Try as hard as he might, John Hudson can’t get his electric range to work. It doesn’t matter which buttons he pushes or how long he stays on the phone with tech support. The appliance won’t run. Samsung can’t diagnose the problem, either.
Does that mean he deserves a refund for his Samsung electric stove? Not necessarily.
Hudson’s case is one of the most exasperating reader problems that has crossed my desk in weeks.
The back-and-forth between him and Samsung shows months of painstaking effort to fix the faulty appliance. It ended with Samsung throwing its hands in the air — and Hudson taking drastic actions to remedy the problem.
But Hudson’s troubles are also a valuable reminder of how the repair and refund process works, not just at Samsung. You have to follow the steps if you want to get a refund for a Samsung electric stove. But sometimes, you can do everything right and still come up short.
And that’s where Hudson found himself.
“I want a refund for my faulty stove,” he says.
But is this Samsung electric stove problem even fixable? Let’s find out.
What’s the problem with this Samsung electric stove?
“I hope you can help me,” Hudson wrote in an email. “The oven controls don’t work on my electric stove.”
The first technician couldn’t find anything wrong with the electric stove. Hudson called again, which prompted two more visits. But the next two technicians couldn’t find anything, either.
“Samsung has replaced the electronic boards twice and it still doesn’t work,” he says.
I suspect that Samsung sensed his frustration and offered an “accommodation” — which Hudson interpreted as a replacement.
After all that, he received an email from Samsung that clarified what it meant by “accommodation.”
Instead of a refund for his Samsung electric stove, the company offered — that’s right, yet another service visit.
Thank you for contacting Samsung Electronics, Extra Care. Your feedback is important to us.
Unfortunately, Samsung will not be able to accommodate your request for a refund since the technician found no defect in the unit.
We would like to offer a repair if you are still experiencing issues.
“Samsung has repeatedly flip-flopped,” Hudson complains. “I have done everything the company has asked me to do. But this last visit by a technician is the last straw. If it didn’t work after three visits, how will it work after four?”
Angry Samsung electric stove owner takes drastic steps
Here’s where the story takes an interesting twist. Hudson had planned to sell the condo. But he couldn’t unload the place with a broken electric stove. So instead of returning to Samsung a fourth time, he bought a new range and decided to take up his complaint with the company.
Here’s what he sent to Samsung:
Just as an update, I sold the condo that the range was in and had to buy a new range to replace the faulty one.
I have done everything Samsung has asked me to do. I would like to put this behind me and get a refund for the faulty Samsung range.
And Samsung’s response? According to the paper trail he sent me, nothing. It looked like the company gave up. Hudson says Samsung refused to communicate other than by phone, which means the paper trail doesn’t give the full picture.
So now Hudson was stuck with a non-working electric stove. And it didn’t even matter since he’d already replaced it.
And the whole case was hanging on the word “accommodation.” What does that even mean?
“Accommodation”? That’s some clever corporate double-speak
A little insight from someone who has been advocating cases for almost three decades. “Accommodation” is a meaningless phrase that means, “we might help you.” It fills customers with the hope that they might get what they want. But that seldom happens.
“Accommodation” is a corporate brush-off.
When a customer reads the word “accommodation,” it often means the company is playing games. The company knows that it’s done something wrong — at least in the consumer’s view — but it doesn’t want to promise anything specific.
So if you hear the word “accommodation,” ask the company to be specific. What kind of accommodation? Ask them to email you with their offer.
If you don’t get a specific promise in writing, you should assume the company will do nothing. That’s what I thought when I read Hudson’s email thread. And unfortunately, I was right.
But you have to wonder — was Hudson even entitled to anything in the first place?
No refund for my Samsung electric stove, but what’s the refund policy?
Samsung offers a limited one-year warranty on its ranges, and covers glass cooktops for a year. On some units, it offers five years of warranty coverage.
The company also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for its appliances.
The return process is a little confusing. Samsung instructs you to log into the Samsung website. Click on “my orders” and then click “return” next to the item you want to return. You’ll need to select a reason for your return. Then click “continue” and print the return label. You have 15 days from when you started the process to return the merchandise.
But what about larger items delivered to your home, like an electric oven? Samsung says the process is the same, except that you must return the merchandise to the store. For example, “Items picked up at Best Buy stores must be returned directly to a Best Buy store within 15 days,” it says. If you bought your appliance from a Samsung store, you’ll need to return it to the same store.
Had Samsung authorized a refund, it appears it would have required Hudson to return the appliance to the retailer at his own expense.
But before we get to the resolution on this case, let’s have a look at Samsung’s return and refund practices.
What is the Samsung refund process like?
Most Samsung refunds are easy and fast.
When doesn’t the process go smoothly? When Samsung refuses to refund an appliance and insists on repeated repairs.
An analysis of the Samsung complaints I’ve received suggests that most appliance complaints are similar to Hudson’s. The customer asks for a refund after trying to resolve a problem in good faith. But Samsung wants to keep trying to repair the broken appliance. That process can take weeks or months. Often, a third party gets involved to handle installations and removals, which adds complexity.
Bottom line: If Samsung gives your refund the green light, you’re good. If it doesn’t, prepare for a long wait.
If you run into trouble, you can find Samsung’s executive contacts on this site.
How long does it take to get a refund from Samsung?
Once Samsung approves your request, you should get your money refunded to your credit card within five to seven business days. However, it may take longer to show up on your credit card statement, sometimes as many as two to three months.
If you paid with cash or check, you’d need to contact Samsung’s customer service department to make refund arrangements. These alternate payment methods can also lengthen the time of a refund. Allow Samsung at least a month to process these refunds.
How do I check my Samsung refund status?
Samsung says it can take up to 10 business days after the item arrives at its warehouse to review the appliance and initiate a refund. If you want to know your refund status, you can check your order details in “my orders” on the Samsung site.
Pro tips for getting a refund from Samsung
Here are a few proven strategies if you’re trying to get a refund from Samsung.
Use the executive contacts
We have a dedicated team of researchers who find company executives’ names, numbers and email addresses. Here are the Samsung executives. Many customers are reluctant to reach out to a manager, which is unfortunate. A brief and polite email will often solve even a seemingly unsolvable problem. For example, I think this Samsung TV problem could have been fixed with a quick email to an executive. Instead, my advocacy team lent this reader a hand.
Appeal to the retailer
If you bought your appliance through a third party, you have leverage. Samsung will probably defer to that third party. But guess what? You can enlist that third party’s aid. And you might have more luck dealing with a company like Best Buy than directly with Samsung. A few years ago, I had a bizarre case where a faulty refrigerator got lost on its way back to the warehouse. Eventually, Best Buy offered a full refund. (I’m not sure if it ever found the refrigerator.)
Don’t give up
That’s always true, but it’s especially true for Samsung. I’ve reviewed hundreds of cases. They have one thing in common: Samsung digs in its heels and forces customers to wait. You have to be persistent and outlast the company. Here’s my guide on how to fix any consumer problem. Persistence certainly paid off for this Samsung customer whose ailing washing machine needed a repair. But seriously, don’t give up. You’ll hear that again in a minute.
What went wrong with this Samsung stove refund?
Hudson’s Samsung electric stove was under warranty, so the company should have either fixed it or refunded his money.
Here’s the problem: Like other appliance manufacturers, Samsung gets to decide how to honor its warranties. Will it repair, replace or refund?
In my experience, appliance companies will always try to repair because it’s the least expensive option. I’ve had cases where the company attempts several fixes before moving on to the next option.
Not surprisingly, Samsung didn’t want to offer a refund. But I was surprised that it appeared to stop responding to Hudson’s requests for help.
It looks like Hudson tried to escalate his case to a Samsung executive. But the company continued to insist on a fourth repair — even though he had already discarded the electric range and sold the condo. I wonder if anyone bothered to even read his emails.
Here’s your money back for your Samsung electric stove
I contacted Samsung on Hudson’s behalf. A representative phoned him and agreed to refund $1,100, the purchase price of the appliance.
Instead of filing this issue under “corporate intransigence,” let’s chalk this up to a case study on the power of persistence. Hudson didn’t give up after four repair attempts and a wall of silence. Sometimes, if you want a company to do the right thing, you can’t give up.
When it’s your word against theirs, what do you do?
I’m interested in your thoughts. When a company claims its product works just fine, but it doesn’t, what can you do? The comments are open.
About the art
When artist Aren Elliott read a draft of this story, he immediately thought of a cursed oven from hell. Funny, so did I. “This bad boy is spewing fire instead of using electricity to heat your meal,” he says.
About the video
Producer Iden Elliott thought it would be fun to make the talent do a stand-up next to a real electric oven before destroying it. “Next time,” he promises, “I’m going to blow up a real oven.”