‘Nothing but problems’: Consumers frustrated with newer high-end appliances breaking down

ORLANDO, Fla. — Several consumers who bought Samsung refrigerators contacted Action 9 and claimed their expensive appliances kept failing and their repair issues never ended.

Consumer investigator Todd Ulrich found similar complaints around the country.

Gail Johnson said her $2,500 refrigerator wasn’t even a year old when it failed the first time.

“I felt they could care less,” Johnson said.

She claims Samsung, the manufacturer, kept sending a subcontractor for repairs. According to Johnson, she lost hundreds of dollars in food, and it took nine days and many calls to fix the fridge.

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“Nothing but problems and being given the runaround,” Johnson said.

Then 16 days later the refrigerator failed again causing more food to be ruined. She says repairs the second time took 11 days, and both times the same motherboards were replaced.

She fears her year-old refrigerator is a lemon.

“And they said Samsung’s policy is it had to break three times before the company replaces it,” Johnson said.

Since last November, four Samsung customers contacted Action 9 about various models of refrigerators that were not holding proper temperatures or were freezing up.

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There has been a class-action lawsuit making its way through the courts since 2017. The case involves temperature and ice-making breakdowns that could not be fixed.

On Facebook, a group page calling for a Samsung refrigerator recall now has 50,000 members.

“That’s disturbing,” Mike Mannino said.

Mannino has been a local appliance repair expert for 30 years. He can’t comment directly on Samsung, but says many newer models have poor repair histories and that even before COVID-19, finding parts for repairs was tough.

“I have people waiting right now six months or better for simple, basic repair parts. In a lot of cases, it’s just not worth repairing,” Mannino said.

Samsung told Ulrich it has contacted Johnson and the issue was resolved to her satisfaction. The company also said It’s reviewing Action 9′s other complaints.

Johnson says the money Samsung sent her didn’t cover all her food losses.

“There’s something that’s not quite right here,” Johnson said.

For appliance repair disputes, keep track of all conversations and repair invoices and send a complaint to the Better Business Bureau where the manufacturer is based in the U.S.

Samsung response:

“We want to ensure our customers are satisfied and we stand behind all of our products, including our refrigerators. Samsung is committed to understanding and finding the right solution to our customers’ concerns, as each customer’s situation is unique. We encourage any customer with questions to contact us at 1-800-SAMSUNG or on Facebook @SamsungSupport.”

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.