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I have strong feelings about packages – I think that’s the future, but I also think you shouldn’t buy one right now. As cool as foldables phones like the Galaxy Z Fold2 could be, the technology is still relatively new. These phones are expensive and prone to harsher issues than traditional flat phones. Since I’m a big nerd with skeptical decision-making skills, I bought a Galaxy Z Fold2 for $ 2,000 shortly after its release despite this. It was great! Until it needed to be repaired. It’s been a month now, and my phone isn’t back yet, thanks to the inability of UPS and Samsung.
The Galaxy Z Fold2 has a large, 7.6-inch folding display, and the top cover of it is a special flexible screen protector. Samsung advises that you do not remove it, so I never did. However, the edge began to peel around the crest after about a month of use, which allowed air bubbles to take over the display. And yes, that’s a scary thing to have a $ 2,000 phone, but I went into this with both eyes open – I know this is new and incomplete technology. I wasn’t worried, though, because the phone comes with “Galaxy Z Premier Support.”
Just in case anyone is curious, this is why I had to repair the Fold2 in the first place. He developed bubbles on the clay part of the screen. pic.twitter.com/X07635Iqbr
– Ryan Whitwam (@RyanWhitwam) 14 December 2020
I figured I’d just call Galaxy Z Premier (you get a card with the number in the box), turn off the phone, and replace the screen protector with someone who knew what they were doing. Easy, right? I shouted, got a UPS bill, and turned off my phone. A few days later, he arrived back at my door with a new screen protector. Instead of a satisfying resolution, I had a phone with even more air bubbles under the screen protector. In addition, there were scratches in the (very soft) material where someone had used a tool to try to push out one of the bubbles. So repair around two.
When I tried to reset the phone, UPS lost it after Samsung’s scheduled build. I still don’t know what specifically happened, but the device was never scanned into the system after I handed it to the UPS driver at my front door. Although my faith was shaken, I accepted that Galaxy Z Galaxy Premier Support would be able to deal with this. Of course, phones sometimes go missing, and systems were in place to deal with this. I reported the lost packet to UPS and Samsung, and then I waited. And wait. I was told that these inspections could take eight business days, and there was a Thanksgiving holiday.
Me, calling the UPS driver. UPS initially said this never happened.
Eventually, UPS stopped the check, saying I never gave them the package. Luckily, I have a doorbell camera, so I was able to convince UPS to finish the search. Eventually, they could not find the phone. Okay, so Galaxy Z Premier Support will take care of me, right? He’s “Premier” right in the name! Samsung told me to hang on tightly, and have someone reach out and sort things out. I was told this or something like that several times over the next two weeks; sometimes it was supposed to be an email and other times a phone call, but it never happened.
Earlier this week, I was feeling a little tired and decided to do one more round of calls. UPS said it couldn’t pay me back for the package I lost because Samsung gave it the label, so I should talk to Samsung. However, Samsung said that the shipper lost the box, so I had to get money from UPS. With both companies pointing the finger at the other, I decided I had spent my preferences as a “normal” consumer.
My Galaxy Z Fold2 needed a screen repair last month, so I sent it to Samsung. Unfortunately, UPS lost it. For the past month, I’ve been back and forth with Samsung and UPS, waiting for them to decide who’s going to pay me back. Today, I got my answer: No one, apparently.
– Ryan Whitwam (@RyanWhitwam) 14 December 2020
You see, I am not a powerful man with almost any measure, but me can influence the people who handle PR for smartphone makers. So in the same way, I have some power. I suspected it would be publicly appropriate or to ask PR to intervene to quickly resolve this, but the Fold was a personal phone, and I did not want to seek specific treatment. However, with no other options left, I tweeted.
Since then I have been in contact with Samsung PR and have received several calls from Samsung support, leading me to believe that I will get this resolved sooner rather than later. That is good news, but I should not publicly embarrass the company for arranging this. That’s not even an option for most Samsung customers who don’t have a few thousand Twitter followers or affiliates at Samsung’s PR company. Someone else in this situation might be out two grand.
UPS clearly contributed to this situation by losing the box, but Samsung is the one that sold me a $ 2,000 phone with “Premier” support. Currently, Samsung says that a new phone will be introduced in the coming days. I will update this post when and if this situation is resolved. However, I would warn anyone planning to drop $ 2,000 on one of Samsung’s flexible packages: there’s nothing high about price support.
I have a new Galaxy Z Fold2 now. It took Samsung about 36 hours to get the new one for me after I posted about this on Twitter. Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy to get the phone back. I bought it so I could write about foldables in a more familiar way, and without it for a month it threw a string in my plans. At the same time, this shouldn’t have taken a month for a solution, and I shouldn’t have publicly embarrassed Samsung for implementing it.
Apparently, Samsung could have replaced the phone I lost in 36 hours at any point during this month’s process. Honestly, that’s the kind of courier service I’d expect for a $ 2,000 smartphone with “Premier” support – after confirming it’s missing, they should be able to get a phone in their hands within a few days, not a few weeks. And I don’t care who eats the cost between UPS or Samsung. All that matters is that scratching someone else won’t cost me $ 2,000.
If you look at Samsung’s marketing for the Galaxy Z Premier, it makes it pretty ritzy. The official site talks about “on-demand concierge care” and “white glove support” for your expensive new smartphone. But you know, words make sense, Samsung. This is not an accurate description of Galaxy Z Premier service. As far as I can tell, the people on this team have no more power or knowledge about the product than Samsung ‘s universal support line. I’m not sure if I will continue to buy Samsung foldables, but I won’t be following Z Premier support in the future.