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Samsung Refrigerator issues

Purchased Samsung side by side 600l fridge 2009. 20mths on started tripping power. Unable to get replaced/repaired due to our location but fault logged with Samsung. Relocated to Perth 6 mths later, fridge still faulty. Eventually forced Samsung to replace it, 2012. 6 mths later fridge tripping power & stops cooling. Customer service staff not helpful. When Samsung repairer finally came, had to order parts & come back to repair it. 4 wks without a fridge!
Easter 2016 fridge dies again (out of warranty). Nothing more disconcerting than being told by repairers ‘good luck, we don’t touch Samsung fridges’. Eventually found a repairer who explained there would be a delay ‘Samsung don’t keep parts in stock’. Parts ordered, 4 wks later fridge repaired… How can a company which has such a large market presence be allowed to sell their product with no/limited access to spare parts?

That sure sounds like a frustrating experience, Matt :confounded:

Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses have to have spare parts and repair facilities reasonably available for a reasonable period of time, unless you’re advised otherwise. Four weeks for parts is less than ideal for a fridge full of food!

I had a Samsung French door / fridge freezer which was made in China, while it worked OK, the plastic they use does not stand up to the cold. Most of my trays broke, the blue LCD digit for the fridge temperature developed a fault in one part of the digit. Then finally one morning the switch that operates the light in the fridge went so it no longer worked. I tried to find a replacement urgently but was unable to do so. I took out the freezer switch to see if I could use it in the fridge, but no it was different, plus the plastic cracked when taking it out. I bought a new fridge/ freezer and took the old one to Sims metal.

Hi. I have just had a serious leak from my Samsung french door fridge over Christmas which was bought approximately 7 years ago. It has damaged my timber flooring and carpet on the other side of the fridge cubicle wall. Can you please advise if I have a case to claim for property damage under Australian Consumer Legislation under the major fault clause? Thanks in advance.

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Welcome to the forum and letting us know about your fridge problems.

What does the user manual say in relation to inspections and scheduled maintenance of the fridge and its plumbing. This may have information on owners responsibilities to ensure the fridge and plumbing remains servicable and fault free.

Otherwise, many home and contents insurance policied cover water damage from plumbing or appliances. This avenue may be better since the fridge is 7 years old.

Update: manuals for current models indicate water filters are a known source of potential leaks, especially when filter is not maintained/replaced when clogged or generic (non-OEM) replacement filters are used. It would be interesting to know the source of the leak. …

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Welcome to the community David. We cannot provide financial or legal advice here, only general information that could help you sort your options.

First, the retailer you purchased it from is responsible under the ACL, not Samsung. The retailer can act as a go between but cannot fob you off to Samsung and disclaim responsibility.

In addition to the ACL and its remedies, if you have homeowners and contents insurance check that for cover. As for it being a major failure that is defined as

  • a problem that would have stopped someone from buying it if they’d known about it
  • is significantly different from the sample or description
  • is substantially unfit for its common purpose and can’t easily be fixed within a reasonable time
  • doesn’t do what you asked for and can’t easily be fixed within a reasonable time; or
  • is unsafe.

At 7 years on it is often arguable. Even a serious leak can usually be fixed and thus becomes a minor fault subject to different remedies.

That being written, you might consider if the fridge is acceptable quality. Acceptable quality takes into account what would normally be expected for the type of product and cost.

You can collect and present all claims in advertising or brochures about quality and so on, and for example, claim the failure should not have occurred, the design contributed in some way, and thus you are entitled to compensation.

The ACL site some of which I linked above, is well organised. If a dispassionate conversation is not productive, consider sending a formal letter of complaint to the retail management.

Be sure to have all exchanges logged or noted as to who, what, when, anything agreed, and have everything you send to them receipted.

I hope this has been helpful for you to understand your options.

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Over the last few weeks, I had problem with my $3000 French door Samsung fridge. I have purchased it from Harvey Norman and took Product Care insurance. After two years, ice has started to build up inside the fridge and resulted in very loud noises that disrupted our living and sleeping areas. Apparently the problem is due to a design flaw that affects the defrosting system and is well known and documented by users in social media.

I have to go through the Product Care process that doesn’t allow me to touch the fridge myself without voiding the guaranty and their service technician cannot come over until next week. Very frustrating that we need either live with a chopper-like noise for a week or turn the fridge off and live like a cave man.

I was hoping that ACCC can reference to the Samsung’s bulletins on the issue and force them to refund the consumers who already have this problem.

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It is an interesting one as it could be classed as a minor fault as the issue appears to be more annoying (a noise) than something which prevents the use of the refrigerator.

If the ice prevents the operation of the ice maker and it is a key function of the fridge (inc… reduced the performance of the whole of the refrigerator), the it could be argued that the fault is either minor or major. It would be minor it it can easily be rectified through a service or part replacement. It may be major if the ice maker can’t be fixed and the problem is likely to reoccur, affect the use of the ice maker/refrigerator and cause ongoing noise problems.

Does the ice buildup affect the operation of the ice maker, or does the ice build up only result in the noise with the ice maker still functional?

The ACCC states that “If you have a minor problem with a product or service, the business can choose to give you a free repair instead of a replacement or refund. When you have a major problem with a product, you have the right to ask for your choice of a replacement or refund. For a major problem with a service, you can choose to receive compensation for the drop in value below the price paid, or a refund.”

Also as you are probably aware, warranty extensions like HN Product Care have no value and not worth the money paid for them. In reality, the length of a warranty and resolution is determined under the Australian Consumer Law and not by the manufacturer or retailer. What the manufacturer says is really a guidance and also the period where warranty claims are more likely to be more easily resolved.

When the technician arrives, ask if there is routine maintenance you can do to prevent the icing up occurring again. It may be to remove a cover and remove built up ice. If the technician indicates there is, take his name and company details he works for as you may need to have this information handy in the future (esp. if HN or Samsung indicate that the warranty is void because you were carrying out regular maintenance by a service technician).

Good luck and keep up up to date with what happens.

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Another thing, also check your refrigerator manual to see what ice maker maintenance/cleaning is required during the fridges operation. If the ice build up and resulting noise was caused by inadequate cleaning/maintenance by the user, it is possibly that the service technician/Samsung will say that it is not covered by warranty. It is important to check this out as you may find that you are up for the cost of the service technician visiting your house.

The Samsung website indicates that routine maintenance may be required for some of their fridges.

Also, carrying out routine maintenance specified in manuals/user guide will not void a warranty, unless the maintenance did not follow that in the manual (e.g. tipping boiling water in the ice maker when the manual states other methods for maintaining).

It may be worth carrying out the routine maintenance as per the manual (if there is a maintenance requirement indicated) before the technician visits to see this this fixes the problem, If it does, you can then cancel the visit (and potentially saving you some money).

Also, a $3000 fridge should have many years of interrupted use and be trouble free. Choice recently looked into how long products should last and this may be useful should the problem require escalation.

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Hi phb

Many thanks for taking time and providing such comprehensive and insightful response, much appreciated.

With regards to the definition of minor and major faults, in my humble opinion:

  • If a fridge is not convenient for the users due to a misrepresentation in the technical specification (in this case loudness), it should be considered a major fault.

  • We were not able to sleep at night and couldn’t stay in our living area due to the loud noise. This is a major fault as the appliance disrupts the normal life of the user.

  • During the birthday party of my son, our guests complaint about the noise to a point that we had to shut-down the fridge for the duration of the party (around 4-5 hrs). As a result, we had to dispose many fresh foods. If this is a reoccurring problem, it is against the whole purpose of having a fridge and should be considered a major fault.

  • As per Samsung’s Technical Manual Bulletin, this issue had been identified for a long time (~2015) and the company asks technicians to check for three different sources of problem. According to the text and many complaints from the users, if the problem starts, it is unlikely to be fixed and frequent services are required. I consider such problem as a major fault as it adds a nondisclosed maintenance to the appliance.

  • According to the Class Action against Samsung in US, the company did nothing to rectify the problem for the users free of charge and considered such problem as a routine warranty issue. This irresponsible behaviour of a manufacturer should be considered as a major fault, as it forces the users to pay for something that is not their fault.

With regards to the Harvey Norman’s product care, I have been taken as hostage by the company. I am not able to touch my refrigerator (warranty problem) and their technical contactor (Woolley Appliances) is too busy to respond to the claims promptly. The HN product care tried to convince me over the phone to accept repair; however, the T&C of my contract clearly says that I am entitled to a replacement or refund for any minor or major fault. Fingers crossed for the technician’s visit tomorrow…

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If you are not happy with the outcome of the tech visit, formalise every communication in writing, ‘time stamped’ notes, who you talked to and the outcome, and make sure all emails have acknowedgement to demonstrate they were received. HN is not a company, but a collection of franchises that apparently each sets their own business standards. ‘Harvey Norman’ is a buying agent that licenses the look and feel and marketing and makes all possible attempts to step aside regarding problems. Even the HN online site is a separate business; there are numerous posts about HN across the forum.

When they sell product care their position is they have shifted their responsibility. That is not how the ACL sees it but consumers will usually play their game.

Based on your statement about a US class action you probably could make a winning case with a formalised request for a refund/replacement through a well done ‘letter of complaint’. It should go to the franchisee, perhaps also the product care company, and cc’d to HN itself so they are aware.

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The service bulletin in your post (2015) predates the delivery/purchase date of your fridge (around 2016/17 from the information provided above) and it could argued that it is not relevant to the fridge you purchased as any known ‘design problems’ could have been resolved in any updates to the model.

There is a service bulletin which is dated after the purchase of your fridge and this one should be the one which is referred to. This service bulletin can be found here:

https://www.scribd.com/document/332005575/Samsung-FDBM-Refrigerator-Ice-Maker-Bulletin-1-0-0

There is also an additional 2017 service bulletin which for other models which can be found here:

http://www.uncleharrywizard.com/nephewclub/wizardfrig/samsung/samsung---refrig---rf267.pdf

It could be good to know the model number of your fridge so that the right service bulletin is known for the particular problem.

Notwithstanding this, the first service bulletin states the problem could be caused by:

Some of these problems may arise from a failure of one or more components associated with the icemaker, namely the defrost/cooling loop, auger motor or perished seals. Other may be from movement/incorrect fitment of components on manufacturer, namely the ice bucket gasket seal, water leak or the ice route is not sealing properly. Other may be from inadequate maintenance, namely, air duct locked with frost or ice. It would be interesting to know if the later would be resolved by the general maintenance in the user manual.

The above does not necessarily indicate that there is a known design fault with the fridge. It indicates that a icemaker causing loud intrusive noises in known by Samsung and Samsung has issued a service bulletin to assist service technicians in finding and resolving the source of the noise quickly.

I wouldn’t be jumping to the conclusion that the fridge has a known design problems as it could be the case this this is not correct. If it become correct from information gathered through discussion with Samsung and/or the service technician, then it would fall into the major fault category under the ACL, namely “it has a problem that would have stopped someone from buying it if they’d known about it”. Proving such may however be very difficult…and possibly why in the US some fridge owners have mounted a class action. It is also worth noting that information about US fridges may or may not apply to models sold in Australia and shouldn’t be fully relied upon per say.

If the fault has been caused by a fault in the icemaker or poor quality control in the factory of the fitment of icemaker components, then these will be the responsibility of Samsung to rectify. When the service technician visits, I would be asking if the problem is common and is there anything you can do to ensure that the problem does not occur again.

If the service technician indicates that the problem has been caused by inadequate maintenance in accordance with the user manual/guide, ask how often maintenance should be carried out (which for example could be more regular in humid/moist environments) and how best to do the maintenance (get the technical to show you how to do it).

The second service bulletin states the problem could be caused by:

image

and recommends the replacement of the Ice Maker Service Kit (Ice Maker and Main PCB). It could be assumed that the PCB would need replacement as it would have been damaged by the blockage.

Both these, unless the blockage was caused by the operator, should be replaced by Samsung.

Not necessarily, an example is say a car power steering started to have a loud squeaky noise when the wheel was turned, one would not expect the car manufacturer to replace the whole car because the noise was intrusive and annoying when driving the car. One would expect the components making the noise to be replaced to mitigate the noise. Unfortunately the same applies with the fridge. While the noise is annoying, it appears from the information you have provided it has not affected the operation of the fridge. Therefore, under the ACL it is unlikely to major fault as the service bulletin indicates that the noise problem can be readily rectified

Also, the ACL allows for compensation where the use of a product causes losses or damage. However, if ones use caused the loss or damage (say physically turning off the fridge which results in food being spoiled), then it is unlikely that compensation would be available as the loss/damage could have been avoided by the consumer.

As outlined above, this service bulletin predates that of your fridge and may not be relevant to your fridge. The above links to 2017 service bulletins are those which will be relevant.

One can’t use the US as what may happen in Australia. Australian Consumer Laws are very different to that in the US and consumer rights and the manufacturer’s/seller’s responsibilities come under the Australian Consumer Law.

These rights and responsibilities are explained in plain English on the ACCC website:

No, the T&Cs (see below) does not say that in relation to minor faults. HN I expect will point to the terms and conditions which relate to the Australian Consumer Law and state that the fridge’s problems (if not due to inadequate maintenance), come under the ACL (see section 1-9 and 12 of the product Care T&Cs).

Unfortunately the T&Cs give HN the flexibility to chose what it claims the product fault falls under. As the ball is in HN court, I would be very surprised if they automatically offered a refund or replacement, when their product care T&Cs indicate that can fall back on the ACL and do a repair.

This is the main reason why the product has no value over the consumer rights under the ACL, and one in effect is paying for smoke and mirrors which advantage only HN.

Reading the Product Care T&Cs, it doesn’t provide much more than that can be offered under the Australian Consumer Law. The only additional benefits, if they can be called that, is the Product Care can be transferred through change in ownership during the period the care package is taken out, it applies overseas (assuming the product can be taken overseas and the manufacturer won’t honour their product warranty in another country) and one gets some minor discounts on other HN products…




The last one is interesting as it most likely wouldn’t apply as one of there exclusions for an ‘eligible fault’ would possibly render this one useless (see subclauses c, d and e).

One needs to assess whether these ‘additional’ benefits justify the price premium to purchase product care.

A final comment is wait until the service technician attends the fridge to determine if the problem is likely to reoccur, is a known design fault (noting that a service bulletin does not indicate a design fault but how to fix a problem - they are a bit like a technical service bulletin used for car services and issued by the car manufacturer) and whether they is any maintenance you can do to prevent a recurrence. If all the above three are answered in the affirmative, then you may need to take the matter further.

Until then, it is best to be patient. Also let us know how you get on with the service technician.

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How did you go? I am now having this and many other Ice Machine problems on my fridge.

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Can anyone tell update me on what’s going on with complaints re the Samsung refrigerator French door ice makers.
Model # SRF644CDLS.
I am over my ice maker constantly freezing up and having to force out ice drawer and then defrosting the iced up machine🤬
Drawer now cracked
We purchased the fridge at the end of 2017, ice maker started freezing up a few months after purchase, spoke to Samsung, went through all the checks -
However continues to freeze up.
Yes I should have called Samsung again but just have put up with it until now, frustrated to say the least.
Just got off the phone to Samsung and no help at all?:face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
Please if anyone has any ideas of where I should go now

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Hi @Kaz1, welcome to the community.

I have moved your post here as there is an existing thread about Samsung ice makers in fridges and some of the problems other community members have had. It is worth reading the above posts.

If you could let us know how old the fridge is and also its model number, it would be great. This information will let us know if n it is an inherent/design fault with that particular models and what rights you may have under the Australian Consumer Law.

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You need to compose a formal ‘letter of complaint’ and send it to the retailer from which you bought the fridge, getting a receipt. Use the community search function as there are many links to the Choice article and ACCC Consumer Law pages as well as tools to help compose one and advice from members on the content. Note the retailer is responsible and they cannot fob you off to Samsung. You may be entertained by searching Harvey Norman franchisees who have been fined $100,000s for misrepresenting consumer rights and fobbing off their customers.

A 3 year old fridge should not be having such problems, yet ice automatic ice makers are notoriously unreliable overall from total failures to leaking to operational issues such as yours.

Talk is ‘idle chit chat’. You need to go formal and if you do not receive reasonable engagement that ‘paper trail’ can be taken to Fair Trading to lodge a formal complaint.

Please let us know how you go, or if you need additional guidance. If you are a Choice member you can also avail yourself of Choice Help (via the Choice web site) who can guide you through although they can be busy from time to time so may take a few days to get back.

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This model has only 2 reviews on Product Review, both 5 star.

Why not post your own review which will severly downgrade their 5 star rating?

That might get their attention.

have had 4 service calls to replace ice maker parts the last service person sent from samsung told me the refrigerator was unrepairable the insulation was wet

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Hi
About 7 years ago I bought a top of the range Samsung french door fridge/freezer. I also paid $500 for the extended warranty. I thought as it was just shy of $3000 it would be a long lasting investment. Its first flaw appeared in a few years. Then another the year after ice began to form and the fan internally and on the back of the fridge made a terrible noise, each time being repaired by Harvey Norman repair people, ending with them saying its fixed. In the 5th year, when the warranty was about to run out it began making this crazy noise (it sounded like it was dying). I called Harvey Norman Mandurah, the repair people came out and said nothing was wrong!!! I called and asked to speak to the manager who was abusive, swore and said most people have replaced their fridges before 5 yrs!!! I was so incensed and being a single mother ofcourse I can’t afford to do that! I went to consumer affairs and, without hearing my side of the story they sided with the crazy manager! A short while after the fridge is broken!! It still work but forms half inch puddle at the bottom of the fridge every 3 days. It also turns into ice. So i have to defrost my “frost free” fridge at least once a week. They ice also forms in a big block behind the freezer draw and prevent the draw closing properly :confused: I’ve had to take out the veggie draws because they fill with water and the fruit and veges spoil. I knew something was wrong within the warranty time period and no one listened (including consumer affairs) and now I’m stuck with this $3000 dollar seriously failing product ;( Any advice or tips would be appreciated. I will never buy a Samsung fridge again, and I haven’t stepped foot inside a Harvey Norman since, especially not Mandurah !!

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