In 2012, Samsung introduced the “Evolution Kit” on its Smart TVs and promised to release a new kit every year through 2016. That never happened so one frustrated owner fought back and won. He has received a full refund for his 2013 Samsung TV.
A broken promise
In 2012, Samsung launched the first Smart TVs with an “Evolution port”, allowing owners to “easily upgrade your TV with all the newest Smart TV features” each year. Lots of people bought a Samsung TV based on the South Korean company’s promise.
In 2013, Samsung launched an Evolution Kit, as promised. Again in 2014. But in 2015, Samsung failed to launch an Evolution Kit for Full HD TVs bought in the three years prior, and in 2016 the company decided not to launch any new Evolution Kits at all. Instead of a 2016 Evolution Kit, Samsung promised to release a software update for the 2015 TVs. That update has never been released.
That is a problem because in 2012 Samsung promised to release new Evolution Kits through 2016. Here is Samsung’s official presentation of the Evolution Kit from CES 2012 (January 2012) where it was first unveiled.
FlatpanelsHD attended CES in 2012 and although Samsung was careful to put it in writing the company specifically said “through 2016”. David Katzmaier of CNET heard it, too. The same did Consumer Reports and Twice.
A 2013 plasma TV
On July 21st 2013, Michael Collins (LinkedIN) bought a 51” Samsung 51F8500 Full HD plasma TV, which at that time was a flagship model. He paid an extra $500-700 dollars for the TV compared to a TV without the Evolution port.
Michael set a calendar reminder for later so he would remember to buy the kit after a few years. When that time came, the Evolution Kit was nowhere to be found. Samsung had abandoned the project, leaving many owners, including Michael, frustrated and disappointed.
Samsung refunded the full amount, calling it a “buy back”
In June 2016, he contacted Samsung support but they were unable to help so he sent a letter to Samsung C+T America’s legal department seeking damages in the amount of $1897.99 that he paid for the TV in 2013. Still nothing.
It was not until he filed a claim in the small claims court that Samsung acknowledged the broken promise. 10 days later, Samsung refunded the full amount, calling it a “buy back”. The company also covered the court filing fee expenses to close the case.
- "All I wanted was what Samsung promised when I purchased the TV. In 2013 it was their flagship model and they sold this as one of the key features," Michael Collins told FlatpanelsHD. "Even if it was a little bit of a hassle I was happy how Samsung finally resolved this issue."
Michael is teaching classes in business and finance and believes that it is important to know one’s rights. Many other buyers would probably have given up before filing a claim but everyone can do it, and it is not very costly.
Samsung USA has not responded to FlatpanelsHD’s repeated requests for comment. Neither has Samsung Nordic.
Michael Collins has replaced the Samsung TV with an LG OLED TV.