NewsTeam 10 Investigates


Samsung customers upset over broken ice makers and high temperatures on fridges

Posted at 2:00 PM, Sep 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 14:19:59-04

(SAN DIEGO) KGTV -- A Scripps Ranch woman is demanding action for a problem with her Samsung refrigerator that she says has gone on too long.

Stephanie Nivinskus bought her Samsung french door refrigerator in December 2014. It cost her nearly $2,000. She said she had issues roughly six months after she bought it. "It's been a headache since the beginning," Nivinskus said.

The first problem was the ice maker does not function properly, according to Nivinskus. "The ice just gathers and collects up there. It makes it so it doesn't work," Nivinskus said.

She also has issues with the temperature of the refrigerator. The FDA says a safe temperature inside a refrigerator is 40 degrees or below. During the interview with Team 10, the thermometer inside of Nivinskus' refrigerator read about 56 degrees. "Having spoiled food is a real problem," she said. Because of that, she doesn't keep much food in her Samsung refrigerator, opting instead to keep her food in an old refrigerator from a different company they bought from a neighbor.

She said the water dispenser and the freezer works, but that is about it. She has paid for a couple repairmen to come out over the years, but Nivinskus said the second person who came would not work on the refrigerator. "He said there's been so many complaints that they've gotten and that it's not fixable," she said.

When she discovered there were other customers dealing with the same problem, she contacted Samsung. They offered her a partial refund with conditions. Nivinskus said she was told by a Samsung representative she had to physically cut the refrigerator's cord, remove the stickers inside the refrigerator, and sign a waiver that said she would take no further action against Samsung. Even after that, she said the refund would be "pending approval" from Samsung. "It's not a guarantee," she said.

Samsung is currently facing a class-action lawsuit regarding the broken ice makers. Attorney Jonathan Shub, a partner with Kohn Swift & Graf, said between 4 to 5,000 customers have reached out to their firm regarding the lawsuit.

"The number of inquiries that I have received in this case reaches levels that I have not seen previously," Shub said.

There are currently more than 4,000 people in a Facebook group demanding a recall of Samsung refrigerators.

In an email, a Samsung spokesperson told Team 10: "At Samsung we stand behind all of our products, including our refrigerators, and want to ensure our customers are completely satisfied. If a customer encounters any problem with their product or service, we encourage them to reach out to us directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG so we can provide assistance."

Nivinskus says she has already reached out to customer service. "I want them to recall to recall the problematic refrigerator and refund everyone that owns one," she said.

Team 10 asked what would it take to issue a recall, but Samsung did not answer that question.

"It's more about, you owe it to the public. You're a huge brand. This is not acceptable," Nivinskus said.

The lawsuit regarding the ice makers failed in mediation, according to Shub, so litigation continues.