Mobile phones catching fire are rare occurrences – but when they do happen, they make headlines. More so if they happen to be a high end, best-selling device. This has happened with iPhones in the past. Samsung’s Galaxy Series too have been known to show symptoms of spontaneous mobile combustion in the past.
Earlier this month, a video showing a Samsung Galaxy S4 catching fire while it was being charged was uploaded to YouTube. The handset was obviously under warranty and once folks at Samsung got to know about this, they contacted the affected user and offered a replacement. Everything was fine until this part. Things took a turn for the worse when Samsung asked the user to remove the video off YouTube as a pre-condition for the replacement! The condition was very simple from Samsung: You remove the video – we replace the phone.
Samsung went ahead and served him a letter as a legal agreement wherein he would take the video down in exchange for a replacement handset. This seems to have pissed him off even further and he has made that letter public as well. Here is that letter on Pastebin. He even posted another video talking about this.
Certainly, I will not believe that ALL Samsung handsets would just simply catch fire. If it was a genuine case of fire, Samsung was under obligation to have the phone replaced as it was an obvious manufacturing/quality issue. To ask the user to remove a video as a pre-condition to have a phone replaced seems to be a simple case of bullying.
Samsung’s legal and PR team needs to learn that sometimes it is better to accept and acknowledge an issue, instead of trying to forcibly suppress it. Also to be noted is the fact that this has come just days after Futuremark de-listed a bunch of Samsung products for “cheating” on benchmark scores. Samsung is yet to officially take a stand as far as this issue is concerned. An investigation might be required before we can figure out who is actually on the right side here. As a person who likes Samsung products, I hope they come clean on this.