My Broken Samsung TV, how corporations force you to buy new (Update)

(If you have read all of this before, then skip to the last paragraph for the update.)

I will continue to complain about corporations until corporations fix their basic problem. Simply put – we don’t count. We, American consumers, only count when we’re buying new stuff. Otherwise, we are nothing. Corporations pretend to give service but they really don’t. They waste our time so that we get frustrated and finally buy something new.

So, back in November, I bought this 51-inch Samsung TV. Nice picture. Good size. High definition. Two weeks ago, I sat down to watch some football and the TV turned itself off and on, then off and on again, and then the screen went blank. Nothing. “This isn’t good,” I thought.

I called HH Gregg. I called them because they were the company that I bought the TV from and I had also purchased an extended warranty. After negotiating through multiple different prompts, I get some “service center” who will be happy to send somebody out to look at my TV in five days. Five days? That really doesn’t sound reasonable. Okay, I will wait for five days. Five days later, the serviceman comes out, looks at the TV and decides that the TV needs some new parts. Of course, he doesn’t have the parts. So he’s going to have to order the parts. We are told to call him back when the parts come in. He leaves. He does not give us his name. He does not give us a business card. We get nothing. Five days later, the parts arrive. Now, we get to the good part. Who do we call to let them know that the parts have come in?

I call HH Gregg. That was the company that I called before, so I foolishly thought that’s the company I should call again. After going through multiple prompts, I get to a bewildered service person who puts me on hold several times and asks for a lot of information only to tell me that he’s going to have to transfer me to someone who can help me with my problem. I get transferred back to the initial prompt at HH Gregg. Basically, I’m back to square one. I go through the various prompts once again and I get to another bewildered service person. I give him lots of information only to be placed on hold several more times and then I’m told I need to be transferred to Samsung. Somewhat frustrated, I agree to be transferred to Samsung. 20 minutes have passed.

Now that I’m talking to Samsung, I go through yet another set of prompts, finally reaching another bewildered customer service representative. I get placed on hold a few more times and I give the representative the same information that I’ve given twice before to representatives at HH Gregg. Who came out your house? I don’t know. We don’t have a record that you ever called about this TV. Okay, I’m sorry that you don’t have a record, but I did call about the TV and the servicemen did come out to my house. Okay, I’m happy to help you. (I really don’t believe this.) What is the product number and serial number of your TV? I don’t know, I’m at work. The TV is at home. Well, call us back when you have the model number and the serial number and we will be happy to help you. I have now wasted 25 minutes of my life and I still don’t have someone coming out to fix my TV.

Hours later, I call Samsung back. I’m at home. I have my product number and my serial number. I get on the phone and have to repeat all the information again. Again, I get the – I’m happy to help. I give the customer service representative lots of information but nobody ever asks for my product number or my serial number. We’ll be happy to send the servicemen out in five days. Okay. Very frustrated. What was all that stuff about product number and serial number?

Over the next several days, two different service companies call to tell me they’re coming out to fix our TV. We choose the service company that is gonna come out the quickest. Here’s the best part – the new parts are placed in the TV and the DAMNTV still doesn’t work. They need another new part. I remember a time when you’d call for service on an appliance and the serviceman would be there the next day. The serviceman worked on your appliance and actually fixed it that day. I might be wrong, but those days seem to have gone the way of the dodo bird. So far, we have wasted two weeks and over an hour on the phone and I still have a broken TV.

Update – service parts arrived. Serviceman came out and installed those parts and this TV still doesn’t work. Does this sound familiar? So, I asked the most logical question. We’ve been at this for more than three weeks, three different service repairmen have come out and looked at this TV. Can we replace it now? Now the story gets complicated. HH Gregg does not want to take responsibility. The responsibility of replacing the TV lies with Samsung. Samsung stated that their repairmen have not been out to look at this TV. Instead, the repairmen who came out in the past have been HH Gregg repairmen. In order to qualify for a new TV, Samsung repairmen will have to come out and determine that the TV cannot be repaired. Basically, we’re back to square one.

5 Responses

  1. Hello Everyone
    I am from India and using Samsung Galaxy Y. Some days ago, I went to Samsung Service Centre, as got some water damage. And they checked that, and told me that the phone touch and jack are destroyed and have to replace these. I said okay coz my phone was under warranty. But they told me that they would charge me 4000/-. As it was near the half amount of new phone’s price. Then I went to another service centre and they told me to charge 1600/-. So I gave my phone to them as they were charging fewer amounts then first one. But my some of friends told me that they have charged me unnecessarily. Because if our any product is under warranty, the company pay for their repair. So I contacted the centre for same but they didn’t respond me for my issue. So, I filed my complaint at had bookmarked for future use. I just hope for great help from their side as soon as possible. I just shared my experience to aware you guys. I hope it worked.

  2. Okay I won’t be buying Samsung. They told me these problems arrive with LG products. I have a new Samsung Washer and Dryer. But I need a new over the range microwave. I think Samsung is out…

  3. Yikes and I just recommended Samsung to my brother and he bought one.  I have a SONY that the sound goes out once in a while.  They sent me a software update.  It reduced the outages, but they still happen every other day or so.

  4. This is all about corporations ignoring the customer. a software update?? isn’t what you wanted. You wanted the problem fixed and… it ain’t. I hate that.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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