Samsung is now being challenged with what Sony once faced a few years ago. On the issue of waterproof and water-resistant ratings, Samsung is being questioned for misleading advertisements. A lawsuit has been filed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against the South Korean tech giant for false advertising. The Federal Court in Australia has received complaints about misleading representations of water-resistance mainly of Galaxy phones. There’s always been the issue between water-resistance and waterproof rating. Almost five years ago, Sony was questioned about the same thing.
Sony couldn’t market Xperia Z1 as “waterproof” in South Africa because the phone isn’t really waterproof. The company also once sent out a reminder you shouldn’t use your “waterproof” phone underwater. The lawsuit ended in 2017 with Sony losing a class-action lawsuit over waterproof claims that made the brand pay Xperia owners.
Samsung has been advertising Galaxy devices as water-resistant for 30 minutes up to 1.5m deep under water. The Galaxy phones are described and being marketed as “water-resistant” which is not exactly true. Despite the ads that show the smartphones being used in swimming pools or the beach. More than 300 ads have mentions of the water-resistance and have been included in ACCC’s case.
ACCC Chair Rod Sims shared some details about the case. He said, “The ACCC alleges Samsung’s advertisements falsely and misleadingly represented Galaxy phones would be suitable for use in, or for exposure to, all types of water, including in ocean water and swimming pools, and would not be affected by such exposure to water for the life of the phone, when this was not the case.” Sims added the company didn’t have a basis for such claim because it didn’t test or haven’t tested the phones enough. He also noted Samsung was implying using the devices in liquid other than fresh water could be damaging. Warranty claims for units damaged when used in water were denied warranty claims.
All these are false representations according to the ACCC. Samsung Galaxy phones are really not suitable for all types of water. Samsung is being deceptive and misleading as per the consumer group. This means consumers have been denied of an informed choice, giving Samsung a competitive advantage.
The Galaxy phones listed in the lawsuit are as follows: S10e, S10, S10 Plus, S9, S9 Plus, S8, S8 Plus, S7, S7 Edge, Note 9, Note 8, Note 7, A8, A7, and A5 (2016 to 2019. Ads and promos online, social media, email, sponsored articles, press releases, radio, TV, and billboards are included. Sims also added, “Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses cannot mislead consumers about their products’ capabilities. Any attempt to do so will risk court action from the ACCC.”