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    Horrible Samsung Care+ experiences only show how Apple is better

    Opinion
    By 

    Last updated: November 21st, 2023 at 12:51 UTC+01:00

    After sales service is a pretty big deal for most people, even more so for those that spend upwards of a thousand dollars on a smartphone. For a company like Samsung that sells phones costing as much as $1,799, it goes without saying that exceptional after sales service is key to retaining customers. Like many other companies in this space, Samsung sells an insurance plan called Samsung Care+ which promises discounted repairs and even replacements in some cases.

    Customers who pay extra for this insurance should have the peace of mind that they'll be looked after should something go wrong with their device. However, that's not really the experience that a lot of Samsung Care+ customers have had. Many of them have taken to Reddit and other online platforms to air their grievances against the company's lack of support.

    We understand that the inconsistency in the quality of service provided may simply be down to the fact that Samsung Care+ has been outsourced to a third-party service provider. At the end of the day, though, it's Samsung that gets blamed for the inadequate service, not whichever service provider is actually running it. They end up damaging Samsung's brand as customers who have a bad experience are likely going to shift to another brand, potentially Apple, which has long been highly regarded for its exceptional customer service.

    Mind you, it's not an inexpensive service. The standard Samsung Care+ plan for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 costs $239. It includes unlimited repairs of drops, spills, and mechanical issues and next business day replacements. There's also a $329 plan that provides theft and loss coverage. If you're spending that much money, you'd expect to get your money's worth, but that may not always be the case.

    One Galaxy Z Fold 4 user recently shared their Samsung Care+ experience that they described as “horrific.” The screen and hinge of their Samsung Care+ covered Galaxy Z Fold 4 failed, so they contacted the service to use the warranty claim that promised the same or similar device provided as a same-day replacement. There was no stock initially so they had to wait several days for new stock but didn't hear back for a week and were told that they could take up to 10 working days instead. Calling again after the 10 working days had passed yielded no results.

    They were told that since the Galaxy Z Fold 4 wasn't in stock and that it wasn't the policy to send the latest model, the Galaxy Z Fold 5, they would have to wait a few more days to get a call from customer support. Nobody called even after a week so at that point the customer who paid $329 for Samsung Care+ expecting “same day replacement” had been without a phone for over three weeks with no end in sight to their ordeal.

    Other users shared similar frustrations. One had to wait for over a week and make multiple trips to get their screen repaired, with the gas spent on those trips costing more than the deductible paid. Another user detailed a similarly frustrating replacement process for the Galaxy S23 Ultra with Samsung, only to reach out to their carrier who then hooked them up with a new phone. From complaints about the phone being in the repair center for months because parts are unavailable to being told nothing is wrong with the phone when something clearly is, a lot of customers are clearly fed up of the bad service, to the point where they feel that simply saying the phone is lost or stolen may give them a better chance of securing a replacement without having to go back and forth with customer support.

    People will inevitably compare this inadequate level of service with that of Apple which has long been a gold standard for after sales support. It's all to common to get a no questions asked replacement on the same day for products under warranty. Ask anyone who has been in a similar situation with an Apple product how smoothly their replacement process went. I've personally taken in an iPad that had a defective speaker to an Apple Store and was handed a brand new iPad within minutes. No faffing about, no having to send the device in and then waiting for weeks to hear back, no excuses.

    That's not to say that Apple customers may not have had frustrating experiences with its after sales support. It's entirely possible given the scale at which it sells devices. However, the average customer experience seems to be overwhelmingly positive, which is why the perception has been built over time that Apple will look after its customers. The opposite perception is being built about Samsung and it's about time that the company focus on turning it around.

    Some of the customers who detailed their frustrating experiences dealing with Samsung Care+ mentioned that as the only reason why they've shifted from their Galaxy phones to the iPhone. It also doesn't inspire any confidence in those who've used iPhones for long and may now be considering a shift to Galaxy. Why would they want to give up the comfort of knowing that Apple's got their back for a rather hit or miss customer service experience with Samsung?

    It's important for Samsung to fix this, even more so now that it wants to make the foldable phones the face of its smartphone lineup. These are more fragile devices and require solid after sales support. Customers who pay as much as $1,799 to buy a Galaxy Z Fold phone should have the peace of mind that they will be taken care of, should the unique form factor that they've taken a chance on for Samsung harbor gremlins.

    Whether a comprehensive overhaul of the entire Samsung Care+ service is in order or the company needs to work more closely with the service provider handling the business end of things, Samsung needs to come through for its customers on this, so that even after spending a boatload of money on its phones they don't feel like they should've just bought an iPhone instead.

    Opinion Samsung Care Plus

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