I purchased a new Samsung 22 LCD monitor (model 225BW) on April 16, 2008. On July 13, 2008, my monitor failed and my first communication to Samsung about the problem was submitted through their web-based customer contact form.
On July 20, 2008, I had received no response from Samsung and after searching their website, the easiest way to resolve this issue was to start a self-service in-warranty ticket. I completed the web form, supplying Samsung with all of the requested information as well as a copy of my sales receipt and proof-of-purchase.
On July 23, 2008, I checked the status on the website and it showed waiting for exchange process. So I called the 1-800-SAMSUNG number to determine what the status was. I was told by the representative that I was impatient. She commented It isn't like they can put a monitor in a box and send it to you. Why not? That was the option I selected to have a replacement monitor shipped to The UPS Store near my home to have the exchange made and the defective monitor returned. My other option was to foot the bill for shipping and send it in for repairs, or, to have a $400 hold be placed on my credit card to have a unit cross-shipped and I would still be paying for shipping the defective monitor to Samsung.
On July 25, 2008, I once again checked the status and it was still showing waiting for exchange process. So I called again and asked exactly what was Samsung waiting on. The representative told me that the exchange process hadn't started and that it was an automated process and that I just needed to wait.
On July 28, I called again, trying to find out exactly what was holding the process up. I was told that in-warranty monitor exchanges were handled by a third party and that the time necessary to complete the process was dependent upon their speed. I asked if I could contact them and was told no. I asked for the name of the company and was told that they couldn't give me that information. I hung up.
I called back. This time, a representative told me that the delay was my fault. She said that I had not told Samsung whether I wanted A stock or R stock. I advised her that I didn't even know what that meant and said that during the self-service ticket creation process, I was never asked to make that decision. She advised that A stock meant a new monitor and R stock meant a refurbished monitor. Naturally, with my monitor just days over 3 months old, I told her I would prefer A stock. She then advised me that I couldn't get A stock and would have to settle for R stock. I asked why and she replied that there was no A stock to ship out.
Upon further questioning, I determined that there was no A stock for this monitor because Samsung is no longer manufacturing it. OK, so if there is no A stock and I have to settle for R stock, then why would Samsung be waiting on me to make a decision? I asked her how I was supposed to know that I needed to make a decision since there was no indication of the website when I checked the status of my ticket and the Message from Samsung field was blank on the ticket status screen. She said that customers usually called Samsung to ask why there was a delay and that's when they would find out about the A stock or R stock issue. I told her that was unacceptable to expect the customer to know that and that Samsung should contact the customer if there was an issue. She responded that they were an in-bound call center and don't make outgoing calls to customers. She also replied that there was no way they would have the time to do that even if they could make out-bound calls.
So, the net result of this phone call was that I would be getting R stock. She said she would send it over so that it could be processed immediately. My interpretation was that she would make whomever needed to be aware of my decision aware and have the replacement monitor shipped out. Bad assumption on my part.
On July 31, 2008, Samsung's Repair Self-Tracking website still shows waiting on exchange process as the status of my ticket. Time for another phone call. I get the same story as last time A stock vs R stock. I explain that I have already been through this 3 days ago and that I shouldn't have to go through all of this again. For God's sake, put the monitor in a box and send it to me. This representative advised me that she would expedite my ticket and get it shipped out. I asked what assurance I had that this would happen and she replied Because I said I would.
On August 4, 2008, I made another call to Samsung. The representative I spoke with this time seemed genuinely concerned about my on-going problem. He transferred me to Samsung's ECR (Executive Customer Relations) group. I spoke with agent 23. She basically gave me the same old story no A stock available. What exactly do I need to do here? I thought that during the 2 prior phone calls we had established that R stock was my only option and I said that I would accept it. I didn't really want it but refurbished equipment is almost the universal standard for warranty requests these days.
This agent did say that I could get a refund if I wanted it. I really just wanted a monitor. She said that she was going to send an email to the monitor department to determine if there was a new monitor (that met or exceeded the specifications of my defective monitor) that they could expedite to me and that she would call me back. She verified my phone number.
It's now August 6, 2008. I called the ECR again at their direct-dial number 800-522-7341. This time I got Agent 12. She gave me the same old song and dance you know the drill A vs R and told me that was the problem. I asked how long a refund would take and was told 6 weeks. I asked to speak to a Supervisor. She said that she could refer my request to speak to a Supervisor to Case Management and that I would get a return call in about 5 days. 5 DAYS! I feel like I'm going to have a stroke. I hung up.
It's still August 6 and I have calmed down somewhat. I call ECR back and get Agent 49. She reads the notes and indicates that Agent 23 received a reply to her email that there was no A stock available. I asked why she didn't call me back as promised. No explanation. Then I asked if an R stock unit had been shipped. No, it hadn't. We went round & round. She said that she could send an email to the monitor group to see if this issue can be resolved. She advised that she would call me back when she received a return email. More promises of return phone calls.
Just for fun, I asked her who at Samsung America, Inc or Samsung Electronics America oversaw customer service operations. Her response I will be happy to provide a mailing address for Samsung where you can send a letter to the President and express your concerns.
So, I spent money on a monitor with what I thought was a good, 3-year warranty. My money was good. The monitor is bad. Customer service is fictional and apparently there really is no warranty. This experience puts Samsung in a dead heat with HP for absolute worst customer service/customer support.
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