Australian authorities: lawsuit against Samsung for “waterproof” smartphones

Australische Behörde: Klage gegen Samsung wegen „wasserdichter“ Smartphones

ACCC, the Australian consumer protection authority, has filed a lawsuit against Samsung, claiming that many Galaxy smartphones are advertised in the pool and in the sea for waterproofing, but that does not cover IP certification. Customers would be so deceived and misled.

Since February 2016, set Samsung on social media, on websites and on television advertisements that declare Galaxy smartphones as waterproof and show when swimming in the pool or in the open sea. In addition, they are called “waterproof up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes“Declared – the IP certification refers to the advertised smartphones, however, only to use in fresh water and guarantees no protection in chlorinated pool water or even in salt water in seas. The ACCC has collected around 300 such advertisements.

Advertising and fine print contradict each other

However, since such use could damage the smartphones and this is not covered by the warranty, the ACCC believes the ad is misleading and has filed suit against Samsung. Samsung has no reliable basis for such an application, since no tests on the durability of the corresponding smartphones were carried out in the sea or pool. At the same time, Samsung points out in other places, such as the website for the Galaxy S10, even in fine print, that the smartphones are not suitable for use in the pool or sea, which contradicts the company's own advertising claims.

Samsung declined warranty claims after use in the water

At the same time, according to the Australian consumer advocates, Samsung has rejected warranty claims from customers whose smartphones have been damaged by use in the water. Whether it was fresh water or other water is not clear from the ACCC report.

Provides competitive advantage

Samsung has gained an unlawful competitive advantage through this type of advertising, since waterproofing is an important purchasing criterion for Australian customers, as Samsung itself has confirmed. At the same time, Samsung Galaxy smartphones with IP certification have sold more expensive than those without a certified water resistance.

Strengthen consumer rights

Not only does the ACCC seek to fine and end the misleading advertising, but also to bolster the consumer rights of those customers who have purchased a Galaxy smartphone so advertised. These include the Galaxy S10e, S10, S10 Plus, S9, S9 Plus, S8, S8 Plus, S7, S7 Edge, Grade 9, Grade 8, Grade 7, A8, A7, and A5, which were manufactured between 2016 and 2019.

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