A B.C. Samsung customer whose top-loading washing machine was the subject of a recall said he felt discriminated against because of where he lived.
Stan Weir lives in Johnsons Landing in the West Kootenays.
“I felt like because I lived in a fairly remote area of the province I was being discriminated against,” he said.
Back in October 2016, some Samsung top load high efficiency washing machines and some Kenmore brand models built by Samsung were part of a major North American recall after reports of the washing machine top suddenly detaching and causing injury.
Samsung offered affected customers the option of an in-home repair or a rebate toward a replacement machine.
Weir requested an in-home repair.
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“Samsung contracted a local business to service all of the warranty repairs that were required in this area,” said Weir.
But shortly after, Weir said he was told by the contracted company that’s located in Castlegar, two hours away, that it couldn’t help him because it was out of the service area.
“There was nowhere in the warranty where it said that if I was more than 250 miles away from a service centre that my warranty would be void,” said Weir.
Weir said he followed up with Samsung repeatedly, but came no closer to having his machine repaired.
“After about the third time, I was told they would refer my case to upper management,” he said.
The back and forth between Samsung and Weir continued for months and grew even more frustrating for him.
On October 2017, one year after he received his safety recall notice, Weird said Samsung offered him a $595 credit toward a new washer.
Weir said he still wanted his repair.
Then in February 2018, Weir says he received another email from Samsung saying the company was prepared to offer him the rebate, but the repair option was no longer on the table.
“I was, to put in a word, stupefied,” said Weir who, once again, declined Samsung’s rebate.
Then, in March 2018, Weir said he received another email from Samsung offering a $630 rebate offer and an ultimatum that he had three days to accept Samsung’s final offer.
Weir advised the company that this was not an acceptable offer and he was standing firm on wanting his washer repaired.
Days later, Samsung told Weir that his case was closed because they could not reach a mutual agreement.
Weir then turned to Consumer Matters for help.
“I sent it off to the Consumer Matters reporter Anne Drewa. Within 12 hours of sending the email to her, I had a fellow named Dominic from Samsung on the phone telling me the repair technicians would be in contact with me,” said Weir.
Samsung Canada also issued Weir a cheque for $125.
In a statement, the company told Consumer Matters: “Thank you for bringing Mr. Weir’s matter to our attention. We have successfully reached out to Mr. Weir and mutually agreed upon a resolution that includes the repair of his washer and a goodwill measure to compensate him for any inconvenience. At Samsung, the satisfaction of our customers is a top priority.”
Well over a year later, Weir finally has his washing machine repaired, but said he has this message for Samsung: “If you want to build consumer rapport, then follow through and get the job done.”
Weir said he plans to donate the $125 to charity.