Local man battles with customer service for months to get tablet fixed, refunded

Problem Solvers

SEDALIA, Mo. — Brad Burch let out a long sigh when asked about his frustration dealing with Samsung’s customer service department.

“I mean it’s beyond frustrating,” he said.

Burch is talking about the five months he’s devoted trying to get a $75 Samsung Galaxy tablet fixed. He bought it for his daughter’s birthday last July.

“At the end of February, it started dropping our wifi,” he said. “It just wouldn’t connect.”

Since the tablet was still under warranty, Burch contacted Samsung’s customer service where a representative told him to mail it back and they would fix the problem.

That took about a week, and Burch thought he was back in business. No such luck.

“Within a day, it started dropping wifi again,” Burch said.

He called Samsung again, and again, he was told to mail it back for repairs. Again, it still didn’t work.

Burch asked for either a new tablet or a refund.

“Well, we can’t do that,” he said he was told. “You have to send it back a third time. Guarantee we will fix it, or we will replace it.”

But the third time was also not the charm.

It was now May and an increasingly frustrated Burch said he was promised by Samsung that a new tablet would soon be sent to his home. 

Except that’s not what happened.

“They call me up and say you gave us an invalid serial number,” Burch said the company told him. “We need the correct serial number. Can you look at the back of the unit and give us the correct serial number?”

Burch told Samsung that he didn’t have the device. Samsung has had it since May 6. 

He suggested Samsung look up the serial number in its own files since it had done three warranty repairs. Sure enough Samsung found it. 

“Fourteen business days goes by, and they call me up and say we don’t make that tablet anymore, so we are just going to refund you your money,” the Missouri man said.

That was in June, and still Burch has no evidence that any refund is headed his way.

“Every time you call them, you wait 1.5 hours to 2 hours on hold to speak to somebody to begin with — and then to get to the case management department that handles the replacement you have to wait on hold another 3-4 hours,” Burch said.

He demanded repeatedly to speak to a manager, but a representative said they weren’t there or weren’t allowed to give out their phone number.

Burch even tried complaining on their Facebook page, but he said his post was deleted by the next day.

He finally bought his daughter a different tablet and called FOX4 Problem Solvers. He’s determined to get that refund. He hoped we might have some super secret number for Samsung. Unfortunately we don’t.

In fact, the only number we could find was the same customer service number Burch had.

Instead, we wrote emails to every Samsung media contact corporate official whose addresses were listed online. We even chatted with a help desk person online who promised to, you know, help.

But nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Here’s the good news. Shortly after we got involved, Burch received an email from Samsung informing him his refund has been processed.

So this could be a problem on its way to being solved. We’ll let you know in the customary Samsung waiting period — 14 days.

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