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Fun With Samsung
This thread has 28 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Wednesday May 31, 2000 at 15:11
Terry Davis
Historic Forum Post
I don't know if anyone else has had the problems I have had with my Samsung DVD-909 player, so I thought I'd post my experiences here to see. Additionally, it might be useful for any prospective buyers to listen and learn.

I purchased the DVD-909 in September of last year and found that it would not play the "The Matrix" DVD. So a call to Samsung ended with me taking the unit to my local service center and having the firmware updated.

Down time - 10 days.

When I got the unit back, it played "The Matrix" fine, although layer changes occured with a pretty significant "jump". Although irritating, it was not enough to pursue and I let it go.

Some months later, this April, my trusty DVD-909 started to reject all DVD's loaded. This would manifest itself as "failures to load" or ejecting the disk after playing for about 15 minutes. Another call to Samsung ended in taking the unit to my local service center and having the "pickup" replaced.

Down time - 14 days

Upon return of the unit, the special edition of "The Abyss" would come to a stop at chapter 47 and then jump to the end of 48, skipping everything in between. Did this real consistantly. Other DVD's experienced random pauses in the middle of the program.


Another call to Samsung (actually several) resulted in the decision to replace the DVD-909 with a reconditioned unit. Seems that all I have to do is ship my player (at my expense) to some place in New Jersey and they will "send you a reconditioned DVD (determined by current inventory) to your adress". I'm not real sure what "determined by current inventory" means, but I guess I'll find out.

So as of today, I have Fed-Ex'd my DVD-909 off to New Jersey and will wait, again.

Down-time - unknown

I hope that this does not go the way of a similar deal I had with Sony over a car CD player. The reconditioned unit only worked marginally better than what it replaced. And that was after a month of working with their customer support.

The point of all this is that Samsung's customer support does not seem real responsive. I have been playing the game and just keep being inconvinenced. And it's most likely not over.

If the reconditioned unit does not work perfectly (!), I will begin a battle with Samsung for my money back.
I'll have to buy another DVD player (a Toshiba or Pioneer) in the mean time to eliminate any more down time. Besides, chances are that I'm going to eat the DVD-909 (as I did the Sony) and have to replace it anyway.

Something to think about when you are shopping for DVD players...
OP | Post 2 made on Wednesday May 31, 2000 at 18:44
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Sansung is fairly new to the higher end of the consumer electronics game, but has been around for a while on the computer side of the biz (monitors, etc). They have always had a reputation for great price/performance, but also have had high failure rates and relatively low build quality. Sounds like this may be the case with their consumer electronics too.
I know that the last issue of Home Theater Mag had great things to say about the Samsung HDTV, but I hear that unit is plagued with service/quality issues also.
OP | Post 3 made on Thursday June 1, 2000 at 08:02
Historic Forum Post
Sounds like my story with my Sony 530 DVD player. The only way to get any satisfaction is to be a thorn in their side. I had to send my player back to Sony three times before they worked out all of the problems. I do not trust Sony anymore, but at least they paid all shipping fees the second and third time. Total down time was 4 - 6 weeks.

I understand your pain!
OP | Post 4 made on Thursday June 1, 2000 at 09:02
Mike Riley
Historic Forum Post
I wish you had posted before you sent the unit back, Terry. Good luck to you, though. I've been this route with consumer electronics many times. In your case, you deserve not only a new unit (not a reconditioned one), but a NEW unit... whatever their latest model is. After all, you bought a new unit, and you should have gotten what you paid for: a fully functional, properly working DVD player. Now they expect you to take someone else's reject, which could have had worse problems than your own? And since your unit keeps failing after significant repairs, who's to say the "reconditioned" baby won't just keep suffering the same fate?

Please pardon my forwardness, but if were you (and I have done this, and will continue to) I'd call up a senior person at the company's local affiliate. Ask to speak to the Service Manager at Samsung, no one else. Explain your problem; tell them you've shipped it back at your expense, but that you have no intention of taking back a reconditioned unit. And that you think in all fairness, you should get a new unit that has the advantage of the last few months of newer technology. Hint that you would be willing to pay the difference in cost. I'll bet you that if you display the right combination of frustration and restrained distaste for being treated so poorly, that they'll swap the unit for a brand new one with no charge. After all, it's pennies to them, yet worth a lot more in good customer relations.

I just had to do this with a ProScan DVD. Now I have a Panasonic that works great. But I did it at the store, after a number of problems occurred over a two-month period. I never took it to a repair shop, because in my mind, I don't own anything until it works... the store still owns it. Tough, maybe. Unrealistic? I don't think so.

Again, best of luck.
OP | Post 5 made on Thursday June 1, 2000 at 11:42
Terry Davis
Historic Forum Post
Steve13 - Thanks for the insight. I wish I had heard this back when I bought the Samsung initially. I almost went with the Toshibia 3109, but didn't know better.

Erik - Interesting to hear that someone else had a similar issue with Sony. I didn't take it as far as you did (problably should have), but just bought a Pioneer player and eat the Sony. The Pioneer has worked flawlessly for a couple of years now.

Mike - Thanks for the advice. But I think I'm going to take a slightly different route.

The "reconditioned" unit that I'm going to receive is simply not going to work very well either - whether it does or not. I have absolutely NO confidence that a reconditioned (or another new unit for that matter) will be any more reliable than what I have already had. Therefore, I am going to assume that no DVD player from Samsung is going to be satifactory.

I intend to be a huge "thorn in their side" and demand my money back. Period. I'll have time on my side - I'll have this "reconditioned" unit that will problably work OK for a while so I won't be down any longer. If it truely does not work, I'll buy a Toshiba 2200 and then REALLY pursue the refund route. I don't like it, but I can deal with $260 for another DVD player - it's not that much money (geez, I spent $300 on my Philips Pronto).

Thanks for the feedback. I hope this helps out some other people that might be thinking about buying Samsung products.
OP | Post 6 made on Thursday June 1, 2000 at 14:11
Mike Riley
Historic Forum Post
Good on you, lad. Even better.

By the way, what are you looking for in a DVD player? After I ditched the ProScan, I really studied up. All the Toshiba has to offer is Zoom, compared to the other guys. The Panasonic RV30 has an excellent on-picture navigation system and quality CD playback. It also has a substantial set of setup options. It has the same optics as their most expensive unit (save for the Progressive scan). It has three quality levels of still display, up to 100X FF, and 5X FF with sound. Everything is quick start, there's no layer jumping, it can mark chapters, it will display Chapter Preview for a few seconds to show you where you were yesterday whenyou left off, and has component output. It's missing Coax out. It even has a Subwoofer output and 2 ch output for those who don't have a stereo, although who would own a sub without a system, I don't know. And it's cheap.
... Mike
OP | Post 7 made on Thursday June 1, 2000 at 14:51
Terry Davis
Historic Forum Post
All I really require is a built-in Dolby Digital decoder - I don't think the RV30 has that.

Panasonic makes GREAT phones and microwaves - this I know. However, I haven't had much experience with their video products.
OP | Post 8 made on Friday June 2, 2000 at 10:38
Mike Riley
Historic Forum Post
I take it you have a DD5.1-ready receiver?
OP | Post 9 made on Friday June 2, 2000 at 11:08
Terry Davis
Historic Forum Post
Yes, but no internal decoder.
OP | Post 10 made on Friday June 2, 2000 at 15:32
Mike Riley
Historic Forum Post
I'd recommend the RV60, which has a built in DD 5.1 decoder, but it seems only the RV80 has both DD5.1 and DTS... the RV60 specs list it as having only DTS Out. I have no idea what the price difference would be, other than in Canada the RV60 is about $100 more than the RV30, and their site-posted MSRP says the RV80 is $100 more than that.

At those prices, I don't think it's worth it. I'm sure other units include BOTH for the one lower price.
OP | Post 11 made on Friday June 2, 2000 at 15:42
Terry Davis
Historic Forum Post
Yeah, that's the same conclusion I came to. I'll go with Toshiba - they seem to have a good reputation.

Thanks for the advice though.
OP | Post 12 made on Monday June 5, 2000 at 17:59
Terry Davis
Historic Forum Post
I was just informed that it takes "about 2 weeks" for Samsung to turn around a replacement unit. In other words, I FedEx my broken player to them overnight at my expense and it takes them 2 weeks to send the replacement out. And I am willing to bet money that they'll send it UPS ground - from New Jeresy to California - which will take several days to be delivered. Geez.

I'll give Samsung one thing, they are consistant in there efforts to make this as difficult as possible for me.

Just can't wait to see what they send me - stay tuned.

OP | Post 13 made on Tuesday June 13, 2000 at 14:29
Terry Davis
Historic Forum Post
Well, 2 weeks has passed and quess what? No DVD player.

OK. A call to Samsung reveals that my model "was out of stock" and orderded on the 6th (5 days after receipt!). When it will arive is unknown. When it will ship unknown. How it will ship is known - UPS ground. So when, or if, the new (reconditioned?) player ever appears, it will take another week to get from New Jersey to Southern California.


This is by far the most inept customer service experience I have ever had. And note that I have not been confrontational with these people - the whole operation is simply mis-managed. on that note I should mention that in my attempts to contact them today, I found that there entire phone system was down. Couldn't get through until mid-day their time. WEB was down too.


Does anyone out there know what legal options I have in a situation like this?

OP | Post 14 made on Thursday June 15, 2000 at 08:24
Mike Riley
Historic Forum Post
I would get on the horn and tell management at the company that you've been more than patient... WAY more than patient, and that you want an immediate and full refund, including any costs. Mention the BBB if you need to, tell them all remotecentral readers already know the story, and wouldn't it be nice if you could finish up this messy business by posting how helpful they turned out to be.

And do not let up on that phone call until they give in. This is business, after all. ...Mike
OP | Post 15 made on Friday June 16, 2000 at 00:31
Historic Forum Post
Just my 2 cents.......... is there too much buying over the internet? I know it can save some bucks, but is it worth the hassle in the long run? I bought a Sony 360 DVD player.......... it works perfectly...... doesn't hiccup on ANY of the discs I've put into it..... which means at least 50 by now....... including all the ones I've seen so many complaints about, which I deliberately rented to test the unit out..... but IF it did have problems, I deal with an electronics store here in Winnipeg, Canada, and although I'm just a lower-mid home theater shopper (in other words, no huge bucks)they hop to me the moment I walk in the door. I started with a Sony DE-335 receiver and as I learned about Home Theater, traded up to a 535, then a 935, then a 333ES....... (with just the price difference each time) and today I took in the 333ES due to a faulty (maybe just dirty) volume control and they took it immediately, provided me with a comparable receiver to take home while it gets serviced........ can you do that over the internet?.... no..... I guess I've maybe found just a great electronics/computer store..... they've been in business probably 40 years...... and their prices are as cheap or cheaper than the electronic chains (they will always match or even sell to me for less than those chains) and provide me with top notch service. They've already told me that if there is a major problem with the 333ES, that it will be replaced with a NEW one........ and that they'll deal with Sony about it.......... or if I want to, I can trade up to the 777ES Sony or another brand, just for the difference in price (discounted prices). They know that I will be their best advertising if they treat me right, which is exactly the type of person I am. Treat me right and I'll get you business....... treat me badly, and I can guarantee I'll lose you business worth far more than whatever you might pay to please me..... anyways, I'm ranting...... my point, go to a good, reputable electronics store and let them take care of the service for you...... you're the customer!!!

-greg (wheeewww!!!)
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