Samsung in hot water with Australian regulator over adverts

SamsungSamsung Galaxy S10

Samsung is facing multi-million dollar fines in Australia, as the country watchdog sued the company over misleading Galaxy phone ads.

The consumer watchdog adds that Samsung has denied warranty claims for customers whose phones were damaged after being used in water.

The suit points out that Samsung's false advertising was further made clear by a warning placed on its website that stated that users are advised not to use their smartphones on the beach or in pools.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said the world's largest producer of smartphones had not conducted sufficient testing to know the actual effects of fresh water or saltwater exposure on its phones.

However this case will target the advertising Samsung used, claiming the representations of phones in water were "false, misleading and deceptive" because it did not advise the devices weren't suitable for use at the beach or in a pool.

Although Samsung adverts mention that their devices have the feature of an IP68 water resistance, this feature did not render to salt water and neither to water in swimming pools.

He also said the company's advertisements "denied consumers an informed choice and gave Samsung an unfair competitive advantage".

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To refresh your memory, Samsung started releasing smartphones with water resistance with the launch of the Galaxy S7 back in 2016.

"Samsung itself has acknowledged that water resistance is an important factor influencing Australian consumer decisions when they choose what mobile phone to purchase", Sims said in the statement.

Samsung said it stood by its advertising, complied with Australian law and would defend the case. The ACCC has collected some of these, showing people using their phones on the bottom of a pool (much deeper than the recommended 5 feet maximum), while surfing in the ocean, and while sleeping on an air mattress in the water.

With the date for the next Galaxy Unpacked slated for August 7, questions were already being asked on what happened to the Samsung Galaxy Fold?

If the alleged law breach is proved, each breach after 1 September 2018 could attract a fine of up to AUS $10 million.

Samsung goes on to say that customer satisfaction is a "top priority", and that it is committed to the best interests of its fans. Rival Sony settled a USA class action over similar claims for its Xperia smartphone range in 2017, promising refunds where the phones had failed.

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