Is Samsung Customer Service Good? 2017 Rating
Samsung's phones and TVs may grab most of the headlines, but the company sells many laptops and offers a full suite of support options for those machines. During the past year, Samsung introduced a Samsung+ support app for Android devices to go with the company's phone agents, live chat, online databases and tutorial videos.
|Samsung Tech Support|
|Overall||Web Score||Phone Score||Avg Call Time||Phone Number||Web Support|
|Phone Hours (ET): 8 am - 12 pm (M-F),
9 am - 11 pm (wkd)
This year, we tested Samsung's support by asking about how to use the company's Notebook 7 spin laptop. Specifically, we wanted to know how to use Samsung's SideSync app to transfer files, how to stop Windows from putting up a lock screen after I stepped away for a moment and how to improve long-term battery life.
Web, Social and App Support
Don't expect to use that new Samsung+ support app to find support for the company's notebooks. I couldn't register the Notebook 7 spin via the app on an S7 device, as the Register button refused to appear on that page.
Further, the desktop version of the device-registration page threw another glitch my way, as it failed to give 2017 as an option when I was plugging in the date of purchase. Finally, when I finished registering the Notebook 7 spin under my Samsung account, the Samsung+ app didn't show the laptop as one of my devices.
Samsung's online tutorials are useful, but when they miss a step, the company's reps are there for you. The company redesigned the site support.samsung.com to make locating content easier, something I noticed while searching for help using SideSync.
All I had to do was type in "how to use sidesync" to get a prompt for using the app with a Galaxy S7, the phone I was using. Unfortunately, when I got to that page, it skipped the step of loading SideSync onto the smartphone, only telling me to open it on the device.
Before I could look for another way to get service, a live-chat prompt appeared on my screen. I opened it, entered my name and email address, and was connected to a Samsung tech-support rep named Durga. The rep pointed out that I needed to manually install SideSync on my phone first, and directed me to the app in the Google Play store. I then asked Durga how to use SideSync to transfer files between devices, and the rep sent me a link to a step-by-step walk-through.
It took 40 minutes for @SamsungSupport, the company's Twitter handle for tech support, to respond to my query for help. I asked the support account how to disable password re-entry after the system goes to sleep, and the reply pointed me to the the power settings, which is incorrect. Rather than limit themselves within Twitter's requirements, the company places a link at the end of longer answers to a page where you can see the full response.
After the agent realized I was asking about password re-entry and not disabling sleep, I was given step-by-step instructions for disabling the lock screen, which solved my issue. In total, it took 1 hour and 5 minutes, of which 17 minutes passed while I was doing something else and not refreshing the page for responses.
Samsung's live-chat support is fairly quick and responsive, but its agents rely on outdated resources. When I set up a chat to ask about making the most of battery life, a rep named Kishore gave me a link to a walk-through that asked me to click on an Extras button that wasn't in the settings app.
Kishore then offered instructions for calibrating the battery by editing the BIOS. I asked if there was any other way than changing the BIOS, which I'd rather not do because of risks. Kishore shared a link to a page with instructions about how to open Control Center, the previous version of Samsung Settings (the app that held the answer to my query).
Unfortunately, the Control Center app is different enough from Samsung Settings that the instructions didn't bring me to the correct answer. The last suggestion Kishore offered was in the form of another link with instructions for editing the BIOS. This method is really just for advanced users.
When I called Samsung's customer support 800 number (open 8 a.m. ET to midnight ET, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET on weekends) one Tuesday morning (8:47 a.m. ET), I was greeted by an automated response that asked me if I was calling about the Note 7 recall program and then asked me what my issue was. The help line didn't understand me when I said, "Notebook 7 spin," as it twice asked for my phone service provider, even though I didn't mention a cellphone in my response.
Minutes later, I was transferred to Jefferson in Manila who asked what was wrong with my Note 7. After I explained that I had a Notebook 7 spin, and not a Note 7, he forwarded me to Max on the notebook team who was located in the Dominican Republic.
Max showed me how to turn on the generic Battery Saver mode, which changes power-consumption settings so that a single charge can last longer. I asked Max if there was anything for long-term battery usage, and he stated that there was not. The call lasted 11 minutes.
At the start of my next call, A Philippines-based rep named Nina used caller ID to determine that I'd called before. After I explained that the system wasn't recognizing the Galaxy S7 phone, Nina explained that I'd need to install the app on my phone, too.
When I asked how to send files between the Samsung devices using SideSync, Nina incorrectly told me that SideSync couldn't send files between devices. She said it can only mirror your phone's display on your PC. The call lasted 7 minutes.
Considering that SideSync is Samsung's own technology, the company's support reps should know how the technology works. We have put this question to Samsung reps for three years in a row, and only last year (one out of three times) did they get it right.
At the start of my third call, when I sought to learn how to disable the lock password screen when waking the Notebook 7 spin, the company's automated support again thought I was calling about a Note 7. I had to tell the robot twice that I wasn't calling about a phone before it transferred me to Paula in the Caribbean, who asked if I was calling about a Note 7 phone.
After I explained my Notebook 7 spin issue and asked her to pass along news of this phone-tree glitch to her superiors, she forwarded me to Richard in the north Philippines on the Notebook team, who asked if I was calling about a Chromebook.
After I said that I was calling about a Notebook 7 spin and explained my issue, Richard walked me through a download process for the utility, and then connected to my machine. He then claimed I could accomplish disable the lock password screen by changing the setting for Turn Off After times under the Screen section of Power & Sleep to Never.
I tried to explain that this didn't sound right, and that the setting should be about the lock screen (trying to hint that he should have pointed me to the option on the screen-saver control panel), but Richard was convinced that his method would work. I said thanks and that I'd test it out and call again if it didn't work. The call took 15 minutes.
Overall, Samsung's calls took an average of 11 minutes, though none provided complete answers to my questions, with only one giving any help at all.
Samsung devices come with parts and labor repair warranties of either 12 or 36 months; the Notebook 7 spin we used for testing comes with a 12-month plan. The company offers phone support from 8 a.m. to midnight ET on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET on weekends.
Samsung's technical support favors those who prefer watching videos online or who can take a leap of faith with instructions rather than requiring complete walk-throughs. I didn't test the company's Samsung Plus premium care, so I can't say if the personal tutorials or dedicated representatives provide excellent service, but I'd hope so.
To earn a better mark next year, Samsung needs to make sure its employees understand the company's services, get more up-to-date links that reflect units in the field and have a better understanding of how Windows 10 works.