Owners of Samsung smart TVs say their swish sets are basically unusable after a bungled firmware update.
In fact, the update was so bad, it looks as though it will require people to send or bring their televisions back to base for repair to correct the cockup.
Folks on Samsung UK's support forums report that an update released on August 8 rendered many newer smart sets – such as 50-inch Ultra HD and 49-inch 4K displays – worse than dumb TVs, because dumb TVs actually work.
Judging from the dozens of complaints, the gear functioned as expected prior to getting the most recent firmware upgrade from the South Korean giant. After that software is installed, the space-age tellies are stuck on a single channel, the remotes don't work, the volume can't be adjusted, or they are just totally inoperable, it is claimed.
"My UE49MU7070TXXU updated two days ago and since then it is stuck on one tv channel and will not respond to remote controls (I have three) or smartphone controls," said one punter.
Other owners have reported being able to use peripherals such as game consoles and DVD players, but only on a single HDMI input.
Samsung, meanwhile, has yet to say much about the problem other than to relay through forum support staff that it was aware of the bug and was working on a remedy.
This, unsurprisingly, left many set owners fuming.
"The level of customer service here is shocking with a number of customers asking for feedback, but in no instance has anyone offered any support other than ask people to call in, which is pointless," wrote an aggrieved customer.
"I hope you have this resolved soon as the claims from customers for services which we are all paying for are going up by the day, as this is a fault caused by Samsung and NOTHING to do with any customer fault."
Interestingly, Samsung's US support forum contains no mention of any similar problem, suggesting the bad firmware update may be limited to the UK or European region.
We've asked Samsung for some clarification and comment on the matter, but the consumer electronics giant has, much like its knackered TVs, been completely unresponsive thus far.
In the meantime, moderators on Samsung's UK support page said yesterday that a fix should be coming soon, though it will require customers to bring in their sets for repair.
"We've had it confirmed that the solution that our TV guys have been testing works," they said. "It would need to be installed by an approved Samsung engineer, so please contact our TV Support teams so they can arrange a suitable appointment for you."
All in all, it's a terrible situation for people. Don't install firmware updates and miss out on security patches. Do install updates, and get a bricked telly. Technology sucks. ®