Samsung In The Bin

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Samsung In The Bin
I don't usually post negative reviews, but Samsung can get in the bin. They are the latest tech company to decide that treating their customers with respect is no longer a necessary part of their business model. I'm pushing back on the bollocks.

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[ Can you spot what's missing in this photo? ]

I was excited to get a good deal on a new 5K display. I miss my old iMac and it's gorgeous 5K 27" screen, and Samsung were making a big deal about their more affordable option for Macbook owners. Countless review articles compared the Samsung to the Apple 5K options. None of them mentioned that this device comes with an external power brick big enough to warrant it's own postcode.

This thing is huge. It's ugly, heavy, stupid and huge. I haven't seen anything this ridiculous and unsuitable since Joe Hockey was made the Australian ambassador to the United States.

Nothing on the Samsung website discloses this reality. Drilling deep down into the specs you might find the single phrase "External Adaptor", if you really really go digging for it, with no indication of this in fact being a massive power brick. The power supply is at least five times the size of my 120W Macbook charger. They dumped a cheap piece of trash onto their customers who thought they were buying a "slim" display.

Every photo of the Samsung display used on the website has been air-brushed to remove all cables, and erase the very existence of their black-hulk of a power brick. They've gone to great lengths to emphasise the "slim" virtues of the monitor. Even the webcam is highlighted as slim. At least that clip-on device doesn't come with an additional power brick.

I'm frankly sick and tired of the bollocks from tech companies. I'm sick of being lied to. I'm sick of software that you never own. I'm sick of AI features being shoved into every orifice whether you want it or not. I'm sick of smart TVs suddenly being used to blast you with stupid adverts you never signed up for. I'm sick of features being stripped out each time the subscription rate goes up. I'm sick of my lovely old iMac being made obsolete in such a way that even the screen itself is no longer useful. I'm sick of being excited to receive my new purchase only to find out I've been lied to yet again.

This kind of bollocks is known to make a lasting impression on me. Perhaps that makes me unusual. Mea culpa. I also know that my protests against a company like Samsung will amount to zero. Especially because nearly every other tech company out there is just as bad. I clicked on the review option for the page, but it's not linked to anything – sums up the entire industry at this moment in time.

15 years ago I ordered a portable "instant" printer from Dell so I could share photos with strangers when travelling around the world. Only they never sent me the printer, because it turns out they never had the printer to sell. It took them months before they would admit they can't actually deliver the product, by and reluctantly initiate a refund. Only the credit card used to purchase the printer was now expired. And I never got my refund. Several times I had tried in vain to get my $98 worth back from Dell. I never did. At one point an executive at Dell took up the challenge and sent me something in the mail by way of acknowledgement, another printer of sorts with zero consumables and a 120V power supply for the USA. They literally went out of their way to emphasise their fk up.

It's been 15 years since I last bought anything from Dell. They've lost a LOT more than $98 in profits from me over that time. Buying a 5K monitor from Samsung was in part another "fk you" for Dell. Instead, it turned out to be Samsung doing the fking around.

Not cool bro, not cool. I really wanted to like Samsung, because the other options are really not great.

Samsung also got attention recently because they decided to update their smart TVs to start sending adverts to people before they even start watching TV. Not cool again bro. Not cool. Google have been doing this with Android TV as well, which is why I initially considered Samsung as a possible alternative. Consider that door closed. It will be impossible for me to look at any Samsung product now without suspicion.

None of this is OK. Complete disregard for consumers as actual human beings is rampant within the tech industry. Google have already trashed their search engine to the point that most of the internet is now designed for other computers instead of real people. I switched to the Duck Duck Go search engine. I switched my browser to Firefox. I run my servers on Linux. I'm luckly to have that choice of course, and not everyone is sufficiently tech literate to push back on the bollocks.

But we really really do need to push back on the bollocks. This monitor won't be staying. I'll ask for a return and refund. Failing that I'll sell it second hand, but will accurately disclose the power brick even though Samsung did not. And if anyone at Samsung gets a chance to read this, please remember how stupid things like pushing ads onto a smart TV or lying about the specs on a display can have a very very long lasting impact on this consumer.

– Ewen

PS, I have a rule when it comes to leaving negative reviews, be that for a cafe or a NAS box or in this case a monitor. For each downer I post I need to put up a couple of 5-star reviews. It's a good habit because a) it makes you feel better and b) it puts a little something positive back into the world. If you're also feeling "Mad as hell and I'm not gonna Samsung anymore" then do yourself a favour and think of a few little shops that you might have visited in recent days but never got around to posting a thumbs up or dropping five-stars. Go do it now. You won't regret it :)

[ Hope you saw the disclosure there in the tech specs? ]

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This feature was last updated on Thursday 13th June 2024
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