Batteries that catch fire or explode is not a new phenomenon, but its destructive effects always warrant a closer look and prompt action. It seems, however, that Samsung might have a different way of handling such issues which is nothing short of disgraceful, though unfortunately not unheard of.
Last week, YouTube user GhostlyRich uploaded a video that showed a Samsung Galaxy S 4 with a slightly burned micro USB port. According to him, he simply left the phone charging overnight and woke up to the smell of smoke. The charging cord and even the back case also had battle scars to prove it. Luckily, the heat did not reach a point that would have caused the battery to burst. Since the device was still under warranty, GhostlyRich naturally asked for a replacement and made the video below as proof of the incident.
The report did reach Samsung but the company responded in a way that's both somewhat expected but still infuriating. It is probably reasonable to ask that the video be pulled down after the issue has been amicably resolved, but the company's further demands are probably not. In a letter sent to GhostlyRich, the company indicated that it will indeed issue a replacement with a similar device, without specifying if it will also be a Galaxy S 4. And as a requisite to receiving the replacement, he has to sign a piece of paper that basically silences him from talking about the incident and taking further action against the company. The video below explains Samsung's demands in greater detail.
One could probably argue that there is no solid proof that the cause of the burned port was due to factory defect or user mishandling. One could also say that such demands are common business practice. But in today's Internet age, it's quite naive and futile for Samsung to try to keep such things under a lid and would only cause them an even bigger PR headache.