Samsung Tries to Fight Fire With Smoke and Mirrors

When a customer told Samsung his phone caught fire, the company requested proof. After the customer posted proof to YouTube, Samsung responded with a gag order.

If you were a tech company and you were informed by a customer that one of your products caught on fire, what would you do? At first, Samsung requested proof of the damage before considering a replacement — now the mobile tech company is really wishing it hadn’t.

When asked for proof, YouTube user Ghostlyrich made a video to prove his phone had indeed caught on fire. At the end of the video he says “We’re going to upload this [footage], send it to Samsung and let you know how it goes.” And boy did he let us know.

Samsung responded with a gag order demanding the video be removed and that Ghostlyrich never mention the matter again. The contract also absolved Samsung from all liabilities and lawsuits. All, just so Ghostlyrich could get his cellphone replaced.

As you might guess Ghostlyrich was none too pleased to have the hammer of Samsung’s legal department dropped on him. He shot back with another video, copied out the letter online (with names redacted) and called out Samsung for trying to sweep the issue under the rug. Perhaps Samsung should be more concerned about a defective product being on the market.

Samsung may have been worried about the potential cost of a recall, or the bad press caused by a flaming cell-phone. Instead the company has to worry about more than 750,000 YouTube viewers listening to the same very irate customer. Ghostlyrich has laid Samsung’s shady practices bare and Samsung has come out of this situation worse off than if it had just replaced the phone.

Maybe Samsung’s mistake was asking for video proof. Maybe the mistake was shipping a defective product. The worst mistake, however, was trying to silence a savvy social media user and giving him are reason use his platform to grind his new axe.

To quote Ghostlyrich himself: “And Samsung, go f— yourself.”

Image credit: Nima Badiey