Australia Regulator Sues Samsung Over ‘Misleading’ Water Resistance Ads for Galaxy Smartphones

Samsung is facing trouble in Australia, where the country’s consumer watchdog is suing the Korean giant for allegedly misleading people over just how water-resistant its phones are.

Samsung Galaxy S7 | Image: Samsung

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) claims that Samsung “made false, misleading, and deceptive representations” regarding the water resistance of its phones, as its ads showed people using these devices in oceans and swimming pools, only for the company to then deny warranty repairs caused by exposure to water, reads a new report from Reuters.

Hundreds of advertisements and 15 Galaxy phones have been included as part of the case, with the competition regulator stating that many of the claims made through these ads are without any reasonable basis.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims noted that Galaxy phones have been shown to be water resistant to all types of water, and it has been implied that they aren’t affected by water over time. However, it has been alleged by the commission that this is not actually the case and that both of the aforementioned claims have found to be false.

“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 said.

“Samsung showed the Galaxy phones used in situations they shouldn’t be to attract customers,” Sims continued. “The advertisements, we believe, denied consumers an informed choice and gave Samsung an unfair competitive advantage.”

The ACCC also alleges that the South Korean firm denied warranty claims from consumers whose phones were damaged when used in water. The watchdog concluded that, under Australian Consumer Law, businesses cannot mislead consumers about their products’ capabilities, and “any attempt to do so will risk court action from the ACCC.”

For its part, Samsung is standing by its marketing material, and says it will defend itself when the case comes up in the Australian Federal Court.