Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Good Until It Was Gone: My First Samsung Stainless Steel Microwave

The Good: Excellent cooking speed, easy to use controls, easy cleaning
The Bad: Outer casing on door melted, arcing without cause, poor customer service.
The Basics: With a surge protector, this might be a great microwave that looks good and works efficiently. Otherwise, it's a Transformer: microwave to paperweight.

I received the Samsung B002UN93TO Stainless Steel Microwave as a wedding gift for my first wedding. When it self destructed a few months into the marriage, that ought to have been a sign to me. C’est la vie. As it was, I was quite glad to get it; it matched all of the appliances in my kitchen and when I was shopping around, it was a decent price and a powerful microwave.

The B002UN93TO was a great microwave. I have never had a microwave that has cooked food quicker or more thoroughly. For example, I could take a burrito out of my deep freeze (and it is a serious deep freeze!), pop it in this microwave for a minute, flip it and put it back in for thirty seconds and the burrito would be cooked all the way through. Entirely, evenly hot. I could do about a half pound of seriously frozen broccoli in two and a half minutes. This microwave is for real.

In short, it is impossible to find fault with this microwave on the grounds of cooking ability. If you're looking for a microwave that will cook food evenly, thoroughly, and fast, this is a wonderful microwave for that. And truly, who could ask for more from a microwave?

The Samsung B002UN93TO is very easy to use with a simple keypad that functions by simply typing in the desired cooking time and hitting start. As well, the power level may be easily changed for defrosting by the touch of another button. The controls are very easy to use. In fact, there was a trend in microwaves for a while where you pushed buttons for tens of seconds, minutes and tens of minutes that I found terribly annoying. This microwave was made after that trend died its horrible death, allowing very precise handling for specific heating and timing options. The controls are a relief to those who like precision and repeatability.

The turntable in the microwave was very easy to clean and never once jammed for any reasons. This was a very easy microwave to use, own and love.

Until the end.

One day, my Samsung B002UN93TO turned evil. Despite following all of the safety precautions in the manual - like NEVER operating the unit while anything was atop the microwave - my microwave turned against me. I finally, I believe, figured it all out.

Once, after returning from a trip, the microwave did not work as efficiently as it once had. Instead of a minute thirty seconds on those burritos, it took two minutes, and a week later a full three minutes to bring a frozen burrito to cooked temperatures. A week after I returned from the trip, there was a power outage and after the power was restored, the microwave started sparking whenever it was turned on.

My theory - despite no explanation from Samsung - is that this microwave is especially susceptible to power outages. That something about outages and then the surge from the restoration of power fries the inside of this microwave, weakening and then destroying it.

So, after eight months of great service from this microwave, I was forced to go in search of a new one. Best Buy no longer carries it (which is where I found it originally), nor does any other distributor in the area. I called Samsung, because it was still under its year warranty.

Samsung had no B002UN93TOs to replace my useless, burned out model that had not held up even nine months. Despite being under warranty, they could not replace the unit and they gave me poor customer service (a real hassle) when I approached them about making good on the warranty. Instead of having someone visit to tell me what I already knew (i.e. that it was dangerous to continue using this), I opted to get a check for a new microwave. Samsung replied by sending a pathetic $50 check to go get a new stainless steel microwave (the B002UN93TO cost at least twice that when I was originally shopping around for one). So, to recap: Samsung did not honor its warranty by replacing the defective model nor did it provide me with adequate means to get another comparable model.

My new microwave will be stainless steel, but it will not be Samsung.

As for this product, if I could find another, would I buy it again? Honestly, yes. Probably. It was THAT good of a microwave; easy to use, easy to clean, reliable up until it burned out. I suspect if plugged into a grounded surge protector, this model would last long and be a great and enduring investment. Alas, there was nothing in the manual to suggest this.

Low rating is more for the lack of durability and poor customer service than actual functioning quality of the microwave.

For other kitchen appliances, please check out my review of the Hamilton Beach 727 Milkshake maker.


For other household appliances, please check out my index page by clicking here!

2005, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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