Samsung won’t fix my ailing washing machine even though it’s under warranty


Kathleen Pierz’s Samsung washing machine only works 60 percent of the time. Yet Samsung refuses to fix it. Why?

Question: I need your help with my Samsung washing machine. I have an intermittent failure of the electronic panel on the washing machine. About 30 percent of the time, when I push the power button, the machine will not start and none of the controls on the panel or the cycle control dial will not work at all.

I believe I have followed every step in trying to get the appliance serviced. I’ve even enlisted Home Depot, where I purchased the machine, to assist me. But I’ve been frustrated at every turn, insulted and now nearly a month into the process, and dozens of wasted hours later, I am officially nowhere. Samsung won’t help me because it claims the machine isn’t under warranty. I just want a washing machine that works. Can you help me? — Kathleen Pierz, South Orange, N.J.

Answer: If your washing machine was under warranty, Samsung should have fixed it. And was it? Yes.


In fact, you have a long, long history with Samsung. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version: You purchased a machine almost two years ago that was later recalled. Samsung offered you credit toward a new machine, which didn’t cover the expense of a new appliance — but that’s a whole ‘nother story — and then that washing machine failed, too.

So why didn’t Samsung cover your repairs? A review of your case suggests it somehow believed the warranty on your first machine applied to your second one, and since almost two years had elapsed, that meant machine number two was out of warranty.

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From your perspective, and mine, that’s complete nonsense. Look, Samsung sold you two lemons; it needed to step up and do the right thing, not throw the book in your face. Even if your machine had been out of warranty, I would have gotten involved in your case.

You tried appealing to the Samsung executive contacts I list on my site, but the company failed to fix your problem. (Seriously? Even the executives are giving you the cold shoulder? Come on.)

Your case has a complicated ending. Samsung initially agreed to make the repairs after you contacted it, but then refused to complete the work because your machine was stacked. You were physically unable to unstack it and unwilling to hire a mover to do the job. I contacted Samsung and it refunded your entire purchase.


Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org.

  • Gregg Tonkin

    My brother in law is an appliance repair person. He refuses to work on Samsung appliances due to the above issues plus the inability to get parts and the overall attitude by the company.

  • Kerr

    I had a similar experience (different item – computer?) where the remaining warranty of the first item applied to the replacement item. I understand companies don’t want never ending warranties, but what’s the point (from the consumer’s perspective) if the replacement item comes with a warranty of only several months (or less)?

  • Steve Rabin

    Maybe Samsung should stick to cell phones?

  • MF

    Yeah which ones, the ones that catch fire or explode?

  • The Original Joe S

    That’s the Acme Company!

  • Dan

    That’s a really uninformed statement considering that Samsung makes just about everything under the sun and accounts for 20% of Korea’s gdp.

    You probably own a ton of stuff with Samsung made components and you don’t even know it..

  • MF

    T’was a snarky comment. I was suggesting that their customer service fail should at some point result in a decrease in demand for their products, as without decent support, a manufacturer of retail consumer goods will eventually get a bad reputation and contract as a result of low demand.

  • Bill___A

    I this case, I believe she used a credit from the first defective machine AND some of her own money to buy the second machine – so in this case, I believe the warranty unquestionably should “start again”. However, the other big question here – other than the current troubles, is why didn’t they make her “whole” with the first machine? When a company makes something and there are problems with it, they need to take care of it. As to the “intermittent” nature of the problem, I had an issue like that with my Ford at one time. They said they had to “see it”. I even took video of the problem, but could not seem to get it to fail in their presence. When it finally did happen and I was near the dealership, I headed straight over there and asked them to come look. They then said it *had* to be a mechanic and one wasn’t available. Although this column advocates not losing your temper when dealing with people, and I generally agree with it, there is a time and a place for it, and losing my temper was exactly what was required. The problem was an entire instrument panel change out, probably the same issue that the Samsung “intermittent issue” was. Perhaps if I had contacted the website, they would have got me a refund on the car!

  • AMA

    I’m glad she got her money back, and I hope she doesn’t spend that much money on a washing machine again. The simplest agitator machines cost $300 and work just fine.

  • donrull

    Samsung is great when products work, but when there is a problem they leave you high and dry. This poor customer service is why we won’t purchase Samsung electronics. The company has a poor attitude toward their customers.

  • joycexyz

    And stay away from Samsung!

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