05 July 2019
Samsung has a number of smartphones under its portfolio that boasts of water resistance. It has been releasing such smartphones for years now with commercials showing devices near swimming pool or underneath ocean water. These ads are the very reason an Australian regulator has decided to sue Samsung by accusing it of misleading buyers and users.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has filed a lawsuit claiming that Samsung Galaxy ads mislead users into believing that their phones are safe to be used near all types of water. It is specifically focusing on ads where phones have been shown near a swimming pool or ocean water. It says that these ads are the reason people believe that they have nothing to be worried about using phones in such situations. It further adds that whenever there is any damage due to water, Samsung refuses to entertain the damage repair under warranty.
Samsung phones are usually IP68 rated for water resistance. It means they can survive in water for a certain depth and a certain time but that is meant for fresh water. The rating does not apply to the ocean or swimming pool-like situations. Even though it does mention this in really small fonts in commercials, it is too small for anyone to read unless they are focusing on it.
In the lawsuit, ACCC has mentioned,
"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. Samsung showed the Galaxy phones used in situations they shouldn't be to attract customers. Samsung's advertisements, we believe, denied consumers an informed choice and gave Samsung an unfair competitive advantage."
In response, Samsung has said that they standby their claims as well as all the commercials. It is ready to fight the lawsuit and defend itself in the court. If it fails to defend the case and is found to be guilty, it is likely to end up receiving a huge fine running into multi-million dollars.