Samsung washer and dryer - my horrible experience
I purchased a Kenmore Elite washer and dryer set about ~7 months ago from Sears in Canada. While branded Kenmore Elite, the pair are actually built by Samsung. They are essentially rebranded Samsung WF409 washer and Samsung DV409 dryer (it's a steam dryer, but not a steam washer). Not all Kenmore Elite front load washers in Canada are built by Samsung. I know that some are built by LG.
Within the first 2 months I had to have both units replaced by Sears. The dryer squeaked since the first time it was run. The squeak was even noted by the installation guy. The washer had problems with its drum suspension, causing the drum to hit against the sides of the machine (causing loud banging) and against the glass door (causing scratches). The door scratching saga was documented in another thread: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/laundry/msg0314545912899.html
The replacement dryer has a rattle that comes and goes during use. Sears repair people have come 5 times (yes, 5 times) to fix it. It finally doesn't rattle anymore. The replacement washer was working for several months until it started developing some more scratches on the door like the first faulty unit. I decided I could live with this. However, the washer is now no longer working at all. It displays error code "te" on the display. According to the user manual, this means there is a problem with the temperature sensor (not a problem with the water temperature). A quick google search online revealed that several others have received this error on their Samsung washer, and it is usually because the wiring to the sensor has broken or worn out (within the first 2 years of ownership).
As usual, Sears will take ~2 weeks to send a service person out here, meaning 2 weeks without being able to do laundry. But, that's another issue. I've decided that I'm going to fight to return this laundry pair and get something else-- I'm not risking another set of replacements that exhibit the same problems.
Since online reviews, consumer reports, and JD Power and associates were not helpful (they all said Samsung / Kenmore Elite were top, reliable brands), I decided to call an acquaintance that works at a commercial appliance seller. The company sells commercial washing machines and dryers, and repairs both commercial and residential machines. He works in repair. I called him and told him I'm in the market for a new washer/dryer and asked him which brands I should stay clear of, and which are more reliable in his experience. He told me he's seen the least issues with LG and Whirlpool washers and to stay away from Samsung because they aren't built well. I had never mentioned anything of my Samsung problems to him, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised to hear this.
I'm not normally one to blast a company because I've had a bad experience with their product. In fact, I hate when someone conclusively states that Brand X is the worst, and to completely avoid it, just because they had a bad experience...... but, that's exactly what I want to do right now. After owning a (rebranded) Samsung laundry pair, having them replaced, continuing to have problems, and hearing a repairman tell me they are poorly built, I feel like I have to warn the world to avoid Samsung washers and dryers!
I realize that some readers of this message are going to be Samsung owners that are perfectly happy with their machine. I'm sure that they are being honest and I hope they continue to be happy with their purchase. Given that Sears is still selling Samsung machines, and Kenmore-branded Samsung machines, I can only assume that lots of buyers aren't experiencing problems like me. Unfortunately, I've experienced major problems with my Samsung washer and Samsung dryer, and feel extra-terrible for not speaking to my repairman friend before purchasing. He would have given me his opinion and I would have stayed clear of Samsung. The worst part is that I'm going to miss this terrible unreliable laundry pair in some ways. Firstly, the machines are beautiful. They look so futureistic! (Although now I feel this toy-look appearance gives a hint at the insides). Secondly, Samsung's VRT balancing / vibration reduction system works beautifully (when it works). I had the washer in a closet on the 2nd floor of my home and it kept vibration to a minimum. You could never feel it on the main floor (one floor below), unlike my 10-year old Whirlpool frontloader.
So, now I have work to do. I have to convince Sears to let me choose a different replacement pair, and I have to choose if I want that replacement pair to be LG or Whirlpool (at this point I can't be convinced to choose any other brand). My last washer was a front-load Kenmore Elite (built by Whirlpool). I had it for 10 years without any problems or repairs, and gave it to a family member when I replaced mine. It is still working without issue for them!
They just don't build 'em like they used to.