Samsung washing machine (WFJ1454V)& Krefel: trials and tribulations


Read if you are tempted to buy a Samsung washing machine or one at Krefel

Summary

The machine was chosen on the basis of its 7 kg capacity, but, more importantly, the time taken to complete a basic white or coloured wash. The machine, bought on 14 September 2006 at the retailer Krefel, has never functioned as specified. There have been three separate visits of technicians sent by Samsung service on the 6th (two technicians) and 27th October 2006 (a different one) and 26 January 2007 (the same technician as previously). In all cases, since both myself and my wife work, I have had to take three separate half days of my annual holidays to wait for a technician (technicians in Belgium do not work at weekends and cannot seemingly specify the time of their visit - only whether it will be morning or afternoon - but this is not specifically a Samsung problem, except when the proposal of sending technicians becomes excessive, as it had become in this case). Looked at in terms of my salary foregone waiting for technicians, the three half days leave taken would have just about paid for an equivalent replacement machine! Despite these visits the machine never worked properly and had the unfortunate characteristic of walzing around the room. This was constrained by actually bolting it it to the wall. Nonetheless it still does not work as advertised and is totally unpredictable as to whether a wash will ever finish. No effective help has been received from either the manufacturer, Samsung , or the retailer, Krefel.

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			2K .jpg image of 25/11/06 click for 2K 
			image of 19/12/06

The waltzing machine originally against the wall. Full image 6/11/06, full image 25/11/06, full image 19/12/06

Visits of technicians - If it were not serious, it would be funny!

First visit - 6th October 2006: I telephoned the Samsung repair service in the week of 25 September. I was to be contacted within 24 hours. In the absence of this contact, I went to the store where I bought the machine twice during the next week and they actually arranged for the visit of a technician (perhaps to get me out of their premises). I took a half day's leave. Two technicians came as foreseen, they carried out a few tests. But afterwards, as expected, nothing had changed. My wife telephoned the technicians on 11 October. They said they had made their report to Samsung, but there was nothing else they could do. I awaited contacts from Samsung. None came.

Second visit - 27th October 2006: An email was sent to info Samsung on 19 October stating that the machine had never worked properly since purchase. I also telephoned the Samsung repair service on 19 October. A Samsung technician phoned me twice. He said there was no point in recontacting the repair person who had previously visited and I must contact the Samsung repair service each time. He also noted that the repairman should not have said that there was nothing they could do. Samsung considered that it was a problem of correctly placing the machine in a properly balanced way. I expressed my extreme discontent that the machine was so sensitive that it needed to be balanced a third time (i.e. at installation, first "repair", and now again). But he said that a technician would contact me, which he did not. In the absence of the promised contact, I telephoned the Samsung repair service again on 25 October. There was no trace in my file of the contacts of 19 October and there was apparently only one repair request rather than two. It was agreed that a second technician would come on 27 October. He came and adjusted the feet of the machine and looked at it briefly in operation. He said that it was normal that the machine took longer than foreseen. We used the machine twice that day after his departure and the delay was 12 and 15 minutes over the time specified on the LED panel. Subsequently my wife used the machine and sent me the email in English which was forwarded to Samsung (full text). She "had had enough of the machine" at this stage and wanted a definitive resolution of the problem since "the machine was wandering around the room". I wrote a registered letter to Krefel on 8 November.

Third visit - 26th January 2007: My mail of 3 November to Samsung with main text saying that after two separate technical interventions the problem still existed and the machine has taken to self-propelling itself around the room. My wife had enough and wanted the machine to be gone as soon as possible. On 6 November I received thanks for my mail. Samsung stated that on the basis of the information supplied they could not offer an immediate solution. We were asked to call their service telephone no. They would then be able to determine "whether the creation of a repair dossier was necessary";! They "hoped there reply was useful"! Subsequently I had written a further registered letter to Krefel on 12 December saying nothing had been solved and instancing later logs of washes showing that those between the 13 November and 13 December had exceeded the predicted times by 25%. Samsung on the basis of another call said that they would visit on 8/12/07 (sic). I was away on 8/12/06 and did not receive this mail until after my return. After further contacts and a reply from the retailer, Krefel, on 13 December advising that Samsung would contact me at the beginning of the next week, I advised them on 21 December that I had not been contacted and was departing the next day abroad for Christmas and would not be back until 7 January. On 8 January I received a message in my letter box on my return from work in Dutch saying that a technician had come at 12.30 and there was no one at home. After several further contacts it was arranged that I would be home to meet a technican on 26 January. Problems were again explained: 1) all cycles exceed the time indicated by at least 10% but often 25%, 2) There was always soap left at the end of the last rinse suggesting that the machine was not spinning effectively, 3) The machine moved on average once in every third wash, which makes any balancing adjustment made pointless.
The technician looked at the machine and concluded that there was nothing that he could do. He would submit his analysis to Samsung and it was for them to decide on the follow-up. However, nothing was ever heard subsequently from Samsung. Neither did I receive a reply (even an acknowledgement) of a letter addressed on 8 November 2006 to the Chairman of Samsung.

Subsequent contacts: Samsung was contacted again on 1 February 2007 as follows (in translation): "Dear Sir, Following a third examination by your technicians of the defective Samsung WFJ1454V washing machine, I would wish to have your proposals for the solving this case which has now lasted for 5 months."
The reply received was as follows (in translation): "Dear Madam, Thank you for your email. We have passed your question to the appropriate service. When the service in question will have the response to your question we will contact you again. We hope this information has been useful. If you have other questions do not hestitate to contact us. Best wishes, Romain, Samsung Electronics."
Krefel (Ms. Carmen Verbeurgt) was also contacted as follows (in translation): "Dear Madam, Given that there has been a third examination by Samsung technicians of my defective washing machine finally on 26 January, I would like to know, please, the follow-up which will be given to this affair. Thank you."
I do not have the record of any further reply from either Samsung or Krefel.

So much for the worth of a guarantee from this firm or retailer!

My own attempts at solving the wandering machine problem.

Given the incapacity of the maker or retailer to solve the problem, I adopted damage limitation measures by bolting the machine to the wall in three places and constructing a wooden surround of the base attached to the floor to prevent wandering behaviour. This has only restricted the machine from wandering around the room and issues of over-long cycles and unpredictability, as to whether a wash cycle will ever finish or not, have existed since then. The machine cannot therefore be classed as an automatic washing machine - sometimes it attempts to be, more often than not it does not manage it.

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			2.8K .jpg image of 9/9/07 click for 1.3K 
			image of 9/9/07 click for 2.2K .jpg image of 9/9/07 click for 3.1K 
			image of 9/9/07

DIY restraining. Full images base, full image bolt locations, full image bolt holes, full image final plinth, full image finished

Basic details of machine:

Washing machine: Samsung WFJ1454V 7kg.
Purchased Krefel (Brussels, Auderghem): 14 September 2006.
Delivered & installed: 23 September 2006.
Client number (Samsung): 2800433701 + 2800448587 + 2800508412.
Repair Number (Samsung): 3003485046 (one of probably some duplicates).
Samsung WFJ1454V French language webpage which opens in a separate window.

An aside on the difficulty of contacting Samsung (Belgium):

Obviously for the company it is preferable to use a web form rather than giving an email address to contact, since the form is able to specify the information that may be required. However if one looked at the Samsung Belgian site (in French or Dutch) at the time I did, you would have found 'Household appliances', with the options 'Refrigerators', 'Microwaves', 'Vacuum cleaners', but no 'Washing machines'. It has changed now and washing machines are there. Maybe my complaints have had some slight impact :) On the international web site you will find washing machines, but not the model number sold in Belgium. The only contact option seemed, at the time, to be "Others" on the form. This seemed to throw the system into disarray, since I ended up as a different person with different repair numbers and client numbers. Neither does there appear to be any means of receiving a copy, for my file, of the communication sent to Samsung, other than by me cutting and pasting what I put into the form and saving it separately. A send should ideally reproduce what has been sent to the email address of the person sending it. But maybe this is too much to expect.
It would also be helpful to have an actual address for written correspondence to Samsung Belgium, Netherlands or whoever is responsible for sales in this country. I have spent an hour on the Belgian, Dutch and global sites without finding the mailing address of Samsung in Vilvoorde or Samsung in Delft. The absence of an address probably does have the benefit, for the company, of cutting down on the number of registered letters received by them from angry customers!

Hints from elsewhere that some of my problems (that of partial loads) may not be unique.

(machine translation from the Dutch) "Beware: if only little is in the machine. Starting the program is not difficult. But three rinses can, instead of taking 15 minutes, take an hour!!!!!!!! You should be warned. The Samsung technician has confirmed that all machines have this problem. It has to do with a kind of built-in security against vibration. So small washes: take longer than large ones. In empty or full loads, there is no problem. " Although I am not sure whether empty loads are particularly useful in practice:)

My contact details for similar problems.

If you have had similar problems with this machine you can e-mail me at home or office and I will add them to this site. Snail mail to Ken Lennan, SPA2 2/112, CE, 200 Rue de la Loi, 1049 Brussels, Belgium.

 

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