BY CHRISTOPHER ELLIOTT
John Baldwin’s Samsung tablet won’t hold a charge. He wants to file a warranty claim. Samsung says the device is out of warranty. Is it?
Q: Last year, I ordered a Samsung Tablet 7A Lite online directly from the company to replace a Samsung Tablet S2. I replaced the S2 because it could no longer hold a charge after several years of use.
The new tablet worked fine until about two months ago. I hadn’t been using it very often, mainly because every time I tried to use it, the battery was dead. A month ago I began deleting the apps I identified were using significant amounts of the battery’s power, but that didn’t solve the problem. I eventually deleted or force-stopped every app that was drawing even the smallest amount of power, but the device still died. I’ve owned two Samsung tablets and both had a battery life that was much shorter than I expected.
Before my warranty expired, I called Samsung’s customer service department. But a Samsung representative said my warranty had expired a month ago.
How could that happen? The Samsung representative didn’t know. It’s possible the tablet I received was not new, as advertised.
To prove that the warranty period in his file was wrong (yes, it was up to me to prove it), Samsung asked me to email him a copy of my receipt, which I immediately did. I called to follow up on my request a week later, and a representative said Samsung had canceled my request because I didn’t answer my phone when the company tried to call.
Samsung has made me jump through hoops to get this warranty honored. It has asked me to send a receipt, pictures of the device, and evidence of the warranty. I have been on hold for hours.
I can’t believe that a company like Samsung would treat its customers like I’ve been treated. I paid for a one-year warranty in my purchase price. Can you help me to get Samsung to honor its warranty?
— John Baldwin, South Windsor, Conn.
A: Samsung should honor your warranty, but it looks like it was doing everything it could to avoid its responsibilities.
Let’s start with your Samsung tablet. It should keep its charge for a reasonable amount of time. Based on your account, it looks like you had not one, but two, Samsung tablets that failed to keep their charge. (I’m not sure I would have bought another Samsung tablet based on my experience with the first one.)
Samsung’s limited one-year warranty would have covered a faulty battery. That’s something everyone can agree on. But why did Samsung make you jump through all those hoops to get there? Part of the explanation is the time it took to file your request. But that’s not all. The company put you through the wringer with constant demands for more information — information it should have already had.
Why? Who knows? If you’re more conspiracy-minded, this sure looks like a concerted effort to thwart customers like you from making valid warranty claims. Others might see incompetence. Maybe it’s a little of both.
Samsung’s corporate contacts, which I list on my consumer site, Elliott.org, might have been a shortcut to a better resolution. A brief, polite email to one of them might have fixed this. But you said you sent an email to the executives and they didn’t respond.
I contacted Samsung on your behalf. A representative called you almost immediately from Samsung’s Extra Care department. She said you had received a brand new tablet and explained that Samsung automatically sets the start of the warranty period on their products on the last day of the month the device is manufactured. Then they correct the date when the customer registers the device. You say you don’t remember if you registered the device or not.
So the important takeaway is: Remember to register your device and keep all your receipts in case you need to file a warranty claim.
Samsung repaired your tablet, and you report that it can now hold a charge. Let’s hope it stays that way.
Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit organization that helps consumers solve their problems. Email him at [email protected] or get help by contacting him on his site.