It starts with a couple of dots on the screen and multiplies to thousands of them. Like those dots, the problem started multiplying too, affecting first a few TVs and then many more -- including one owned by a frustrated family in Walnut Creek.
Within the Rhinehart family's household man cave, a big screen Samsung TV is the centerpiece. It was perfect for video games, sports and movies -- until a strange thing happened.
"I saw three little dots. I asked my young son, 'What happened? Did you do something?'" asked Rick.
Annalee and Ricky thought their son put gum on the TV, but that wasn't the problem.
"It was just the beginning of a long period of more and more dots to come," said Rick.
"The next day, it had three more dots and each day after that, it kept getting more and more and more," said Annalee.
The screen gradually filled up with more and more white dots, while the picture was gradually disappearing behind them.
"...Almost to the point where it looked like a midnight sky with a lot of stars," said Rick.
The couple took video of the screen at its worst. Their son tried to play Halo 3 on the TV, but couldn't figure out who he was shooting at. They figured this problem was caused by some defect, since the TV is not even three years old.
"We called Samsung, they acted like they knew nothing," said Annalee.
Yet, the couple found hundreds of complaints posted online about white dots on the same Samsung DLP TVs. YouTube videos were taken by other customers showing how their screens also filled up with dots.
A technician told the Rhineharts there is a problem with a tiny chip with a big price tag of more than $400. Samsung had paid for some repairs on some TVs, but refused to pay for others, including the Rhineharts.
"So that's when we decided to call 7 On Your Side," said Annalee.
We contacted Samsung and it looked into the case and a few days later sent a technician out who put in a new chip free of charge -- now, there are no more white dots.
Even though they had all those white dots, Samsung said the Rhineharts' TV was not on its list of affected models, but the company repaired it anyway saying it considers complaints on a case-by-case basis.
"It beautiful, it works great just like it was brand new. The men in my house are happy and we want to thank 7 On Your Side," said Annalee.
Samsung wouldn't say how many TV sets have the white dot problem. However, if yours is one of them contact Samsung and say Michael Finney sent you.
Samsung Contact Information:
Samsung recommends that people experiencing this issue contact Samsung Customer Service at 1-800-SAMSUNG (1-800-726-7864) so that we can properly diagnose each issue and determine the best course of action to ensure complete customer satisfaction.