I’m going to do my best to keep my opinions out of this piece as I am currently dealing with an RMA for a Samsung device. If you want to hear me rant about it, you can likely find out more on the next episode of The Chrome Cast. Having said that, Samsung has just found itself on the receiving end of a class-action lawsuit and it has nothing to do with exploding phones or self-combusting washing machines. Instead, one of Samsung’s original convertible Chromebooks is at the center of this lawsuit with Tony McCoy leading the charge all the way to the steps of the US District Court in New Jersey on behalf of himself and the apparently numerous consumers that have suffered the same fate.
The suit alleges that Samsung “concealed a known material defect” relating to the company’s Chromebook Plus 2-in-1 that debuted at CES Las Vegas in 2017. According to the allegations, Samsung knew about the defects and chose to cover them up and refused to repair in-warranty devices citing misuse on the part of the customer. The forty-two(42) page filing points out the numerous complaints on Samsung’s own website in the review section of the Samsung Chromebook Plus. In dozens of similar instances, buyers posted pictures of their respective Chromebook Plus laptops with a broken left hinge, resulting in a shattered display. Below are some of the finer points of the complaint:
Defendant willfully, falsely, and knowingly omitted various material facts regarding the quality, character, and abilities of the Class Devices. Rather than disclose the Defect to Plaintiff and other prospective purchasers of Class Devices, Defendant concealed the Defect.Samsung Complaint via Bleeping Computer
The lawsuit stems from an investigation launched earlier this year by the law firm Migliaccio & Rathod LLP. Many of the consumer complaints unearthed in the investigation show reports of devices that were failing outside of the one-year warranty period of the Samsung Chromebook Plus. The proposes that Samsung, aware of the defect, chose to conceal the issue with the Chromebook and then charge consumers upwards of $350 for out-of-warranty repairs despite prior knowledge of the flawed hinges. Here are the causes from the motion filed last week in the New Jersey US District Court.
Causes of Action from Motion
- Violation of the Magnusson-Moss warranty act
- Breach of the implied warranty of merchantability
- Violation of the Oklahoma deceptive trade practices act
- Violation of the deception prong of the OCPA
- Violation of the unfair prong of the OCPA
- Unjust enrichment
- Fraudulent omission or concealment
While class action lawsuits are a dime a dozen in the tech industry, this marks one of the first big cases for the Chromebook space. Given the small percentage of Chromebook owners toting a Plus around, it is my hope that Samsung will take the “on us” here are repair or compensate consumers for this unfortunate series of events. With an end of life date of Aug. 2023, it’s likely that most consumers have long moved on from the aging Chromebook Plus but you can still find the device listed on Samsung’s website and various retailers that still have inventory. Hopefully, Samsung will chalk this up as a loss and take care of its customers. If you’re bored and want to read the entire filing, you can do so here. If and when the class-action suit moves forward and a settlement is reached, we will update you here on where to find that information. To clarify, it appears that this case only involves the original Samsung Chromebook Plus and not the iterative V2 models.
Source: Bleeping Computer