It’s an indisputable fact that Samsung’s defective, explosive Note 7 smartphone has caused damage to property, and Samsung had originally been extremely apologetic and generous in its promise that it would take care of things. Now, however, it seems the company doesn’t want to pay up on some of the most expensive and serious claims.
A trio of Samsung Note 7 owners whose phones destroyed their personal property—including the bedrooms of two Note 7 users, and the garage, motorcycle, and ATV of a third—say that Samsung has left them high and dry. In each of these cases, the company has apparently either completely cut off communication or has been dragging its feet and offering low-ball reimbursement figures.
Wesley Hartzog, a firefighter in South Carolina whose garage was destroyed, told the Guardian that Samsung has been horribly unprofessional in its dealings with him. In the month since the fire, Samsung representatives have referred him to different arms of the company—at one point telling him that Samsung’s insurance branch, Samsung Fire & Marine, would move him and his family into a hotel and pay for their meals while the investigation and repair were completed, only to allegedly go back on that promise entirely.
Another victim, Shawn Minter of Richmond, Virginia, echoed similar treatment. He also mentioned something that seems to be a theme in the post-Note-7 investigations: Samsung’s first priority has been to retrieve the phones themselves and work out the damages at a later date. The company went so far as to cut off communication with one victim after they handed the phone over to the Consumer Product Safety Commission instead of giving it back to the company.
It’s an all-around crappy situation for those who bought a Samsung Note 7 and are now left with damaged homes, garages, and vehicles. Investigating each claim to ensure validity is certainly within Samsung’s rights. But to drag its feet when the investigations have already revealed that the phones were indeed at fault isn’t just bad business; it’s cruel.