Bogus online comments land Samsung with $340k fine in Taiwan; Chinese investigation into dead phones results in apology and warranty extensions
A double-whammy of bad news for Samsung this morning. In Taiwan, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) hit the Korean company with a NT$10 million ($340,000) fine after finding that it organized an online campaign to post critical comments on HTC products, while praising its own. The commission found that through local marketing companies, Samsung hired "a large number of writers" to leave the comments on Taiwanese discussion forums, in violation of fair-trade laws. The marketing companies involved were also given smaller fines.
And in China, an investigation into failing Galaxy S3 and Note 2 handsets by state TV criticized the company's warranty arrangements. The issue concerns certain handsets dropping dead out of the blue, apparently due to faulty NAND chips in some devices. In response, Samsung's Chinese arm has issued a apology, saying the issues were the result of a "management problem" and that it welcomed the media scrutiny. The firm also promised to extend the warranties of devices made before Nov. 30, 2012 for an additional year.