Another Samsung Phone Burns – Durban, Kzn

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A customer, Mr F Khan from Durban, came to our store in July with a badly damaged Samsung Galaxy A3. He claimed that he had put his phone on charge in his bedroom, only to return about 30 minutes later to a smoke-filled room. Upon closer inspection he found that the device was in fact burning with lots of smoke and a bad odour emanating from it. He quickly switched the power off & disconnected the cable from the charging adaptor. He then put the phone on the tiled floor by holding the USB cable that was still connected in the charging port.  The battery and rear housing was melted. The LCD Screen was badly burnt on the side where the battery was. The charging cable & USB port however had no signs of being burnt.

When we did a visual assessment of the device we could see that it needed a LCD Screen replacement, battery & rear housing. We still had not tested the motherboard and the USB charging port. Instead of quoting him to repair (we have repaired cellphones in worse conditions before) we advised him to take his device directly to Samsung Smart Care Centre in Queen Nandi Drive, Durban. He was reluctant at first because his device was more than two years old so it was past its warranty period but he eventually heeded our advice and took his phone to Samsung.

At first when they heard that he wanted to book in a cellphone that was older than 24 months as a warranty repair, they declined and said that he will need to pay for the repair. Once the consultant saw the device in its burnt condition, the manager was called to assist.  The manager assured Mr Khan that they will book in the device & give him feedback as soon as possible.

After the device was assessed by Samsung, the handset was immediately replaced under warranty. This was done within 6 days. Big thumbs up to Samsung for honouring their warranty even after the two years had expired and handling this claim with speed and professionalism. Mr Khan even brought his replacement cellphone into our store to thank us for advising him to take his device straight to Samsung and not just quoting him to repair it and make money off him.

We asked Mr Khan what he had to say about this incident & if he will ever purchase another Samsung product in the future. He replied, “Due to Samsung taking responsibility for this by replacing the device, I still have confidence in them & will purchase another device going forward. I am just hoping this A3 2017 model does not end up burning (laughs)”

-Johannes Gutenberg

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This incident comes after the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, where customers complained of their phones catching fire and exploding in their cars & homes. Samsung did take responsibility for the flammable phones, and eventually extended a recall to all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 units worldwide. They replaced the devices but then even those devices were recalled due to them having the very same problem. About 2.5 million units were made which eventually was a total loss.

While there have been a few rogue incidents of other Samsung phones catching fire, none have been recalled like the Note 7. Samsung replaced this customer’s A3 very quickly and very quietly too… One has to wonder if there isn’t something more going on behind the scenes?

  • With the Note 8 being launched on 22 September in South Africa, how many customers will be waiting to get their hands on it?
  • Will some buy it without blinking an eye?
  • Will some rather wait to see if the Note 8 is 100% working & not burning people’s houses & cars?
  • Or will some buy it & carry a fire extinguisher along, just in case? Time will tell…