Galaxy S4 Catches Fire, Samsung Tries to Silence Customer

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saggersm4rkyd

yesterday my Samsung S4 caught fire in exactly the same way as the article described, I was left with a brick of a handset that is less than 7 months old, and a burn to my right hand.
Rang Samsung and got told it was my fault, user error, excuse me, how can anyone make an error of plugging a USB cable from laptop to phone in.

Totally unsatisfied with Samsungs response, and will now get phone independently tested, when it comes back as manufacturers fault, gonna sue there sorry ass.

Samsung clearly don't care that customers given them hundreds pounds of hard earned cash to be left with unsafe brick !!!!

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Trooper_One

Over the years, I've had several Samsung products, from their MP3 players to big flatscreen TV's.

All of their products I've owned have died or not working properly within 1 to 3 years.

After my last 2 year old Samsung 50" flatscreen died, I said no more - I'm going with a different brand.

I thought about getting the Note 3 but I just didn't want to deal with Samsung anymore.

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noobstix

Wow, luckily I bought a Nokia Lumia 1020...

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OpTicaL

This says it all, Samsung, GO FUCK YOURSELF!

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LARRYROD77

I have a note 2 and I love the damn thing but yeah Samsung should've just replaced the phone and kept it quiet. is that honorable no but in a business sense, sensible. they chose to use the strongarm technique and it backfired. might be looking at an htc or lg for my next phone.

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Tyger

At what point does Samsung issue a mea culpa for this balls up and put the thing to bed? It's gaining traction in "mainstream" news. Samsung's response has more hits (almost 900K) than the original video about the problem does (almost 600K). Doesn't that tell them their response is causing them more problems than the problem with the phone did?! Once it gets a million hits, that's the ball game on this (and it's going to hit it) because then it's going to be on CNN, ABC, NBC, the whole lot of them. If they'd just replaced the thing, no questions asked, no demands made, this story would be over with by now.

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timmyw

We need to help him write a legalese response to this.

WHEREAS SAMSUNG AND ghostlyrich have agreed to settle all matters between them.

IN CONSIDERATION of SAMSUNG exchanging this phone with a similar model to ghostlyrich after collecting the above mentioned product, herein after referred to as the piece of crap.

As a condition of actually honoring the warranty of the piece of crap in question, ghostlyrich agrees to do absolutely nothing.

AND FOR THE SAID CONSIDERATION, SAMSUNG including any predecessors, successors, assigns, shareholders, members, officers, agents, directors, employees, associates, servants, associated corporations, insurers, whether past or present, agrees to STFU, honor other peoples warranties, and quit harassing consumers, and generally stop behaving like douchebags.

IT IS FURTHER AGREED AND UNDERSTOOD that if SAMSUNG hereafter makes or publishes any claims or demands or takes or threatens to take any action or other proceeding against ghostlyrich on the basis of any of the claims discharged by this Full and Final Release, then this Full and Final Release may be raised by ghostlyrich as reason to continuing making fun of their legal department and telling other consumers that SAMSUNG makes pieces of crap. Furthermore, ghostlyrich may publicly question and/or ridicule the length, girth, and other characteristics of SAMSUNG senior executives' private parts.

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bensen408

I have 88 of these phones to issue to my co-workers.

I'll let you know if any of them catches fire.

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vrmlbasic

I'm your coworker, didn't you know? I have yet to receive my phone ;)

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phroderick

I'm shopping for new phones for my spouse and myself, and Samsung was looking pretty good until I read this (iPhone is not in the running for a variety of reasons). I'm not, however, willing to expose myself to this sort of corporate arrogance, particularly given Samsung's premium pricing. So, until I hear that there has been some reasonable resolution to this situation, Samsung is off my list.

BTW, I had a Samsung DLP TV that experienced problems caused by a design defect that Samsung refused to handle in a responsible way until they were hit with a class-action lawsuit. I ended up replacing this TV with another brand.

It now looks to me like this latest incident reflects problems with Samsung's corporate management and not just TVs or phones.

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compguytracy

Fuck the S4, i had one from uscellular. it got really hot in my pocket, nothing on, then 2 days later cracked lcd. i tried to get it fixed under man. warranty, got run around, got charged. uscell refunded my money, but the principal is just infuriating.

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MaximumMike

double post

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GrandMoffVixen

Samsung, just to add additional sting, I cannot act on behalf of another human being unless I am their legal proxy. So no, I cannot waive my heirs, and/or descendants rights as you tried to do with this gentleman. End of line.

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QUINTIX256

Given similar backfiring-save-face-attempts-by-purge-of-fan-made-content by Nintendo (Youtube ads), Sega (Shining Force), Konami (Skullgirls console purge), I wonder if the heads of Asian-tiger transnationals just "can't into" Customer Relations Management.

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PCWolf

After watching those 2 videos & reading the document they sent him, that basically says in legalese:

"Sign this & well send you a new phone, But you must remove the videos and shut the F up, and promise never to complain about us ever again no matter what! And this also applies to your heirs! And you can never sue us for anything ever again!! ever! no matter what!! & if it happens again, too bad for you!"

Samsung should of just said Sorry about the damaged phone, and gave him a new one, & then promise him to investigate the reason why his phone got toasted. And that he should contact them with any future issues. Instead, the Samsung clowns in the Legal Department send him a "HUSH FOR LIFE + you got no more Rights" letter that even applies to his heirs! Shame on Samsung!!

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ThomFrost

at 1:52 you can hear pikachu.

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r3dd4wg

The charging circuit probably shorted out because there was moisture on the contacts when the owner of the phone plugged it in causing it to "burn down to the ground". Could happen to any phone (or any device that requires a charger). Samsung, on the other hand, was stupid in its handling of the situation.

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PCWolf

If the Charging circuit was shorted due to moisture, why didn't the circuit or fuse stop the flow of current to the phone? Why didn't the voltage monitoring circuit in the charger or phone cut the power if there was a short? Funny, it kept the power flowing as the phone fried & sizzled. Somewhere, something failed. be it the charge circuits in the phone, or in the AC adapter charger. It does not appear to be "Moisture" related.

This is also why you should NEVER buy those "El-Cheapo" lithium-ion battery chargers or Lithium Ion Batteries from the dollar store, street vendor or Chinese Web Site.

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Ghost XFX

The cover up is always worse than the cause, in this case.

They should have sent another phone free of charge and backed up their product. Instead, they went with the old tried and semi true method of hushing everything up and threats with sugar on top.

Not good for Samsung. And not good for those of us looking to get away from Apple. Just not smart at all.

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macmooda

Yep pretty bad decision on Samsungs part. Pretty childish too. Although I would still never go to apple. There has to be somebody else other than Samsung or Apple. I use a nokia windows 8 phone and I like it a lot. There are not nearly as many apps available, but that doesn't bother me, because I don't use it for more than a calander, phone, texting, pictures, radio, navigation, and email. It works fine for me.

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Cy-Kill

The phone didn't actually belong to ghostlyrich, it was his friend's phone, he woke up to the smell of burning electronics.

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Ghost XFX

Samsung reputation....looking like Obummercare act.

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Ninjawithagun

Most likely another BS urban legend spoof story. This guy is just desperate for money and/or attention. Another glory boy wanting his 5 minutes in the glamor spotlight. Next week, no one will know his name. And why didn't he just take the phone to the his carrier and get a new phone using the replacement warranty...oh, that's right. He chose to take a chance and not buy the warranty. Big mistake. You could have just dropped the phone onto the concrete getting out of your car. End result, no YouTube sensationalism and you would still be SOL and have no phone. Don't be surprised to see this a$$clown on the Darwin list soon...

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Engelsstaub

"...oh that's right he chose to take a chance and not buy the warranty."

Gee, this phone has been available for less than a year. That would make it impossible for him to have his phone out of standard warranty. UNLESS Samsung doesn't have an industry-standard 1 year parts and labor warranty like their direct competitor does.

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CyberCam

Urban legend spoof story??? How can you say that when the proof is right infront of you on the screen? One quick search on Google will prove you urban legend story thoery wrong and the burnt down apartment building happened in Hong Kong.

The video looked to me like it was it was about the S4 charging problem not him, and he only mentions his name once, as do most youtuber producers do. I didn't even remember his name by the end of the videos. Plus, I'm very glad that I saw as I was going to buy an S4 in the new year.

If you were listening, the reason for the video was to warned other users to be cautious when charging their phones and to show the evidence that Samsung requested, for proof! Did you expect him to upload it directly to Samsung?

Unlike you, I see this video (the 1st one) as warning to be cautious when charging your S4. There's a strong possibly it could end up saving someones life as most people charge their phones while sleeping as did he!

You totally ignore Samsung's response letter video in your post. Let's just ignore the fact they tried to take advantage of their user, and cover up the fact that, they possibly could have defective units out in the wild that are potentially hazardous! It really shows that Samsung don't give a hoot about it's customers well being and that profits come before human lives.

With your post you have proven that you would rather side with a corporation over fellow humans. The content of your character is questionable. I wonder if you would have changed your tune if it happend to someone personally close to you.

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Ninjawithagun

Anything can be faked. Videos were not convincing and seemed a bit too staged. So, I'm still not a believer in this story. Sorry for your frustration. I've owned my S4 for 6 months now and it has never caught fire, got hot to the touch, or malfunctioned in anyway. I have several friends that own S4s and never had any problems that very few isolated reports seem to portray. I don't want to defend Samsung either. If they indeed did do what this guy says, then they are in the complete wrong of things and should just issue him a new phone without any requirement to sign a contract. But the story seems all faked somehow. Videos really do looked contrived and his story is just not plausible. Who knows if we'll ever know the truth. Truth is a three edged sword; your story, their story, and the TRUTH.

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mattatooski

Kudos for you for never having any problems with your S4. But I can tell you from my first hand experience, that my S4 does indeed get very hot to touch after any programs (inc phone calls) starts using the processor. And I am not talking about intensive games.

But more worrying, is that the charger gets extremely hot, and even worse still, the battery gets even hotter each and every night when I charge the phone. And I took it back to a little Samsung pop up store and they said it was normal.

I have no doubt that there could be little random fires/ melting phones all over the world starting from S4's. It is my first and last Samsung product .....

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LesserAnimal

I've had customers bring in burnt phones at my old job as a cell phone sales rep. I've personally had a samsung android phone catch fire myself. I took a gamble getting the Sidekick 4g because despite its low end status no one was putting out high end phones with qwerty keyboards at the time and I couldn't stand the thought of going with out a physical keyboard. It wasn't anything spectacular. Looked like a small sparkler firework went off for half a second and then smoke but all the same it happened. The battery itself wasn't even to blame. I was able to charge the phone up and run it for a few more days till I could buy a new one by shoving live wires between the battery contacts and the power terminals in the phone. I am telling you straight up, phones shorting, smoking, going up in flames is way too common to be getting skeptical about and you're kidding yourself if you think the level short circuit protection on these devices is as robust as you seem to think.
As far as i'm concerned samsung has absolutely nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to the fact that these things happen. They should however be deeply ashamed of the way they handle these kind of situations when they occur. A little bit of owning up to the problem goes a real long way.

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CyberCam

Granted anything can be faked, but what evidence in the video brought you to that conclusion?

Glad that you & your friends have working S4's, but no product manufacture that I've known, ever produces 100% yields. How companies handle the defects is important, denying resposibility is criminal in my book.

I have known people that have had iphones, S3's & S4's overheat and their battery/charging connections almost catch fire, so it's not far fetched.

You should follow the breadcrumbs and read the pdf in the original video on youtube, for you evidence of TRUTH.

I'm not so much frustrated as I'm dissappointed in people that side with corporations over people. Especially as this guy is a fellow Canuck (Canadian).

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big_montana

I believe this person, as I have a friend that owns a Galaxy S4 and it overheated to the point where it melted through the back cover right where the SD card is, destroyed the SD card in the process. She is with Sprint and the service tech at the Sprint store told her they replace S4 all the time due to overheating or just plain melting down like hers did.

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w2ed

1. Replace phone and damaged accessories without question.
2. Public apology, not just to him but to all S4 owners, and a trade-in option for anyone either having or afraid of having said issue.
3. Termination of all individuals involved in the decisions regarding this fiasco. (Not the people such as the logistics carriers who delivered it or anyone not involved with said problem, and absolutely under no circumstances any "fake" terminations to save face - when you screw with the customer, you don't deserve your job.)
4. A hefty sum of money to ghostlyrich and anyone else whose phone DID catch fire to cover damage caused by the phone.

The only "requirements" ghostlyrich should have to go through is to supply the phone to doublecheck that it wasn't bought from someone else or was a fake BS story (not saying it is, but some people would do such a thing to take advantage of companies like this) and to "ask" that he does a video stating that the problem was resolved. (Don't force him to disclose anything he doesn't want or feel comfortable with, no forcing him into repercussions such as "can't call upon Samsung for future warranty-covered problems, and nothing with which would further dissuade him from returning as a customer in the future.)

This isn't an unfixable event yet - yes, their actions thus far both in supplying a faulty phone and in trying to silence the customer after is basic, bone-headed bad business, but there's still a window of opportunity to save face and repair some of the damage and goodwill caused by these mistakes. To put it in blunt, simple terms, Own up, apologize, replace, pay for damages, and prove you won't do something this stupid again. Stuff will always break or malfunction - how you handle it shows how good of a business you are.

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timmyw

You had me agreeing completely right up until you said "a hefty sum of cash."

Yes, he deserves to be compensated for the damage caused by this malfunctioning device. He does not deserve more cash just because Samsung has deep pockets. Part of the reason Samsung went all crazy legal talk on this guy, is people wishing to play Lawsuit Lotto™ in such cases instead of dealing with it rationally.

Samsung needs to own the problem. Replace or repair all damage. Investigate the problem and fix the problem (if there truly is one).

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CyberCam

+1

Well said!

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vrmlbasic

All this time I thought that Samsung was a South Korean company when it now sounds like they're a North Korean one.

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HiGHRoLLeR038

I dont understand what samsung has to gain by dancing around the issue and not honoring their warranty. corporate asshats

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Nixon

That random Pikachu voice scared the heck out of me.

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Leo Scott

This is what you call bad press. The cover-up is always worse than the news, ask Richard M. Nixon, if you could.

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vrmlbasic

Depends on the team who is running the coverup. If Samsung's meltdown gets hidden by the same blanket as a certain Libyan city then they'll come out of this without a scratch.

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bjoswald

Just send the guy a new phone, reimburse him for the old one, and tell him the guy who gave him shit about it was "fired". Best way to save face after that moronic stunt.

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Paper Jam

All I'll say is Samsung took the wrong approach with settling this, but sometimes stuff malfunctions in unexpected ways that cannot be anticipated. This one incident is not enough to discourage me from considering the S5 when it is released. If a few more spontaneously combust I may reconsider.

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Engelsstaub

They should have given him a new phone or reimbursed him for the defective one at the very least without stipulating demands.

Nothing about their response was "right" or any way to provide support to customers. At all. (You know if this was a similarly isolated incident from a certain other brand of phone there'd be about twenty-five comments from the usual dipshits already.)

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MaximumMike

Go hop on a KC Chiefs forum and you will invariably find that the "usual dipshits" there have an indifference to mistakes made by the Chiefs organization. Additionally, and quite unsurprisingly, you will also find long diatribes of vile regarding the slightest missteps of the Raiders. Such is the nature of human bias. If you want to avoid it, you can always read another forum. If not, don't be surprised when you see it.

With that being said, I'm pretty disappointed by the way Samsung handled this issue. But I've never lived under the pretenses that Samsung are the good guys and Apple are the bad guys. Alternately, I see Apple as the maker of crappy, high-priced, amputated products and Samsung as one of many manufacturers with better offerings. I am under no delusion that either company lives by any moral standard. But Samsung does have a better image in my mind.

However, this fiasco isn't helping Samsung's image any. I've had my Note 3 for about a week, and my wife just received her GS4, which we haven't activated yet. I would hope that we don't encounter issues like this with either product.

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Engelsstaub

You don't like Apple, Mike?! ;)

I don't think this is a forum that should attract a disproportionate amount of haters of either brand with regards to smartphones. I'm guessing most iPhones sold are being synched on Windows PCs but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

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MaximumMike

HA HA! No corrections from me. I know less than nothing about syncing an iPhone. But pairing MAC's disproportionate market share of the PC market with the enormous volume of iPhones in the wild leaves only three plausible scenarios:
1. Most iPhone users synch their phones to Windows PC's.
2. Most iPhone users don't synch their phones, but those who do are doing it on a MAC.
3. Most iPhones are owned by only a handful of MAC users who have some mental disorder that drives them to buy a new iPhone every month.

Take your pick. For various reasons they're all equally plausible in my mind :P