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A year ago we wrote about a case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), against Samsung saying the company of “denied warranty claims from consumers whose phones were damaged when used in water” despite advertising the phones as suitable for use in a wet environment.
Examples of what the ACCC called misleading ads can be seen below:
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said Samsung made “false, misleading and deceptive representations in advertising the water resistance of various ‘Galaxy’ branded mobile phones”, and was actively advertising water resistance by showing the phones being exposed to swimming pools and the ocean without being affected.
The case is now in front of the court, and Samsung is not about to admit fault. They are insisting that the claims that the phones could not be used around water be tested in detail by an independent expert, something which could cost the ACCC up to $150,000 and take 4-6 months to complete, and which Samsung said was cheap, given the importance of the case.
“The reason why we’re having this discussion — the evidence they seek to produce and have challenged is that [testing] would take six months. Our reaction is that that’s cheap in a case of this significance. It’s not a debacle, it’s just a claim made, and not proved,” Samsung’s senior counsel John Sheahan said.
After much too-ing and fro-ing, the two legal teams agreed to an independent test, which was guided by input from both parties. The case is currently awaiting that guidance.
The case hinges on whether Samsung Galaxy phones under ordinary, reasonable usage were in line with its advertisements, with Samsung being accused of knowing saltwater was particularly harmful to their phones.
The ACCC is seeking penalties, consumer redress orders, injunctions, declarations, publication orders, an order as to findings of fact, and costs. Devices involved in the suite includes the S10 down to the S7, as well as the Note 9,8, and 7, as well as the A8, A7, and A5.