Or… Why you shouldn’t send your phone to the Samsung Repair Center in Irving, Texas USA.
Ticket numbers: 4158086894, 4159419743, and 4159832046
I purchased a used Samsung S20 Ultra (SM-G988N) from a seller on eBay. It was not a US spec device but was designed for Korea. However, it worked well for what I needed until the display began twitching and showing multiple overlays. I eventually sent the phone to the Samsung Repair Center in Texas USA with the hopes of having it repaired and back in a reasonable amount of time.
Time involved: March 17 – June 9, 2021
My Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra was with the US Samsung Repair Center for repairs for more than two months. I was told it would take 9-11 days to be repaired. Every time I called, they would make promises but never keep them (to call back, to ship back my phone, to talk with a manager, etc.).
- March 17 – Repair Center received my phone
- March 24 – called because the online update service never showed any changes.
- March 26 – called
- March 30 – called
- April 2 – called
- April 5 – called
- April 9 – called and canceled repair since they were not giving me straight answers.
- April 12 – called
- April 17 – called
- April 19 – called but no update given April 20 – called and demanded answers; promised phone would be shipped with no repair cost April 28 – called and promised answer within 48 hrs At some point, Samsung needs to send me a replacement phone. This is getting to be ridiculous.
- 5/11 3:08 pm phone call I spoke with a woman at the repair center. She escalated me to case management. Case management couldn’t find a manager. After 1 hour and 11 minutes, they hung up on me.
- 5/11 4:30 pm phone call I spoke with Santos (ID #RSISUP002) who promised to cancel the repair and put the old parts back in. I reminded him that I had already canceled the repair on April 9, 2021 but the phone was not shipped back to me. He did not know why but promised to talk with his manager when she returned. Santos promised to speak with his manager and have this resolved within 24-48 hours. I never heard back from him.
- 5/13 3:12 pm called Repair Center Spoke with someone who made the same vague promises. I asked to talk with a supervisor. She escalated me to Case Management. Angelina (#1820) – I told the woman at Case Management that I had canceled my repair on April 9 and had to cancel it again on May 11 because of the company’s incompetence. After a brief hold, she asked me if I still wanted to cancel the repair. I paused and then asked why she would ask me that after I had canceled the repair twice. I insisted on speaking with a supervisor.
Beranobel (#1918) – He was a supervisor and promised to email me personally and call the repair center while I was waiting on hold. He actually sent me an email which I received. He also confirmed that a supervisor at the repair center would ship out the phone tonight or tomorrow. He will call the supervisor tomorrow and then call me around noon ET with the result.
- 5/13 Email from Samsung: “Dear ANDY RUPERT, Please be advised that your Samsung SM-G988NZKAKOC was not repaired. The unrepaired unit will be returned to you and the expected ship date is 05/13/2021. Service Ticket Number : 4159419743 Service Center Information 1. Name : RSI 2. City, State : Irving, TX 3. Tracking : 1Z54V84A0238270154 5/14/21 I received an email last night saying that a UPS shipping label has been created to send back my phone. Hurrah! However, this morning, I noticed that $648.41 has been removed from my bank account for the repair I canceled on April 9 and May 11. What is going on? I emailed Beranobel (#1918) asking why Samsung can’t understand the word cancel. We shall see how he replies.
12:22 pm – Beranobel (#1918) called me, as promised, and told me about the shipping label being created. I asked why I was charged for the canceled repair. He said he did not have the authority to return the money to my account. So he connected me with the repair center … who knew nothing about the situation. After complaining to the repair center helper, I was forwarded to Case Management. What a merry-go-round! Gardy (#2614) at Case Management eventually told me that the repair center had credited the amount back to me. I asked if I could have that in writing. I am on hold again while he gets permission to document the credit of funds back to me in an email.
- 5/14 Email from Gardy (#2614): Hi Andy, this is Samsung Case Management department. It is confirmed the repair fee charged by the Repair Center was credited to your account as of today. The confirmation number is 6210083897776443304083. We thank you for your patience and apologize for any inconvenience. As of 5/14/2021 at 1:24 pm there has been no return of funds and the UPS tracker only says that a label has been created.
- 5/18 After more than two months of waiting, I have received my phone back and the charges have been refunded as well. In the future, I will not use the Samsung Repair Center in Texas for repairs. Instead, I will try a local repair shop where I have at least the ability to talk face to face with the representative. This was a two months waste of time.
- 6/8 When I received the phone back, I was elated … until I turned it on. The phone booted into Factory Binary mode. It looked like software meant for testing the unit. Not a big deal for someone who can use Odin and can find the combination files, right? Wrong. There were two problems. (1) There was no IMEI number. (2) It thinks it is an SM-G988U 128 GB instead of the Korean model SM-G988N 256 GB. (Apparently, they did replace the motherboard with a US spec board.) Eventually, I was able to get it working as an SM-G988U, but still no IMEI number and no way to use as a phone without an IMEI number. Every Fiverr.com repair person, IMEI website, and Samsung certified repair center I contacted said that they were unable to install a new IMEI number. My only alternative is… send it back to Samsung. How exciting.
Tonight I called Samsung Help and the kind person on the other end said she could not schedule a repair without an IMEI number. Nice.
- 6/9/21 @ 1:49 pm and 1:59 pm – I called Samsung and spoke to Lorell #RSI11 who listened to my story and tried to transfer me to the Repair Center but hung up. I called back and she gave me the number for Tech Support and tried to transfer me to them but hung up again.
- 6/9/21 @ 2:03 pm – I called the number Lorell gave me, 800.726.7864, from a different phone and spoke to Jason #527669. He was very gracious. He told me I could mail them the phone and then they would have to install my old IMEI number. I asked him if he knew much about IMEI numbers and suggested that my Korean model SM-G988N IMEI number might not work with the SM-G988U motherboard currently installed in my phone. He agreed that this would not work. So, for the last 30 minutes, we waited for his supervisor’s response to his messages. Will they charge me to get my phone back to normal? Jason and I finally agreed that I would pay Samsung $117 to install an IMEI number. A new ticket number has been created: 4159832046.
Unfortunately, he transferred me to someone else, who transferred me to someone else, who transferred me to someone else.
- 6/9/21 @ 3:28 pm – I spoke with Moises #66570 who treated me like I knew nothing. After waiting on hold for a bit, he returned but his connection sounded like he was in a tin can and I asked him to call me back. He hung up but called back at 3:45 pm. By then I was unwilling to waste any more time on the phone.
- Always document your conversations with tech support.
- Be polite but firm. It is your item in the shop not their item.
- Always ask for the representative’s name and ID #. This helps with future conversations.
- Always ask for a written acknowledgment of any promises made.
- Always follow up the next day or within an acceptable period of time.