Samsung sued over claims it “falsely and misleadingly” advertised phones as waterproof

Samsung is being sued by Australia’s advertising watchdog after promoting its water-resistant Galaxy phones as suitable for use in swimming pools and the sea.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has alleged that the smartphone giant failed to test the effects of sea and swimming pool water on its phones, despite “falsely and misleadingly” advertising them as suitable to use in both.

It claims that more than 300 Samsung advertisements showed its Galaxy phones being used at the bottom of swimming pools and submerged in sea water.

However numerous Samsung owners reported damage when exposing their phones to water.

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Furthermore, according to the lawsuit, Samsung refused to honour warranty claims on phones that were water-damaged, despite the retailer stating it had not breached any warranty obligations according to Australian law.

“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 … when this was not the case,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

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

Should Samsung be found to have breached the law, it could face huge fines of up to AUD $10 million (£5.58 million) for each breach, triple the benefit of the conduct or as much as 10 per cent of annual turnover.

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