Why I will never buy another Samsung device

I framed my last ever Samsung phone to remind me not to repeat the mistake.

I’ve been on Nexuses and Pixels since Nexus one. Stock-or-nothing was me. However, the mobile phone market has become a bit stale and innovation has slowed down. That is until the foldables started to appear and slowly becoming reliable.

Marques Brownlee‘s video was a big influencer in my purchase decision.

I was in need of replacing my aging Pixel 4 and after watching Marques’ video I decided to face my old dislike and go for a Samsung device. The form factor definitely made the phone interesting, although costly.

The phone arrived and to my surprise Samsung software had become bearable, even likable over the years since I last tried it. I swapped out my Pixel and the Flip became my daily driver. I started to really like the phone. Foldables will definitely have a place in the future line-up of smartphones.

But then…

All was looking good and in 3 months in I was happy with my purchase. But then…

One day, I took the phone out of my pocket and the screen had a black part in the middle and the top half no longer responded to touch. When I got home the black part has expanded and kept growing. The screen clearly had failed from the fold. But hey, no worries, I had not dropped the phone, it was in case and I’ve only used the phone the way I’ve always used my other phones. So I’ll just send it to Samsung for repairs and all is good. Folding is still new tech so shit happens, I didn’t really mind.. until I received a response from Samsung repair:

We regret that your Samsung SM-F711BZGEEUB could not be repaired under warranty.

Based on the information you have provided, we have contacted our service partner to obtain more detailed information regarding the repair.

During the technical inspection of your device, the technician was able to determine that in addition to the display, the frame is also broken and that this damage is due to a mechanical impact, such as a fall, bending or excessive pressure.

So what’s the damage? This is what Samsung service claims as damage stopping them from repairing the phone:

This is a scratch on the screen.

As the picture Samsung sent doesn’t really tell what size damage it really is, here is a better picture of the same scratch:

Yes, it’s the small white surface-scratch in the middle.

The screens on these foldables are not glass. They’re plastic. Soft plastic. So this scratch is probably caused by a grain of sand in my pocket about a month ago. It has had no impact to the phone’s use.

The second damage Samsung pointed out is this:

The aluminium edge has damage

Again, the Samsung picture gives not context so I took a better picture:

Yep, it is these two dots where the paint has been chipped off.

There you go. I call bullshit on Samsung. I know I’ve not dropped the phone or done anything I’d see unreasonable with the phone. It is barely 3 months old of which the last 2 months it was in the official Samsung case.

That is a phone that costed 1.099,00 € lasted barely 3 months and Samsung wants 304,00 € to fix the screen, which I still maintain broke in normal use and not by some damage caused by me as Samsung claims.

So fuck that. I’ll not give a single penny to that company, ever again. To make sure I don’t change my mind, I framed the phone, including the warranty repair rejection email to have on my desk to remind me of this forever:

So I won’t repeat the mistake.

Why does it matter so much?

OK, it’s one phone, one bad customer service experience. I know a lot of people who have had a great experience with Samsung hardware and their customer service. So why does this one matter so much that I bothered to to write about it? Let me explain why this is a really big deal in my opinion, when it comes to Samsung’s attitude towards their customers and new technology.

Foldables are still in early stages. As I already mentioned, folding phones is a great idea. As with any new technology it takes time to iron out early problems. Things break, need to be fixed, improved etc. That’s all fine! I wasn’t angry when the phone broke, I was angry when it wasn’t repaired.

The issue I have with this is the company policy forcing the Samsung repair-center team to reject warranty repair in this case. Samsung should adjust their policies when it comes to these new phones and the unknowns with them. What they’re doing currently is forcing their early-adopter customers to bear the risks of the new technology. With a device like this the policy should be leaning much more towards the customer’s side. A foldable warranty repair should be rejected only when it is extremely obvious that there was damage caused by the user. They should be protecting their technology reputation by taking the responsibility of it. That is where my issue with all this lies. If this would have been an S22, I’d be annoyed but not this disappointed.

I’m not angry, just disappointed.

… Also, Samsung, the GDPR removal request I sent didn’t seem to have any impact, don’t make me ask again.

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Dad | Founder, CTO @snappmobile_io | acting CEO @snappautomotive | GDE, Android | GDG-Android Munich organiser

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Juhani Lehtimäki

Juhani Lehtimäki

Dad | Founder, CTO @snappmobile_io | acting CEO @snappautomotive | GDE, Android | GDG-Android Munich organiser

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