I recently bought a bunch of SmartThings devices directly from samsung.com, including a “new” SmartThings Outlet 2018. I’ve purchased many of the others and was quite happy with them, so I ordered a few more of those plus this outlet, which I had never tried (really wanted to see if it routed well for Xiaomi devices, but that’s another story).
Flash forward to when my order arrives: the outlet’s box appears to have been previously opened, the item was visibly dirty (black scuff marks on the top), and—crucially—the outlet did not work. It did not appear to receive power when plugged into my wall, pressing the button did not toggle power to the load, and (unsurprisingly) it would not pair to my Zigbee network. No problem, I’ll initiate a return online–except that wanted to make me return the entire order (which came in three boxes and some items had already been used), not just the defective item. Still no problem, I thought: I’ll contact Samsung support and get it replaced or returned.
Turns out, that isn’t so easy. I send an e-mail to what I believed was the appropriate order support team. They claim to usually respond with in 24 hours. I waited 8 days and heard nothing (yes, I checked my junk folder). Then I decided to do a web chat. I spent 90 minutes there talking with an agent, who eventually just told me to call SmartThings support instead (presumably because it was an ST item, even though my issue wasn’t really a SmartThings problem, just a problem with my order). If that was truly the case, I don’t see why he wasted over an hour of time for both of us. I did call, and then spent an hour waiting and talking to two different people (ST support redirected me to the online order team). They apparently ran into the same problem I did (it defaulted to wanting to return the entire order and not the one item) and put me on hold to “check on something.” After being on hold for a while, I was hung up on. I never heard back, but did get labels e-mailed to me, one of which I used to mail the outlet back out of desperation and hope that they will accept the return.
Still waiting to see the resolution for this, but wanted to issue a warning to anyone: ordering directly from the manufacturer is apparently much more difficult that it should be, especially if you have problems. If the prices are the same, I’d probably stick to Amazon or another seller with a clear, friendly return policy. (But plot twist: the prices weren’t the same, as Samsung is currently discounting larger orders. If I return the item and re-order it myself, I’ll have to pay more. That’s another story…)