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SOS: Cold cash to replace warm fridge

July 30, 2018

If this were Joan Preston's faulty Samsung refrigerator, a lot of that food would have spoiled.

With the clock ticking on her one-year warranty, a failed repair and a cadre of customer-service staff she struggled to understand, Joan Preston, of Stoughton, figured she better call SOS.

Three weeks later, she has the promise of a $1,347.84 check and hopes of not having to spend so much money eating out.

Preston, 72, purchased a Samsung refrigerator/freezer in Madison in July 2017 but noticed in April that the refrigerator wasn’t staying cold.

Repairs were good for about a week, but since then about the only things she’s been able to use the refrigerator for are ketchup, mustard and other items that don’t require a lot of cold. Among the food that’s gone bad in the overheated fridge are eggs, celery, buttermilk, sour cream, cheese, salad dressing, spinach and hamburger, she said.

Preston said that before contacting SOS she made more than 25 calls to Samsung seeking a refrigerator that works, or a refund.

“I never spoke to a person who was clearly speaking English,” she said. “They would ask me for things I had already sent them.”

By early July, she’d been about two months without a refrigerator and was getting increasingly frustrated with Samsung.

“There were several afternoons where I just sat down and cried,” she said.

Main Appliance, which had tried to fix the refrigerator, appears to have been similarly frustrated.

On June 27, it emailed Samsung a screen shot of Preston’s claim noting that as of June 5, the refrigerator “is unrepairable.”

“Can you please resolve this with Joan Preston (customer) as she has been without a working refrigerator for almost 2 months now,” wrote the Main Appliance official. SOS contacted Samsung on July 16 and the next day Samsung spokesman Zach Dugan said he was on the case.

Preston got a call shortly thereafter from Grace Golda in the company’s New Jersey-based office of the president and emails shortly after that asking for information about the refrigerator and the spoiled food, and her mailing address.

“Again we apologize for your inconvenience and appreciate your patience,” Golda wrote her.

On July 19, Samsung Electronics America sent Preston an email saying her $1,347.84 refund — 1,147.84 for the fridge and $200 for lost food — was “preapproved.”

The next day, Golda emailed to say the check was on its way. SOS will follow up to make sure it arrived.

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