Samsung Chromebook special offer not very customer friendly

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

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.

Trefor Davies

This article was written by Trefor Davies
on Sunday, 10 November, 2013

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