Samsung Chromebook special offer not very customer friendly

by Trefor Davies on Sunday, 10 November, 2013

Samsung chromebook offerI bought my Samsung Chromebook via Tesco.com. What particularly attracted me to the deal was the offer of a free Samsung Galaxy phone. The model of phone wasn’t specified so my expectations weren’t high.  The Chromebook was only £229 so it wasn’t going to be a high end phone but I figured it would be ok for one of the kids.

The Chromebook itself came very quickly – Anne collected it from our nearest store (400 yards from our house!). The phone however didn’t materialise. Hmm. The Tesco portal told me that the order was only part fulfilled so I assumed the phone would follow. It didn’t.

After a day or two I rang Tesco and the customer services type claimed not to know anything about the offer, or at least there was no reference to it in their system. I persevered. I had bought the Chromebook on September 30th,  the last day of the offer, so whilst it didn’t surprise me that the guy couldn’t see the offer I felt there must have been some reference to it on their system. There wasn’t.

This customer services guy was a good lad though. He did a search and found the offer deep in Samsung’s own website. I thanked him but left the call feeling that the whole purchasing experience had not been totally satisfactory – the communication re the offer wasn’t good.

Ok next I went to the Samsung web page referred to by the Tesco guy only to find that I could only claim the phone between 14 and 44 days after purchase. This left me thinking that Samsung were putting obstacles in the way to avoid having to send me the phone. They weren’t going to get away with this. I made a note in my calendar to make the claim on the 14th of October.

Come the 14th and the next obstacle hit me. I needed a VAT receipt. The Tesco website had a button to press to get the receipt. It didn’t come – must have been a glitch. It took a couple of phone calls to Tesco for someone to manually fix the glitch (escalation to a technical team somewhere else) but an email eventually arrived with the VAT receipt.

On the 18th October I made the claim. It felt a little like booking a flight with Ryan Air. Might have just been me but I felt that the slightest mistake in filling out the form would invalidate the claim.

We got an email through:

Please check these details carefully. If you need to make any changes to these details, please do so as soon as possible by email to us as incorrect addressing will delay the arrival of your reward. If you need to contact us, our email address is : 
chrome@samsung-promotions.co.uk

It will take up to seven working days to validate your serial number and proof of purchase. Once your claim has been validated, we will send an email to you to help you plan with confidence the arrival of your reward. It is possible that we may need to contact you in these first few days to resolve any queries such as proof of purchase missing or serial number not validating. Please therefore check your spam filters carefully and add this email address to your approved senders.

Seven working days??!! They’re avin a laugh!

On November 2nd, 10 working days, I remembered we still hadn’t heard anything so I contacted Samsung via both email and Twitter. I got a response through the Twitter account on the 5th November asking me to mail details and later that day got an email saying:

Thank you for your email. Your claim is valid and your phone will be dispatched in the next two to three weeks.

Samsung Promotions Team

The whole process left me thinking that Samsung were at the very least amateurish and inefficient which didn’t stack up with them as the global electronics giant they are. I felt that Samsung had set up the phone offer to entice me to buy the Chromebook but were now making it hugely difficult for me to make the claim.

Also two to three weeks for shipping is ridiculous for a device that will probably be in stock in lots of distribution outlets around the globe – unless it’s a really old phone - I still don’t know what model it will be!

So all in all Samsung, this hasn’t been a very impressive experience. In fact it’s left a taint on the Samsung brand that makes me wonder about moving on to the Nexus for my next device purchase.

I was going to write this up after the phone finally arrived but I got a comment from mel noting a similar poor experience with the offer. Note it is Sunday 10th November – one month and ten days since I bought the Chromebook. I expect that the phone will arrive towards the end of November.

As for the Chromebook it is now my main laptop though the glitch that makes the touch pad periodically lock up is still a nuisance. I don’t know if this manifests itself in other Chromebook models.

That’s all folks. It’s a Sunday. Make it a good one :)

PS I nicked the header graphic from the Samsung email but without their permission. I assume they won’t say anything but if they ask me to remove it I will of course do so.

{ 5 comments }

Luica November 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I bought the latest HP 11 chromebook a couple of weeks ago and it’s working fine as a secondary machine for a bit of emailing and internet browsing. The hardware is okay, but I don’t have high expectation for a £229 machine.

A week on, the charger has stopped working (I think it’s a hardware issue with the connection). Even worst, Microsoft365 webmail has stopped working for no obvious reason.

I got in touch with both the Microsoft365 and Google Chrome teams; a Google Ninja got in touch pretty speedily and was really helpful, but I can’t say the same thing about the Microsoft365 team who asked me to try using IE – on my chromebook! It must be a joke.

Trefor Davies November 11, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Luica
I’d be interested to hear whether the HP Chromebook has the problem of the touchpad locking up every now and again. It seemed to be a generic Chromebook issue but I have no experience of other manufacturers’ hardware other than Samsung.

I tend to use mine as a primary machine with the occasional fail over to my Dell laptop whic his a lot heavier and far less convenient.

Trefor Davies November 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Footnote to this here > http://www.trefor.net/2013/11/15/footnote-to-samsung-chromebook-free-galaxy-phone-offer/

btw Luica – have you sent back your HP Chromebook following the recall?

Michelle November 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Hi, I’ve had my Chromebook for about 6 weeks now and I really like how easy to use it is and how quickly it connects to the internet. Unfortunately my device has the same problem as yours i.e. the trackpad locks up every now and again. This really annoying and I’m tempted to send it back.

I received the free phone a couple of days ago which is fine to use as a back up phone. I paid under £200 for this Chromebook so overall I can’t complain but I just wish the trackpad didn’t play up :(

Trefor Davies November 24, 2013 at 3:32 am

I totally totally agree with you Michelle. It is the one major flaw and something you would think that could be fixed with a software patch. I don’t know why it hasn’t already been done.

Out of interest where did you get the chromebook for less than £200? It’s amazingly cheap.

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