Samsung is not having the greatest of years when it comes to PR. From paying students to write bad reviews for the HTC One smartphone, to being shamed for having a benchmark-fudging hidden app on its flagship phones, it’s been a rocky 2013 for Samsung. And it continues.
Neowin reports the Korean smartphone leader Richard Wygand whose Galaxy S4 smartphone caught fire to take down a video showing the damage, if he hoped to be covered by warranty. This despite the fact that Samsung is legally obligated to replace the phone in case of damage.
Samsung Galaxy S4, when not on fire
Wygand, under the username GhostlyRich, had posted a video showing his Galaxy S4 catching fire while being charged. Even though the battery did not explode, as is normally the case in such a situation, the fire charred the micro USB port of the phone, turning it useless. Since the phone was still under warranty, he contacted Samsung for a replacement. Instead of doing what is usually expected of a company of its stature, Samsung decided to throw a fit and asked Wygand to take the video off Youtube, before it could consider sending a replacement. If it was hoping to minimised bad publicity for the S4, Samsung clearly doesn’t understand how the Internet works.
The settlement agreement, which you can read in full here, also asks the affected Samsung consumer to keep the incident under wrap and not disclose the terms to anyone. Once again, Samsung meet the Internet. The letter now has nearly 18,000 hits and the video of the burnt phone has been viewed over 80,000 times. GhostlyRich’s subsequent video showing off Samsung’s letter and the damaged phone together has amassed nearly 400,000 views already.
Samsung is yet to respond to Wygand’s situation but we can sense a volte face coming as far as the settlement agreement is concerned. Surely, not even the mighty Samsung can afford to stand its ground on an issue like this. This isn't of course the first time that Samsung's Galaxy S4 has caused trouble. In July, a Galaxy S4 exploded in Hong Kong, burning down the owner's house. Thankfully, for Wygand, at least his house is still safe.