CANBERRA, Australia: Samsung Electronics has been fined $9.65 million by Australia for releasing nine misleading advertisements about the untrue water-resistance of its smartphones.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which first sued the company in July 2019, added that Samsung Australia admitted to misleading buyers of some of its Galaxy phones about their water-resistance.
In a statement, Samsung said that this was not an issue in the current models being sold in Australia.
Between March 2016 and October 2018, the company ran in-store and social media advertisements that claimed the phones could be used in swimming pools or sea water.
However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission received hundreds of complaints from users, who claimed that after being exposed to water, the smartphones did not function properly or even stopped working entirely.
"The 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," said Australian Consumer Commission Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb, as quoted by Reuters.
The company said it agreed with Australia that its newer models of the smartphones did not experience the same water exposure issues.