After a series of Chinese Central Television (CCTV) reports that exposed faulty Galaxy S3 and Note 2 smartphones and unfair warranty policies, Korean phone-maker Samsung apologized and extended the warranty of seven models in China, Jinghua, a local newspaper reported on October 24.
Due to a data storage chip malfunction, many Samsung smartphone customers experienced habitual problems such as freezing up and inability to boot. However, according to CCTV, Samsung has different warranty policies in different countries.
Chinese customers complained that they had to pay a repair cost ranging from RMB 760 (US$125) to RMB 2,000 (US$329) to return their legally purchased, but frequently “frozen,” Galaxy S3 and Note 2, while their luckier counterparts in the UK, Hong Kong, and Japan enjoyed free repair and even a substitute phone during the repair, as CCTV discovered.
Qiu Baochang, a consumer rights protection expert from the lawyer’s committee in Beijing, told CCTV that such policy is a discrimination against Chinese consumers and also violates local laws, according to a Xinhua report.
Samsung apologized on October 23, saying that for the seven models involved, it will provide free repair services, a refund of previous repair charges, and a no change to a new piece if same problem happens twice. It will also extend the warranty, unconditionally, for those models that were manufactured before November 30, 2012.