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The Engineer (An Ode to Samsung)

Samsung American Style Fridge Freezer Model RSH1DBRS - Nothing But Trouble

Samsung American Style Fridge Freezer Model RSH1DBRS
Looks can be deceiving! Our Samsung American Style Fridge Freezer Model RSH1DBRS certainly looked the part, but performance wise has been a huge disappointment!

Around 6 years ago we decided to buy a new kitchen from B&Q. That was our first mistake, but since B&Q rectified some of the problems we experienced I'm not going to get into it here.

Our second mistake, a much more regrettable one in hindsight, was deciding to purchase a Samsung American Style Fridge Freezer (Model RSH1DBRS) from B&Q without doing any research on the product beforehand. Foolishly, since we had previously purchased two Samsung televisions as well as several mobile phones and never had any problems with any of them, we assumed the fridge freezer would be trouble-free. And anyway, how much trouble can a fridge cause?

It turns out this particular fridge freezer can and does cause a lot of people a lot of trouble. In our case it wasn't even just minor trouble as it has pretty much destroyed some of our kichen panelling and part of our solid oak floor!

So, let me begin at the beginning...

The Samsung American Style Fridge Freezer looked stunning on the shop floor. It had a lovely brushed stainless steel finish and promised all sorts of luxuries such as chilled water and crushed or cubed ice at the push of a button. The temperature for both fridge and freezer could be set digitally depending on the content and time of year. Best of all, it was frostfree so wouldn't need defrosting. As a mother, that was quite a big deal for me!

The Samsung American Style Fridge Freezer (Model RSH1DBRS) sounded like a real whizz of an appliance and consequently we decided we'd go ahead and buy it as fridge freezers are something which supposedly last a long time so we felt it would be worth investing in one a little more expensive than other ones on the shop floor. We also felt that as we were having our kitchen installed by B&Q installers it made sense to buy the appliance from them so they could build around it.

Our kitchen was due in February. Our new fridge freezer arrived in November and was carefully placed in our garage by the B&Q team who left it in its packaging for protection until the rest of the kitchen was ready to be installed. So far, so good.

Before long, the big day arrived and it was time for the kitchen to be installed. It took a few days, but in due time it was ready for its new fridge freezer which was slotted into position and which was our pride and joy. The whole family thought it was wonderful. For me, the fact the freezer was so roomy meant my garage freezer became almost reduntant overnight - although thankfully I held onto it and if you read on you'll find out why...

The children loved pouring themselves icy cold water and my husband and I loved how sleek our new appliance looked. It just set off our kitchen perfectly.

Until...

One morning I walked into the kitchen and was somewhat surprised to find a puddle of water pooled on the right hand side of the refrigerator. Mopping it up, I got on with my day without thinking too much more about it. That is, until the same thing happened the next morning and the following morning and many more mornings after that!

I had a look inside the fridge and saw a little trickle of water running down the back of it. It was gathering under the vegetable drawer and then gradually making its way along the base towards the door and dribbling out onto the floor. Investigating further, I noticed frost inside an area at the back of the fridge which has a screw right inside it. Needless to say I was a little alarmed, but thinking perhaps a little piece of food had blocked something, I thought perhaps I should defrost my supposedly frost-free appliance.

Defrosting was a major inconvenience as I had to remove all the food from the freezer and place it in my spare freezer in the garage although, as mentioned above, thankfully I had kept that freezer. With the day-to-day fresh food in the fridge I just had to hope it wouldn't spoil before the defrost was completed.

24 hours later I switched my Samsung back on and thankfully it appeared fine. I once again cleaned up the water all over the base of the fridge and off the floor and refilled my Samsung American style fridge freezer.

All appeared fine for a couple of weeks and then it started pooling water on the floor again.

This time I was very alarmed. My Samsung American Style Fridge Freezer (RSH1DBRS) was less than two years old and we had spent so much money on it that I couldn't afford to write it off. So, far too late I googled my appliance only to find out to my horror I wasn't the first to experience this problem with this appliance. And the more I read the more worried I became.

However, there was a glimmer of hope. BBC Watchdog had become involved after numerous problems were reported to them. They had negotiated a extension to the warranty which meant the refrigerator was now covered for 5 years for certain problems.

I phoned Samsung. They were very helpful. They agreed my problems were covered and sent an engineer out free of charge. He looked at it and told me he had to move a part, the thermostat I think, from the left side to the right side of the fridge. Apparently it was a design fault and was a known problem so Samsung was making modifications to the appliance. I didn't really care as long as it worked and it did... for a while.

After a year or so the old familiar puddle appeared once more. I phoned Samsung again and this time noticed the person I dealt with wasn't just so friendly, he was even a little abrupt with me, but somewhat reluctantly he told me they'd send an engineer. The same engineer arrived and expressed surprise it was playing up again but he got to work and again the refrigerator worked for a while.

However, it wasn't too long before it all started up again. For around the past year I've been mopping up more puddles. I have tried countless 48 hour defrostings which is no fun with a husband and 4 children needing fresh milk, cheese, ham, chicken, butter etc for lunches and breakfasts. Nothing has worked and as time has passed my kitchen floor and cupboards are being slowly destroyed.

Eventually, and somewhat hesitantly given the grumpy response I had previously experienced, I contacted Samsung via Twitter this time. I was subsequently directed to a web form but the response this time has been unhelpful in the extreme. 

After spending quite some time filling in a rather detailed and extensive form, I detailed my experiences in the further details box as below:

Since the above appliance was purchased, we have had several episodes of water leaking from the refrigerator. These issues were repaired under an agreement to extend the warranty due to known faults with the refrigerator as reported on by BBC Watchdog. However, once again the refrigerator is malfunctioning and for several months now we have had water leaking and pooling on the kitchen floor. Despite switching off the appliance for several 24 hour periods the problem persists.

In addition, since we purchased the refrigerator, the leaking water has caused damage to our oak floor and our new kitchen units at floor level. 

We are of the opinion that the refrigerator was never fit for purpose and as such we have consumer protection with the Sale of Goods Act 1979, The Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the Limitations Act 1980.

I have uploaded photos to illustrate the problems and resulting damages.  Please can you advise what to do next as otherwise I feel I will be left with no alternative but to contact Trading Standards, Watchdog and the Ombudsman. 

At this point I feel further repairs are not a satisfactory outcome and would like either a replacement or refund as this has been an ongoing problem. 

Thank you,

Sinead

As you can perhap tell from the above, I had done some research to find out what my legal rights in the UK are and I also felt strongly that given the problems we have encountered that it is pointless getting another engineer out as it had only led to inconvenience and more problems for us in regard to countless defrostings, our water-damaged cupboards and water-damaged floor.

Here are the uploaded photos:

Samsung Fridge Freezer RSH1DBRS
Water damage under my fridge.
Samsung Fridge Freezer RSH1DBRS
Water damage behind my fridge.
Samsung Fridge Freezer RSH1DBRS
Water damage to my kitchen.
Samsung Fridge Freezer RSH1DBRS
Water pooling at base of fridge.

 

Samsung Fridge Freezer RSH1DBRS
Rust streak and water inside fridge.

 

 

 

 

The following is the exchange of messages I received from Samsung. Note how every email is dealt with by a different person and how, to add insult to injury, I am constantly addressed as MR Hoben, this despite the fact I filled in a form ticking I was a MRS!

Response from Samsung Electronics UK

13 Jun 2014 

Hello Mr. Hoben,

Thank you for your email. Your customer reference number is **********

In regard to your recent email in order for us to assist you further please can you provide the following information:

Model Number
Serial Number

I look forward to your response.

Kind Regards,

Nikki
Customer Service Representative
Samsung Electronics UK

From: Sinead Hoben
Sent: Fri 13. Jun 2014 
To: SAMSUNG

Subject: Re: Faulty Side by Side Refrigerator

Hello Nicky,

I did already include both of these on the form I filled in on the website. However, here they are again:

MODEL NO: RSH1DBRS
SERIAL NO: 891442BQA00902R

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Warm Regards,

Sinéad Hoben (Mrs)

Response from Samsung Electronics UK
4 Jul 2014

Hello,

Thank you for your email. Your customer reference number is **********.

In regards to your query can you provide the following:
Contact number
Full address
Once the above have been provided I will be able to asses [sic] the query further.

Kind Regards

Amin
Customer Service Representative
Samsung Electronics UK

(Note - I also had already provided this information on the form I had filled out but by now couldn't be bothered pointing this out!)

From: Sinead Hoben
Sent: Fri 4. Jul 2014 
To: SAMSUNG

Subject: Re: Faulty Side by Side Refrigerator

Hello Amin,

My contact number is *********** and my address is **********

Warm Wishes,

Sinéad Hoben


Response from Samsung Electronics UK
8 Jul 2014

​Dear Mr. Hoben,

Thank you for your email. Your customer reference number is **********.

Sorry we were unable to get in contact with you. Please try these following troubleshooting steps,

1. Make sure that there is enough ventilation between the fridge freezer and the wall (05-10cm)
2. Ice might be building up at the back of the fridge, please unplug the fridge to defrost the ice. (RS21, RSH1 follow for a repair process directly without troubleshooting)
3. If it is a plumbed in fridge freezer, make sure that water hose is connected properly to the water supply.
4. Check water pipes at the bottom are connected properly.
5. Make sure there isn’t spillage in the unit.
If these troubleshooting steps don't work then the appliance will need an engineer's visit.

Kind Regards,

Paul **********
Customer Service Representative
Samsung Electronics UK
www.samsung.com/uk

(By now I was just about ready to scream given that I had already tried all of these suggestions as suggested before filling out the online form!)

From: Sinead Hoben
Sent: Tue 8. Jul 2014 
To: SAMSUNG

Subject: Re: Faulty Side by Side Refrigerator

Dear Paul,

I have been in my home all weekend and all day today awaiting your call. Did you even read my initial email in which I detailed the problems we have experienced with this appliance, the actions we have taken or look at any of the attached photos? If so, I find your email very unsatisfactory, even bordering on offensive. I am quite happy to blog about my experience on my website BreastfeedingMums.typepad.com and I will also be happy to use social media to publicise my experience. I will not purchase Samsung appliances again and will dissuade family and friends from doing the same!

Finally, I will be contacting Samsung's Managing Director (Andrew Griffiths), Trading Standards, Watchdog and the Ombudsman with a copy of my complaint and the subsequent responses I have received.

Yours sincerely,

MRS Sinéad Hoben

Response from Samsung Electronics UK

Silence...

Am I surprised? No.

All I can say now is this whole experience has been infuriating to say the least. I am angry that my wonderful Samsung American Style Fridge Freezer was and is basically a wolf in sheep's clothing and that I am not the only one who has had problems. To make things even more worrying it is now making occasional hissing noises and having removed the back cover to have a look I was shocked to see a pool of water sitting in a little tray alongside various rusty looking leads and pipes. I am now worrying it may be a fire hazard or general safety hazard as we all know what happens when you mix electricity and water!

Although in the past I was happy to spend money on Samsung products, given my experiences with this appliance I will never purchase another Samsung product again. I genuinely feel this product should have been recalled as soon as problems with it became apparent. I am also disgusted by the inadequate responses I have received in relation to my latest complaint. As a consumer, I don't think it's too much to ask a supposedly reputable company to replace a product that has been so problematic since shortly after purchase, particularly since they were already aware of the problems when I made my purchase!

Have you had any problems with your Samsung American Style Fridge Freezer? If so, I'd love to hear about it so feel free to comment below.

I'm not giving up and if Samsung won't take my complaint seriously then at least I can warn others to stay away from this particular model of fridge freezer! As I stated in a recent Twitter post, "Looks can be deceptive. Very deceptive..." Always, always take the time to do your homework before making any major purchase or you might just find you have a very long time to regret it! 

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