Samsung sued by Australian consumer watchdog over water resistance claims
Australia's consumer watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accused Samsung of misleading customers with its advertising. According to the ACCC, the company made "false, misleading and deceptive" claims about the ability of its Galaxy smartphones to operate either under water or while in the ocean. The legal action focuses on over 300 Samsung advertisements depicting people in a range of situations using their smartphones in ways that appear to exceed the technical specifications of an IP68 water resistance rating.
"The ACCC alleges Samsung's advertisements falsely and misleadingly represented Galaxy phones would be suitable for use in, or for exposure to, all types of water, including in ocean water and swimming pools, and would not be affected by such exposure to water for the life of the phone, when this was not the case," said Rod Sims, the ACCC chairman. Samsung itself has acknowledged that water resistance is an important factor influencing Australian consumer decisions when they choose what mobile phone to purchase," Mr Sims added. "Samsung showed the Galaxy phones used in situations they shouldn't be to attract customers."
Unsurprisingly, Samsung has indicated that it will defend itself against the allegations levelled at it by the ACCC. ""Samsung stands by its marketing and advertising of the water resistancy of its smartphones," a company spokesperson said. "We are also confident that we provide customers with free-of-charge remedies in a manner consistent with Samsung's obligations under its manufacturer warranty and the Australian Consumer Law."
The phones listed in the ACCC suit include the Galaxy S10e, S10, S10 Plus, S9, S9 Plus, S8, S8 Plus, S7, S7 Edge, Note 9, Note 8, Note 7, A8, A7, and A5. The ACCC suit seeks penalties, restitution for consumers, injunctions, corrections, along with court costs and other remedies.