Did you know that Samsung mistreats its customers after you’ve bought their products?

I am very angry with Samsung right now. I bought a defective unit, and as it turns out, Samsung’s warranty does not allow me to replace the defective unit. They offered to repair it, but it’s worse! And now, I’m stuck with a defective product. I’m doubtful any further amount of repair will make it any better – especially after looking at how they’ve attempted to repair my unit.

I’m writing this first of all, with the hopes that Samsung will replace my faulty unit, and secondly, with the hopes that Samsung will change its ridiculous warranty policy that does not allow for an exchange of defective product. I think I’m not the only one who has had this problem.

(I’ve posted a complaint on Samsung’s Facebook page. You can read my complaint here at https://www.facebook.com/SamsungMobileSingapore/posts/10151396390242625 )

So what happened? Here’s the long story…

A few weeks ago, I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 for my dad. Surprisingly, I fell in love with it after playing with it for a while. In fact, I fell in love with it so much that I decided to buy one for myself too. Heck, it was so good, my uncle wanted one so I bought one for him too. In two weeks, I bought 3 units from the same Samsung shop in Jurong Point.

Unfortunately for me, my unit was defective. It restarts itself at random times. My dad’s and my uncle’s units do not have the same problem at all. So I’m pretty sure there’s something wrong with my unit. I tried googling for answers, and the solutions I found were: (1) do a hard reset (restore to factory settings), and (2) go to Samsung and get a replacement. I reset my device twice but it didn’t work. In fact, as the days gone by, the device got worse. Sometimes it auto-restarts. Sometimes, it’ll just shut down on its own and refuse to turn on even if I’m pressing the power button. I’ll either have to remove and re-insert the SIM card, or wait for a long time before the power button becomes responsive again.

Seeing how it’s impossible to rectify the problem, I went down to the Samsung shop in Jurong Point and asked for an exchange. I was directed to the Customer Service Centre within the shop’s premises. And guess what I discovered?

Samsung DOES NOT allow customers to exchange/replace defective units that you’ve bought from them! Two of their service personnel insisted that my warranty does not allow for that. I’m surprised! I took a good look at my warranty card. Here’s what it says:

photo-16-12-12-10-41-36-am

Look at Point 7. It says:

7. This warranty shall exclude requests pertaining to all refund, replacement, or exchange.

Oh gosh… They’re right! But as a customer, I’m horrified! The warranty does not act in the best interest of the customer at all!

What the hell?!

Samsung! What’s wrong with you?! You sold me a defective unit and you refuse to let me exchange it, even though I came back to report a defect in the device within FOUR days! (I bought mine on 5 Dec and I went to their Service Centre on 8 Dec).

You won’t repair my defective device? Ok, fine. At least a repair will solve the problem, right?

I was wrong! The service personnel wasn’t exactly sure what’s wrong with my device. He said their in-house technician thinks that it’s a battery problem. And with that, he issued a receipt saying that the Customer Service Centre will contact me within 3-5 working days.

That was 8 Dec. On 15 Dec, just more than 5 working days, I received no SMS, nor any calls from them informing me that my device was ready for collection. I decided to give them a call. From 1pm onwards, I kept calling the service centre for almost TWENTY times and no one in the centre had the decent courtesy to pick up the phone. Some time between 2-3pm, I actually called non-stop for about 10 minutes straight. Not a single person answered the phone.

Seriously… Samsung, your service centre has soooooo many staff working in the same small room, and not a single one of you could hear the phone ring? Or was your phone just as defective as the product you sold me? I understand Saturday is a busy day, but seriously, with so many service personnel, you can’t even pick up a phone call?

At long last, at around 6pm, I called and someone finally had the basic courtesy to answer my call, and he confirmed that my device was indeed ready for collection.

Now, Samsung, are your service personnel really soooo busy that you can’t even send me an SMS notification telling me that my device is ready for collection? I wonder how many other customers you’ve kept in the dark. Did you make them call you as well? Did you ignore their calls too?

So I got my product. But what really annoyed me was that the screen was sooooo badly smudged. It wasn’t fingerprints or anything of that sort. I don’t know what it was, but I was difficult to remove. And I was appalled that their technical staff did not have the basic courtesy to clean up the device and return it in a presentable manner. I expressed my dismay at the smudged screen to the lady at the counter. And what did she do? She simply used her finger to wipe away as much of the smudge as she possibly could. At least she bothered to do something (I’m surprised she doesn’t have a screen cleaning cloth – most shops have that and use that – especially Apple shops!). But still, it was very badly smudged, and I’m surprised no one was trained to have the basic decency to return serviced devices in a presentable manner. Come on! How difficult is it to clean up the screen before wrapping it in plastic for collection?

Now, there’s absolutely no way to test if the problem has been fixed since it restarts itself randomly and I have no idea how to replicate the problem! So I can’t test if the repair is done properly! The lady didn’t allow me to test the device in front of her as she had many other customers to serve. So with that, I only tested if the device could power on, and went back.

Anyway, I did ask what they’ve done to the device. I was told that my battery was replaced, and that they have changed the software on my device.

Oh gosh… Changing the software on my device is a HUGE understatement! They actually downgraded my OS! Several functionalities are gone! I can’t even use Samsung’s proprietary Swype input (where you can type by simply swiping your finger across the screen). I bought a Samsung precisely because of the Swype function! And now it’s gone! Downgrading my OS is not a repair solution! What kind of repair standards is this?

Worse still, I discovered that certain parts of the casing was not properly closed. If anything, this tells me just how little care and effort was put in when servicing my device.

At the end of the day, it turns out that the problem has gotten worse. Sometimes it’ll auto-restart, sometimes it’ll shut down for no reason. Worse of all, this happens more frequent than before! Before servicing, it’ll take hours before the device restarts on its own. Now, I’ll just have to leave the device alone for a few minutes and the problem will come up.

Now, looking at the horrendous way in which Samsung has serviced my device, I doubt going to them again for repairs will make things any better. And, since they’ve got this stupid policy that doesn’t allow me to replace a defective good, it looks like I’m stuck with this defective device that I’m starting to hate.

Dear Samsung (Singapore), if you’re reading this, please tell me – what am I supposed to do? Shall I waste my time trying to repair my device in the hands of your incompetent technical support team? Looking at the incompetence of your service centre, it looks like I’ve wasted hundreds of dollars and now I’m stuck with a defective product. I don’t think sending it back to them for repairs will do any good whatsoever. Are you really so heartless and inflexible that you’re not willing to replace such a horridly defective unit that your incompetent service centre cannot fix?

Anyway, I should add that it is illegal in Singapore’s law to sell a defective product and refuse to replace it. It’s called the Lemon Law.

Under the Lemon Law, if a defect is detected within 6 months, it is presumed that the defect existed at the time of sale or delivery and the lemon law provisions apply, unless the seller can prove otherwise, or if such a presumption is incompatible with the nature of the goods (for example, perishables and food are not expected to last beyond their normal shelf lives.) Beyond 6 months, consumers can still seek remedies but they will need to bear the burden of proving that the defect existed at the time of delivery.

Additional Remedies: Under the Lemon Law provisions, the consumer can demand the seller to repair, or replace the defective product. If the seller fails to repair or replace the goods within a reasonable time or without a significant inconvenience to the consumer, the consumer may ask for a reduction in price or return the product for a refund. The seller can offer an alternative remedy from the one demanded by the consumer if the cost of the remedy demanded is disproportionate in comparison.”

(Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), “Lemon Law FAQs”, A1. http://www.case.org.sg/downloads/central/Lemon%20Law%20FAQs.pdf)

Clearly, Samsung has violated the Lemon Law by refusing to allow me to replace my defective product. Clearly, Samsung has acted against the interests of its customers with such an unfair warranty policy.

I’ve posted a complaint on Samsung’s Facebook page. I’d appreciate it if you could go to https://www.facebook.com/SamsungMobileSingapore/posts/10151396390242625 and like my complaint. Also, I’d appreciate it if you could comment about just how horrible Samsung’s warranty policy is. If you’ve been a victim of Samsung, please speak out! I’m very sure I’m not the only one who has fallen victim to such ridiculous sales policies. I will bring this case up with CASE if Samsung refuses to do anything.