This Nasty-Gram Got Me a New $2800 Fridge ASAP

by Darwin on September 1, 2010

I had posted recently on how I got a new $2800 Stainless Fridge for $1100.  I’d been on the lookout since our old fridge was wretched, we’d redone the kitchen and all our other appliances were stainless.  Well, it was a great deal – until we realized the ice maker wasn’t working and it was missing a couple internal parts like the ice bucket, etc.  While relatively minor and covered by warranty, getting the service we were entitled to was becoming frustrating.

Summary: I got a BRAND NEW FRIDGE Instead!

See, we had initially bought a scratch and dent model from Lowe’s and aside from the deficiencies above (which were not evident at time of purchase), it had a couple minor scratches and dents.  I didn’t really mind that much and they weren’t that noticeable, so in my mind, well worth the $1700 off.  But after weeks of complete incompetence and delays (the repair companies kept cancelling and the story kept changing from all customer service reps), I sent the following email (cut/pasted in its entirety so excuse additional contextual details) to Samsung customer service and guess what? New Fridge completely!

I am thoroughly frustrated and disappointed by this complete trainwreck you call customer service.  The notion that this repair ticket is aging is solely due to the incompetence of your personnel and the rag-tag network of repair companies you associate yourselves with.
Brief history:

  • Bought unit and noticed ice maker not working and some pieces missing once comparing with manual.
  • Called your customer service unit.  I was assured a repair would be scheduled immediately and parts would be shipped.
  • We received a call that the parts were shipped.  This is ironic, because they never were.
  • After weeks of no service call, I called back Samsung and they informed me that each repair shop “declined the job”.  Whatever that means, that’s your problem, not mine, but you did nothing to rectify the situation.  Once I was assured a new shop would schedule a repair, they never called.
  • When I inquired with Samsung about the status of my parts (different service ticket), I was told they had to be ordered by the service repair shop.  This is a complete contradiction to our prior discussion.  I was never called to have this explained to me, I had to dig down deeper and find out by drilling your rep.
  • Finally, a repair shop did call our home and they said they’d order the parts.  They have yet to line up an actual repair slot OR schedule the repair.
  • Honestly, I doubt the parts have even been ordered.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Confirm where my parts are.
  • Force this repair company to get out here now.
  • Notify us of your findings immediately.

You are in breach of your warranty as I see it and your customer service and that of the repair shops you recommend is horrendous.

In the event you fail to fulfill your obligations, my next steps are the following:

  • Formal complaint to Samsung’s Complaint Resolution unit with a fully detailed transcript of all calls and representatives involved.
  • Filing of a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the State’s Attorney General.
  • Formal complaint with Lowe’s where the unit was purchased.
  • Utilization of my broad reach to thousands of readers daily via my consumer product blog and Twitter account.
  • To date, I’ve held off on any of these remedies while awaiting resolution, but I’m becoming increasingly frustrated by the clearly deceitful and manipulative design of your warranty process and the personnel that claim to be there to service the customer.


While it may have come across as a bit heavy handed, we were really being screwed and I suspect many people in our situation eventually give up on the repair since the fridge was working after all (there is a separate bottom ice maker) and we were getting nowhere.  It’s the principle though.  Somehow, the calculus on their end must have been that it’s cheaper to send us a brand new unit instead of repairing the existing one and supplying replacement parts.  Now, if we move and want to take our fridge with us, we won’t need side panels per se, because they fridge has no scratches on the side and we have no worries about floor model wear and tear.  Yay for us!

Feel free to borrow from this language for any lousy customer service you’re getting.

Share Your Nasty-Grams – Please!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jesse September 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Great work keeping track of all communication. I think most people just forget to do this and feel like the company will think they are lying when they complain about the service. That scares them out of actually doing anything about the problem, and they are shamed into just living with it.


Car Negotiation Coach September 1, 2010 at 11:30 pm

That’s a fantastic customer service letter! I’m saving that for future reference.

When I was young I wrote a similar letter (albeit a much smaller scale and not as well written) about how my Nike shoes were falling apart after only 3 months of use. Well, guess what? They mailed me a new pair, no questions asked. After that I was hooked and have written similar letters ever since whenever I have a customer service or quality issue!


Daniel September 2, 2010 at 9:22 am

Nice letter, I think something like that is definitely the way to go. Hopefully you’ll be compensated accordingly, because honestly them saying ok we’ll fix it and doing that doesn’t seem like much in return for how you’ve been treated thus far.


Financial Samurai September 8, 2010 at 1:08 am

Glad you got a new one! I remember when you were complaining on Twitter about it several months ago!

$2,800… must be a nice fridge!


Barb Friedberg September 29, 2010 at 7:36 am

You did a great job laying out the problems and your solution! Very well organized! I think NEGOTIATING for more is highly underrated. (this one’s going in my roundup)


Invest It Wisely October 1, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I found this one through Barb’s roundup. I find it crazy that they’d send out a new fridge, but it looks like things worked out pretty well for you! I’m glad to hear that they came to their senses and that things worked out!


Khaleef @ KNS Financial October 3, 2010 at 8:55 am

Great job! The fact that they were willing to send out a new unit makes me wonder how much it costs to produce it! They must have an excellent markup!

I may have to borrow some of this language when a company tries to take advantage of me!


eemusings October 15, 2010 at 2:54 am

Even for a dented one, for that price I would expect half-decent service…good on ya for sticking to your guns.


Edumacatedbuyer November 20, 2010 at 8:54 pm

One thing to think about before making a large purchase in the first place is the extended warranties offered by companies like Best Buy…their warranties are fantastic and we’ve actually made money from them if a product goes out of style. Case in point: we bought a video player for our van that went on the fritz. The maker no longer made the model, so we were given a NEW ONE THAT INCLUDED TWO VIDEOS. On top of that, the new one cost less than the original and we were able to BUY A NEW DISH WASHER with the money left over. All for the extra price of $40 for the extended warranty. No nasty-grams needed. Think before you buy…sometimes price isn’t the only consideration.


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