When a Samsung Galaxy S4 owner posted a video on YouTube that was intended to serve as evidence that the phone had caught fire while charging, the response from Samsung was less than friendly and from a PR standpoint, senseless.
Richard Wygand, who goes by the YouTube user name ghostlyrich, originally uploaded a video of his damaged Samsung Galaxy S4 because he wanted to give the company and his carrier proof that the phone charger had in fact caused the device to overheat and melt the charging port, the case and some internal parts. That video, while alarming, isn’t necessarily out of the ordinary. It was the second video ghostlyrich uploaded that caught people’s attention.
In a second video titled "samsung galaxy s4 catches on fire samsung wants silence," Wygand recounts a letter received from Samsung asking him to remove the first video and refrain from uploading similar videos in exchange for a “similar model,” much to his outrage. The video ends in a tirade, Wygand shouting to the camera “This is really sketchy. I was a Samsung fan until I read this letter. Samsung go f*** yourself.”
So, we put it to the IBTimes tech writers: Why would Samsung handle the situation like this?
According to Tech Editor Dave Smith, “This was one of those things where they could have put a Band-Aid on it and it would have been fine. … Not realizing what age they’re in, the age of instantaneousness where you can put everything online, what were they thinking?”
“Consumers sense when companies are not being forthright about it. They didn’t just step up and take care of the problem.They tried to sweep it under the rug. I think that’s what got everyone riled up on the internet,” said Tom Halleck, IBT Tech writer.
Nokia recently stepped up to fill the customer service gap left by Samsung by offering Wygand a free Nokia Lumia 1020. In a tweet to his Twitter account, Nokia USA said “.@ghostlyrich we want to help you out. Let me send you a Nokia Lumia so you can experience how customer service should *really* work. -Jason” It’s not clear yet whether Wygand has accepted the offer from Microsoft or whether he will continue his fight with Samsung. What is clear is that this is a headache that Samsung has created completely by itself.