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Samsung attempts to silence YouTube complaint of Galaxy S4 fire, fails

updated 07:33 pm EST, Mon December 9, 2013

Settlement offer includes comprehensive gag order preventing follow-up

Following a fire that severely damaged a YouTube user's Samsung Galaxy S4, the user -- known as "Ghostlyrich" -- posted a video complaining about the defect and potential danger. The Korean manufacturer, in a reply, demanded proof that the device was damaged in the manner that the user reported, prior to any replacement or repair offer being made. "Ghostlyrich" uploaded a second video in response showing the damage, with a melted case and visibly damaged internal hardware. In a settlement offer mailed to the user, Samsung demanded the video be removed before it would send out a replacement, with other extreme terms for settling the case.

Ghostlyrich claimed that he plugged in the phone prior to retiring for the night, and woke up to a charred plastic smell. He allegedly used an official Samsung charger and cable, and showed both on the original video.

"Ghostlyrich" said that he had no problem with removing the original video, but refused to agree to the remainder of Samsung's terms, which included never discussing the incident with anyone. He then posted another video discussing the situation so far. The original video garnered 120,000 views. The "retaliation" video has been viewed 475,000 times after some technology press coverage.

"Ghostlyrich" contrasted a positive service response with a previous service problem he had with an Apple iPhone, Microsoft's reasonable response to a "red ring of death" Xbox, and then Samsung's legal response to the burned phone. He noted that Samsung demand that he "take responsibility" for the phone catching fire, and further demanded that he not discuss the settlement in any way, with any person, including further videos. "Ghostlyrich" has obviously violated the proposed terms of the settlement, with no further response from Samsung at this time.

Original video

Below is the response video to Samsung's legal response. The video contains foul language.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    You'd think technology companies would learn--some microscopic percentage of devices are going to fail catastrophically, that's a give. How you react to it when it does, however, is going to make a big difference about how many people pay attention to it and how you come across.

    Samsung, clearly, does not understand the power of negative viral marketing.

  1. mark_b

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-04-13



  1. ElectroTech

    Junior Member

    Joined: 11-26-08

    You had an iPhone and got a Samsung copy of an iPhone and found it to lack quality? Really? What were you thinking?

  1. jfgilbert

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-19-10

    Obviously, you don't understand how Samsung works. In Korea, the user would have immediately apologized and published a revised account of his story completely exonerating the product. In return for his retraction, his work camp sentence would have been reduced by several years. It is very confusing for the company when people start behaving in such a disrespectful manner. Then, to make things worse, most foreign governments, do not obey the orders that come from Samsung headquarters. How can you run a business in these conditions?

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    jfgilbert: with respect, you appear to be confusing the two Koreas. South Korea is a presidential republic, and the home of Samsung. The behaviour you describe would be more descriptive of North Korea. Samsung has no presence in North Korea.

  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-05-06

    chas_m: while you are correct about North/South Korea, it's also true that the CEO of Samsung has been convicted (twice, I believe) of bribing goverrnment officials in south Korea, then given a full pardon by the South Korean government, Whatever Samsung wants, Samsung gets in that country. It would be interesting to see what would actually happen if there were such a complaint there.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Customer Service is almost non-existing in Asia. Never mind complaining about anything.

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