The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will take action in the Federal Court against Samsung and misleading ads detailing mobile phone water resistance.
“Since around February 2016, Samsung has widely advertised on social media, online, TV, billboards, brochures and other media that the Galaxy phones are water resistant and depicted them being used in, or exposed to, oceans and swimming pools,” the ACCC said in a statement, also pointing out that Samsung’s website says its phones are “not advised for beach or pool use.”
One such ad example can be seen above.
The ACCC says the advertisements make false representations, misleading consumers who were likely encouraged to spend more on water resistant phones across Australia and then potentially ruined said phones by taking them into salt water.
“Samsung itself has acknowledged that water resistance is an important factor influencing Australian consumer decisions when they choose what mobile phone to purchase,” the ACCC’s Rod Sims said. “Samsung’s advertisements, we believe, denied consumers an informed choice and gave Samsung an unfair competitive advantage.”
We’ll keep you informed as court proceedings progress.
Update: Samsung has responded to the ACCC’s statement.
“Samsung notes the legal action launched against it today by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission… in relation to the marketing of a number of Samsung’s water resistant smartphones,” the statement reads. “Samsung intends to defend the court proceedings brought by the ACCC.”
The company continued on to say it “stands by its marketing and advertising of the water resistancy of its smartphones” and is confident it “provide[s] customers with free-of-charge remedies in a manner consistent with Samsung’s obligations under its manufacturer warranty and the Australian Consumer Law” if any problems have arisen.