, for the most part, aren't full laptops unless you pay bigger money for them (Microsoft has a pretty fully running Win 8/8.1 product, but it costs a lot more than most laptops these days), tablets will eventually replace other computer formats, just as laptops replaced desktops for the majority of applications.

In this case, however, the USB host/OTG feature has become a standard for Android devices and Samsung's Tab 3 7"" is really a throwback, even compared to the Tab 2 7", so there is really no excuse for this and the lack of clarity on their part to let people know in the spec sheet that it isn't there. I have seen tablets costing under $60 with this feature. I'm sure it costs pennies to implement.

As soon as I figure out how to contact Google's Android team (I think I even know the person who would be most helpful at their team) I will ask them to consider being more clear with manufacturers about what features they have to have, and also what they have to report in their public specs. It's ironic how Google, the search engine that allows us to find out just about everything about everyone makes it nearly impossible to find an email or other contact for their Android team other than by something like Google +.

As to Samsung, I do blame them for the way they handled this, from the design to their lack of spec detail, to their very poor customer response. Out of interest, I did some searching on line to see how common the issues with Samsung customer service were. I find if there is a massive commonality of complaints, they usually have some merit. I found a website with over 400 comments on Samsung customer service, and while I did not read every comment, I read the majority of them, and well over 95% of them were negative to extremely negative. If you don't believe me, here is the link:

http://www.contacthelp.com/customer_service/Samsung

Read them and draw your own conclusions.

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And I own a Nexus 7. OTG looks broke on Google's own.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 7, 2013 9:26 AM PST

Same for a rather neat Asus Transformer.

I'm lucky since our office is porting things to Android and can try a few models. From my view you need to take the industry to task here.
Bob

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terrible samsung mobile customer servive/ecr
by cgjhonda / December 9, 2013 2:57 PM PST

Samsung is an abdolute joke when it comes to there customer service. I recently purchased a note 3 about 2 months ago. The phone had an unresponsive screen after a month of use. I called customer service at this time where they set up a repair. Sent phone off in perfect condition packaged in a very solid state to not do any damage during shipping. Phone is recieved by there repair facility and tech says ok shipping with scratches on screen and phone itself. Call customer service back at this time to be told they where minor but yet they say it was our fault. The repair continues 2 days later the repair says complete fixed charge port with charging issue. When did i ever tell them there was an issue with the charge port? Call back was told techs test everything on phone to pass quality. I wait 2 more days to recieve phone back which comes late at night on a 20 degree night. The phone now has frost on the device which when heats will cause water damage to the device. Call customer service immediatly at this time they do not understand what frost is or what it can do to a phone. Phone also comes back with gouges in the side of the phone that are obvious screw driver marks. Samsung continues to say it is my fault yet the technician was the only one that had a tool near that device. Next day call and talk to there so called ecr department which are no better than the level one and two customer service agents. The lady we talked to did not care one bit about customer service after an hour she finally states they will over night the phone back to them send it to tech manager with 3 day turn around to fix lcd and the gouges on the side of the phone and overnight back. The phone was shipped back to samsung almost 2 weeks ago now. The phone ended up in kentucky for one day when samsung is in plano texas and i am in colorado. The phone was not even recieved until 3 days after shipping. I call up during this time to find out what happened to overnight and the customer service agent puts how rude i am in the notes. Now as a consumer that is slander and never should be put in notes especially ones that get sent out ti the customer in an email. Now a week later the email came out stating fixed lcd shipping device nothing about gouges on device. Called again today wad told they would figure out what happened and call back by end of business day. Well here we sit no phone call from the so called ecr department like promised i call back myself guess what they are closed for the day i get told by level 2 we cant help you it states ecr controls your account and even stated would recieve call by end of day in notes. So here i sit almost a month without my device a damaged device by a samsung tech and a company that continues to lie everytime a call is made into there company. Do not deal with tech support ever if you have an issue with a mobile device go through the carrier!!!

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Samsung just doesn't care
by AlienTransplant / December 10, 2013 2:53 PM PST

Everything I learn about Samsung makes me want to stay away from their products. They are typically overpriced, and overhyped. I suspect Samsung pays out big bucks in advertising to get their products reviewed and carried in major retailers. I also bet their markup is higher than other products, which could be why so many retailers carry them.

My experience with their "executive customer service" leads me to believe that the people take turns moving from one level to the other. The only thing the ECS department seems better at is the size of the lies they tell. They maybe should change the name to "executive lies department".

I suspect the reason they probably didn't know what frost is, is because their customer service appears to be somewhere in the tropical islands south of North America. The guys I spoke to refused to say where they were located, even when I specifically asked, and when I told one guy I was calling from up North where we had snow, he suddenly said, "Yeah, its been real cold here, too", but when I pursued the questioning it became obvious that was yet another lie.

It is obvious from the industrial espionage they carry out (Google the Apple/Samsung lawsuits) to the thief of other companies' technology and design, that they cannot be trusted.

My experience is that companies that treat their customers as Samsung does eventually lose their clients, and I suggest that people start walking away from them, and choose other companies for their needs. Very little Samsung does in innovative, so you have other choices.

When I had my issues with their stuff, and then their customer service, I thought, "oh, well, maybe I just had some bad luck", but having now read some consumer websites, they have thousands of complaints against them regarding their repair and customer service people.

I can only suggest people stay away from Samsung.

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Nightmare cont.
by TruSquare73 / December 21, 2013 10:22 AM PST

Wow....I'm experiencing almost this very same issue currently with my Galaxy 2. Waiting on my device now. This is my second experience with the "no charge" occurrence, initially purchased in March 2013. Just suddenly stopped taking a charge, and after using a external wall charger, I would lose complete charge within only a hour or two...first device was swapped out in store, decided to sent it in this time (as the switch wasn't a option at the time) since it's supposedly covered under manufactures 1yr. warranty.

I noticed the BER solution in my tracking notes as well, which prompted me to search the definition when I came across your post.
I too am very satisfied with my device up until this point, this is just terrible using another downgraded Samsung device in the meantime in between time.

Thank you for sharing your experience and the contact info, I will CERTAINLY be using it if all is not well on the return. This is clearly a manufactures defect of some kind and Samsung & Customer Service should just address and resolve it. Paying too much for a device when the company is aware of a problem.

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take control!
by lynellfriend / February 14, 2014 1:15 PM PST

ftc.gov
file a legitimate complaint (federal trade commission)!

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Samsung-Shamsung
by leahskii / March 12, 2015 12:58 PM PDT

So, my mom's phone had almost this same issue! She has the Samsung s5, has kept it in an otterbox the whole time she's had it! Since day one she was pretty much having some issues with the phone - minor glitches. It advanced to major over heating and eventually the phone just kept power cycling over and over.

We finally opened it up to see what was going on and found this greasy, liquid substance with this bitter/sweet smell all over it. It was the battery's acid, I presumed. Since it was all over the battery and not much any where else. We sent it in for "repair" and received the same BER code.

I called in to find out what was going on and they told me there was "liquid" damage. I told them "yeah, because the battery basically exploded." Andrew - the every helpful and mostly argumentative supervisor - informed me that he knew for a fact that there is no liquid inside the battery for it to "explode all over the phone." After looking up the battery specs from a few different avenues I found that ...why, yes Andrew..there is liquid inside of it. When I questioned him about this he goes "well I'm no expert when it comes to these batteries." But yet moments before he was saying with conviction the opposite? Meh..they were just backtracking and trying to cover up, it seems to me. When asking if there was an appeal process or a second opinion I could have he simply said "No. It's being sent back." Furthermore, now...I happen to think my mom is just the bees knees but how in the heck is it possible to get l iquid IN THE PHONE but no where else? This "liquid" was more like a grease and I can guarantee you that if it wreaked havoc on the inside it sure as heck should have had evidence on the outer appearance of "liquid" (*cough* battery acid *cough*) damage. I mean..I'm no genius..but 2+2, Samsung..It sure as heck doesn't equal BER.

I had to finally hang up on dear, ol' Andrew because he just kept talking in circles and I basically told him I just didn't believe a word they were saying to me and we were just arguing in circles. I mean honestly... Do they train them to be argumentative? There is no way they can find any intrinsic value in their work at this point. Right? Right?!

Thanks for sending back the dangerous, exploding battery Samsung! Ftc.gov, here I come. I'll be getting my mom an HTC this time. Thankfully, I've had no issues with my HTC One m8. (I should get commission for that handy lil plug, yes?). But truly, it actually works, the sound system on it is great, and the battery doesn't explode all over the inside.

Andrew, you're a tool and I have no idea why you're talking to people. You probably need a hug..or 3.

Did I mention I had a very similar issue with the battery in my Samsung Galaxy s3? Almost identical (bad battery). Yep.

Venting over! Thanks for this thread.

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