Samsung provides no printer parts


My absolute worst customer support experience is
There appears to be no connection between the Japanese and U.S parts depot. The support scenario reminds of the TV repair shop of the 1970's. The company insists upon contracting out its the responsibility of stocking and shipping parts to the customer.

Previously, the only Samsung hardware that I have ever owned were commodity based cellphones. The very inexpensive SCH models. Typically these phones become obsolete before they fail. Luckily I never had any hardware issues with three previous models.

Well, roughly 1-yr ago, I decided to replace an aging Brother laser printer. The device was given to me at a LUG meeting and all I purchased for it was a toner cartridge. The PPM rate was deathly slow, so I knew it was time to upgrade. Enter the Samsung ML-2010. I copped this model for roughly $65 US. Not a bad deal. I was able to get it working with CUPS fairly easily.

It worked fine until one day, I noticed that it seemed to stop responding to print commands. So, while working to resolve this concern, I inadvertently kicked the paper tray and removed one of the retention nubs. Unfortunately, the nubs are needed to keep the tray upright, so that it will hold a ream of paper. Fine, I figured that I would just contact the manufacturer and simply get the part replaced under warranty. Wrong answer... claimed the paper tray is not covered under warranty. Worse yet, you cannot request a part from Samsung, as they have "selected" parts depots in the U.S. In truth, I have no idea how many parts depots are available. At one point, I was told there was only one parts depot in North America... Huh? Unbelievable.
The one closest to me is roughly 1hr drive. I spoke to this parts dealer and foolishly decided to visit during my lunch hour. Of course there was no one there to service me, as they were on lunch break too :) Like I said previously, circa 70's style customer service. Needless to say, I did not make another trip to this store. I suddenly realized that this whole episode was going to take more effort than it was worth. So after scouring the net with the ubiquitous GOOG searching, I located a service manual complete with an exploded parts illustration. Imagine that, I'd struck gold. Now I have the paper tray part number which matches my specific ML-2010. So, I order the part JC97-02239A from and for whatever reason, they send me JC97-02239C. At this point I'm enraged and confused. Once I talk to the depot in NJ, I am told that they sent me what _they_ thought was an equivalent replacement part. Give me a break. So after a bit of back and forth, I finally get refunded my money. Of course I still had to take time out of my day to send the part back.

So probably another 6weeks elapses and I decide to chase this problem again. I make a call to a manager at Samsungparts and explain my problem and of course my displeasure. So I was asked to send a pic of the failed part and this person would tell me which part I needed. Hmmm. Maybe I'd lost my mind, I figured I already knew which part I needed. Nonetheless, I went along with this person since she seemed to be going the extra mile to provide me with quality customer service. *Aside*I just know back in the days when we purchased everything from a brick and mortar store, this printer would be sitting on a countertop while I got my money back. However, after having sent the pics to this salesperson, she provided me with a different part number. She also told me that this part should be in stock. Not exactly a high vote of confidence. Nonetheless, I did a search for my part number and eureka another parts depot appears in IL. So, I make a request and waited a few days and received a package and of course it was the wrong part. Sigh, I behaved foolishly as I expected a different outcome when I knew full well that I already had the correct part number. So, I shipped this one back too. I asked yet another salesperson, if they had the JC97-02239A in stock, the response, "Samsung Japan does not make these parts available to our parts depots?" What are they rationing these parts for some unknown reason? I received no real answer to that question. To make matters worse, the Japanese parts depot does not ship direct to US customers.. Ridiculous. At this point, I'm going to place the paper tray on top of some books, as the printer still works. I've wasted several thousand minutes of my life on this evolution. Life is too precious..

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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on May 29, 2008 2:42 AM.

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