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COMMENT: Samsung Stunt, More About Choice Publicity Than Credibility

COMMENT: Samsung Stunt, More About Choice Publicity Than Credibility

An out and out commercial organisation who sell subscriptions to their publications Choice loves nothing more than a cheap publicity stunts to drive traffic to their web sites and publications, their staff are nothing more than TV junkies who love rabbiting on as if they alone are the saviours of the consumer electronics and appliance industries in Australia.

Take their latest stunt, where they crushed two of Samsung’s faulty top loader washing machines in a car crusher in Sydney today and called for Australians to crowd fund a television commercial to expose the company simply because a fault was found in their washing machines that caused some models to burst into flames. 

Samsung is an honest Company that has a white hot commitment to consumer safety, they produce some of the best technology products in the world and are a world leader in the development and manufacture of appliances, smartphones and TV’s.

When they sold their problematic top load washing machines in Australia they did not intentionally sell a dud product, nor did they know that the product would burst into flames when electrical parts came into contact with moisture. 

As soon as they realised there was a problem Samsung like any other responsible manufacture took action to fix the problem.

The biggest problem Samsung faced was not fixing the problem, it was getting to know who had actually purchased their washing machines because very few people actually fill in a warranty form.

Samsung worked hand in hand with Fair Trading organisations across Australia to initiate a recall, they got wall to wall publicity on TV radio, online and across multiple media organisations for the problem.

Fair Trading issued recall notice after recall notice between 2013 and 2015 yet despite this only 51% of over 53,000 people in NSW stuck their hand up to say that they own one of the affected washing machines.

The Minister responsible for Fair Trading, Victor Dominello, said if only 18 of tens of thousands of repaired machines had problems, he would give Samsung a “benefit of the doubt”

After extensive evaluation by Samsung engineers who also involved the department of Fair Trading Samsung came up with a logical way to fix the problem.

It involved the use of plastic wrapping to further protect the exposed electrical components from moisture build up. 

Fair Trading Assistant Commissioner John Tansey said the approved fix was adequate because the problem was related to moisture build up inside the machine. He said the replacement of a component would make no difference.
Choice knew this before their cheap publicity stunt.
Head of Media at Choice Tom Godfrey who really should be called Chief Wanker, seems to be more interested in publicity for himself and Choice than offering up a sensible solution such as lobbying the Federal and State Governments to initiate a mandatory warranty information program for all products that are plugged into a wall socket and could catch fire.

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Chief publicity stunt man at Choice Tom Godfrey.

The scheme could be administrated by retailers with sales staff simply logging onto a Government Fair Trading database to register a product serial number and the name of the owner or household.

The data could be held by various State Governments and not retailers or manufacturers.

This would allow for the instant identification of faulty product owners.

Choice is now calling for consumers to crowdfund a television commercial that they claim Samsung would not want to see. 

This is total come on by people who thrive on cheap publicity and ego driven opportunities to get their face in the media.

The problem that Samsung is facing is an industry problem that needs to be addressed. 

In a statement issued today Godfrey said “Major retailers can often access this sort of information through warranty registrations, or even loyalty programs. Another option, with potential privacy implications would be to access customers’ details through credit and debit card sales records,” he said.
If Godfrey and the so called team at Choice knew anything about retail they would discover that very few retailers collect customer data.

When was the last time that you bought a product and got asked to supply your name and address or fill in a warranty card?

Unfortunately retailers in Australia are not interested in collecting data because it is another layer of administration, another cost item and above all in busy periods it slows down serving customers at the till. 

The bottom line is that Samsung is a reputable Company who do care about customer service. I in my time have bagged Samsung out when they deserve to be criticised, but on this issue Samsung and the NSW Department of Fair Trading has done everything they can to get attention to the problems associated with their washing machines.  

Running a TV advertisement to alert people to the problem is a massive waste of money as more people take notice of free to air TV station news services, ABC radio and SBS than they do TV commercials and nearly every major media organisation in Australia has ran this recall story in their main news and on front pages and that is worth a lot more than a series of recall advertisments. 

Choice knows this, but there is nothing like creating drama and social media to drum up self-interest and Choice is getting very good at this as it drives people to their web sites and subscription publications. 

The recall affects six models of Samsung top-loaders sold between 2010 and 2013. The affected machines are models SW75V9WIP; SW65V9WIP; SW70SPWIP; SW80SPWIP; WA85GWGIP; WA85GWWIP.