Most helpful critical review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I wanted to like this monitor...
on May 13, 2008
It was highly rated by a consumer magazine and elsewhere on the Web. But Samsung's customer (non-)service ruined it for me.
At first glance, the monitor looked great -- vivid colors, good contrast, and excellent controls, both on-screen and through the included calibration software. But soon I noticed a pattern of faint waves rolling down the screen. It was only visible on certain mid-toned backgrounds, but was distracting enough that it would have driven me nuts. Rather than try to return the monitor right away, I contacted Samsung's tech support via e-mail. Wrong move. It took them almost two weeks to reply with a cryptic message that the monitor might need service and that I should call to speak with someone. (Gee, thanks.)
During the two weeks I was waiting for the e-mail reply, I thoroughly reviewed the manual and researched the problem on the Internet, but found no solutions. After wading through the usual automated phone menus, I spoke with Samsung tech reps at two different levels, neither of whom had any suggestions that I hadn't already tried. They agreed to replace the monitor under warranty and told me I would get a call in about a week from a predetermined UPS location when the new monitor was ready for exchange.
Two weeks went by, still no call. I called customer service to inquire about my replacement monitor and was told - surprise - your monitor isn't covered by a warranty after all because it was a refurbished unit. It wasn't, I told them, it was brand-new and in factory packaging. And what made them think it was a refurb? Was the serial number in some kind of a database? No, the Samsung manager told me, she had gone to the Web site of the seller and it appeared that the seller only carried refurbished items. Huh? (They were wrong about that.) And when I asked whether they were ever going to call back and tell me that I was out of luck, all she offered was a lame apology about how backed up they were.
We argued a little more before she finally agreed to reconsider providing a replacement -- IF I could get the seller to provide documentation that the item was in fact new. Nice. By that time I was sick of Samsung, so I decided to try a different tack. I called the seller - TECH FOR LESS in Colorado Springs - and explained my dilemma. They were very understanding and immediately agreed to refund my money - even though by that time I was well past the normal 30-day return window. They even agreed to pay return shipping! I sent it off the next day.
It took TECH FOR LESS a while (11 days) to process the refund after they received the monitor, but I can't complain since they were under no obligation to do anything for me. Many props to this Amazon seller.
In the meantime, I bought a 19-inch Dell E198FP that worked perfectly right out of the box.
Lesson learned? Samsung may make decent products, but if you ever need service I hope you have better luck than I did.