The Consumer Protection Council in Nigeria gives seven days ultimatum to Samsung Electronics West Africa over its defective Samsung Galaxy Note 7
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Oct 3, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT |
THE Consumer Protection Council, CPC, in Nigeria has given a seven-day ultimatum to Samsung Electronics West Africa Limited to provide information on the full status of its compliance with the company’s global directive to recall defective mobile phone following reports of explosion of dozens of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 while charging. The CPC’s ultimatum, which came on the heels of recent global recall of the product following its defective battery, also demanded Samsung Electronics to furnish it with other measures the company may have taken to safeguard the safety and interest of the Nigerian consumers.
The council, in a letter to the company signed by Dupe Atoki, its director general, said the attention of the council has been drawn to media reports indicating that the lithium-ion batteries for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 are prone to catching fire. The council’s letter stated that the said faulty batteries have reportedly caused the phone to explode in 35 separate incidents, sometimes bursting into flames, damaging property and leaking dangerous chemicals.
She expressed concern that some Nigerian consumers may already have purchased the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 for personal or other uses.
Atoki also advised Nigerian consumers who may have purchased the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to, as an interim measure, stop using the phone forthwith. According to her, while awaiting the response of Samsung Electronics West Africa Limited to determine the number of affected consumers in Nigeria, there is an urgent need to avert whatever dangers that may be associated with the use of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in Nigeria.
She noted that in line with international best practices, the company should immediately issue a recall notice giving Nigerian consumers adequate information on the procedure for recall and the appropriate compensation being offered. She urged the company to ensure that affected consumers either get a free replacement from Samsung, or a refund of their money, where necessary.
Atoki explained that Samsung had announced in the United States that consumers with Samsung Galaxy Note 7 can check whether or not their phones are affected and eligible for recall by entering the IMEI or serial number of their phone in a space provided on Samsung website, www.samsung.com/us/note/recall/, saying that Nigerian consumers can avail themselves of that facility.
But Samsung Electronic West Africa has said that the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has not been officially introduced into the Nigerian market. Zain Mamudu, manager, Samsung Customer Service Centre, Abuja, on Tuesday, September 20, said Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was slated to be introduced in the country in October. He said the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was not supplied to the country and even if the phone got into the country, it was probably bought in Dubai or elsewhere because not all the units manufactured had problem.
A statement from the Samsung Electronics West Africa Ltd., which earlier announced the postponement of the launch, said that the devise was isolated due to battery cell problems. “Although the Galaxy Note 7 has not been released in Nigeria, the current Galaxy Note 7 users are kindly advised to visit the nearest Samsung Authorised Service Centre for immediate assistance about replacement programme.
“We acknowledge the inconvenience this may have caused in the market, but this is to ensure that Samsung continues to deliver the highest quality products to Samsung customers. Samsung is completely committed to fixing this problem and ensuring the highest level of safety and satisfaction for its customers,” Samsung said.
CPC is the apex consumer protection agency of the federal government of Nigeria established by the CPC Act Cap 25, LFN 2004 to, among others, educate Nigerian consumers, remove hazardous products from the market, provide redress to consumer complaints and ban the sale of products which do not comply with safety or health regulations.