Samsung rhymes with cow dung, but did you know the company’s tech support stinks like it, too?
At the conclusion of last year’s Tech Support Showdown, Samsung landed in fifth place among 11 other brands. It’s important to note that our 2020 tech-support investigation took place before coronavirus-related lockdowns knocked the corporate world off its feet. This year’s Tech Support Showdown is our first post-pandemic examination of Samsung’s customer service — and it is tragic.
On Samsung’s social media tech-support platforms, I didn’t receive a single accurate answer — not one! Oh, and let’s not forget that I was actually ghosted by Samsung while using the company’s virtual chat app. Samsung’s phone support isn’t any better: my agent didn’t even know what a fingerprint scanner was. Perhaps COVID-19 has affected the quality of Samsung’s customer service, but for a lack of a better descriptor, Samsung’s tech support is trash. Armed with a Samsung Galaxy Book Flex Alpha laptop for my tech-support investigation, find out why Samsung’s score tumbled in 2021.
Samsung tech support
|Overall||Web Score||Mobile App Score||Social Media Score||Phone Score||Warranty Score||Avg. Call Time||Phone Number||Web Support|
|47/100||6/20||N/A||5/15||16/30||20/20||13:56||1-800-726-8464||Link (opens in new tab)|
Phone hours (EST): 7 days a week, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m. EST
Samsung tech support number: 1-800-726-8464
Average call time: 13:56
Samsung mobile support: Text “help” to 62913
Samsung tech support virtual chat link: https://support.microsoft.com/contactus
Phone support: Samsung Galaxy Book Flex Alpha
Samsung’s official tech support number is 1-800-726-7864. You can reach a phone agent any time between 8:00 a.m and 12:00 a.m. EST, seven days a week. Make sure to have your laptop’s model number ready ahead of time; you can find the model number on the back of the device. One positive aspect of my experience with Samsung’s phone support was the lightning-fast connections with wait times being less than two minutes. Unfortunately, I experienced more cons than pros. Language-barrier issues soured my experience and I had to repeat my questions more times than my patience could tolerate.
At 3:07 p.m. on a Sunday, I called Samsung’s customer service line to help me increase the sensitivity of my Samsung Galaxy Book Flex Alpha’s touchpad. I really enjoyed the automated voice experience. The bot said, “You can talk to me like you would to a person!” I obliged. I told the bot that I’m calling about the Samsung Galaxy Book Flex Alpha and I needed tech support.
I was quickly transferred to a phone agent — also known as a “Samsung Pro” — in just a few seconds. I spoke to a Dominican Republic-based gentleman who had a very brusque, curt manner-of-speaking that didn’t feel very welcoming. I asked him, “How can I increase the sensitivity of the touchpad?” I had to repeat my query three times because he seemed to have difficulties understanding me.
After a long awkward pause, he ordered me to go to Settings. I asked him, “What next?” He replied, “Click on touchpad.” I told him that I didn’t see anything that says touchpad on my screen. He insisted there was a touchpad tab located on the left side of the Settings app. For the second time, I told him that I didn’t see it. “Click on touchpad,” he repeated like a robot. It was like talking to a brick wall! Filled with frustration, I said, “Sir, I do not see a touchpad option!” I explained to him that I saw tabs such as System, Devices, Phone, Network & Internet and more.
“Oh!” he said. “Go to Devices.” There we go; we finally made some headway. He then swiftly guided me to the final step of increasing the sensitivity of my touchpad. The assistance lasted 7 minutes and 35 seconds, but we exchanged some pleasantries for an additional 4 minutes and 25 seconds after I found interest in his Caribbean background. The gentleman softened up — he was gruff and surly at first (perhaps from a long day of dealing with difficult customers), but after some friendly conversation, he became more cordial.
At 9:47 p.m. on a Sunday, I made a second call to Samsung. Again, I reached a call center in the Dominican Republic. The wait time for the second call was slightly longer, but not by much: I was connected to a Samsung Pro (heh, the irony) in less than two minutes. Funnily enough, Samsung doesn’t play hold music, so I initially wondered if something went wrong, but nope — Samsung simply leaves its customers sitting in deafening silence while they wait. It was weird and unusual, but I’m not complaining. Hold music is typically awful anyway.
After connecting with a Dominican Republic-based agent, I asked “How do I set up the fingerprint scanner on my laptop?” The “Samsung Pro” asked me to repeat my question and I did. There was an awkward pause. “Finger? One moment,” she replied. “Oh for pete’s sake” I said to myself with a facepalm. At that point, I already knew that this was going to be one of those calls — those customer-service experiences that make you want to throw your phone against the wall.
“Is this something you download? Like an app?” She was confused — and quite frankly — I was confused why she was confused. Does she not know what a fingerprint scanner is? Though I was growing frustrated on the inside, I calmly explained to her that there’s a fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy Book Flex Alpha. It’s supposed to scan my fingerprint to log me in, but I need help with setting it up.
She asked me, again, “Is that an app or is that something that comes with the device?” I told her that it comes with the device. She then requested the Galaxy Book Flex Alpha’s model number, which I gave to her. Approximately four minutes later, the agent admitted that this is the first time anyone has asked her a question like this, insinuating that she’s a little lost.
I explained to her, once again, that there’s a fingerprint scanner on the keyboard deck, which is supposed to allow me to login with my fingerprint. At long last, the proverbial light bulb came on. I’m not sure what made things finally click for her — it could have been the term “keyboard deck,” maybe she asked a fellow co-worker for help, or perhaps she had a temporary brain-fart moment that dissipated, but I’m glad she got back on her A game.
Eventually, she started guiding me in the right direction, but it still wasn’t smooth sailing. The “Samsung Pro” assumed that a “Set up fingerprint” tab would appear after I opened the Settings app (a similar mistake the first phone agent made). I told her I didn’t see it. After a few failed attempts of trying to guide me to the fingerprint-scanner setup via Settings, the phone agent advised me to type “setup fingerprint scanner” into the Windows search bar instead. From there, she helped me breeze through the biometric-authentication setup process. The call lasted 15 minutes and 53 seconds. Whew!
Social media support
Samsung has two tech-support platforms on two social-media networks: Twitter and Facebook. Samsung’s tech-support Twitter handle is @SamsungSupport. Samsung’s tech-support Facebook page is Samsung Support. I wouldn’t recommend any of these avenues for customer service — agents were slow to reply and the responses were inaccurate.
I reached out to Samsung’s Facebook support page to ask a simple question: Is there a way to change Samsung Notes’ canvas background color? For the uninitiated, Samsung Notes is a PC app on the Galaxy Book Flex Alpha that, as you might have guessed, lets users take notes via styli or typing. I asked my query at 1:43 a.m. on a Wednesday. Unfortunately, Samsung’s tech support was closed at the time, but an automated message informed me that an agent would answer my question as soon as they could. I was also offered some links to other avenues of support, including Samsung’s 24/7 virtual chat app. Seven hours and one minute later, I received an inaccurate answer to my question: “Hi there! Thanks for contacting our Samsung support page. I'm afraid this is non-customizable. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
This is incorrect. One can change the background color of the Samsung Notes canvas by navigating to Settings > Page style and template > Color. From there, you can choose from one of the 17 pastel colors for your Samsung Notes canvas. Get it together, Samsung!
Let me tell you about my ridiculous Twitter conversation with @SamsungSupport. To give you some background, Live Wallpaper is a Samsung-branded app — Samsung-branded being the operative word here — that auto-changes one’s wallpaper with images based on your interest. Live Wallpaper offers a catalog of wallpaper images in several categories: Marine Life, Flowers, Pet, Space, Wildlife, Urban and more. For example, if you select Urban (which has a collection of 120 photos), Live Wallpaper will cycle through 120 pictures of cityscape images so you’ll never get bored of staring at the same ol’ desktop background. At 7:52 p.m. on a Tuesday, I reached out to @SamsungSupport on Twitter to ask for help on how I can input my own image collection into Live Wallpaper instead of using the app’s pre-installed images. Fifty-six minutes later, I received a reply that offered an explanation of what Live Wallpaper is and how to use it. “OK, that’s nice,” I thought, “but where’s the answer to my question?”
I thanked the agent for her reply, but reiterated my question: “How do I use my own catalog of photos to launch Live Wallpaper?” Six hours and six minutes later, a new agent appeared. She gave me a set of unclear instructions: go to the home screen, long-press an empty space and head to the wallpaper section. I asked myself, “What home screen?” I told the agent that I wasn’t sure which home screen she was referring to, but I long-pressed an empty space on my desktop and I couldn’t proceed any further according to her instructions — I couldn’t find a “wallpaper section” option anywhere. In response, she asked me for the model number of my unit, which I provided.
Hang in there, dear reader; it gets worse. Four hours later, I was given another new agent. This is where my blood started boiling. I kid you not, the agent said, “You’ll need to contact the developer of this app to determine what’s going with it. We’re limited to support the hardware and software related to our brand.”
At this point, I wanted to pull my hair out. What in the world is he talking about? Live Wallpaper is a Samsung-branded app! I actually had to take a screenshot of the Live Wallpaper app in the Microsoft Store to prove to Samsung’s own tech-support folks that I am, indeed, asking about Samsung-branded software. It was madness!
His response? “Got it! In this case, I encourage you to contact our Media Solutions at 1-855-795-0509 since they can help you further with this matter on this app.”
The most hilarious part of this whole debacle is that, throughout this Twitter exchange, I went through three support agents in a span of 25 hours and the answer to my question was simple: Click on Add Folder located on the top-right corner. That’s it!
Samsung has a 24/7 online chat app (opens in new tab) that is ideal for those moments when you have a pressing issue at an inconvenient time. The chat app connects you to one of its live agents who are self-proclaimed independent contractors who can and will ghost you if they are mystified by your question.
I don’t like quitters — and there’s one stinking up Samsung’s Facebook chat-app team. There is a bare-bones video-editing app on the Samsung Galaxy Book Flex Alpha called Samsung Studio Plus. You can export videos at reduced frame rates via the Advanced Settings tab. At 1:58 a.m. on a Wednesday, I reached out to Samsung’s 24/7 virtual chat app to feign ignorance about how to export Samsung Studio Plus videos at reduced frame rates. “How do I export videos on Samsung Studio Plus at reduced frame rates?” I asked. After the bot figured out that my question was out of the scope of its support-page collection, it connected me to a live agent.
A “Samsung Expert” — yes, “expert” is in quotes due to the irony — reviewed my question and said, “Yes you can play but it will have more fluidity when you export it outside the studio and play it.” I was confused by his response. I wasn’t asking whether or not my video would be playable at reduced frame rates; I was asking for help on how to decrease my video’s frame rates before exporting it. I told him that it’s fine by me that the video will have less fluidity — just tell me how to do it!
The Samsung agent told me that there’s a speed icon that I can click on that will give me “instant access to the custom speed window.” Firstly, there is no speed icon on the app. Secondly, the agent falsely assumed that I wanted to find an in-app speed feature, which wasn’t my query.
I repeated my question: “Maybe I’m not explaining correctly: I’d like to export my video, but at reduced frames per second.” In response, he said, “You must click on the gear icon in the lower-right corner of the video, and then click on the speed section.” At this point, I couldn’t help but facepalm. There is no gear icon anywhere on the interface. As such, I explained to the agent everything that I saw before me, naming all the clickable options featured on the top and bottom menus.
Five minutes passed by — no response. Fifteen minutes flew by — nothing. At the 25-minute mark, my laptop decided to do an unsolicited Window’s update, prompting me to restart my laptop. I panicked and I thought I lost the chat, but thankfully, when I opened the app again, the conversation was still there. The live agent, however, still didn’t reply. At 2:54 a.m., I sent a flurry of back-to-back messages such as, “Are you still alive?” I am almost certain the live agent gave up on me when he realized he couldn’t handle the question. Not cool!
I wanted to close the chat, but out of curiosity, I decided to keep it open to see if he would come back. At 4:00 a.m., a new “Samsung Expert” suddenly appeared. There was no explanation for the first agent’s disappearance. After reviewing my question, the Samsung Expert told me that the Samsung Studio Plus doesn’t have a frame-rate reduction feature, which is untrue. I tried to nudge him toward the right direction by asking, “Are you sure there isn’t an Advanced Settings option somewhere in the app that can reduce my video’s frame rates before it’s exported?”
The Samsung Expert was adamant that there is no such thing on Samsung Studio Plus. The virtual-chat interaction took 2 hours and 2 minutes.
I also tried to find a Samsung Studio Plus guide via Samsung’s support-page search engine, but I couldn’t find anything. However, when I used Google, I was able to find a “Tips for using Studio Plus on Samsung PC (opens in new tab)” article on Samsung's official website.
You can reach Samsung’s mobile support by texting HELP to 62913. This may be the worst way for customers to get technical support from Samsung.
At 3:04 p.m. on a Wednesday, I texted “HELP” to 62913. Once again, I asked about Samsung Studio Plus, but this time, I had a query on how to export a file format to WMV. To this day, I haven’t received a reply.
Samsung laptops come with a one-year limited warranty, which covers flaws in materials and defects in craftsmanship during manufacturing. If your Samsung product is in warranty, shipping is free both ways. However, for out-of-warranty repairs, you must pay for shipping.
Samsung Care+ customers can extend warranty coverage for eligible Galaxy laptops for an additional year beyond the standard manufacturer warranty. The Samsung Care+ Plan covers fast, convenient, hardware repairs from authorized technicians and repairs for mechanical malfunctions or defects. Samsung Care+ customers also have access to two service requests for physical and liquid damage.
Samsung boasts that it has a workforce of “experts” and “pros” to help customers, but those aren’t the terms I would use to describe the Samsung agents I dealt with — “unqualified” and “poorly trained” are more fitting. Let’s talk about Samsung’s phone support. Firstly, Samsung needs to hire agents with better communication skills (I had to repeat myself one too many times). Secondly, the company needs to train its agents better so that they can be prepared to answer questions about Samsung Galaxy Book laptops (I was shocked that a “Samsung Expert” was stumped by my fingerprint-reader question). Thirdly, the agents don’t seem to know what I’m seeing on my screen as they’re trying to give me guidance, which is frustrating.
As for Samsung’s online tech-support avenues (i.e. social media and the virtual chat app), I discovered that Samsung’s agents don’t know much about Samsung-branded apps, including Live Wallpaper, Samsung Notes and Samsung Studio Plus. I’m not sure if this is a human nature issue or a symptom of Samsung’s stifling work environment, but all of the agents I spoke to seemed fearful about expressing that they didn’t know how to help me. Puzzled agents either ghosted me or gaslit me into thinking that an existing feature is non-existent.
Samsung should also train its workforce on how to handle situations where they feel stuck. For example, when I got ghosted on Samsung’s online chat app, it would have been nice to receive a message like, “Hello, I cannot help you with your question, so I will pass you on to another agent who may be better equipped to guide you.”
Samsung is one of the biggest tech companies in the world, but I’m sorry to say, its customer service is a heaping pile of garbage.