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Samurai Appliance Repair Man's Blog

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Are Samsung Appliances Reliable?

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Samsung's in the news lately with exploding washers and tablet computers. So people may be wondering how reliable Samsung appliances are.  Here's a good article from the Yale Appliance blog comparing Samsung repair rates with industry averages. Yale Appliance and Lighting [website] is a large appliance dealer and service center in the Boston area. Yale completes over 20,000 service calls per year so I expect their results to be a good representation of reality. 

One comment that caught my eye, "Also, many technicians cannot fix the Korean brands for whatever reason. You may want to check that your dealer can service before you buy Samsung or LG."

You may be asking yourself why this is the case. This illustrates a huge problem in the appliance repair trade today: there is a critical shortage of skilled technicians who understand appliance technology (basic electricity and electronics, motors and motor control systems, microprocessor-based control systems, etc.) and know how to troubleshoot. As a result, many appliance servicers are really parts changers who do "troubleshooting" by pattern recognition: if this problem, replace that part. So if something merely looks different than what they're used to seeing, they're at a complete loss.

The reality is that electricity works the same way in Korea as it does everywhere else on Planet Earth and the Koreans are using the same technology as all the other manufacturers. But because the Koreans give more details in their service information (for example, showing circuit details of their control boards) parts changers freak out and think they're using space-age technology. 

The Koreans aren't going away. Samsung in particular is gaining US market share faster than any other manufacturer. For a service company to refuse to work on them or to not acquire the technical skills and competence needed to be an effective appliance technician today is a bad business decision and a recipe for low income or bankruptcy.  

 

Link to original article: http://blog.yaleappliance.com/are-samsung-appliances-reliable

 

Are Samsung Appliances Reliable? (Reviews)

I was watching the news last week and learning about Samsung's problems with phones exploding for no clear reason. Most new products have issues in my experience. The computer industry innocently calls them bugs.

Exploding products is a problem especially when you deliver them in your home. Gas ranges, dishwashers, and laundry can cause more damage than a phone.

So I wanted to answer the question: Are Samsung appliances reliable?

Kitchen

Measure of Reliability

Every year our service department completes over 20,000 service calls. Our formula is service calls divided by sales as a percentage of service within the first year. Then we compare brands and products as we have in various articles for a 12 month period.

We will compare Samsung's service rates to the industry in their major categories: Cooking (not including microwaves, because they do not break in any brand), laundry, dishwashers and French door refrigerators.

BTW, these numbers always change as they are measured on a 12-month rolling basis. Also, we have only sold Samsung for 18 months, so I do not know about the products manufactured before 2014.

Samsung Reliability Numbers October 2015-October 2016

Laundry

capacity_s1.jpg

  • Front Load Washers: 13 Serviced / 130 sold - 10%
  • Top Load Washers: 0 Serviced / 35 sold - 0%
  • Dryers: 10 Serviced / 92 sold - 10.4%

Industry average is just over 11%, so Samsung is slightly better. There have been 21 cases of the top load breaking apart due to the rod unfastening. However, 21 out of millions sold since 2011 throughout the country seems relatively small. However, this could be a concern.

Read Most Reliable Washers to compare against other brands

 

Dishwashers

samsung_dishwasher-2.jpg

  • Dishwashers: 4 Serviced / 107 Sold - 3.7%

The average for all dishwashers is about 10.9%, so Samsung is more reliable.

Read Most Reliable Dishwashers to compare against other brands

 

Gas Cooking

samsung_range.jpg

  • Gas Cooking: 13 Serviced / 178 Sold - 7.3%

Samsung is serviced about half the average of about 14% in gas ranges.

Read Most Reliable Gas Ranges to compare against other brands

French Door Refrigeration

samsung_french_door_refrigerator.jpg

  • French Door Refrigerators: 71 Serviced / 425 sold - 16.7%

Refrigerators have service rates of 20% or more. Icemakers are the number one service call at Yale. Sending a frozen cube through a cool refrigerator dispenser will cause leaks over time.

16.7% is not great, but still better than the total.

Read Most Reliable French Doors to compare against other brands

Should You Buy a Samsung Appliance?

People ask me about what to buy all the time on this blog. I always say the same thing. I like what does not break because we have to fix broken appliances.

But I will answer the question on Samsung more directly.

The product seems reliable as the numbers show.

When there are problems, their logistics of parts and technical support are not as easy as a Frigidaire or Bosch. Also, many technicians cannot fix the Korean brands for whatever reason. You may want to check that your dealer can service before you buy Samsung or LG.

However, the product seems to be designed incredibly well. The new induction with the blue LED “flame” is creative, as are the designs of the French doors and front load laundry.

A company who has battled Apple successfully over the years (until recently) cannot be underestimated especially in a staid industry like appliances.

Additional Resources

Looking for answers before you buy major appliances? Get the Yale Appliance Buying Guide with detailed profiles of the major brands plus answers to the 10 most asked questions. Well over 185,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

View our appliance buying guide

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Totally agree,Scott---training is imperative to service appliances today.

I'd like to add to all of that---it is also a *huge* advantage to have access to the manufacturers technical assistance dept.

There are more than a few cases where the fault/defect in an appliance is not obvious and all the training in the world would not help identify it (software related for example).

Which brings me to my point---this kick-butt website (and all of it's great techs) helps us to find the answer to those obscure issues in brands that we do not have access to tech information.

I try to reciprocate with the knowledge that I have.

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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Posted

18 hours ago, john63 said:

this kick-butt website (and all of it's great techs) helps us to find the answer to those obscure issues in brands that we do not have access to tech information.

Made all the better because of the participation and information sharing that you and all the other great techs here do. All the technical information posted here becomes a permanently searchable archive of appliance repair information. Appliantology works like Wikipedia that way-- it's a collaborative effort of a community of techs all adding what they know. 

It's also a practical venue for continuing education. I know I'm always learning new things by reading the topics and especially researching and reading manuals and schematics to help out others. 

18 hours ago, john63 said:

I try to reciprocate with the knowledge that I have.

Which is a lot! And thank you for being our resident Dean of LG Appliantology! 

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 I find this article to be very accurate. Samsung and LG are fine products and equal to the American manufacturers in the products they produce. Where they fall behind and need vast improvement is the back end support of their products. Part look up, part availability,technical information and most of all companies willing to service their products especially units under warranty. Here in Baltimore there is only one company that does warranty service for Samsung and that is for the entire Baltimore metro area. When I have a customer ask me for a recommendations on either Samsung or LG I will tell them I like their products but unfortunately can't recommend them for those reasons.

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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Posted

Good comments, Jim, thanks for posting. 

14 minutes ago, jvanhorn said:

Here in Baltimore there is only one company that does warranty service for Samsung and that is for the entire Baltimore metro area.

Have you looked in to getting your shop Samsung authorized? I would think they'd love to have other techs to provide coverage of such a big area. 

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I did discuss it with them at one time but unfortunately we could not come to an agreement that was beneficial to both.

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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Posted

I know exactly what you mean. The warranty rate they pay servicers is meager and I look at it as pretty much just for defraying some of the cost of running the service call. The quid pro quo is access to GSPN. 

Also, if I'm not mistake (maybe one of the other Brethren can correct me) I think even non-authorized servicers can access Samsung tech info with a paid sub subscription to the MCP app. So you wouldn't necessarily even need to be Samsung authorized. 

And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the wealth of technical literature and peer-to-peer help available here at Appliantology! B)

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The local Sears dealer has asked me several times to pick up the Samsung ASC since Sears wasn't doing warranty on Samsung or LG. Now he is telling me that Sears will not do warranty on anything except Kenmore. I currently do Electrolux & GE only to help out the local dealers. Not too sure that I want to pick up Samsung but I am sure that they will be contacting me after I attend the MSA training in Dallas next month.

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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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2 hours ago, Lighthouse said:

Samsung but I am sure that they will be contacting me after I attend the MSA training in Dallas next month.

They may contact you but probably not as a result of your attending the MSA training-- I don't think they monitor that stuff or care. If they contact you, it'll be because they need coverage in your service area. 

I wouldn't wait for a special invitation, though. With their rapidly growing market share, it's a good bidness move to go ahead and get the contract with them because you'll want the lucrative  COD referrals. Smart techs out there realized an opportunity when lots of other techs refused to work on them. Lots of guys have significantly boosted their income by being the only guy in the area who will work on Samsung or LG. 

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I had read on here where some thought that Samsung was using the MSA training to get names. I read they have you fill out contact paperwork to get the app free for 6 months.  There is no one within an hour drive of my area covering Samsung warranty. I work on the ones out of warranty.

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samsung has been giving refunds or trade ins for warranty issues since no one is covering the area. I wouldn't mind do it if they were willing to pay enough. Just haven't figured out what would be a good price to start at. 

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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Posted

41 minutes ago, Lighthouse said:

I had read on here where some thought that Samsung was using the MSA training to get names. I read they have you fill out contact paperwork to get the app free for 6 months.  

It's a corporate bureaucracy, like anywhere else: One department gives access to the MCP but they don't recruit warranty servicers. That's another department (if it even exists).

You gotta decide if you want it and then you gotta go git it. Don't expect wine and roses or for them to beat path to your door. 

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Samsung warranty dept does have someone that is dedicated to contacting and then meeting potential ASCs.

A representative will usually make an appointment to go over particulars (paperwork/agreement) and to get an impression of the servicer's business office/employees etc.

May take photos of office/truck/technician for records (or part of the approval process)

After 2 or 3 weeks---the RSM (Regional Service Manager) will usually make contact by phone to finalize the servicer contract. When all of that is done---the RSM will try to schedule a time to stop by the ASC office for a meet and greet.

This is what we experienced---before aborting the agreement about 6 months later.

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