Samsung’s special treatment to Chinese customers in the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco has not gone down well with consumers in the country. When Samsung initially recalled the Galaxy Note 7, it said that the recall was not applicable in China since the handsets sold there used a battery that was supplied by a different vendor. However, when reports emerged about Note 7 exploding in China and other parts of the world, Samsung decided to pull the plug on the Note 7 completely and recall all the 2.5million + units it had sold worldwide.
In an episode broadcasted on China Central Television, or CCTV, on Tuesday, the program criticized Samsung for how the company handled the whole situation. The episode detailed Zhang Sitong’s ordeal with his Note 7. A Note loyalist, Sitong got the Galaxy Note 7 after Samsung had reassured Chinese customers that the Note 7 units sold in China were completely safe. However, Sitong’s Note 7 exploded when he was using it to write down a friend’s number. He immediately threw the phone on the ground and asked his friend to start filming.
“They said there was no problem with the phones in China. That’s why I bought a Samsung,” said Mr. Zhang, a 23-year-old former firefighter. “This is an issue of deception. They are cheating Chinese consumers.”
Samsung contacted Sitong later in the day and offered him a new Galaxy Note 7 along with $900 in compensation to keep the video private. This incident occurred weeks before the company had announced the second formal Note 7 recall. Sitong refused to accept Samsung’s offer.
The CCTV report blasted Samsung for the way it handled the whole situation. It accused the company of violating the interests of Chinese consumers and asked it to make the testing samples of the Note 7 and the relevant reports public.
“To Samsung, China is one of the most important markets and a crucial destination for foreign investment,” Samsung said in a statement. “Samsung never holds a double standard against them.”
In another such case, Hui Renjie got his phone checked by a third-party laboratory to determine the cause of the explosion. He had met Zhang Sitong who was determined to find the reason behind his Note 7 exploding since Samsung has not provided any official reason behind it. The laboratory could not determine the reason as to why the phone caught fire, but it did rule out any external heat source as the reason. When JD.com contacted Hui informing him that Samsung wanted to compensate him for his burnt Note 7 and laptop, he told them to inform the company to “Go to hell.”
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