Samsung – fix all faulty fridge-freezers for free

by , Senior Home Researcher Energy & Home 26 July 2011
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In the wake of the Beko fridge-freezers scare, if a burning smell was coming from your fridge-freezer, and you could hear the sound of plastic cracking inside, wouldn’t you be concerned? I would.

Empty fridge

And I’d like the manufacturer to send an engineer out pretty damn quick to fix it for me – for free.

It might sound like a far-fetched problem, but according to Samsung’s technical reports, this is exactly what’s been happening with the RSH1 and RSJ1 side-by-side fridge-freezers. Defrost heaters at the back of the appliances get too close to a metal sheet, which can heat up, leading to cracks in the lining and burning.

We understand that this isn’t a safety issue but it’s certainly a design flaw – if there are undetected cracks in the lining, moisture will enter the insulation and performance will be affected.

What is Samsung doing to fix the problem?

Samsung have been fixing the problems by sticking aluminium tape over the cracks, while newer versions of the fridge-freezers have been modified and aren’t affected.

Samsung told us that if the faulty fridge-freezers were within the warranty period, they’d fix the problem for free. But when we asked them about out-of-warranty machines they told us:

‘If the product is no longer under warranty, then customers are encouraged to contact Samsung customer services for further advice and we will do our best to provide a satisfactory solution.’

So despite our requests, Samsung haven’t confirmed whether customers will have to pay for the privilege of having their faulty products fixed.

Fix the flaw for free

This just sounds wrong to me. It’s not like owners of the affected appliances have been misusing their products; it’s a design flaw which means some machines will need to be repaired, and Samsung have admitted as much in technical notes sent to their engineers.

When Samsung’s RS21 fridge-freezers developed a problem which led to them heating up, Samsung agreed to repair this problem for free under an extended warranty covering that fault.

Wouldn’t it be so much better if Samsung did likewise with their RSH1 and RSJ1 and could confirm that all out-of-warranty appliances would have this problem fixed for free?

182 comments

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horatio

Our power started being tripped infrequently last week. Then over the weekend narrowed it down to our RSH1FBMH. Removed the interior panel in the fridge and it was all frozen up. Defrosted it and it still tripped the power.
This morning I called Samsung customer support explaining how their product was tripping my supply and it was electrically unsafe, also that we now have no fridge and had lost the contents of our freezer. After asking if I’d already had a home visit (which I’ve not) they said they’d come out and check it and replace up to 6 listed parts. If it was non of those, then they’d advise on the cost. No explanation of it being faulty etc. But here’s to hoping it gets fixed soon.

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Kachbo

Hi,

I have a RSH1DTMH (purchased Nov 2008) and it has been making a noise for a few days and as soon as you open the fridge door it stops. I have also noticed that it has a lot of ice formed at the bottom.
Also the temprature is a lot warmer along the top then the bottom part of the fridge.

Having read all the posts above, I decided to call Samsung and to my delight, I have been offered a free repair as ‘a goodwill gesture’. This will cover 6 parts and have been told that it should remediate the issues I have been having.

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pixie_ni

I too have been having the same problem with my fridge freezer, after reading your post I decided to call Samsung. They are sending out an engineer to repair free of charge. So happy with this result.

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katpat23

Oh dear — they came out last year and fix the six parts as described in these posts, but now the fan looks frozen again and the middle bar (between fridge and freezer) is boiling hot, which is a sign that the compressor fan isn’t working. Great job, Samsung! I bought the darn thing AFTER you knew about these problems — really cross to be sold a lemon!

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Kat

AHA! Samsung came and fixed the problem for free (when I used my same customer code from last year’s repair), and discovered that one of the six replaced parts was just not plugged in correctly when it was installed last year. DOH! Now I’m fighting for lost-food compensation. Remember: keep all your receipts handy, because even five years later and several years of repair, they still want proof you bought the darn thing!

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Gmac

I had the same problem with my fridge, samsung sent out an engineer and replace the faulty parts, well so I thought, my fridge now has the same fault which samsung are refusing to fix or replace. The fact of the matter is that I still have the same faulty fridge freezer and the modification they promised would fix the problem has not done so, has anyone else experienced this?

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deb

hi yes i am having the same problem at the moment, i have had a replacement part after 2 years when they had the recall back in 2010, now im just out of warranty and the same part has gone again, i have soken with samsung and they are refusing to do anything! i feel ripped off! only had the fridge 4 years cost 1200.00

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Paul Adams

This Samsung is poorly built and engineered. Samsung are just concerned that they appear to be sorting the problem out whilst trying to brush the whole mess under the carpet. Unfortunately they’re getting away with it. They should be prosecuted for selling an item of unmerchantable quality. They’ve cynically continued to unload an absolute dud.

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gary noble

I have a Samsung fridge freezer side by side it had the usual problem with the fridge which was fixed by samsung it is about 6 or 7 years old it has developed a problem with the freezer it has just stop working do u think samsung would fix it or would I gave to get my own engineer

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Lor1

I have had samsung out many times now over the last couple of years and now we are having the same problems again however this time they dont want to know because the appliance is more than five years old and it has or was supposed to be repaired by them anyway after reading a couple of previous posts i decided to give these guys at agsrefrigeration a call and i couldnt believe it the reason i have been having all these problems is to do with the light switch which was slightly damaged thats why the fans werent running correctly which have now being replaced. To say the least i will be reporting back to samsung in regards to this matter how their so called approved engineers who i now have been lead to believe are contractors like everyone else managed to miss this on so many occasions causing me nothing but headache over the years.

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sam

I have sent two recorded letters to this company with reference to the faults on my 4 year old side by side appliance, the last one five weeks ago. They must be vert busy dealing with this model as as of today, still no answer. I WILL NEVER BUY A SAMSUNG PRODUCT EVER AGAIN.

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Xhell

We had the dreaded noisy fan, temperature too warm, ice build-up problem on the fridge section of a Samsung American style side by side fridge/freezer. It is a RSH1NHSW model purchased in Ireland in September 2009 costing €700. Although I was aware of and had previous experience of poor performance of Samsung equipment, we purchased this unit because the dimensions fitted (just) the available space, the colour (white) matched our other kitchen equipment and lack of an ice dispenser was also what we wanted. Had there been another make with this specification, we would have purchased this instead.

Eighteen months later and we loose the food contents of the fridge due to a warm temperature and ice build-up. So we execute a full manual defrost and all is good for a few months and then the noisy fan and we loose the food contents again. So then we get into a routine of planned manual defrosts every quarter but by late 2012 even this does not restore the cooling performance. It was time to do some research and it became apparent very quickly that this is a design issue with multiple models of Samsung fridges that has gone on for many years, so much so that there are various third parties offering DIY repair kits. There have been lawsuits and massive product recalls with some units allegedly exploding.

The Samsung website which is endlessly patronising was no help to me because it insisted that I submit the serial number of the unit. The serial number is not on any of the enclosed documentation and can only be found apparently on the lower left hand side of the unit. In my case, I could only access this be de-constructing some of the built-in section of the kitchen and I was going to incur additional cost to do this and make it good afterwards.

So I called Samsung. This was fun (not). It took three attempts and many hours to get to talk to someone. They tried every trick in the book to avoid one to one contact – well you would I suppose if you have sold hundreds of thousands of faulty units to now irate customers around the globe. Well again, the serial number was asked for and I explained my difficulty in getting it as above but I also explained that I had documented proof of purchase. This cut no ice (pardon the pun) with them and I was basically told – no serial number, get lost. I asked what was the probability that they would give me a direct replacement so I could assess if it was worth kitchen de-construction to get the stupid serial number, again I was dismissed with no answer.

I reconsidered my options. Getting a new unit from another maker would cost me €1000 or so when I add in the required kitchen modifications. Appliance DIY Repairs in the UK (http://www.appliancediyrepairs.co.uk/) offer a whole range of Samsung repair kits and for my model the cost is £133. Delivery is free in the UK but is extra to Ireland so this is expensive but for me it was potentially my least worst option. I am pretty technical so fitting the repair kit was not going to be an issue. The really neat thing for me was that the repair kit could all be fitted within the fridge compartment without the need to access the back or sides so I did not have to move the unit and incur additional kitchen modification costs.

I found Andy at Appliance DIY Repairs extremely responsive and very helpful and dealing with him in contrast to Samsung was chalk and cheese. The repair kit includes an apparently improved evaporator cover with fan, evaporator heater with thermal fuse and a defrost sensor which (and this is critical) you install in a different location to the original. It comes with an excellent set of installation instructions. Anyone that is reasonably handy should be able to fit this kit but you need to set a full day aside for it. It can take quite a long time to get rid of the ice build up. I used two hair dryers blowing close to the evaporator cover (but not touching it as this will melt the plastic) to get the cover free and I had to pour boiling water on the drain hole at the bottom of the evaporator for hours to get this clear of ice. The unit has been working fine since repair but I cannot vouch for the long-term effectiveness of the repair kit until more time passes. Given that the repair kit is also made up of Samsung components, I have no confidence that it is a permanent fix.

I estimate this Samsung mess has cost us in the region of €400 so far when I include the two batches of food wasted. In fact we have never had a good Samsung product. Our first Samsung product was a CII-5361AT/MIC television bought in November 1996. From day one had a faulty circuit board and the TV had to be hit slap here and there every other day to get a picture. The current crop of Samsung TV’s also seem to have loads of issues even on their high end units. Just Google Samsung TV clouding and banding to get an idea.

We managed to avoid Samsung products for a decade until our second Samsung product which was a DVD-VR320 VHS/DVD recorder bought specifically to archive VHS tapes to DVD in April 2006 as it was the only one available locally. The VHS deck was terrible and it made awful grainy DVD’s from the VHS tapes. The vendor (Currys) allowed to me trial their display unit but it was no better. Then I read the professional reviews and found that they had the same issue – the terrible VHS deck was not just a fault on mine but a “design feature” of all of them. It was utterly useless and sits gathering dust in the attic. We imported a Panasonic DMR EX95 VHS/DVD/HDD recorder to do the job. It is a class box and I now use it as a PVR for recording TV programmes from a set top box and archiving them to DVD.

So our third Samsung product, the poorly designed and very unreliable RSH1NHSW American style fridge/freezer will be our last.

WE WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER SAMSUNG PRODUCT EVER AGAIN.

We are careful users and tend to operate stuff by the book. Thankfully over the years other appliances we have owned (brands like Bosch, Electrolux, Zanussi, LG, Belling, Mitsubishi, Philips, Panasonic, Sharp, Sony, Apple & Dell) have given us good service and value for money, only Samsung has not. What is amazing is how Samsung gets away with this. It seems to achieve it by being highly innovative in avoiding after-sales service and in avoiding it’s customers. It’s a shame it does not deploy the same level of innovation in the design and build of the products.

Buyer beware.

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Roger

I would def get an engineer out who knows what he’s doing shop around first asked questons don’t just get any del boy wana be engineer i nearly killed mine was lucky and in the end the useless parts i purchased over the net were’nt even needed.

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wev

xhell are you going to the small claims court or trading standards about it?

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Pat

Better to get and engineer out than someone over the phone guessing what the likely cause could be has a friend of mine found out when he tried to replace the part himself he ended up damaging the appliance beyond repair when the pipework ruptured and when he spoke to samsung they said their have been numerous cases of this happening all this just to save a few pounds in the end he had to shell out for a new on also the part despatched was incorrect.

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Melanie kirkham

I have had the same problem as everyone else with my fridge freezer it is 4 years old, I contacted samsung via their website and within 4 days they had been out and fixed it free of charge. I cannot fault their customer service approach.

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Paul Adams

Beware! The ‘repair’ doesn’t always work for very long.

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Mrs Brown

My F/F developed the loud buzzing noise, which stopped when the fridge door was opened. I read al the posts and repaired it by removing the plastic cover located in the fridge and defrosting the ice. The noise has gone! It does take 2-3 hours but to eradicate the unbearable noise was worth it and it didn’t cost a penny! I did email Samsung but have not received a reply about repairing it. The unit is over 5 years old but looks as new and would expect a lot more years service from it.

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mrs wilson

I bought a American fridge freezer Samsung and in 2010 they contacted me saying they r going on fire we need to fit a part on it .now I have just phoned them to explain its getting that hot on the outside u carnt put your hand on it so they have just told me because warranty has ran out theres nothink they can do about it .Wot a joke

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nondipoo

I contacted Samsung as we too had the noise which went when the door was opened and the fridge temperature is very high, with food going mouldy inside it. They said that as our 5 year insurance had run out we were not covered and it would cost £200 to repair. From what I have read today, I am going to try unplugging it and taking off the plastic covers inside to see if we can remove all the ice. I definitely wion’t buy another Samsung one.

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Paul Adams

Samsung marketed the RCDS21 with a fundamental design fault. Samsung then responded by making half-hearted attempts to resolve a major issue. They fought to keep the public profile of the problem as low as they could. They didn’t speak to the BBCs Watchdog – they just issued a written statement. The problems continued and they breathed a sigh of relief when the ‘extended warranty’ expired. The RCDS21 was faulty from the start and there was only one real solution which was to replace it. Samsung didn’t because the cost was too high. They chose to dodge the real issue. Our horrible DCNS21 still limps along, freezing up on a regular basis and costing a fortune in electricity as the poorly engineered unit fights to maintain temperatures. The moral of the story is, don’t trust Samsung to do the right thing. They won’t! I shall never buy another Samsung item in my life.

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Richard Loveridge

We purchased a Samsung side by side fridge freezer RSH1NHMH in May 2010. Then after 3 years we started to experience a noise when opening the fridge door which was very irritating this along with a chemical smell, on ringing Samsung customer services they said there was nothing they could do, as it was out of warranty. On checking the internet we found that this was a regular issue that developed in this type of refrigerator, I sent an email to Samsung customer services, the reply was “this affected some models pre 2008″. Ours is not an affected model as it was manufactured in 2010 and to contact a service centre who will be able to assist with a repair. I did query this response and posed a question if this is not a design fault, as with the previous models, are the materials being used fit for purpose? I also quoted some text from the “Which” website that referred to the RSH1 and RSJ1 models, I was unable to send this back on there reply service so I sent it to the Executive Office, to which the response was again, certain units pre 2008, following further emails and replies, we are told “the reference to the manufacturing fault with the RSH1 model, is with those pre May 2008, any faults to later models outside the 2-year warranty are chargeable to the customer “. I then asked for clarification regarding the change from design fault to manufacturing fault and asked for details of the improvement pack and for the details on the improvements made to the RSH1NHMH. This was the reply I received, I also noted the change in the manufacturing dates to 2009? To re-iterate, some RSH1 models manufactured before May 2009 did have a manufacturing fault that required an improvement plan that consisted of a variety, or all, of the following parts: · Evaporator cover assembly · Defrost temperature sensor · Thermo fuse assembly kit · Water tank assembly kit · Defrost heater assembly kit · Drain heater Models manufactured after this date did not require this improvement plan to be undertaken and thus any faults experienced are considered as a stand-alone manufacturing fault that is addressed with the parameters of the 2-year warranty and thus if outside of this period any repairs are chargeable. From this I conclude that should it be one of the aforementioned parts or any combination, am I correct in assumming that this repair should be covered by Samsung? As was said in one of there earlier responses, should any of these items fail in these later models it is a stand alone manufacturing fault, which to me means all component parts in models manufactured after 2010 should not suffer with the same issues as those pre May 2008, strange that the ice build up is in the same place?

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Robbie

Phew basically all these manufacturers will dodge the bullet if they can all modern appliances are problematic due to all the electronics making them more difficult to repair think cars, mobile phones, tv’s. Just try and get the best person possible to repair if you phone anyone they should be abe to tell you certain things about it and as for these no fix no fee or no call out, one price fix all charge they are a con common sense should tell you how do they make a living for you could see ten customers all day and none want a repair or the repair could be more than the appliace is worth. Ask questions cheap is not always best.

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Jake

Well we had our American Fridge freezer model RSH1NBRS since September 2007, had the modification conducted by Samsung engineer a few years ago. Its been ok until last Sunday when without any warning we found the fridge to be warm inside & the freezer not cold and food defrosting. But the LCD Display still showing temperature to be 3oC for fridge and -17oC for freezer. We unplugged the unit from the mains and re started and the temperature of both sides showed 14oC and still getting hotter. The Samsung engineer attended on Wednesday and said the compressor has failed and requires replacing at cost of £300.The compressor should at least work for 10 to 15 years, our old fridge in the garage is 15years old and still working ok. We have spoken to Samsung support centre twice with no assistance or good will and via e-mail. The email reply stated please contact head office, so we did but they are not prepared to assist in anyway. Samsung have poor after care and not caring about their customers. We also have a Samsung dishwasher which we purchased in December 2012, this is now has corrosion/rust on the inside by salt unit. We are now waiting they response or should we ask for full refund!. Would we recommend Samsung products?…………….what do you think?………….my answer No.

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Ann

Came across similar issue with mine which has beng giving trouble for a couple of months called currys knowhow who offer a one fee fix all policy what a con basiclly the engineer visited my property spent five minutes then went back and sat in his van for what seemed like ages speaking on the phone only to come back and tell me it can’t be repaired in that i had a gas leak. To say the least i was not too impressed this is what i spent £180 pounds for anyway got n the phone an gave them a right bollocking stating i was not prepared to pay them just for them to turn up and get my money for nothing. I wanted a second opinion and contacted samsung i explained the situation and what had taken place and after weeks of complaining they relented and sent and engineer from agsrefrigeration out which im now glad they did for i would have thrown away a perfectly good fridge their was no gas leak the fault was something to do with the switching mechanism which was rectified and i now have a perfectly good woking fridge. I did get back to currys with a report of what had taken place and in the end got all my money back the engineer did however say that most of currys knowhow engineers are ex comet who were known to be useless and are not adept when dealing with american style appliances.

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John Robinson

I, too, have had these problems with my Samsung RSH1DBBP. I initially contacted Samsung via their web site and received a (very prompt) response advising me to defrost the fridge and, if the problem persists, to contact my local service centre.

I bought the fridge on 6 April 2010 and so it is now out of warranty. However, having done much research on the internet about this, I believe that as the faulty components have been present since the unit was manufactured they should be replaced by Samsung with updated components free of charge. I have contacted Samsung to that effect and shall advise if and when I receive a response.

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Jake

Hope you will have a better response from Samsung than we have had, our next fridge will be LG come with 10 year parts warranty.

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John Robinson

Further to my post of earlier today, I have now measured the temperature inside the fridge compartment.
Indicated temperature = 2 degrees C, actual temperature = 10.8 degrees C.

The patient reference notes that came with my insulin state that it should be stored at between 2 and 8 degrees C. Due to this incorrectly functioning fridge, it appears that the effectiveness of my insulin may now be compromised and, although I have now apprised them of this information, I’m sure Samsung would not be interested in my predicament.

I wonder whether I might have a case against Samsung under ‘not of merchantable quality’ grounds.

I, too, will never buy Samsung products again. It appears that they cannot be trusted.

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Jake

That’s what I cannot understand why the LCD Display Temperature did not show any change? no warning at all.
Samsung customer care stinks, with the amount of problems with these style of American Fridge freezers I would have thought BBC Watchdog might be worth a contact.
We purchased a new Samsung dish washer December 2012 and connected in late January (new kitchen fitted) and the inside by salt compartment going rusty. Not good at all waiting reply demanding new dishwasher or full refund

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Jake

Further update – today the Samsung Engineer came to fit a new compressor. Guess what upon removing the back he found the gas has leaked and caused excessive corrosion and damage to major parts in the fridge freezer and its beyond economical repair! He even phoned Samsung direct to speak to them because he never seen one that bad(I don’t know if I believe him on that after reading all the posts etc) but they refused to help or anything!
So now we have to purchase new American fridge freezer ! looks like to be LG with a 10year compressor warranty! A cost we can do without at this time of year. Nice one Samsung

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John Robinson

I have just received a response to my second request for free repair. Samsung tell me that my fridge was made after ‘improvements’ were made to the design.

So why is it freezing up, then?

I just hope that all this adverse publicity will cause Samsung to lose future sales. Sorry if that sounds nasty, but it’s how I feel.

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wavechange

John

The problem described in the introduction refers to an established issue with the defrost heater and I doubt that this is the problem you are experiencing.

You can make a claim under the Sale of Goods Act, but that has to be against the retailer that sold you the appliance. Samsung should have told you this.

There is plenty of useful information about your rights on the Which? website.

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John Robinson

Yes, Wavechange, I know the OP was concerned about cracking and the potential of fire, but in the meantime other problems have been discussed which are exactly the same as those I am experiencing.

Also, although I am aware that my fridge is out of warranty, but I feel that a product costing (if I remember correctly) the best part of a thousand pounds should last longer than three-and-a-half years.

As I understand it, making a claim under the Sale of Goods Act is a bit hit and miss and will almost certainly take a lot of time, which I do not have. Instead, I shall have to admit defeat and buy a ‘repair kit’ for about £140 and change the faulty components for modified ones.

I do think that Samsung are being rather short-sighted here, but if they think that bad publicity and loss of potential sales is acceptable, that’s their look-out.

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wavechange

John – I am forever urging people to at least have a try to get retailers to take responsibility for goods that fail prematurely. Several people have reported success on Which? Conversation. It helps to be polite but positive, know your rights and be realistic in what you are asking for. You could expect a free repair but asking for a new fridge would not be reasonable.

The Sale of Goods Act is, in my view, unfit for its purpose because it should not be a challenge for customers to seek redress if they have a problem. The motor industry, despite its many failings, is setting a good example of customer care with longer warranties and expensive repairs being done free-of-charge or at discounted prices.

Anyone spending approaching £1000 on an expensive appliance should be given a ten year guarantee. If the manufacturer has to pay for repairs you can be sure that we would see less substandard products on sale.

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John Robinson

I completely agree, and wrote to them again yesterday. I am waiting for our food to run down and then I intend to look behind the panel. If this differs from the modified ones offered in the repair kits, I shall write to Samsung yet again on the grounds that the fridge has failed to work correctly due to unsuitable components. If they do not agree to a repair, I shall consider going down the Sale of Goods route.

At the same time, of course, I shall remove the ice using hot water/hairdryer and defrost the fridge which will, at least, give me some breathing space.

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John Robinson

We had an engineer to look at the fridge yesterday. He removed the panel at the back of the fridge interior, exactly as is shown on this YouTube video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_kbnddADDU
and there was an immense block of ice inside. The sensor proved to be the ‘wrong’ one, which the engineer replaced, along with the whole assembly which, I presume, had been damaged by the ice build-up. I took photographs of everything.
In my opinion if an unsuitably designed component, which has been present since purchase, was the cause of the problem, the necessary remedial work should be paid for by Samsung or the retailer (Argos). I shall write to them both.

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Kevin

Yea but what the bloke wana be engineer in the vid isn’t aware off is that because of is silly vid im now out off pocket i manage to rip the bl…y pipework behind the casing ended up destroying my fridge samsung came out and said its beyond repair i say to anyone be careful get a engineer out just wish i had’nt watch that damm vid.

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John Robinson

Sorry. Would like to edit my post, but that’s not possible. There’s an unnecessary ‘but’ in there. See if you can find it!

Good game!

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sue oneill

model number rsh1nbrs …. we had all the symptoms talked about above but tonight the electric has started tripping and now the fridge isnt working at all no lightrs ,nothing , no power , changed fuse but still no joy , weve started filling it with stuff for xmas , even have a turkey in there , the fridge is 3 years old and we paid 700 euros for it
NOISE (STOPS WHEN DOOR OPENED)

ICE BUILD UP AT LEFT SIDE VENT AND AT WATER BOTTLE

HGH TEMP IN FRIDGE

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Danny

Hi all i have a samsung rsh1 model, our freezer has been working fine but when we put last nights meat shop in it, it still hadnt frozen this morning however the exsisting food inside is still frozen, just wondering if anyone has any solution

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John Robinson

That sounds strange. For some food to be frozen in the freezer the temperature must be at or below freezing point. How much meat did you put in last night? Was it warm?
I’d say give it time and either everything will be frozen (= good) or everything will be defrosting (= you have a problem).

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shaarani hassan

1 just purchase samsung model with digital lattes model just 6 month. Reseanly I had flood at my house area most all the distric effected. I do call the shop that I brought the frezzer but it said it
not doing the service had to call the samsung which in Kuantan Malaysia and yet I had to paid the cost of repair. I just wounder is this the samsung to after service to the custommer. Until down my
frezer still not repair due to it was the lattes design with 10 years warranty. The frezer just sock in the
water for 4 days where by my neigbour all the same but still runining. Please advise me to this
problem.

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Dawn

I am livid. 5 years of problems and the time between faults is speeding up. Costing us a fortune and the solution to bin it is not environmentally friendly. Has anyone sued Samsung re the faulty goods ye? If so I want to know. Alternatively I am thinking of starting a campaign with Sum of Us against Samsung for these faulty fridge freezers. Anyone interested?

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John Robinson

In the first instance (see my earlier posts) I took out an insurance scheme for nearly £200 a year to have the faulty sensor and cover replaced on my Samsung fridge-freezer. At least this will cover me for any future faults which, from what I have heard about Samsung, are not unlikely to happen.
I still feel, however, that Samsung should be putting these things right but my attempts to persuade them to do so have met with a brick wall. Obviously, it would require someone with a little more clout than me to make them change their mind. Which? has been trying, I think, but some organisation like BBC Watchdog would probably have more effect. These companies hate bad publicity and a mention on television could make them think again.
In the meantime, I have requested (and paid for) a report from the people who replaced the inadequate components which I shall be sending to Argos (the retailer), who have at least said they would consider reimbursement.
I wonder what Which? are currently doing about this sort of thing.

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Debbie

I bought a Samsung RSH1DTMH 2009 model aprox 3 years ago. At first water and ice dispenser stopped working and also water coming from bottom of frdge part.
I turned fridge/freezer off to defrost and when i turned it back on the freezer stopped working also. Samsung told me as it was out of warranty that i would have to pay for it to be fixed!
I arranged for engineer to come out and he said as well as needing repair kit that the compressor was also needing replaced which would cost approx 350-400 to fix.
I have sent numerous emails to samsung to compain as i think there is definately a fault on their side as up 2008 models were recalled!!!!!!
Today i have sent email to Executive office in Chetsy, Surrey and am awaiting a response. Ridiculous

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John Robinson

“At first water and ice dispenser stopped working and also water coming from bottom of fridge part.”

Exactly how my problems began, along with a rattling noise which I now know to be the fan blades striking a build up of ice.

This problem seems to be very common and, to the best of my knowledge, is invariably due to a sensor that is supposed to tell when it is necessary for the fridge to turn on a defrost system – hence it being marketed as a ‘frost free’ refrigerator. Unfortunately, this sensor is positioned in the wrong place and, as a result, fails to act properly. The corrective measures include replacing the sensor with a modified one which is sited in a different location. Notably, Samsung no longer make the originally-fitted sensor, which is evidential to me at least, that my fridge (and others like it, of course) were unfit for purpose when manufactured.

Although mine is well out of warranty, I am taking steps to obtain a refund of the cost of rectifying this problem. Samsung have refused point blank to listen, and so I have recently approached the retailer, Argos.

I am surprised that Samsung have been allowed to get away with this. Of course, they don’t feel any need to listen to ‘the little person’ like me. I feel that Which? magazine ought to be pressing for something to be done about this.

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malcolm r

John, I think your best course of action would be to draw attention to the retailer’s liability under the Sale of Goods Act. This requires a fault to be made good, and for an appliance to be “durable” – that is, to last a reasonable length of time without fault. The Act is applicable for 6 years. If you have evidence of this pre-existing fault (seemingly both in design, and in a component) then you should have a cast-iron case, even if it means threatening to implement the Act through the small-claims court. Which? Legal should provide help with your claim if you are uncertain how to proceed.
You might find this site useful http://sogahub.tradingstandards.gov.uk/explained with its downloads.

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wavechange

The correct way to deal with the problem is to seek help from the retailer, as Malcolm has suggested. The problem may be due to poor design by the manufacturer, but it is the retailer that has to take responsibility.

It is worth checking that drain holes and pipes are clear because a simple blockage is often a cause of ice build up, even when defrost timers are working correctly. This is sometimes mentioned as maintenance in the operating instructions.

If your problem is simply due to a poorly sited sensor, it could save a lot of hassle if you move it yourself or getting a refrigeration engineer to do the job. I used to have a very expensive industrial ice machine at work and every few months it would block up and sometimes chew up the gears driving the ice flaker, resulting in bills of several hundreds of pounds, which my employer happily paid. I once spent five minutes repositioning the flaked ice sensor and this problem never recurred.

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malcolm r

Good advice, but be aware that modifying a product yourself may well invalidate your warranty, and prejudice a successful claim under the Sale of Goods Act (unless it is perhaps top prevent a serious problem continuing in an emergency). Best to get the manufacturer to put right the problem they have created (via the retailer if possible).

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wavechange

It’s a fair point Malcolm, but pursuing your rights can be hard and time consuming, and many people don’t have a spare fridge-freezer to use while they are pursuing their rights. A subsequent claim could be turned down on the basis that the owner had carried out a modification, but I am not familiar with many cases of this happening.

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John Robinson

Thanks Malcolm R but, as Wavechange has said, pursuing the manufacturer though legal channels can be difficult and time-consuming and, moreover, the ‘correct’ way to proceed would be to approach the retailer, which I did.

Fortunately, the retailer readily agreed to pay for the remedial work, which I thought was to their well-deserved credit. I did not, of course, try to claim for the insurance policy I had taken out to cover this appliance for a year at the time I arranged for the repair to be done, but claimed only for the parts and labour for the work done.

Certainly, Samsung wouldn’t have been so honourable despite the problem being their responsibility, at least morally.

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malcolm r

John, misunderstanding. The faulty appliance is the retailers responsibility to sort out, hence if they are uncooperative, threaten them with pursuing the Sale of Goods Act route. (it is your mainbsanction if the warranty is no longer in force). iMy comment about the manufacturer related to modifying the appliance yourself – not a good idea if you want to retain warranty etc so it should be done by the manufacturer or their agent – arranged via the retailer of course.

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John Robinson

Thanks Malcolm. Yes, I realise that in law it is the retailer’s responsibility. My point was that if the installed components were unfit for purpose the manufacturer is *morally* liable although apparently not legally liable.

An analogy might be a car manufacturer who is obliged to recall models that have a dangerous fault, regardless of who sold the car.

As you can see, in my case the retailers proved to be very helpful, and I applaud their decision. Conversely, Samsung were unwilling to discuss the matter which, I think, says a lot about the standard of their customer services.

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malcolm r

John, I suspect the manufacturer is ultimately legally liable, but presume as your contract is with the retailer that is why you need to pursue them. Perhaps Which? would comment?

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wavechange

John – I very much agree that the manufacturer has a moral responsibility for substandard products, not just for issuing recalls when a safety issue is uncovered.

It is well known that manufacturers take new product designs and substitute lower specification and cheaper components to decrease the cost of manufacture, in order to compete with other products on the market and to maximise profit. I became aware of this as a young man, when I used to repair consumer electronics as a hobby. I have no reason to believe that anything has changed and even the best respected manufacturers still produce some products that are not sufficiently durable. Some of these are highlighted in discussions on the internet, where many users have experienced similar problems.

My view is that domestic appliances should be given a manufacturer’s warranty of ten years, excluding parts damaged by misuse or likely to wear out in that period. With mechanical items such as washing machines and dishwashers, it might be appropriate to have a limit on the number of cycles or hours of operation resulting from excessive use, much in the same way that car warranties generally have a time or mileage restriction.

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John Robinson

I completely agree.

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wavechange

Car manufacturers are setting a good example by offering remarkably good warranties on very complex products. Some manufacturers and retailers of domestic products do offer extended warranties free-of-charge – either routinely or as a promotion – so there are signs of progress. I would like to see the length of warranty as a significant factor in deciding whether a product should be awarded a Which? Best Buy status because most of us are interested in avoiding repair bills.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of long manufacturers’ warranties is that it will force up product quality. If a manufacturer has to pay for a repair, including home visits for large items, they cannot afford to have many failures. I have seen failed circuit boards where an extra ten pence spent on a heavier duty transistor could probably have avoided failure of an appliance.

Best of luck with the battle, John.

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John Robinson

Malcom and Wavechange, I thank you for your good wishes but I’m afraid you haven’t read my previous posts properly…

…the ‘battle’ is over and I no longer need to ‘pursue’ anyone!

As I said, the retailer has paid me for the remedial work done, and I am completely satisfied with that outcome.

I have only continued to gripe because I feel that it should have been Samsung’s responsibility to cover the cost as the components were ‘not fit for purpose’. I just want others to be aware of Samsung’s standpoint on this matter when considering to buy their products!

Thanks anyway, and your support is appreciated.

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malcolm r

John, your original post said “Although mine is well out of warranty, I am taking steps to obtain a refund of the cost of rectifying this problem. Samsung have refused point blank to listen, and so I have recently approached the retailer, Argos.” I was commenting on the basis you were still progressing your complaint. Subsequently my comments were more aimed at the generality of sorting out this sort of problem. Glad yours is satisfactorily resolved.
I had a problem with a watch of defective design that I pursued through the retailer – John Lewis – who were very supportive. The outcome was that John lewis replaced the watch with a different make, and made up the (slight) cost difference with a refund. This was based on SoGA as the warranty had expired. John Lewis were recompensed in full by the manufacturer – I checked. I hope that Argos similarly were recompensed by Samsung – that is what I believe should happen.

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John Robinson

Thank you for telling me that, Malcolm. Yes, I shall probably never know, but I really do hope that Argos managed to recoup their losses from Samsung. I suppose they do have rather more clout than I do.

I agree. John Lewis is an excellent company that we use all the time for that very reason. Contrary to popular belief, they are not particularly expensive for most branded things and, in fact, have a price match policy. There is a great deal that some other companies could learn from them, and they deserve to prosper.

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Anthony

For everyone out be careful when attempting DIY repair on your samsung fridge this we had done ourselves only for the fridge to trip and blew out all the electrics in our home costing hundreds to repair samsung attended and found the cause which was also confirmed by a independent assessor from the insurance company who said they are coming into contact with a few of these cases, the fault was with the self help kit bought over the net which are counter fit made in china it could have been a lot worse it could have burn our house down. Next time if we have any problems i will not be cutting corners just to save a few pennies i will get and engineer better to be alive than save a few pennies.

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wavechange

If your repair caused extensive damage to your home there must have been a problem with your home electrical system, Anthony. The worst that should happen in the event of a fault is that a circuit breaker or RCD would trip or a fuse blow.

Although trips and fuses should protect the electrical system from damage, poor quality parts or inexpert repairs could cause a fire. Counterfeit parts are a growing problem. There are many counterfeit items on sale, and not just spare parts. Beware buying from unheard of companies, including those that sell via well known companies such as Amazon.

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