Alright, let me state this right off the bat: I got rid of the Galaxy Note only in the smallest of smallest parts because of Android. Small enough of a part that I’m only bringing it up to throw some water towards the flames that will surely come from the Android fanbase. Again – NOT because of Android. Not because of fragmentation. No, I didn’t say IOS was better. Stop and read before lighting the fires and starting the witch hunt.
I got rid of the Galaxy Note because Samsung’s customer service flat out sucks. And not in a small way. I’m talking about the difference in sucking power between a Dyson and one of those Coit carpet cleaning vans.
I’m sure you’re already thinking, really? What could they do that was that bad? Understand that I rely on my phone daily – enough that I am granted a stipend to make sure I have the phone service to accomplish my job. Keep that in mind when it comes to my recent ‘service’ request with Samsung.
A while back I wrote my review of the Galaxy Note and praised the device because well frankly it deserved it at the time. In the wrap up area of the review some noted that I had to swap devices due to an issue with the first phone. I was called out in the comments and I further explained the issue that the device had developed some hairline fractures in the outer casing – specifically right around the border of the screen in the white plastic. I stuck with the Note after getting a replacement from AT&T thinking it was just bad luck. Since I hadn’t dropped the device or damaged it myself, it was just a one-time defect I figured. Bad news… It wasn’t a one time thing.
Over the past few months my SECOND device developed similar cracks by the headphone jack and the power switch. Quick show of hands … who remembers the iPhone 3G and 3Gs having similar issues with their plastic? Who remembers how Apple dealt with that? My experience was this: You drove your happy ass to the Apple store, they flashed a light into the headphone jack (water check), looked at the phone all around for drop damage and then asked if you had your information backed up already. 10 minutes later, your happy ass was driving back home – new/refurbished iPhone in hand. And that was BEFORE Apple realized they’d screwed the pooch. That was just Apple employees doing the right thing for the customer. Once Apple really knew they had a problem the process was even easier.
So guess what? Samsung has the same problem with the white plastic on the Galaxy Note. Years later and their copied phones are so well copied that they screw up the same damned thing Apple did. But, rather than copy Apple on the customer service side Samsung’s solution is DENY DENY DENY, you broke it, you need to pay to fix it.
But wait, my ‘service’ timeline is the best part:
First Contact: 7/31/12 — I requested service. I called Samsung support and was advised I would have to send my phone to them for evaluation as they have never heard of this issue before. It’s bullshit but I have a spare phone (old Nexus One) so rather than argue about it, I agreed to send in my device. Samsung advised they would send me a pre-paid label.
8/1/12 – The EMAIL’d label arrives. I leave the box at the front desk for UPS to pick up. Unfortunately no UPS pick up that day so I went online to schedule a pickup. Guess what – in order to do that I would have had to pay for UPS to pickup. I decided to wait. Finally, on the 4th I get tired of waiting for UPS to take the box (the driver didn’t bother to check our pickup area), so we hand deliver the box to the distribution center.
8/7/12 – UPS delivers the device to Samsung.
8/8/12 – Samsung receives the device (officially) and notes the ticket.
8/11/12 – Four days after receiving the phone, the tech notes: The phone has 2 cracks in upper top right corner and upper left side. Scratches on sides. *** Here’s my problem with that – First the cracks were in the upper right by the headphone jack, and the upper right by the power switch. There were NO cracks on the left side of the device at all. Second, there were NO scratches on the sides of the device. BodyGuardz skin FTW. There’s ZERO chance for scratches when the phone has a full body skin.
8/12/12 – Now five days after receipt and a full business day after the initial inspection, my ticket is moved to a pending status and I get an email (no call):
Out of warranty due to condition. Despite the fact that the phone was bought in March – and otherwise flawless – it’s out of warranty. Turns out that’s Samsung speak for the warranty is still valid, but we aren’t going to work on it as a warranty problem.
8/12/12 – Naturally, after getting a $70 bill to fix a phone I didn’t damage – I called Samsung. 30 minutes later, I’m off the phone with Samsung with the information that they can’t help me on the weekend because they aren’t authorized to waive the charges. I have to call back Monday.
8/13/12 – I call Samsung again. I talk to 5 reps – all of which ask my phone number, ticket number, and various other things. 45 minutes into the call I finally get someone who can help me… or so I thought. I explain the cracks, I also explain that in order to create those cracks via ‘customer damage’ I would have to have dropped the phone on the corner with enough force to crack the exterior shell. With that knowledge, and having seen many a broken device due to drops – it would stand to reason that the screen itself would be shattered. The rep agrees with me and again denies that they have ever seen this issue. The rep also is not allowed to override the charge and recommends I email (there is no phone number) the ‘office of the president’.
8/13/12 – 1+ hour after I started the phone call, I write my email to the president’s office, explain everything again and click send. Four hours later, I get a polite response stating they will repair the device at no charge. Win!
8/14/12 – No update in ticket at all this day. I call again, get transferred to the president’s office (I guess they got a phone) and ask why nothing was noted in the ticket, and what the hold up was if the repair was approved over 24 hours earlier. I am advised that the best they can do is expedite the repair… and that just means the tech has 48 hours to repair or replace the device. Two Days. Seriously? I accept because who knows how long it might take otherwise.
8/15/12 – The device is finally out of the technician’s hands 8 days after delivery.
8/16/12 – Wait… you didn’t think they shipped on the 15th did you? Ha. Tracking number issued and unit shipped via 2 day UPS.
8/17/12 – Phone arrives at UPS facility late night – 11:30pm. But alas, that puts us in to Saturday and UPS is apparently closed on Saturday according to their call center.
8/20/12 – 16 days after shipping, 21 days after first contact – the phone is finally back in my hands.
8/21/12 – The phone is traded on Craigslist for what I would deem as at a loss.
After 21 days without my primary device – a vast majority of which was simply because the device sat on a tech bench and collected dust I finally had the Galaxy Note back in my hands. I don’t know about you, but 21 days without my phone for what I consider to be a material defect is simply unacceptable and something I refuse to put up with. Knowing I had two phones, and both ended up with cracks I wasn’t going to keep this one any longer. Yes, I realize Samsung already has my money so why should they care? Here’s why – The SGS III which I was considering, the Galaxy Note 2 which is rumored to be announced this month, the Galaxy Note 10.1 which I was considering as well (read this for another reason not to buy it). All of that adds up to a lot of lost business, and that’s only what I was considering this year, let alone what may have happened next year. Customer service is a lost art… unfortunately Samsung didn’t even bother to pick up a paintbrush.
tl;dr — Crap customer service = no more customer.