i won't often slam Samsung. I generally enjoy their products and I find they bring more benefits than problems in my daily life. But this past week has been . . . disappointing to say the least.
In January of this year, I upgraded from a Tab S6 to a Tab S7. It's was a considerable step up in cost but I figured with the S8 coming, prices would drop and I could reasonably invest in a larger tablet. And it's been great. I use it all the time for work, personal use, it goes on trips as my Netflix and Prime buddy. I love it.
Untill this week that is, when I realised to my horror on Tuesday night that the tablet had developed a huge bend. I should point out at this juncture that I treat my tech like golddust. Cases, screen protectors, bubble wrap, the works. I'm not a thrower and I'm not a dropper. My tablet lives on my desk when it's not in use. So I was mystified how the tablet could warp so much.
But the point of this post isn't the 'why', it's the complete lack of support from Samsung that was the biggest cause for disappointment. Like I said, I use my tab for work; the notetaking function with the S-pen is invaluable to me, so it was vital I get a resolution to this as quickly as possible. With a bend like that in the device I was concerned the battery might be damaged or even that it might be the battery causing the warping. So I turned the thing off and put it away.
And then I tried to contact Samsung. Which is mission impossible. There's no email address. The phone lines are standard business hours but they're really about buying stuff or setting up repairs. The website is really all about selling. There was nobody I could speak to in that moment to say "Help, I bought a tablet from you in January and it's bending like a pancake for no apparent reason. What do I do?"
So I DM'd Samsung on Twitter. I don't believe in ranting tweets to get attention. So I went private and asked for help. I still haven't had a reply.
In the end, because I needed a replacement, I claimed on my household insurance. £100 excess. I paid the money and got a replacement. So problem solved, I guess. Only, no. Because there's still the issue of Samsung's awful customer service. I use a lot of Samsung product: phone, earbuds, tablets, watch, and like I said, I generally think they are great. My experience this week, however, has left me feeling very let down.
The issue is with accessibility to an actual person who can assist. The chat system is bot-operated, so it's difficult to find a path that will actual assist with the specific issue. And a repair solution wouldn't have helped given the nature of the fault – the insurer's technician took one look at pictures of the device and deemed it beyond help and shared my concern about the battery.
And aside from all of this, how are Samsung putting a product on the market without seriously stress testing it? A tablet shouldn't be warping and bending after 9 months of use. That's simply not acceptable given the cost of the thing.