Worthless warranty: Alberta consumer questions ‘runaround’ from Samsung

Click to play video: 'Worthy warranties: Why consumers may want to read the fine print'
Worthy warranties: Why consumers may want to read the fine print
WATCH: An Alberta consumer is warning others to thoroughly check out a company and its warranties before buying a big ticket item. As Tomasia DaSilva reports, the buyer says Samsung has been giving him the runaround for almost two years over what he calls a faulty washer. – May 1, 2023

An Alberta consumer is questioning the worthiness of warranties after he said Samsung has been giving him the runaround for almost two years.

Lethbridge resident Alex Fancy bought a $3,000 Samsung washer and dryer set from Costco back in April 2021. He told Global News it started acting up about six months later.

“It started banging and clunking around,” he said.

Fancy said he contacted Costco, which told him to contact the manufacturer.

He also sent the Samsung numerous videos of what the washer sounded like, but said the company just offloaded the problems.

“They (Samsung) sent a technician out five times with three repairs,” he added. “They are now claiming that the washing machine is fixed and that’s how it’s supposed to be operating.”

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Despite following up with dozens of emails, he has yet to get what he wants.

“I would love a brand-new washer and dryer. One that doesn’t bang around and that I can hear from the third floor of my house.”

Fancy isn’t the only one who has complained about Samsung’s appliances and a number of other products. The Better Business Bureau in Canada has received upwards of 800 complaints from consumers over the last three years.

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A BBB spokesperson in Ontario, where the company’s Canadian headquarters is located, has said while the complaint volume may seem high, it’s important to take into account the company’s size and volume of transactions.

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Global News also reached out to Samsung with questions about the number of complaints, as well as Fancy’s specific concerns. We were only told: “Samsung Canada is aware of the situation and is currently in contact with the customer to provide support.”

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Samsung noted that since the last email exchange with Global News, the two sides have agreed on additional repairs, which Fancy confirmed.

The Consumers Council of Canada told Global News consumer and warranty protection are real problems in Canada. The council’s executive director, Ken Whitehurst, added with a manufacturer’s warranty, the manufacturers may or may not “respect” it.

“Businesses know that they can fob off a consumer,” he added. “They (companies) don’t really want to have a bad reputation and say they did nothing, so they may act for a while. But once they realize that they have a problem serious enough that it can’t be easily remedied, they may just choose to walk away.”

Whitehurst advised consumers to look over all warranties closely and really understand them. He said there are many clauses and add-ons that consumers don’t really know about.

Finally, he said if consumers still feel they are still in the right and the company isn’t stepping up, he suggested they consider taking the company to small claims court.

He also advised warranty rules can be different across Canada, so it’s another thing to take into consideration.

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Click to play video: 'Samsung offers American consumers better treatment than Canadians after warranty'
Samsung offers American consumers better treatment than Canadians after warranty

Other consumer tips

The BBB said there are other ways to avoid warranty issues, including doing your homework “before” buying an item.

  • Research the company online and find an accredited company
  • Check reviews
  • Check the BBB for ratings, complaints, other information
  • Ask about warranties, extended warranties and return policies

Fancy, who did check out reviews, has his own advice.

“Definitely do your research,” Fancy advised. “Go above and beyond just what the website that is selling it to you offers for reviews.”

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