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My French fight to obtain TV cash-back offer

Connexion reader has had to fight for eight months to obtain a €1,000 money-back offer advertised on a wide-screen television she bought at a home furnishings chain.

Pamela Cherry, from Brittany, says she bought the TV because of the offer but then discovered it invol­ved a time-consuming online registration and postal application.

It then took months of disputes with electronics company Samsung to obtain it after she was turned down due to an “error in the application” – though none was ever confirmed, she says.

Mrs Cherry said the firm’s customer service was unhelpful and she obtained the money only with the help of the original store. “I went back and said ‘I’m not leaving until someone tells me I’m getting the rebate’.”

She was reassured it would be resolved but when it was not, she returned and the store manager finally spoke to a Samsung area manager. She said: “I guess people give up. Perhaps that’s part of the ploy.”

Mrs Cherry reported the problem to trading standards – her local DDPP – who told her they had found no evidence that Samsung broke the law.

It asked the firm to put in place a new form to help consumers whose initial claims were turned down, and said people with similar problems can contact their trading standards departments (tinyurl.com/y8hdze3e). Another avenue is seeking help and advice from one of the large consumer associations, though you may need to pay a membership fee.

A home electronics specialist at UFC-Que Choisir said: “We’ve had plenty of discussions of such problems on our online forums and many letters from consumers about this company’s after-sales service, though it seems to have calmed down compared to a few years ago.

“Samsung is not the only firm concerned, but they have often been cited as they’re market leaders for televisions. Having said which, it did seem very recurrent with them.

“It’s hard to prove, but likely to be true that when they run such promotions, firms try to make things complicated so they don’t have to pay up.”

He added that such deals may sometimes be “too good to be true” and you should always check the fine print.

The issue relates also to mobile phones, he said.

Connexion contacted Samsung but has not received a reply.

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