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Print 64 comment(s) - last by Sailor23M.. on May 28 at 9:55 PM


The last Samsung product I'll ever buy.
Quality is dead. Samsung killed it.

My story begins quite innocently, in the autumn of 2007. A young couple that recently struck out on their own was gearing up to make their first big purchase as independent adults.  

After much debate and web browsing, they settled on a Samsung 42-inch plasma HDTV from Best Buy. The store was running a financing offer -- three years, same as cash -- and the monthly payments were well within the couple's budget.

For three-and-a-half years, the TV was a stalwart member of the family. It saw the couple get married, adopt its first dog, and purchase its first home. (And, unlike the dog, the trusty TV never made a mess and always responded when called.) 

Then one day, something changed. During a regular daytime broadcast of The View, or E! News, or whatever other ungodly programming the young lady watched when her husband was not around; the dependable television turned itself off in protest. The girl looked around, bewildered. But the TV could not bear to see the girl suffer without her programs, so it promptly turned itself back on without much pause. But for the first time, the TV tasted freedom -- unshackled from the invisible chains of a remote control.

Things only continued to get worse. The TV began acting as if it were possessed, sometimes during a Detroit Red Wings playoff hockey game, other times interrupting The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (which was creepy enough without electronic equipment controlling itself). And the acts of dissent intensified. It would take longer and longer for the TV to give in to the mewling of its adoptive owners. It would incessantly click on and off for twenty-minute intervals.

**********

That's where the fairytale ends. The reality was much more upsetting. After a few quick Google searches, I found out that Samsung HDTVs power-cycling themselves is not an uncommon phenomena. After a little more digging, a picture of the situation began to emerge. From 2006 until 2009, Samsung (and others, I'm sure) used cheap Samwha capacitors that, according to comments on the Badcaps.net forum (I know, not exactly an "expert source" or anything), were known to be poor quality and blow out quickly. Further research also concluded that, left unattended, the problem could fry the entire power supply.

Taking the issue to Samsung led nowhere. They simply gave me the address of a company that could fix it on the other side of town, and told me that I was on my own. It was well out of the one-year manufacturer warranty, and even if I'd purchased an extended warranty, they only offered a three year warranty at the time. 

(Side-note: A colleague of mine had purchased an extended-warranty on his Samsung LCD, where they offered to refund a certain percentage of the cost of the warranty if it went unused for the entire warranty period. Of course, his caps went bad two years in and Samsung sent a tech out to replace them. Because he'd used it, he would not be receiving any kind of warranty refund.)

I took my grievances to Facebook, just to vent. In addition to the comments from friends discussing how quality in pretty much every manufactured good is non-existent, I also received additional anecdotal evidence of just how widespread the Samsung problem is: "My Samsung just crapper too. Only 4 years old," one friend wrote. "
Our samsung did something funky like that earlier this year, and it was only about 2 years old. WTF!," wrote another. 

After mulling over the prospect of replacing the caps myself, I decided to take it to a local TV-repair shop known to be the best around (in terms of price, quality of work, and customer service). I called to get a ballpark estimate of the cost of repair: $100-$125, if it was limited to bad caps.

(Another side-note: I'm a writer, not an electrician. I would have had to order parts, wait for them to come in, take the TV apart, buy a soldering gun, and then try not to damage the power supply myself. I wanted to be sure that everything that was damaged would be replaced, and replaced correctly.)

When I dropped the TV off the next morning at Northern Television Appliance Co. in Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit, the owner's story wasn't too far off from what the commenters on the forum had said. For a few years, a number of TV manufacturers switched over to using cheap Chinese capacitors, he said. Then, some time in 2009, they switched back to higher quality ones made in Korea and Japan, although some lower-end manufacturers still use the Chinese ones. 

Either way, he'd have an estimate for me in a couple of hours, and could have it fixed by the end of the day. 

I got a call around lunch time. As suspected, four capacitors were fried, along with two transformers. The total cost would be $150, and I could pick it up before they closed that day. I did, and I'm happy. (Final side-note: I can't praise Northern TV and its owner/operator enough for his courteousness, honesty, swiftness, and quality of service.)

It could have been much worse, and it wasn't really all that bad to begin with. It's just the principal of the whole scenario that got to me (added to the fact that the tie rods on my wife's five-year-old car were found to be in dangerously bad condition on the same day). When you shell out a thousand bucks on a piece of equipment, you hope that it will last longer than three years, and that the company that made it will stand behind its work. If it knowingly used faulty parts in its products, it should be up to the manufacturer to resolve the situation. That's what recalls are for. 

That's my sob story, and I'm sticking to it -- by never buying another Samsung product again!



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By MrJustin5 on 5/12/2011 3:24:07 AM , Rating: 2
Now lets get something straight: I've been a fan of Samsung when I first started to see their products in early 2000's. I strongly advocated their products to others. I got 2 of their CRT monitors and loved them. They were true flat screen, professional CRT's. Since then I've been buying a number of their products over the years. Until I noticed my brand new Samsung Spinpoint F1 HD753LJ 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb started to take a crap. Files were unaccessible. I used Kroll OnTrack to do an extensive diagnostic and the drive came up bad. So I used OnTrack to grab what files I could off of the drive. I sent it in (within just a few months of the warranty expiring, I think it was only 1 year) to Samsung. The swapped it out within a few weeks. This new one hasn't given me problems... yet. I have an additional 2 Samsung 1TB F1 and a 1TB F3 (super fast) and I hope they hold together until its finally viable and affordable to upgrade to SSD. I'll never buy a Western Digital HDD again as on average 3 out of 5 drives failed for me and my customers. I cant afford loses like that. Anyhow: THE FINAL STRAW. The DREADED SAMSUNG MOMENT ANDROID PHONE BY SPRINT!!! What a nightmare. I had the phone replaced 6 times. 7 if you count the defective one they gave me that wouldn't update, at the store, so they gave me another one on the spot. I have been to sprint stores 16 or 17 times regarding this phone. Each time its: Hard reset. I leave and return after it goes bad again. The order a new one. Then I have to go pick it up. Thats 3 store visits to get one return. After spending maybe 8 or 10 hours total calling Sprint and complaining and then spending about 24 hours of my life wasted going to the sprints stores, they finally gave me a Samsung Transform. I put an add on craigslist for $300 and some guy visiting from Chicago bought it. I went back to craigslist and got an HTC Evo (I will NEVER buy the Samsung Epic) and I cant be happier.

Reading this article scares me. My girlfriend and I live together and she purchased a Samsung UN55C7000 55-Inch 1080p 240Hz 3D LED HDTV. It was zero % interest for 2 years at Sears and it came with the bundle. 2 pairs of 3D glasses and a 3D Bluray player. Its an edge-lit LED and so there is some "clouds" when its a super dark scene, other than that... I hope that baby holds together. It was retail $3,200 for the TV alone, but $2,000 on sale with the 3D Bundle included. Anyone had problems with this particular 3D TV?




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