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Samsung admits to making misleading water-resistance claims about 7 phones

The company now has to pay a $9.7 million fine in Australia.

Published onJune 23, 2022

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra display held in hand over water
David Imel / Android Authority
  • Samsung has to pay a penalty of $9.7 million in Australia for putting out misleading ads about seven phones.
  • The ads showed that the Galaxy phones were suitable for use in the pool and in the sea.
  • The company now says submerging the phones could corrode the charging port.

Samsung has to pay a hefty fine of AU$14 million (~$9.7 million) for multiple misleading marketing campaigns.

According to a press release issued by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), Samsung has admitted to making false claims about the water-resistance of the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, A5 (2017), A7 (2017), S8, S8 Plus, and Note 8.

The ACCC notes that Samsung published nine misleading ads between March 2016 and October 2018, showing that the phones were suitable for use in pools and seawater. These campaigns ran across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the company’s own website, and stores.

Samsung Australia has now acknowledged that if the aforementioned Galaxy phones are submerged in a pool or seawater, the charging port could become corroded and stop working.

“Samsung Australia’s water-resistance claims promoted an important selling point for these Galaxy phones. Many consumers who purchased a Galaxy phone may have been exposed to the misleading ads before they made their decision to purchase a new phone,” ACCC Chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, noted in the press release.

The watchdog reviewed hundreds of complaints from consumers who claimed they had issues with their phones after water use. In some cases, the devices stopped working entirely.

“This penalty is a strong reminder to businesses that all product claims must be substantiated,” said Cass-Gottlieb.

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