Samsung won’t give me the $150 E-certificate it promised if I bought a Galaxy Z Fold3 

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By Christopher Elliott

Samsung offers Kristin Graham a $150 electronic certificate if she buys a Galaxy Z Fold3. She does, but now the manufacturer isn’t doing what it promised. Why not?

Question

Samsung recently sent me a promotional email offering a $150 E-certificate to buy a Galaxy Z Fold3. It was a substantial investment, but I took a chance. 

Samsung didn’t provide the E-certificate and never gave me any information about it. I researched, then finally called Samsung a couple of weeks after I received the phone. 

I provided clear copies of the promo and proof of purchase. Everything was clear and concise. The reps first tried to get me to accept a one-time code for a lesser value. Then they made many excuses, including pretending they couldn’t read their own ad, which shows the device as eligible. 

After escalating my case, a supervisor blamed me for their technical problems and explained I was eligible for nothing. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. I’ve documented everything. I want Samsung to fulfill the promise they made in their advertisement. I want a $150 E-certificate. Samsung advertised the terms, and I accepted and fulfilled my side. Now it’s time for Samsung to meet its obligations. Can you help me?  — Kristin Graham, Zephyrhills, Fla.

Answer

Samsung should have done what it promised, of course. And what it promised was this: a $150 credit if you bought one of its pricey Galaxy Z Fold3 phones (current list price $1,549).

Screenshot of the offer Graham received.

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I’ve reviewed the offer and the correspondence between you and Samsung. You left out a really important part, though. See that little asterisk at the end of the headline? There are terms and conditions — lots of terms and conditions — on that offer. Here they are.

If I had to bet, I’d say Samsung was using some obscure condition buried in the fine print as an excuse to deny you the promised certificate. But if that were true, then it should have told you how, exactly, you failed to meet its elaborate terms. Instead, it just passed you from one representative to the next. (Related: What’s an “as is” sale and why won’t Samsung fix my washer?)

Here’s how I see it: You took Samsung’s offer at face value, which is what most normal customers would. The modest 10 percent discount wasn’t too good to be true, so it’s not as if you expect Samsung to give you a free phone or something like that. You were acting in good faith. (Here’s how to fix your own consumer problems.)

If Samsung couldn’t come up with a reason for not honoring the offer, then it should send you the $150 now.

By the way, you kept extensive notes, which helped to support your case. I think you could have appealed your case to one of Samsung’s executives as you climbed the appeals ladder. The names, numbers and email addresses of Samsung’s managers are listed on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org.

I contacted Samsung on your behalf. It reviewed your case and credited you $150, as promised.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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