Samsung Australia Fined Over Phone Water Resistance Claims

According to Australia’s competition watchdog, an Australian court ordered Samsung’s local unit to pay A$14 million in fines for making false claims regarding the water resistant feature in several Galaxy phones sold there.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reported that Samsung Australia has acknowledged to deceiving consumers about the water-resistance of several of its Galaxy-branded mobile phones during a marketing campaign between March 2016 and October 2018.

In 2019, the ACCC filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against Samsung Australia for making false claims about the water-resistance of Galaxy phones like the S7, S7 Edge, A5 (2017), A7 (2017), S8, S8 Plus, and Note 8. More than 3.1 million of Samsung Galaxy phones were sold in Australia, claims the authority.

Gina Cass-Gottlieb, chair of the ACCC, said in a statement, “We investigated hundreds of complaints from consumers who said they suffered problems with their Galaxy phones when it was exposed to water and, in many cases, they reported their Galaxy phone completely stopped operating.”

Samsung Australia has recognised that there was a chance the charging port on the Galaxy phones may corrode and stop functioning if the phones were charged while still wet if they were submerged in a pool or body of water. According to a statement from the corporation, this is not a problem with its more recent, current models.

Prior to the release of the Galaxy phones, Samsung, according to ACCC, was already attempting to minimise the impact of this charging port corrosion.

“Samsung Australia’s ads promoting its Galaxy phones featured people using their phones in pools and sea water, despite the fact that this could ultimately result in significant damage to the phone,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb noted. “This penalty is a strong reminder to businesses that all product claims must be substantiated.”

According to the regulator, customers who bought one of the relevant Galaxy phones and had a damaged charging port should get in touch with Samsung Australia.

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