On Thursday, a judge in Australia imposed a fine of (US$ 9.8 million) 14 million Australian dollars on Samsung for deceptive advertising regarding the water resistance of several smartphone models. Samsung Electronics Australia, a division of South Korean-based company Samsung Electronics Co., was given 30 days by Federal Court Justice Brendan Murphy to pay the fines.
Additionally, Samsung must contribute AUD 200,000 which is $140,000 toward the costs incurred by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, a consumer protection agency that opened an inquiry into the phones four years ago. Samsung’s acknowledged that it misrepresented the water resistance of seven different smartphone models of the Galaxy series in nine commercials between 2016 and 2018. The S7 Edge, S7, A5, A7, S8 Plus, S8, and Note 8 are among them. The penalties levied were likewise accepted by Samsung.
The deceptive advertisements highlighted the phones’ water resistance and appropriateness for usage in seawater and swimming pools. However, if the charging ports were used to recharge the phones while they were still wet, they might be harmed and cease to function. Samsung claimed that the seven models included in the complaint, which were released between 2016 and 2017, were the only ones affected by the charging port problem. According to a Samsung statement, “The issue does not emerge for Samsung’s latest phones.”
The court was unable to identify how many of the 3.1 million susceptible phones sold by Samsung in Australia had to charge port issues. Authorized Samsung’s repairers replaced the ports for an unidentified number of clients. The court heard that some repairers provided their services for free while others charged between US$ 126 and US$ 171.
Customers have a right to believe that a prominent firm like Samsung would not claim that its Galaxy phones could be immersed in water if they couldn’t, according to Murphy. According to Murphy’s assessment, “a large number of customers are likely to have seen the infringing commercials and a sizable portion of those who did so are likely to have purchased one of the Galaxy phones.”
According to the judge, Samsung’s attorneys first refuted that the advertisements were deceptive and that water immersion could harm the phones. Murphy said he didn’t think Samsung Australia deserved much credit for cooperating. More than 600 advertisements and 15 different Galaxy phone models were initially the subject of the commission’s inquiries, which Samsung claimed it had cooperated with. Samsung aims to provide every customer with the greatest experience possible, and we apologize that a small number of Galaxy users encountered a problem with their device related to this situation.
Samsung acknowledged that it misrepresented the water resistance of seven different Galaxy smartphone models in nine commercials between 2016 and 2018.