Customers seeking a rebate on a recalled Samsung washer get a much different deal in Canada than they do in the U.S.
Samsung recalled more than three million washing machines across North America last November because the lids of the top-loading models can suddenly blow off during use. In some cases, people were hurt and property was damaged.
Calgarian Chris Dovey had bought one of these washers six months earlier and was concerned about how safe it would be even if it was repaired.
“They weren’t even going to be sending in a certified master plumber, it was just going to be a service tech, and it was just going to be replacing the master panel, as I understand it, and screwing down the drum,” he said. “It didn’t really seem like a good option for us.”
He contacted Samsung and was told he would get $354 USD toward any new washer or $412 USD off a new Samsung washer. He chose a $1,000 LG washer.
But when he noticed that the company had his address listed in Arkansas instead of Alberta, he made a shocking discovery.
“So it turned out that I had been given the U.S. rebate offer, so they told me to contact the Canadian Samsung company, which I did, and Samsung then emailed me the Canadian offer, which I was very surprised to find out was extremely different,” he said.
The Canadian offer was for $600 CND and was only good on Samsung products, not LG or any other brand. Dovey said when he complained, he got nowhere.
“They said this is the offer, there is no one else you can talk to, there is no senior supervisor, if you want to file a complaint, you go to the Samsung.ca website and file it anonymously, and I got the very distinct impression that would simply be ignored, but they said this is the deal we made and it was basically take it or leave it,” he said.
Other Samsung owners have filed class action lawsuits in Canada and the U.S. because they didn’t want the dangerous machines and believed the full cost of replacement should be covered.
Health Canada administers consumer product recalls in this country, but when CTV asked why Samsung is allowed to make different recall offers to Canadians than to Americans, we did not received a response.
Samsung was also approached for comment and responded by sending a copy of their Canadian policy.