By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Does your TV take a lot of time to power up? If you own a Samsung TV, you’re not alone. The company is notifying customers about a problem we first told you about weeks ago. As 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds, owners may now be eligible for free repair.
Barry Hughes loves his 52-inch Samsung TV set, but recently he says, “In the last 6 months all of the sudden it started taking long and longer and longer to turn on and we were up to about four, four and a half minutes before the picture would actually come on.”
Barry isn’t alone. Other owners have described the same problem. Some sets have reportedly taken thirty minutes or even longer to turn on. The issue according to TV repairman Cliff Van Allen involves a small electronic part called a capacitor. He says, “It’s not because it’s an inferior product. It’s because the voltage is not enough to do the job.” Another TV repair shop has also seen a wave of Samsung capacitor problems. They tell us that the power boards are made with capacitors that don’t hold up.
A class action lawsuit alleges millions of Samsung TV sets could experience similar problems, but that the company wasn’t notifying owners. In fact Barry learned of the capacitor problem from 3 On Your Side. He says, “I went on the website on 3 On Your Side and I read the whole thing about Samsung and I knew this is what’s going on with this TV.”
Barry immediately reached out to Samsung which dispatched a repairman to his home. According to Barry, nine capacitors were replaced.
While Samsung denies allegations of the class action lawsuit, within days of our report the company agreed to a settlement to avoid the costs of continued litigation.
That settlement involves certain sets made before 2009 and includes:
– Free repair of Samsung TV sets that are not turning on, or are experiencing a significant delay in turning on.
– Reimbursement of up to $300 to Samsung customers who’ve already had sets repaired.
– $300 debit cards to owners who notified Samsung of the problem, didn’t get their TV repaired, but no longer possess the TV set.
Barry is just happy he learned of the issue, before shelling out money of his own. He says, “If it wasn’t for CBS 3 and On Your Side I would have been paying for this repair.
While court documents allege the capacitor problem affected TV sets built up to 2010, this Samsung settlement involves only models made before Dec. 31 of 2008. To check out a list of those models and to download a claim form visit: http://www.samsung.com/us/capacitorsettlement/