Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a third time? Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment but never again. Over the last decade or so, I’ve had three Samsung televisions within the family fleet. Each time, they’ve failed. Each time, Samsung or SquareTrade denied warranty claims. Samsung, you are now persona non grata within the Svoboda household.
Samsung LN55B650 55″ 1080p LCD HDTV (LN55B650T1FXZA)
Purchased this Samsung back in 2009 to replace a Mitsubishi projection TV that was over 5 years old and still working great. The Mitsubishi was not 1080p nor was it fully HD capable. After reading review on this TV, took the plunge and picked on up at BestBuy all in at around $1,500. The set worked pretty solid for the first several years and then it started randomly shutting off — no on-screen error, no audible chimes aside from the power down number. After speaking with Samsung, they assured it was nothing serious and would not dispatch a technician to look into the issue. After researching online, other folks were complaining of the same issues and some folks weren’t as lucky to have the set come back on after letting it “cool down” for a bit. Fast forward a couple months later (and now out of warranty), the set no longer powered up at all — it would just give the audible power sound and then a red blinking LED on the front.
Spoke with Samsung figuring they’d take care of me since the issue was documented before the warranty had lapsed (stop laughing) and I was basically told to pound sand. Since the set was only a few years old and having read of the capacitor issues online, I found a local TV repair shop that came out and verified all of the Samsung capacitors were leaking and/or blown. For a little over $100, he replaced all of them with third-party caps and thankfully the set is still going strong today. I find it hard to believe that Samsung wasn’t aware that they had poor quality capacitors for there 2009 sets since it seemed to be a common occurrence across multiple television set lines. Strike One!
Samsung HL67A750S 67″ 1080p DLP HDTV (HL67A750A1FXZA)
Needed a second TV to use in our basement and since the LN55B650 hadn’t started showing signs of trouble yet, opted for another Samsung. Had this one for several years without issue, mainly because it was a very light duty TV located in the basement — maybe a couple hours of use several times a week. Long story short, Samsung lost a class-action lawsuit about the DLP chip failing (and a myriad of other issues) on these TVs and offered to replace them IF you knew about it. No, seriously. Never mind my TV was registered through their portal — we never received anything on it, you know, like a recall. When our set finally did start having the white dot issue, Samsung was no longer legally required to repair the issue.
Had I used the TV more frequently, the chip would have experienced the issue sooner — it wasn’t a matter of if the DLP chip would fail, just when. The lack of customer service in not alerting registered set owners to the lawsuit is what really irked me on this one. I ended up using it solely as a video game TV until the white dots were so prevalent that it effected game play. Strike Two!
Samsung KS8000F 65″ 4K SUHD TV (UN65KS8000FXZA)
After having sold off the HL67A750S for parts on Craigslist and using the previously repaired 55″ Samsung in the living room, I decided it was time to finally get a new TV so I could relocate the smaller TV to the bedroom. During the 2016 Black Friday season, Samsung was running specials on this line so sprung for one based on the fantastic reviews it had been receiving at the time. There was a comparable Sony set that I was also looking at but it was nearly $200 more. My frugality wouldn’t let me pull the trigger on it. All in, I think I paid just under $1,500 to my door including an additional SquareTrade warranty.
As time passed, I started experiencing some quirks such as losing audio/video signal which was related to the A/V hub that the TV uses. A quick restart of the TV or source device and everything worked fine again until the next time it didn’t. Annoying, but not the end of the world. Fast forward to February 10th when my family was watching TV on Saturday night, no issues when they heard an audible buzz and then cracking noise. Underneath the glass, the panel had cracked in multiple places. When they told me about it the next morning, I turned it on and sure enough you could see several points where there were visible cracks. Hopped online and found I wasn’t the only one that had experienced what appeared to be mystery cracks.
Surprise, it was just outside of the one-year Samsung warranty but we did pick up SquareTrade on this. We’re saved, right? Took some photos that I knew they’d ask for, called them up, and 15 minutes later my claim was denied. But don’t worry Mr. Svoboda, we’re happy to refund your $170 warranty cost. So I’m now in the market for another living room television and I’ve just begun my research into available sets. I’ve only got one condition thus far — it absolutely, positively will not be a Samsung. Steeeee-rike Three, You’re Out!
Samsung products are no longer welcome in the Svoboda household. Imagine that.