What to Know
- Samsung recalled almost 3 million top-loading washing machines in November because of reports of explosions.
- Consumers complain about rude customer service, unfair rebates, a "fix" that's not really a repair.
- The CPSC said it's working with Samsung to ensure better oversight of the contractors hired to fix the washing machines.
After Samsung recalled almost 3 million top-loading washing machines in November because of reports of explosions, customers say they aren’t getting the help they need from customer service and the repair options aren’t fair.
Colleen Wheaton, who does a lot of laundry as a mother of three with two dogs, paid $850, which included a warranty, about three years ago for her washer. The Alexandria family bought it for special settings – the extra hot settings and the high spin setting.
“I prayed that number wasn’t going to be one of the ones recalled, and sure enough, that number matched up online,” she said.
Then she saw pictures of Samsung washing machines like hers in pieces after explosions.
“They’re terrifying,” she said. “I can’t have that happen to me, or anyone.”
Samsung and the Consumer Product Safety Commission blame excessive vibration during the spin cycle for the explosions, and instructed consumers to only use the delicate or lower spin speed to avoid injury.
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
Per the recall, Samsung customers have three options: Refund, replace or repair.
But Wheaton learned the refund is pro-rated based on the age of the washer. She was furious when she was told just how little she'd get.
“It was only going to be $157 toward a new washer, but after paying $850, we felt like that wasn’t a fair amount,” she said.
So she chose the repair option, which included a sticker that covers the option for the high spin cycle.
“It’s a sticker that doesn’t let you choose these options even though that’s why we bought the washer,” Wheaton said.
Samsung would also reinforce the brackets to hold the lid down.
Wheaton’s complaint is one of many NBC4 Responds received. Across the country, NBC stations have heard similar complaints. Some consumers say Samsung is not responding. Others complain about rude customer service reps, unfair rebates, a "fix" that's not really a repair and inconsistent information given to consumers about the recall.
The CPSC said it's working with Samsung to ensure better oversight of the contractors hired to fix the washing machines.
In a statement, a Samsung spokesperson said it is listening to feedback and learning from consumers’ experiences.
We are listening to and learning from every consumer’s experience in order to constantly improve our processes. We take all customer feedback seriously and are working with our authorized service partners to look into these reports.
Our priority is to reduce any safety risks in the home and provide safe choices to consumers affected by the recall. In coordination with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, we are offering consumers a choice between a free in-home repair for those that want to keep their current washer and an exchange rebate for those that prefer a new machine.
If a consumer chooses a repair, an authorized Samsung field technician will install structural reinforcements to the machine. Consumers who choose the free in-home repair will also receive a one-year extension of the limited manufacturer’s warranty, regardless of the age of their washer.
Our customer care team is standing by to assist anyone who has questions or concerns at 1-866-264-5636 and we encourage everyone to visit http://www.samsung.com/us/TLW to learn more about the recall.