Samsung sued by Australian consumer watchdog over water resistance claims

False advertising? Samsung in hot water for allegedly "deceptive" marketing in Australia. (Source: Samsung)
False advertising? Samsung in hot water for allegedly "deceptive" marketing in Australia. (Source: Samsung)
Samsung is being sued in Australia by its consumer watchdog for allegedly making misleading claims about the water resistance of its Galaxy smartphones in its marketing. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) claims Samsung suggested customers could use their phones while under water or in the ocean.
Sanjiv Sathiah,

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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.

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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-07- 5 (Update: 2019-07- 5)
Sanjiv Sathiah
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.