Fridge- go for a MNC brand; go for that attractive beast- the Samsung fridge was the coherent advice, from one all, and soon I was a proud owner of a product from the Samsung stable. But at times all that glitters is not gold, and all that is cheered, could bring you tears.
I had bought my fridge in the year 2004, a double door 300 litres. But soon after, and within 3 years the handle of the refrigerator broke. On calling the service engineer I was told the handle is not in stock, but somehow that helpful soul cannibalized one from another fridge and replaced the broken handle. But this gave me a somewhat eerie feeling about the product and more so about the company that had no parts even after three years of purchase, and I felt, from a proud owner I was reduced to an aggrieved owner.
Then again once in the recent past we found the refrigerator was not cooling when we reported the matter to their customer care department. This time the visiting technician gave us a rather crude advice, quite unbecoming of an MNC product: Switch off the refrigerator for about 24 hours, after which, tilt it in one direction for all the frozen water to drain out. We did exactly that and the cooling improved. However, the trust in both the product and the company reduced drastically; as the mental trauma continued.
And, recently just about a month back, the cooling of the fridge reduced is when we reported the matter to the customer care again. They sent their technician on a chargeable basis and after examining the fridge he told us the cooling has reduced because the gas has leaked from the compressor. Anyways he repaired the fridge by injecting gas into the compressor that took three hours, when my wife had to take leave. But the problem was still not over, I presumed.
And my hunch was not wrong when the fridge stopped cooling once again after a couple of days and this time the technician said, ‘Nothing is wrong with the fridge. It is just not cooling because the thermostat has been set at zero.’ I said, ‘It was set by your technician only who came last time.’ Anyhow, after setting the thermostat he left and the fridge started working again.
But as luck would have it just after a couple of days it stopped cooling again. And this time it was around 8 pm in the evening, and we were desperate and with little choice, so we called the local mechanic from the neighbourhood, who changed the timer and the sensor and soon after that it started working. But I am now keeping my fingers crossed.
But this brings us to a moot point about Samsung refrigerators:
- What is the product life cycle of a Samsung refrigerator? They keep launching new products and variants but do not specify the life of an old refrigerator. In today’s time even Automobiles which are moving mechanical units and undergo a lot more stress and strain, specify engine and product life as compared to a Samsung refrigerator that is positioned at one place, and yet has so many product issues.
- The skill levels of Samsung engineers who visited my place to check the refrigerators was found grossly casual and wanting for they could not even diagnose that the sensor and timer was not working- this is too easy to determine as separate units, that can be tested and just replaced and this goes to show how much emphasis Samsung is putting in training their team of engineers in the after-sales-and -service department.
- The Samsung service technician says company keeps service parts only for a period of five years, but this is to less as many Indian families don’t change their fridge before ten years and some not before fifteen years. So is this some kind of a forced consumerism? And shouldn’t the company at the time of sale inform the customer as a sales policy they don’t supply spare parts after 5 years. As just to site and example, while shifting or even otherwise if the door of your refrigerator gets damaged and your unit is more than five years old, you cannot get a replacement even if the insurance company is ready to pay.
- The company should know that many households in India are transferable where households are shifted every three to five years on account of transfers and so, can you afford to have this kind of after-sales-service-policy where you won’t supply parts after five years.
- And while Samsung with the help of its industrious R&D, production and marketing aggression is launching attractive looking refrigerators and variants it should clearly specify its policy on nurturing the existing population of its refrigerators which looks to be a dark and unattended zone, and a callous approach towards its customer base.