New Jersey and Samsung America Reach Settlement
Appliance Repair Work Performed Under Warranty or Service Contracts
NEWARK - Samsung America, Inc. and the Office of the Attorney General through
its Division of Consumer Affairs have entered into an Assurance of Voluntary
Compliance (AVC) that concludes an investigation into the company's business
practices related to repairing home appliances under warranty or service contracts.
As part of this settlement, any consumer complaints received about Samsung America
related to home appliance repairs will be forwarded by the Division to the
company over the next two years. Samsung America will refer any unresolved
complaints to the Division's Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) Unit for resolution through binding arbitration.
Samsung America, based in Ridgefield Park in Bergen County, will pay $50,000 to the Division, plus $14,600 in reimbursement of investigative costs and attorneys' fees. The company made no admission of violating any laws in settling the state's investigation.
“Consumers will be told all applicable charges, including those for parts and labor, when appliances are repaired under warranty or through service contracts. Consumers are entitled to know their out-of-pocket costs and this settlement requires Samsung America to provide that information,” said David Szuchman, Consumer Affairs Director.
Under the AVC, Samsung America agreed to:
- Not engage in any unfair acts or deceptive practices in the conduct of its business in the state and to comply with all applicable state and/or federal laws, rules and regulations;
- Provide consumers with all required home appliance warranties and service contracts;
- Disclose to consumers all diagnostic charges and other set fees and the methods to determine the total charge, including the charges for labor and parts, when performing appliance repairs. (Not applicable when Samsung refers out-of-warranty home appliance repairs to an independent service network.)
- Honor all Samsung home appliance warranties and service contracts and to complete all contracted-for, in-warranty repair work, whether completed by Samsung or through an independent service network;
- Provide consumers a toll-free customer service telephone number to address any post-order inquiries concerning home appliances, and to clearly disclose the telephone numbers to consumers;
- Make available a customer service manager and/or supervisor when the consumer calls the toll-free customer service telephone number and makes such a request.
- Respond to consumer complaints or requests for refunds, credits or other adjustments within five (5) business days of its receipt of the consumer's telephone call, e-mail or letter; and
- Implement training and other programs, as necessary, to instruct its customer service representatives as to new home appliances and/or changes in policies and procedures including, but not limited to, those concerning billing practices.
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Koziar of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section represented the state in this matter.
Consumers can file complaints with the Division on its Web site at http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/ocp/ocpform.htm or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll-free within N.J.) or 973-504-6200.