Samsung fined by ACCC over Galaxy phone water resistance claims

Samsung has admitted misleading consumers about the ability of Samsung Galaxy phones to resist water and was fined $14 million by consumer watchdog for it.

Between 2016 and 2018, Samsung ran a marketing campaign in its stores, website, and social media with ads claiming that Galaxy phones could be submerged in swimming pools and seawater without harm.

Samsung has admitted misleading consumers about the Galaxy phones’ ability to resist water.Credit:Seong Joon Cho

But Samsung Australia has now admitted it broke Australian consumer law, acknowledging that immersing the phone in water could actually corrode the device’s charging port and cause it to stop working if the phone was charged then. it was still wet.

Samsung’s water resistance claims were a key selling point for the phones, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.

“Many consumers who purchased a Galaxy phone may have been exposed to misleading advertisements before making their decision to purchase a new phone,” she said.

“We have reviewed hundreds of complaints from consumers who have reported experiencing issues with their Galaxy phones after they have been exposed to water, and in many cases they have reported that their Galaxy phone has completely stopped working. function. »

Samsung made these water resistance claims on the S7, S7 Edge, A5 (2017), A7 (2017), S8, S8 Plus and Note 8 Samsung Galaxy phones. Over 3.1 million of these Galaxy phones have been sold in Australia.

A Galaxy Note 7 phone submerged in water during Samsung's marketing campaign.

A Galaxy Note 7 phone submerged in water during Samsung’s marketing campaign.Credit:Bloomberg

The ACCC sued Samsung Australia over misrepresentations in 2019, with adverts showing Galaxy phones to be waterproof up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes.

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