Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Samsung support may actually be evil geniuses

Readers of my previous two posts might be forgiven for assuming that I think Samsung support is a bit crap.

I now believe that they might actually be evil geniuses.

After giving up on their support I decided to take the phone apart and blast compressed air into the power switch in the hope it would un-jam.

This failed to work, so I returned to Google and turned up this page. 

It turns out that throwing the phone on the floor is the way to fix this problem.   Sure enough, when I did this (presumably un-jamming the switch in the process) the phone magically booted.

Now I understand how the Samsung support line works.  Clearly, they are too embarrassed to ask you to throw your phone on the floor.   Instead, the support people act like complete dicks in the hope that you will throw the handset on the floor and thereby solve the problem.

So, Samsung, I owe you an apology, your support lines are run by evil geniuses.   Albeit, evil geniuses that provide no help at all and never get back to you when they promise they will.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Samsung customer support still sucks.

So following the last blog post I sent another message to Samsung through their web contact form.

The message was as follows:

I have just written up my Samsung customer support experience: 
I used to be a huge fan of Samsung Android phones, frequently recommending them to friends and relatives. 
After this experience I will never by another Samsung device of any description. 
Congratulations on losing a loyal customer.
I received the following response:
Thank you for contacting Samsung Customer Care. 
We understand that you have an issue with your phone replacement. 
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused. 
Although this service is provided as a means of technical support for our customers, we appreciate any feedback about our company's products and services. The e-mail message you sent has been reviewed and forwarded to the proper individuals. We value your comments. 
We recommend you to contact our phone specalist department on 1-888-751-4078 for further assistance on this. After dialing this number select (1) for English or (2) for French. 
Samsung values the relationship with its customers. We realize that you have been greatly inconvenienced by the situation. 
Thank you for contacting Samsung. 

So I once again called the support line.   Once again, they are not actually prepared to do anything about the situation other than giving me a number where I can get a quote for the cost of a repair.

So although "Samsung values the relationship with its customers" and realizes that I have been "greatly inconvenienced by the situation" they are still not prepared to do anything about the situation.

In short, they are just wasting my time by asking me to call them.

Update: they have opened a new support ticket and punted things back up to executive support with a promise to get back to me in 24-48 hours.   Watch this space for the next fun instalment.

Samsung Galaxy Infuse is a lemon

Back in December 2011 I bought a Samsung Galaxy Infuse for my son.

In July 2012 it developed a fault, similar to the phone in this youtube video

In short, the phone was stuck in a boot loop, alternating between the Samsung and Rogers logos.

As the phone was still well within its 1 year warranty Rogers sent out a new device to me and I returned the original.

However, in January 2013 the new device developed exactly the same fault.   It appears that the real fault is that there is an issue with the power switch that causes it to lock permanently on and hence you get the boot cycle.

Rogers refused to do anything about the problem as they only give a 90 day warranty for replacement phones.   They advised me to contact Samsung, which I did.

After going through their web-based contact form I received a reply asking me to do a hard reset on the phone.   If they had read my problem report they would have known this was not possible due to the power switch issue.

In order to point this out to Samsung I had to re-enter all the details again in the web based contact system (clicking on the "If you are not satisfied with the answer we provided, please   click here" just takes you to the contact form).

I received a reply saying as the phone is no longer under warranty there is nothing they can do.

I send another request from the web contact form pointing out that:

  1. given the replacement phone developed exactly the same problem as the original and
  2. googling suggests that this is a common problem with the Galaxy Infuse
that the phone would appear not fit for the purpose for which it was designed and that as such Samsung ought to accept this and provide some redress.

I got a reply asking me to try a hard reset on the phone.

A fourth message via the web contact pointing out this was not possible (as I had already told them) received a reply suggesting I call their customer support line.

I called this line and was given an "Executive support line" number to contact, suggesting they might be able to help.

I called this number and they said they would escalate the matter and get back to me.

5 days later I had still not heard anything so I called back.

I was told that my case had been closed as after escalation Samsung had decided they would do nothing about the problem.

Samsung did not bother to contact me and inform me of this.

I repeated to the person on the support line how unhappy I was with their product, the fact that I felt it was not fit for the purpose it was designed and how I felt some redress from them was appropriate.

The support person apologised for all this (in effect, acknowledging that the phone was unfit for the purpose it was designed), but refused to do anything about it.

Up to now I have been a great fan of Samsung Android phones.   I admired the way they responded to Apple's attacks in the courts and would regularly recommend their phones to others.

It is now clear that I was mistaken here.   I have dealt with Apple customer support in the past and the difference to the Samsung experience is like night and day.   Others I know have had similar experiences from Apple.  

So my conclusions are:
  1. Samsung do not care if their customers have a bad experience with one of their products
  2. Samsung support is not actually designed to give a good support experience
  3. If you are out of warranty you are out of luck, regardless of how many times you have had to replace your device under warranty
  4. The Samsung Galaxy Infuse is a lemon.