Samsung faces legal proceedings over misleading ad campaigns

Waterproof phones are highly popular, especially in the summer months when users are looking to take them to the beach or swimming pool. However, mobile electronics giant Samsung has found itself involved in legal proceedings, following complaints about it misleading consumers into believing some of its Galaxy phones were water-resistant, knowing that they were not.

Samsung displayed ads on the internet, social media, billboards, TV and on brochures, using slogans like “capturing your Sunday surf session at the beach”, and using images like people using the phone in swimming pools or them being splashed with water while using them.

Samsung also advertised its phones as being water-resistant up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. This, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, is deceptive and misleading. They said that, because not all the phones are suitable for use in water, Samsung had deceived its customers with the ads, which have been shown in Australia since 2016.

The ACCC said it now plans to issue legal proceedings against Samsung, which Samsung says it intends to defend. The ACCC said that Samsung has failed to test its phones thoroughly enough before making claims, and many of the phones that are advertised are cheaper models than those which have been proven to be water-resistant.

ACCC commissioner, Rod Sims, said in a statement: “Samsung showed the Galaxy phones used in situations they shouldn’t be to attract customers. Under the Australian consumer law, businesses cannot mislead consumers about their products’ capabilities. Samsung itself has acknowledged that water resistance is an important factor influencing Australian consumer decisions when they choose what mobile phone to purchase,”

Samsung Australia commented: “Samsung stands by its marketing and advertising of the water resistancy of its smartphones. 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.”

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