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Constellation

Refund Never Comes - Help! Beware!

Below is a tale of woe and frustration at the hands of the bureaucratic machine of Samsung. The short version is that we have been waiting for a refund on a washing machine since March. At the time of writing this, that is five months. We have done absolutely everything Samsung has asked of us, and we have now had the missing check issued three separate times. It has never arrived. Each time we initiate this process requires multiple hours on the phone and then another month of waiting. The case has been "escalated" two separate times now, whatever that means. The MA attorney general has been alerted and we have been cooperating with them so hopefully they will be helping us resolve this issue, in the meantime placing Samsung on some kind of public list of complaints, plus we have an ongoing conversation with a Boston Globe reporter who is interested in our progress. All we want is to be done with this issue and then hopefully to be done with Samsung forever. The degree of either a) institutional incompetence or b) intentional misdirection on the part of Samsung has been staggering. I would welcome anyone's suggestions if you have had similar experiences and found resolution. And if you haven't found resolution, maybe you can learn something from the paths we have been forced to take, contacting outside agencies that can help, or who can at least draw attention to the issue. If our current path doesn't prove successful, our next option is to hire a lawyer. That seems silly since Samsung says they owe us the money but just can't seem to organize themselves to actually send it. Below is the timeline for your joy, for your sorrow, and for everything in between.  

 

Late Feb/early March - our Samsung washing machine was leaving sandy residue on our clothes after every wash. We posted on a Samsung forum, were contacted by a Samsung agent, followed all troubleshooting recommendations and then were informed by the agent that we were eligible for a full refund. 

 

Mar 16 - original refund request processed and approved

 
April 10 and 13 - we called to find out where the check was. We were told it was sent. 
 
May 1 - We called again and confirmed that no check arrived. After hours on the phone, a new process was initiated to cancel the original check and send a new one
 
Just before june 15 - We called back because again there was no check
 
June 15 - We received an email that the case had been "escalated" 
 
June 25 - We responded to the June 15 email reiterating that there was still no check. No response from Samsung.
 
July 14 - We emailed again that there was still no check. No response from Samsung
 
July 21 - We called twice, hours spent on phone. No resolution. 
 
July 22 - We called twice, hours spent on phone. No resolution, but were informed that the case was being "escalated to the highest level." Was this different than the escalation from June 15? The agent didn't know. 
 
July 23 - We filed a complaint against samsung with the Massachusetts government consumer advocacy group through the Attorney General's office
 
July 23 - We sent an email to the consumer advocate at the Boston Globe
 
July 28 or 29 - We received a phone call from samsung asking if we'd received the check. That call went straight to our machine...
 
July 31 - We called samsung back for the missed call on July 28/29. After several hours we finally spoke to case management to let them know that no, we still had not received a check. They told us that a new request to reissue our check was made on July 23 and that the new check should arrive at the latest on August 7th. 
 
August 4th - We received an email by the North Essex Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. a group assigned to us from the MA Attorney General's office to assist with our ongoing issue with Samsung. They asked us to confirm that we still needed their assistance with our case. We decided to wait to respond until August 7th, since that was the latest date Samsung told us we would possibly receive the check. 
 
August 7th - No check. We responded to the North Essex Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. asking them to proceed with their actions, which I believe include helping us resolve the issue directly with Samsung as well as placing Samsung on a public list of consumer complaints through the MA Attorney General's office. 
 
August 10th - That's today! We called samsung to initiate yet another claim. Why this should be any different is anyone's guess. We have asked Samsung multiple times if it would be possible just to direct deposit the money instead, and we've been told no. Apparently it can only be a check since our first request was for a paper check (insert slow confused head shake here, particularly because we are pretty sure that we requested a direct deposit since there was a lockdown on and we weren't going to the bank, but Samsung insists that we asked for a check...we would take a check. A check would be fine. Just send us a check please please pretty please). We also sent a followup email to Sean Flynn at the Boston Globe updating him on the situation, as he sounded interested and asked us to keep him apprised. If you don't know his column, The Fine Print, it is an outstanding consumer column that dives into cases much like this one. And finally we are posting this here on a Samsung community page. We have opted to keep our frustration off of public forums like this because we wanted to give Samsung the benefit of the doubt. There is a pandemic on, after all. But also, there is a pandemic on and we are working on reduced wages and we have been promised a full refund since March, back when we had to shell out for a new washing machine. So, dear Samsung, where is our money? 
 
We would welcome any suggestions on how to resolve this, including any suggestions for legal action that would be appropriate for our situation. We don't want to pay a lot of money for legal assistance since Samsung has already said they owe us the money. We shouldn't have to hire a lawyer to make Samsung actually send us the money they say they owe us. But if we have to hire a lawyer, we will. Suggestions welcome. 
 
We hope anyone reading this is staying safe and healthy out there.