Groundhog Day, Samsung-style




In hindsight, it seems clear my first year with my first mobile/smart device was charmed.

I’d got into a groove with it, had it doing what I required and was not particularly fussed about not knowing what else it could do.

Still, when it effectively died it came as something of a shock – not that technology fails, but that Samsung does so little, in a fiercely competitive world, to placate customers waiting for devices being serviced to be returned.

Customers they presumably want to keep …

A staff member at the Highpoint Samsung shop informed me, after I had resigned myself to the fact my phone would be gone for a week, that they once issued stand-in phones but discontinued the practice.

So the message was rather blunt: Tough – you’ll just have to cop it.

Nevertheless, I was excited and happy when my serviced phone was returned to me this morning – right on schedule.

After mucking around for a few minutes, I quickly came to conclusion that I needed some friendly prompts in order to master the procedures of once more setting up my phone.

So off I went to the Samsung shop at Highpoint – again.

On a precious day off …

Some friendly help from a friendly staff member and I was on way. As I charged the battery, I got my machine back in order right there and then, uploading and installing app after app – gmail, wordpress, Facebook, Urbanspoon, credit union, etc etc, as well as wallpaper, volume and various other settings and arrangements.

Then it was off to Flemington for a well-earned lunch.

But as I was walking to my chosen eating house, I was aghast and crestfallen to discover that my phone was emphatically not in full working order.

In fact, and much worse, the same fault – a general, all-round unresponsiveness – was still very much present.

Which meant, I assumed, it had not been properly fixed or had not been fixed at all – whatever else may have been done to it.

So off I went to the Samsung shop at Highpoint – again.

On a precious day off …

I managed to keep my cool.

And the staff member who “handled” me kept his, too.

Funnily enough, he was the same dude who handled the paperwork for me the previous week.

So it definitely had a touch of Groundhog Day about it – same personnel, same paperwork, same outcome.

With a twist – in this case, and to the staff member’s considerable credit, he took my case, and my phone, to his manager.

But it made no difference – it seemed even the manager had no discretion whatsoever to offer me either a new phone, even if a different model, or a refund.

So I returned home frustrated and wondering if I’m actually getting back a penchant for this degree of unconnectedness.

But even if I am not, I am in no way convinced this saga is going to attain its denouement any time soon.

O, Ye Of Little Faith?

Um, well, No Faith At All, actually.

I also reckon I am in the process of becoming a former Samsung customer.

So what’s the hot tip – Apple, Nokia, Sony, other?

And, perhaps, just as importantly – how does your chosen phone provider go with keeping you in action when there are technology hiccups?

I suspect some do a whole lot better with this than appears to be the case with Samsung …



12 thoughts on “Groundhog Day, Samsung-style

  1. Hmmm. I had no issues with my HTC phone (ok, until I dropped it, that is), and my new Nexus is quite cheap outright and has functioned just as I need it to since I got it (I think it might be an LG underneath, but not sure).

    If you’re after good service though… can’t go past Apple. Now that there’s a convenient (kind of) Apple store at Highpoint, you show up at your appointment time, they verify the issue, and then your malfunctioning device is, if under warranty or within first 12 months, replaced on the spot with a refurbished model, no charge. So I found that pretty great when my one button on my ipad completely stopped functioning.


    • Hi Sian … yeah I figured. The reaction of one Samsung punter on their FB page mirrors my own: These things are crucial in our lives. People run businesses off them, after all. Expecting them to go without for a week is simply not good enough. Apart from mumbled apologies so far, there has been zero of substance in return for the driving, petrol and significant number of wasted hours. Zilch …


  2. That sucks! Apple is definitely great for customer service. They are almost too enthusiastic to help.
    I hope it works out for you soon!


  3. It depends what you’re going to use it for. If you’re a really basic smartphone user, then an iphone might be exactly what you’re after. Personally I’m an android fan, and would recommend the nexus. It’s pure android, with the advantage of being built by LG for local tech support. I’ve never had problems with Samsung customer service, I do think you’re in the minority but if I’d had an experience like that I’d probably ditch them too!


  4. I have used iphones 3, 3Gs, 4 and 5, and recently changed to a Motorola Moto G as I wanted the Android (Samsung) operating system.
    Best phone ever – stylish, smooth in the pocket, fast, everything. And way cheaper than anything from Apple.
    Why? I think Google have bought over Motorola phone division. Definitely shaking up the existing players.


  5. Thanks for the comments – very interesting! My needs are basic – phone, texting, gmail, wordpress, FB, newspapers. I don’t use my phone to play games (well OK, solitaire ..), listen to music or play videos.


  6. As another pal pointed out to me in an email, this is actually about way more than “which phone”. I’m surprised and disappointed Samsung seem so careless and inflexible with their support activities and approach.


  7. I have the Nexus 4 (which is old now – I believe the 5 is available) – I have never had a problem with it and highly recommend it. As stated earlier, it’s old – still works a treat and no problems what so ever. I personally have had nothing but trouble with samsung phones and if they were the only phones available in the world I’d take my chances with two tin cans and a piece of string.


  8. Apple is great for customer service: they fix it or replace it. So if you’re near an Apple shop with a Genius Bar, I suggest Apple. I haven’t needed this service myself (touch wood), but husband Gordon has used them several times at our nearest big shopping centre, including after the recent updates that mucked up his email reception, and says they’ve been terrific.
    The problem would be, you’d then have to get all your apps again via itunes, I think, which is OK if they’re free…


    • Hi there, Caron! I’m pretty sure all my apps would be free on iTunes – I haven’t paid for one yet. OK, I did pay for the Age – but it was so useless I dumped it. That decision was fully vindicated in the face of my irritation of just how difficult Fairfax made it to actually unhitch my credit card from them!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. So I talked to two different Samsung “customer service” folks today, one in the morning, one in the afternoon. Both had American accents, though I didn’t ask them where they actually were at. Waste of time. The upshot being that during the whole tedious, exasperating, time-wasting saga, not one person at Samsung has offered me anything of substance beyond piffling, mumbled apologies. I and my phone are in the maw of the Samsung procedural nightmare and may eventually come up for air some time before the end of the year. Holding my breath. NOT.


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