Aussie Regulator Alleges Samsung Ads Falsely Represented Galaxy Phones as Water-Resistant

Ruben Fields
July 7, 2019

The company advertised that its Galaxy phones are water resistant for 30 minutes at a depth of up to 1.5 metres. IP68 is the industry standard today, with everyone from Apple and Huawei providing the same level of protection on their flagships.

The case alleges that Samsung had no reasonable grounds for making these claims of water resistance, as it did not conduct sufficient testing regarding how liquid impacts the phones (including liquids other than fresh water). Samsung Galaxy phones are really not suitable for all types of water.

And so the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is taking Samsung to court over what it calls "false, misleading and deceptive representations in advertising the water resistance of various "Galaxy" branded mobile phones".

We have already seen the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G sport the sensor on the front and on the back, and the Galaxy A80 on its flip-up camera. Gadgets with water damage aren't covered beneath guarantee, and routine immersion in water will break any device.

The ACCC claims that Samsung has rebuffed warranty claims by customers who say their phones were damaged by water exposure.

Sims added that Samsung's advertisements "denied consumers an informed choice" and "gave Samsung an unfair competitive advantage".

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The suit, which if successful could result in multi-million dollar fines, centres on more than 300 advertisements in which Samsung showed its Galaxy phones being used underwater in swimming pools and the sea.

TECH giant Samsung has vowed to fight a Federal Court case against them from Australia's consumer watch dog which alleges the firm was involved in misleading advertising over its phones. There's always been the issue between water-resistance and waterproof rating. Meantime, if you have a Samsung Galaxy phone and you're headed to the beach or the pool this weekend, make sure to keep it well away from the water.

For example, Samsung's website states that the new Galaxy S10 phone range is "not advised for beach or pool use".

Each individual violation of the Australia Consumer Law carries a maximum fine of A$10 million ($7 million) or up to 10% of a company's yearly revenue.

Samsung said it stood by its advertising, complied with Australian law and would defend the case. Still, the ACCC appears to have taken the position that Samsung has deceived customers by promoting this particular aspect of Galaxy phones, without backing those statements up should devices fail to live up to their stated designed capabilities.

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