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Samsung TV Unboxing Disaster

I recently bought a Samsung smart TV. My daughter and I unboxed it to set it up, removing the wrapping, polystyrene, clear tape around the frame and the removable matte film on the screen, whilst following the setup guide. As we removed the screen protector and were switching it on, it was evident that there was a picture visible through the film, but not on the glass where the film had been partially removed, where it looked like a bright white screen. At that point, we stopped, reread instructions, searched online for advice, then phoned Samsung customer care.

The technician explained that the protective film was actually an antiglare film that should not be removed as it was essential to the functioning of the TV. We were quite shocked to hear this, as I had previously owned a Samsung TV and had recalled having to remove a protective film prior to use, we were accustomed to this process from other electrical and electronic appliances, and there was nothing on the screen to warn that it should not be removed. After further discussions with Samsung staff, we were advised that this constituted inappropriate use by us and that Samsung would not cover the repair or replacement. I explained that the edges of the film were not sealed or protected but were clearly visible and easily removed, hence my assumption that it was to be removed.

Although we attempted to replace the film, this was not possible and the picture has been significantly compromised, to the point that the TV is totally unusable. The cost of repair is almost 90% of the purchase price. Although my insurance covers accidental breakage, the loss of my no claim bonus for the next few years would amount to more than the cost of the repairs. Too late, I found many posts on Samsung own forum about recent model TVs (over the past 12 months or so) having the same issue, with Samsung neither agreeing to repair, nor rectifying by applying warning stickers to the screens, despite it being a known issue.

After many attempts at having Samsung cover the repair costs, escalating my complaint at each step, it’s a firm no. I now have a TV that is non-functioning and am faced with the choice of paying for the repair myself or dropping it in the tip and buying another.

The ACCC is unable to help, and the retailer explained that it is not a fault covered by the warranty, so it looks like the end of the line. So annoyed that the TV didn’t come with the screen filter sufficiently labelled or sealed off to avoid removal.

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It is must be very disappointing for you.

Do you have a link to the or photo of setup guide for your particular model to see what it says?

Unfortunately, the retailer is right. Removing something which appears shouldn’t have been removed would be classed as misuse under the Australian Consumer Law and is an exception to getting a resolution.

Was the film removed because you thought it had or was it in the setup guide. If it was the former, then unfortunately there isn’t any thing you can do except claim under insurance (which has drawbacks as you have noted).

If the Setup Manual suggested that it should have been removed, then there may be some opportunity to have resolution under the ACL as the user guide could be seen as being misleading, leading to the accidental removal of the screen’s film.

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The manual didn’t have any explanation that I could find which referred to the screen cover. My much older TV I’m pretty sure had the usual sort of film that often covers glass screens or stainless steel panels when you unbox them. It does seem that I, and apparently many others, have been unlucky. I guess my main beef is that it’s quite normal to expect that plastic film would be removed from a product during setup (as with the plastic film around the frame of this TV, despite there not being any instructions about that), and that if it peels off easily it would not be expected that the whole product would then be rendered inoperable.

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Maybe a long shot, but refer to your rights under Australian Consumer Law and compose a Letter of Complaint citing the absence of any instructions for the plastic anti-glare, your historical experience with plastic protective covers, the reports cited on the internet, and take it from there in what you consider a reasonable expectation for plastic coverings on TVs/electronic products, warning about them and the visibility of those warnings, and so on.

An honest position you could take is without proper instructions or warnings how could you abuse or misuse it? Common sense indicate hitting with a hammer is bad, as would be dropping it or puncturing a screen with a knife, yet frames, mounts, and often screens have films to protect them during shipment, and you could reasonably argue that is the default understanding a reasonable person would have without warnings to the contrary.

FWIW I have had recent experience with a product I had for 2 years (!) before realising there was a plastic protective cover that needed to be removed. It is not always obvious and without clear instructions how does a consumer know?

Was there any written warning there was an anti-glare film not to be removed? If you have a photo of the edge not being well cut to the frame that would be an example of useful evidence to collate.

If you decide to proceed please let us know how it goes.

edit:

No need to reply, but unless you started with a Letter of Complaint and that process led nowhere from the retailer to Samsung to the ACCC (fair trading office), you entered into ‘idle chit chat’ rather than seeking your rights. Because Samsung or a shop states something is not covered under warranty may be completely correct and reasonable, or it might be their position not their legal obligation under any particular situation, eg a business policy or statement is not by itself ‘law’.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to lay out all these points. I actually feel quite validated by everything you’ve articulated. My case to Samsung was very detailed and contained all the points you mentioned, including photos as you described, reference to consumer law, my historical experience with Samsung TVs, their lack of instructions or written warning, and links to their forum posts which made it clear that many reasonable people had been caught out. They responded the same way (I even asked them to have someone else review my statement for a second opinion). My letter to the ACCC contained all the same documents. All turned out to be a dead end. I really feel for others who I’m sure will end up in the same boat. Thanks again for all your thoughts on this. :+1:

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@BrisLin, as it is very important to keep the screen protector on, there should have been a ‘Do not remove’ sign a metre high!
I would not go away, I would get in touch with Samsung CEO
Email address: yh.eom@samsung.com

Also at Samsung.com there’s a list of
presidents, and vice-presidents, to get in touch with.

Good luck!

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Oh wow - thanks! You reckon it’s worth a shot? Does this sort of thing work?

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I gotta say. This is my first ever post, and I’m blown away by all the very clever and ballsy people who hang here! lol

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If the sign was built in to the protector you would be watching young Tracy Grimshaw through it for years, if the sign was attached to the protector but removable then dutiful people would leave it there forever unless there was a second sign saying that the first one could be removed but not the protector in which case what would they do with the second sign? If they were smart enough to remove the first sign on their own initiative despite being instructed not to then they would be smart enough to leave the protector in place without having a sign that instructed them to do so.

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Going to the very top has always worked for me @BrisLin
Just don’t give up :blush:

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It is for some products, but not all. Some fridges have plastic films over some areas, likewise some electronic devices. But some don’t or limit it to particular parts to protect the surface during transit. We have found that setup guides say what can be removed.

I see your dilemma. You think in the past you removed the film for an older TV and thought that for the new one what looked like the film should be removed…without confirming it with or following the setup instructions.

The most recent TV our family has purchased is a Sony and it appears it if like your current Samsung - it was in a large plastic bag within the box and cardboard protection mounts. The screen surrounds had a removable plastic film to protect the surface during transit which were removed. We followed the set up instructions and installed the antitilt strap (previous Sony TV didn’t have this) before turning it on and then followed the instructions of how to to connect to the internet and tune the digital channels. There was no mention of removing any film from the screen and it didn’t cross our minds at the time.

The challenge is trying to prove that a reasonable person would have removed the permanent matt screen film when it isn’t included in the set up instructions. I think you may be between a rock and hard place.

They will argue that they didn’t say to remove the screen in the setup instruction, so it should not have been removed if the set up instructions were followed. They will also say that they take no responsibility for consumer doing things which are outside the setup instructions (like placing a remote in a dishwater to wash it) because the manual is silent or doesn’t say it should not be done.

Good luck and I feel that you have possibly hit a brick wall. I just hope that the TV wasn’t an expensive top of the range one and if you do replace it, the retailer shows some sympathy and gives you a very good price (maybe their cost price) for a replacement. Maybe this is something worth pushing for as they still get the same profit at the end of the day…if you hadn’t mad the mistake you have made and required a replacement.

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Does your Sony have such a film? Mine, a 2020 and a 2021 do not appear to have any. If there is no film it would be reasonable there would not be instructions to remove it. If there is a film on either of my Sonys it goes completely under the frames and is thus unlike one that is trimmed with space between it and the frame.

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Yeah, you’re spot on with all this. What we thought was very careful routine unboxing in preparation for meticulously following the manual to set up, turned out to cause catastrophic damage which will cost $660 to repair (yep, for a piece of plastic film), all to salvage a $770 TV. Agreed that it’s more than likely a brick wall. :roll_eyes:

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This is how ours looks.

Looks like others have also tried to remove the plastic film through error…

This video shows that it looks like it is some sort of polarising film to allow pixel colours to be seen.

I would be trying to get a replacement at cost from the same retailer. Maybe take in your damaged TV to show them that it is damaged beyond repair…and hopefully they show sympathy.

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Curious, does it state to remove the plastic protection on the frame, etc? My Sonys have pictogram setup guides and none of the pictograms shows removing protective film except for taking it out of the ‘big bag’, and there was lots of it on the frames and feet. Likewise no text could be found regarding same in the manual.

A rational question is whether the lack of an explicit instruction to remove actual protective films is sufficient to accept the absence of a warning not to remove another.

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Sounds like a repeat of the Samsung washing machines that used to catch on fire which Samsung tried to do nothing about and even tried to weasel out of the recalls.

A good company to avoid like the plague.

image

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Not knowing the model number, but looking at an example, the manual states that the only protective film they mention to remove is over the Samsung Logo on the frame, namely:

The screen may dim if the protective film on the SAMSUNG logo or the bottom of the TV is not detached. Please remove the protective film.

The quick setup guide for the same TV is silent on removing the film…


and it is uninteresting is indicates not to touch the screen during handling. This might give an indication that the surface on unpacking isn’t a film but the final surface of the TV.

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I reckon @BrisLin should have a go toward Samsung senior management, perhaps if getting bored under lockdowns (or whatever Brissie has in store) another Letter of Complaint to the store, Samsung, and then once again the ACCC and be prepared for possible options even if less than what would be expected as satisfactory.

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In a side note, if the film can be pulled off, I wonder how it performs over the service life of the TV, especially one that may be hit by sunlight or subject to changes in temperature. I wonder if it is secured strong enough to prevent it lifting over time. The video doesn’t seem to provide much confidence for its durability.

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Or from children’s fingers? :laughing:

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