Samsung's state of denial

Don Sambandaraksa

Samsung's state of denial

September 14, 2012
Samsung has a problem. It started with the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade on its Galaxy Note which has rendered many phones unable to charge up properly.
 
The symptoms are that once upgraded to ICS 4.03 affected Notes will spew out a message saying charging error, voltage too high.
 
One of my journalists friends had his phone updated over the air via a push update in mid August and expressed in no uncertain terms his anger and resentment at the Korean company pushing out a new ROM without properly testing it first.
 
However, last week, Thai daily newspaper Naewna published a story on “many” users experiencing problems with their Note after the ICS upgrade related to battery life and how one user was charged 300 baht ($9.60) for a software downgrade.
 
The story quoted Thailand’s consumer protection agency head talking about how false advertising could be punishable by jail under Thai law.
 
Intrigued, I emailed Samsung PR if they were aware of ICS upgrade problems on the Note and in particular about that journalist’s rather high profile rant on the battery voltage error. It took them almost a week to reply and what I got was not very convincing.
 
Samsung Thailand’s press statement said that one customer had encountered a problem with the battery after upgrading from 2.3 to 4.03. The company blamed a miscommunication for the 300 baht charge to downgrade back to 2.3, which should be free within the one year warranty period.
 
Samsung went on to say that they have not had the opportunity to test that particular phone and asked the customer to return the phone for further investigation.
 
Obviously it was not just a one-off, but just how prevalent was the problem?
 
My family has four Galaxy Notes, three of them Thai units and one UK-sourced one. None of them have encountered problems with the upgrade. I cast my net a bit wider and apart from my Aussie friend on Facebook, I uncovered a friend of a friend who encountered the problem when upgrading from 2.3 to 4.03.
 
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