When replacement Galaxy Note 7s began to catch fire, an incriminating text suggested Samsung knew something was amiss but didn’t say anything. Now, a report from The New York Times reveals Samsung resorted to shady tactics in an effort to keep another incident from going public.
According to the NYT, Samsung attempted to bribe one Note 7 owner after he recorded his device going up in flames.
The report claims Samsung acted quickly in an effort to get him a fresh replacement unit. The company also offered the owner, Zhang Sitong, an additional chunk of change in an effort to keep the video from being released to the press. The New York Times reports:
Two employees from Samsung Electronics showed up at [Sitong’s] house later that day, he said, offering a new Note 7 and about $900 in compensation on the condition that he keep the video private. Mr. Zhang angrily refused. Only weeks before, even as Samsung recalled more than two million Note 7s in the United States and elsewhere, the company had reassured him and other Chinese customers that the phone was safe.
Since going on sale in August, the Galaxy Note 7 has been mired in controversy. Following several reports of exploding units, the device is no longer being produced by Samsung—the handset has even been banned from commercial flights in the U.S.
The Chinese market is massive
According to The New York Times, a report from China Central Television (CCTV) on Tuesday criticized Samsung’s methods for testing the Galaxy Note 7 and also accused the company of “fabricated falsehoods” following the recall. China is the single largest mobile market in the world, and to see a video of a smoking Galaxy Note 7 covered by Chinese media is very detrimental to Samsung’s reputation.
Bribing a customer to keep quiet is inexcusable for Samsung, especially when its devices may be dangerous to the public. Just when you think the Galaxy Note 7 debacle can’t get any worse, it does. If you own a Galaxy Note 7, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have exchanged your device by now.