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Samsung fined $9.8M for deceptive Australian cellphone adverts

Samsung fined .8M for deceptive Australian cellphone adverts
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Samsung fined .8M for deceptive Australian cellphone adverts

An Australian decide on Thursday ordered Samsung to pay 14 million Australian {dollars} ($9.8 million) in fines for deceptive promoting about how waterproof some smartphone fashions are.

Federal Courtroom Justice Brendan Murphy gave Samsung Electronics Australia, a subsidiary of South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co., 30 days to pay the fines.

Samsung should additionally pay AU$200,000 ($140,000) in prices to the Australian Competitors and Client Fee, the patron watchdog that initiated an investigation into the telephones 4 years in the past.

Samsung has admitted that it made false and deceptive claims in 9 commercials between 2016 and 2018 in regards to the water resistance of seven fashions of Galaxy smartphones. They’re the S7, S7 Edge, A5 (2017), A7 (2017), S8, S8 Plus and Observe 8.

Samsung and the fee additionally agreed to the fines.

The deceptive adverts promoted the telephones’ water resistance and suitability to be used in swimming swimming pools and sea water. However the charging ports could possibly be broken and cease working if the telephones had been charged whereas the ports had been nonetheless moist.

Samsung stated the charging port situation solely impacts the seven fashions recognized within the case that had been launched between 2016 and 2017.

“The problem doesn’t come up for Samsung’s present telephones,” stated a Samsung assertion.

Samsung offered 3.1 million of the weak telephones in Australia, however the courtroom couldn’t decide what number of prospects discovered faults of their charging ports.

An unknown variety of prospects had their ports changed by licensed Samsung repairers. Some repairmen did the work without spending a dime, whereas others charged between AU$180 ($126) and AU$245 ($171), the courtroom heard.

Murphy stated prospects have the suitable to imagine {that a} massive firm like Samsung would not promote that its Galaxy telephones had been protected to submerge in water in the event that they could not.

“Many customers doubtless noticed the offending adverts and a big variety of those that did so doubtless bought one of many Galaxy telephones,” Murphy stated in his ruling.

Fee President Gina Cass-Gottlieb stated her investigation has obtained tons of of complaints from cellphone house owners.

“They’ve skilled issues with their Galaxy telephones after being uncovered to water and, in some circumstances, they’ve reported that their Galaxy telephones have stopped working fully,” Cass-Gottlieb stated in a press release.

The decide stated the penalty exceeded Samsung’s revenue from the false promoting marketing campaign.

Samsung’s legal professionals initially denied that the adverts had been deceptive and that the telephones could possibly be broken by immersion in water, the decide stated.

“I do not assume Samsung Australia ought to get a number of credit score for its cooperation,” Murphy stated.

Samsung stated it cooperated with the fee’s investigations, which initially included greater than 600 adverts and 15 Galaxy cellphone fashions.

“Samsung strives to offer all our prospects with the very best expertise and we remorse {that a} small variety of our Galaxy customers have skilled an issue with their machine on this matter,” Samsung stated.

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