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NSW Samsung Washing Machine Caught Fire - Compensation?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Gwangyoung Na ( Peter ), 5 September 2014.

  1. Gwangyoung Na ( Peter )

    Joined:
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    Hello.

    Recently, my cousins and I just went through very tragic incident last Saturday (30th of August) in Lidcombe. We were renting a unit in Lidcombe and on that morning, we were doing laundry, and out of nowhere our Samsung washing machine caught fire by itself.

    Obviously, this was not our fault, this was washing machines' fault. The fire was very big, it's more than you guys could imagine.

    It was very fortunate that I was staying in the living room, and saw the fire before it devoured the whole apartment.

    I called fire stations, and my cousins, most of our furniture, TV, fridge basically everything that we need for living is covered in thick ash, and melted. Even our clothes and shoes are covered with thick ash. Right now, we just have one set of clothes to wear and one pair of shoes to put on.

    We contacted Samsung and they searched temporary accommodation for us, however, they are very slow in response regarding compensation and I have a strong feeling that they are trying to get away from this situation.

    We really think we need to get full compensation, including our clothing, furniture, psychological damage, anything that was damaged because of the fire. Because of this incident, my studies have been affected.

    Me and my cousins are just university students and have no money to spend and no place to stay in as of now. We really need your help. Could you please help me in what we can get from Samsung under Australian Consumer Law? Please help us.

    We also took some pictures of the place and burnt washing machine. We also have receipt and model number.
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Hi Peter,
    I'm sorry to learn about the recent fire. Some questions:
    1. When/where did you purchase the Samsung washing machine?
    2. Was the Samsung washing machine operated in accordance with its operating manual at all times? (I assume this can be confirmed by reviewing the washing machine's product manual online)
    3. How have you been corresponding with Samsung to date (phone, email, etc.)?
    4. What assistance have you asked for?
    5. What assistance has Samsung offered to date?
     
  3. Gwangyoung Na ( Peter )

    Joined:
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    Hello John,

    1. We purchased the washing machine at the end of 2011

    2. Yes, we never overloaded the washing machine or put any sharp or e-gadgets into the machine.

    3. We were contacting them through both email and phone. Also Samsung only started to correspond when
    we sent around three emails mentioning about accomodation and having no clothes to wear and no shoes to put on.

    4. We asked for compensation on the damaged materials because of the fire. We also asked for the compensation on the expenses we had to spend, and
    will be spent because of the fire.

    5. Samsung only provided accomodation for us to stay. No compensation or things like those have been given by Samsung

    Also I have one question, when we asked Samsung for upfront partial compensation, they said they can't process this until next week because of Korean holidays. I don't get it.
    This happened in Australia.
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Hi Peter,

    I'm also sorry to hear about what happened.

    - The reason they mention Korean holidays, I suspect, is because their headquarters are located in Korean, as they are a Korean company, and whilst they may have a head office here in Australia, any compensation proposed may need the approval of their headquarters, which are not working during this time.

    - Did you contact Samsung's head office in Australia? Have you tried their Korean headquarters?

    - Have you tried giving Fair Trading NSW a call? If not, you can contact them here. Whilst this may be outside of their jurisdiction, they may be able to direct you on to other institutions/departments that offer advice and information?
     
  5. Winslet Park

    Winslet Park Member

    Joined:
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    Hello!!

    My name is Winslet. I would like to seek expert advice from you about our story.
    Me and my cousins just went through very tragic incident last Saturday on 30th of August in Lidcombe. We were renting a unit in Lidcombe and on that morning, we were doing laundry, and out of nowhere our washing machine caught fire by itself.
    The police determined the cause of the incident from the washing machine.
    And they reported to the media. But the news did not mentioned the washing machine’s brand. It was SAMASUNG’s!! Obviously, this was not our fault, this was washing machines' fault. SAMSUNG accepted it.

    Fire was very big, it's more than you guys could imagine. Even worse there was a gas heater near the laundry room. But It was very really fortunate, thankful that my cousin was staying in the living room, and saw the fire before it devoured the whole apartment.

    At that time, I and my other cousin (there are three of us), Rachel went to school. As soon as the incident happened, my cousin, Peter called fire stations and us. After we received the emergency call and had to come back to our home (unit) even though the class was not finished.
    When we were arrived at home, we were really astonished from that situation. Because it was much more serious than we thought.

    Peter was covered in black soot and smoke and most of our furniture, TV, fridge basically everything that we need for living was covered in thick ash, and melted. I could notice the smoky walls and our clothes and shoes are covered with thick ash as well.

    Basically, it was impossible to take most of the things from the house because of thick ash and some melted. After sometime, we were allowed to go inside to our home with the police. They told us we did not have much time, so just go and pick important things like passports and laptops from the house. . We couldn’t take clothes and shoes because, it was covered with ash and many of the clothes were burnt. That’s the reason why we just have one clothe to wear and one pair of shoes to put on right now.

    The police was concerned about our health of heat exhaustion and hazardous smoke.
    Fortunately, we found temporary accommodation by contacting my acquaintance shortly. But that was just for 1 week.

    Before we contacted to SAMSUNG, they already knew about the incident and details of it because our real estate agent contacted to SAMSUNG first. From our real estate agent, we got contact details of a person to contact SAMSUNG


    We actually expected SAMSUNG to contact us beforehand because they knew our situation and the incident happened because of their product. However, maybe we were expecting too much expectation from SAMSUNG.

    Anyway we contacted SAMSUNG (On the day afternoon of the incident - 30th of August). They first asked about our safety, and then about our compensation list for our damaged items through the phone. They requested the receipt of the washing machine through the email. We responded regarding our compensation list for our damaged things and also attached the receipt of the washing machine by email as they requested.

    This was the reply from them (this is the actual email they’ve sent to my cousin on the 2nd of September 2014)

    Dear Peter,


    Thank you for the list of your damaged items.


    I will now assign our insurer to this and have them make contact with you to resolve this for you. In the meantime, could you please send me a scanned copy of your receipt for the washing machine and please let me know if you would prefer a full refund or a free of charge replacement washing machine as I can take care of that for you.


    Kind Regards,


    After receiving this email, we did not receive any email or contact from them. We felt rushed because the time of our temporary accommodation contract was ending very soon, but they had not answer. So we tried to contact them (we sent 2 emails on 4th of September) with feeling as if catching a straw before searching another temporary accommodation for ourselves.

    We received a call from SAMSUNG on the next day (On 5th of September). They said that they could book the temporary accommodation for us. But we felt that this became their concern after appealing our situation to them by sending emails. I mean that their response has finally arrived.


    In a telephone call, they mentioned about partial upfront compensation regarding our further rental expenses and buy few spare clothing and spare shoes within one or two days. And my cousin asked for some time for estimating for the partial upfront compensation and he gave them call back after around 2 hours.


    As soon as we told them about our partial upfront compensation, they made an excuse point to point by mentioning the Korean holidays (it’s called Chuseok, which means thanks giving day in Korean).

    I definitely, know our national holiday in Korea! That’s my country.
    However, we felt that they are very slow in response regarding compensation such as a passive attitude and we have a strong feeling that they are trying to get away from this situation.

    Many people around us saying that we need to get full compensation, including our clothing, shelter even the mental harms such as expressing apprehension anything that was damaged because of the fire. Because of this incident, our daily lives totally have been affected negatively, and my cousin had to quit his job.

    Me and my cousins are just university students and have not enough money to the expense of buying for our all (whole) damaged items and no place to stay in as of now. This is way too burdensome for us.

    If you could put yourselves in our place and think about all the things we had to go through and still going through you will be able to empathise on our sufferings and trials.

    What do you think of that what is the best and fast way to handle this problem?

    We really need your help. PLEASE…
     
  6. DennisD

    DennisD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    What a horrible situation, main thing is you guys are ok

    You can continue to be assertive, though keep in mind multinationals sometimes move a bit slower because of internal processes and international offices with different time zones, so it does not necessarily mean they are shying away from your situation if their response is a bit delayed

    Difficult as it is, try to be patient and see what comes back this week

    Hope this helps
     
  7. Winslet Park

    Winslet Park Member

    Joined:
    8 September 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello!!

    My name is Winslet. I would like to seek expert advice from you about our story.
    Me and my cousins just went through very tragic incident last Saturday on 30th of August in Lidcombe. We were renting a unit in Lidcombe and on that morning, we were doing laundry, and out of nowhere our washing machine caught fire by itself.
    The police determined the cause of the incident from the washing machine.
    And they reported to the media. But the news did not mentioned the washing machine’s brand. It was SAMASUNG’s!! Obviously, this was not our fault, this was washing machines' fault. SAMSUNG accepted it.

    Fire was very big, it's more than you guys could imagine. Even worse there was a gas heater near the laundry room. But It was very really fortunate, thankful that my cousin was staying in the living room, and saw the fire before it devoured the whole apartment.

    At that time, I and my other cousin (there are three of us), Rachel went to school. As soon as the incident happened, my cousin, Peter called fire stations and us. After we received the emergency call and had to come back to our home (unit) even though the class was not finished.
    When we were arrived at home, we were really astonished from that situation. Because it was much more serious than we thought.

    Peter was covered in black soot and smoke and most of our furniture, TV, fridge basically everything that we need for living was covered in thick ash, and melted. I could notice the smoky walls and our clothes and shoes are covered with thick ash as well.

    Basically, it was impossible to take most of the things from the house because of thick ash and some melted. After sometime, we were allowed to go inside to our home with the police. They told us we did not have much time, so just go and pick important things like passports and laptops from the house. . We couldn’t take clothes and shoes because, it was covered with ash and many of the clothes were burnt. That’s the reason why we just have one clothe to wear and one pair of shoes to put on right now.

    The police was concerned about our health of heat exhaustion and hazardous smoke.
    Fortunately, we found temporary accommodation by contacting my acquaintance shortly. But that was just for 1 week.

    Before we contacted to SAMSUNG, they already knew about the incident and details of it because our real estate agent contacted to SAMSUNG first. From our real estate agent, we got contact details of a person to contact SAMSUNG


    We actually expected SAMSUNG to contact us beforehand because they knew our situation and the incident happened because of their product. However, maybe we were expecting too much expectation from SAMSUNG.

    Anyway we contacted SAMSUNG (On the day afternoon of the incident - 30th of August). They first asked about our safety, and then about our compensation list for our damaged items through the phone. They requested the receipt of the washing machine through the email. We responded regarding our compensation list for our damaged things and also attached the receipt of the washing machine by email as they requested.

    This was the reply from them (this is the actual email they’ve sent to my cousin on the 2nd of September 2014)

    Dear Peter,


    Thank you for the list of your damaged items.


    I will now assign our insurer to this and have them make contact with you to resolve this for you. In the meantime, could you please send me a scanned copy of your receipt for the washing machine and please let me know if you would prefer a full refund or a free of charge replacement washing machine as I can take care of that for you.


    Kind Regards,


    After receiving this email, we did not receive any email or contact from them. We felt rushed because the time of our temporary accommodation contract was ending very soon, but they had not answer. So we tried to contact them (we sent 2 emails on 4th of September) with feeling as if catching a straw before searching another temporary accommodation for ourselves.

    We received a call from SAMSUNG on the next day (On 5th of September). They said that they could book the temporary accommodation for us. But we felt that this became their concern after appealing our situation to them by sending emails. I mean that their response has finally arrived.


    In a telephone call, they mentioned about partial upfront compensation regarding our further rental expenses and buy few spare clothing and spare shoes within one or two days. And my cousin asked for some time for estimating for the partial upfront compensation and he gave them call back after around 2 hours.


    As soon as we told them about our partial upfront compensation, they made an excuse point to point by mentioning the Korean holidays (it’s called Chuseok, which means thanks giving day in Korean).

    I definitely, know our national holiday in Korea! That’s my country.
    However, we felt that they are very slow in response regarding compensation such as a passive attitude and we have a strong feeling that they are trying to get away from this situation.

    Many people around us saying that we need to get full compensation, including our clothing, shelter even the mental harms such as expressing apprehension anything that was damaged because of the fire. Because of this incident, our daily lives totally have been affected negatively, and my cousin had to quit his job.

    Me and my cousins are just university students and have not enough money to the expense of buying for our all (whole) damaged items and no place to stay in as of now. This is way too burdensome for us.

    If you could put yourselves in our place and think about all the things we had to go through and still going through you will be able to empathise on our sufferings and trials.

    What do you think of that what is the best and fast way to handle this problem?

    We really need your help. PLEASE…
     

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