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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Columns

Top electronics companies should stop shorting users


With Apple and Samsung collectively dominating the electronics market and with new products rolling out yearly, consumers have begun paying for brand name and not quality.

The premiere of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 did not go as smoothly as planned. Six months after the phone’s release, customers began complaining about their phones bursting into flames. One such incident occurred during a Southwest Airlines flight.

Samsung was quick to recall the Note 7. Shortly after, the company released a press statement addressing the issue of the product’s exploding batteries.

“To date (as of September 1) there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market,” Samsung said in the statement.

While the statement goes on to mention that defective phones will be replaced, why should consumers have to deal with this issue in the first place?

Living with explosives

A product is only as good as the work that goes into it, but exploding batteries don’t say a lot for the quality of the merchandise.  Spending $500 or more on a phone should guarantee a phone good for more than a fireworks display.

As per usual with companies that depend on sweatshops to meet high demand, the trouble didn’t stop there for Samsung.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning citing “safety issues” after receiving several reports about exploding top-loading washing machines from Samsung spanning from March 2011 to April 2016.

According to court filings in a federal class-action lawsuit by customers against the company, a McAllen resident’s washing machine “exploded with such ferocity that it penetrated the interior wall of her garage.”

Imagine throwing in a load and then reclining in your living room. You’re in the middle of patting yourself on the back for a job well done because you can finally see the closet floor. Then the next thing you hear is an explosion.

Who would have thought that something as ordinary as tossing some clothes in the wash would require an underground bunker?

Customers are being urged to use the delicate cycle when washing bedding, water-resistant and bulky items as the spin speed is lower and reduces the risk of the washing machine becoming dislodged.

Perhaps not using it at all would have been a better call for the CPSC to make.

Rotten Apple

Samsung is not the only electronics company coming under fire for marketing not-so quality products.

Apple was recently hit with a class-action lawsuit after customer’s complained about the companies handling of a defect with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

The defect, known as “Touch Disease,” causes tiny soldered balls under the smartphone’s screen to crack during regular use and render their touchscreens useless. Apple’s response was to charge users for a replacement instead of fixing the phones for free.

Ridiculous. Not to mention, extremely unethical.

The retail price for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is between $600 to $700. While millions of people religiously follow their rollouts, the loyalty appears to be one-sided.

What a company does and says are two different matters. With both gargantuan companies competing to monopolize the electronics industry and spread their brand, quality is being sacrificed in the pursuit of quantity and “who can do it first.”

The showrunners at Samsung claim that the company is committed to producing high-quality products, but at this moment their merchandise is better suited for arsenals than anyone’s washroom or pocket.

No one should have to shell out $600 for a phone that comes with a caution of high flammability.

Instead of rushing toward monetary gain, Apple and Samsung should honor their customers by putting the products through every possible test of endurance before releasing them. Don’t use customers as guinea pigs and force them to pay for the product when it doesn’t work.

At face value, waiting is not appealing money-wise, but it’s a heck of a lot better in the long run than getting slammed with lawsuits and investigations.

Do better, Samsung and Apple.

Senior staff columnist Caprice Carter is a communication junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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