Someone's Sad Samsung Story

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Submitted by brad on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 22:10

I know, my return should be a trifle more auspicious than griping and moaning, but it is what it is. The fire in my belly has long been extinguished by the daily struggle to survive work, three continuously sick kids, and neverending house renos. If something's motivated me enough to write I might as well embrace it before it fades.

Enter Samsung. On Boxing Day I bought a PN59A550. I'd reseaarched it for some time and it seemed like a good combination of features and price. Plus I've always been a Samsung fun. Besides the countless monitors, I'd had the PN50A450 for the three years prior and absolutely loved it. Going a few models up seemed like a safe bet.

Up until now it has been. I love it, the kids love it, even my wife. It's made enjoyable the unenjoyable, enlightened the unenlightened and united the ununited (I know. Go with it. 'Divided' is for paramecia).

Fast forward to Friday, 67 days later. I turn on the TV. Starts out fine. About 15 minutes into some inane cartoon geared to gently engrain societal norms into my children I noticed something shimmering, a bit like a water spot or star. I thought "oh, there's a star forming in the sky. Weird". Then I notice a line across the TV. It stood out because it went across the person's face. By chance it lined up with the siding on the house, so I thought it was a weird cartoonist mistake. Quality control FAIL. Then the 'star' continued to grow as did the line. I spent a while turning channels and trying the test display before I realized it was the screen itself.

If I touch the screen it seems fine. Smooth, not a chip in the glass at all. But behind the glasss it looks like a star-shaped crack. Which seemed really weird. I don't know how that can happen. I went to google, my first source of information and found:

http://forums.cnet.com/7723-13973_102-340997/internal-crack-on-my-tv-pa…

Not good. Seems like I'm not the first by far to have this happen and it sounds like warranty support is nonexistent. I call Samsung, they seem friendly. I send in the necessary picutres, documentation, etc. For the most part it's unbotrusive. I grew so used to the line I barely noticed Saturday. I was zen-like in my lack of concern about the situation (No more fire in the belly, remember?) Then I turned it on on Sunday. Now I had a solid white bar covering 1/3 of the screen as well as two black lines, rendering the TV unsuable.

On Monday Samsung calls me back. Based on the photos it's physical damage which renders the warranty completely void but they'd be happy to send me to a service centre. That's it. 20 seconds, end of discussion. It wasn't physical damage, evidenced by the fact that there was no physical damage. I saw it occur. Apparently that makes me a liar. Now I'm ticked. Take my money, sell me shoddy merchandise, fine. Everyone's out to make a buck. But don't call me a liar. I asked to speak to a manager but they don't do that. I'm told I have no further recourse, noone else I can complain to other than an opinion e-mail if I'd like to register my thoughts. I'm sure it's useless but at this point I might as well. Maybe I can get a TV's worth of employee time spent on it. They also apparently don't believe in the BBB.

All in all, a very disappointing experience. I used to swear by Samsung. Even my last TV packed it in after 3 years, but I thought "eh, 3 years isn't bad". Our Samsung dishwasher was a nightmare, but I figured "eh, that's not their strong suit. They know their displays". I guess they don't.

So, for what it's worth, if you happen upon this blog - My advice is to avoid anything Samsung like the plague. Unless you enjoy shoddy merchandise and being called a liar.

Myself, I'll do the usual complaining. I used to be a decent squeeky wheel. Tootsie Pop with no centre, teeth breaking cherry pits, leaky Oldsmobile engines. Always managed to get some sort of recompense. I'll contact the local TV troubleshooters. I'll e-mail that opinion e-mail. If I can find a physical address anwhere, I'll send a letter. They aren't registered with BBB but I can still comment there.

In the meantime it looks like PC Financial might come through and solve this whole mess. They have a handy 90 day insurance policy that I might qualify for. It won't completely cover it but it'll be close. Fingers crossed. Maybe I'll be back here in 10-15 business days complaining about them.