Samsung gets sued for allegedly misleading Australians about the water resistance of Galaxy phones
Over the years, guardian IP ratings have become central to the marketing agendas of smartphones, especially flagships. Likewise, Samsung has been touting the waterproof nature of its Galaxy S10 series smartphones, all four of which come with IP68 rating. The Korean giant has also been advertising the water-resistance capabilities of these smartphones, irrespective of the type of water, and that has led to legal troubles for it in Australia.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is suing Samsung for misleading consumers about the water resistance on the Galaxy S10 devices. The IP68 rating typically translates to protection under 1.5 meters (~5 feet) of water for 30 minutes but the fine line here is that this criterion only applies to freshwater and you should totally not expect your smartphone to be protected in distilled water or sea or ocean water. This is what has caused troubles for Samsung as the regulator alleges that Samsung’s advertisements portray water resistance in non-fresh water bodies, including the ocean and swimming pools, even though Samsung advises users to not take phones with them in the ocean or pools on its website – however, with a fine print.
For its case against Samsung, ACCC will be presenting more than 300 advertisements in the forms of offline billboards, social media posts, YouTube and TV ads, and other forms of digital and print media collaterals. ACCC chairman Rod Sims says that Samsung’s advertisements “denied consumers an informed choice and gave Samsung an unfair competitive advantage.”
In response, Samsung said that it “stands by its marketing and advertising” of the water resistance capabilities of its smartphones. It added that it provides remedies to uses free of any charge with its “obligations under its manufacturer warranty and the Australian Consumer Law.”
Meanwhile, all of the posts by Samsung Australia on social media listed by the ACCC in the legal notice have been removed. We wait to see what the Australian Federal Court rules in this case. In the meantime, you can see what XDA TV producer TK Bay has to about the endurance of the Galaxy S10 series in chlorinated pool water (we advise against dipping your Galaxy S10 smartphone into the ocean unless you have AU$1200 to throw away.)
Source: ABC News