Israeli Users File a Lawsuit Against Samsung Over Galaxy S9 Calling Issues
It’s that time of the day again when yet another problem is discovered in Samsung’s latest flagship; the Galaxy S9. This time around, it is an issue with one of the core functionality of a smartphone, i.e. making calls. Users are and rightfully so, of what use is a smartphone if the phone component of it doesn’t work?
According to documents obtained by Piunikaweb, users in Israel have filed a class action lawsuit against Samsung Electronics and its regional importer Suny Cellular Communications Ltd. The lawsuit mentions that the plaintiff purchased two units of the Galaxy S9+ and had been facing calling issues on both of them. The devices have been afflicted with the problem for a while, and multiple updates have done nothing to fix it. The lawsuit states:
The applicant has discovered that during cellular conversations, the user encounters alternating loss of hearing on the other side of the call for a few seconds at a time (usually between 5 and 10 seconds). In other cases, the fault is expressed in a fragmentary sound (which creates a feeling of distorted reception) that does not allow for an audio conversation at all, and requires the severance of the conversation and the creation of a renewed connection.
The problem still persists after multiple updates
When the user raised the issue with the network operator Cellcom, he was told that it was an issue with the device and not the network. The user also reached out to Samsung who acknowledged the problem and said two software updates had been released to address the issue, none of which seem to have done the trick. The user also did some digging of his own and discovered that the cause of the problem could be an incompatibility with Samsung hardware and Israel’s cellular networks.
An initial inquiry into the cause of the plaintiff’s fault shows that apparently the processor embedded in the cellular devices marketed in Israel is not compatible with the communications networks in Israel. The lack of compatibility between the processor and the communications networks in Israel leads to failure during data roaming – that is, disconnections when switching from one cellular antenna to another, when making calls. All this is indeed the problem inherent in the cellular devices, because any software update issued by the defendants will be a “disgrace” for a problem with the severity of the devices and their lack of suitability for the communications networks in Israel.
Additionally, the lawsuit also states that Samsung has rendered the device incapable of recording phone calls using third-party software, something that was not disclosed by the Korean giant to consumers while purchasing.
Furthermore, the Plaintiff discovered that in the new devices, third-party software (such as the popular ACR application) can not be used to record audio calls. It was discovered that the use of recording software enables recording of the side that holds the cellular device only and does not allow recording of the other side. It should be emphasized that the software for recording calls is very popular software, which is used frequently by cellular phones much simpler than the devices we are discussing and other cellular devices marketed by the defendant. The defendant chose to start marketing the new devices without the possibility of recording calls without informing consumers about the omission of this function in the premium devices they purchased.
The petition alleges that Samsung continued selling the defective devices even after being aware of the calling issues. The lawsuit is requesting the court to entitle the members in the suit to return their phones for a full refund along with compensation for each day the devices were in use. The law firm estimates that about 5000 S9/S9+ units have been sold in Israel. On an average, one Galaxy S9/S9+ unit costs NIS 3,450, making it to a total claim of NIS 17,250,000 (4.8 million USD). It’s unlikely that the Samsung will pay the full amount, but it’ll be interesting to see how this ends.