In the lawsuit,SamsungOn Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, A5 (2017), A7 (2017), S8, S8 Plus and Note 8cell phonemade a false or misleading claim of water resistance. The ACCC says more than 3.1 million Galaxy phones have been sold in Australia.
During 2016-2018, Samsung Australia ran a marketing campaign showing various Galaxy phones submerged in swimming pools or seawater. Nine ads republished by the ACCC on Thursday show Samsung Australia promoting Galaxy phones and their water resistance on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, its website and store.
ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said: “Samsung Australia’s water resistance claims promote an important selling point for these Galaxy phones. Many consumers buying Galaxy phones may have been exposed to these misleading advertisements before deciding to buy a new phone.”
“We reviewed hundreds of complaints from consumers who said they had problems with their Galaxy phones after getting in water, and in many cases, they said their Galaxy phones stopped working completely,” she said.
Samsung has since admitted that its charging ports are susceptible to corrosion if its products are charged in wet conditions. Still, the company’s marketing campaign continues to tout the ability to use the phones in swimming pools and seawater.
Ms Cass-Gottlieb said: “Samsung Australia advertises its Galaxy phones with people using the phone in swimming pools and sea water, although this could eventually lead to significant damage to the phone. This penalty is a strong reminder to businesses that all product claims must be substantiated. The ACCC will continue to take enforcement action against businesses that mislead consumers about the nature or benefits of their products.”