ACCC bursts Samsung’s Bubble Wash over in-store video claims

By Patrick Avenell

Samsung Electronics Australia has today made court enforceable undertakings to the ACCC regarding how it represents the energy savings of its Bubble Wash washing machines compared to other laundry appliances.

The ACCC’s investigation specifically concerned a promotional video that Samsung furnished its retail partners with to broadcast in their stores. The ACCC said Samsung “may have breached the Australian Consumer Law” with the claims made in this video.

Full list of retailers that displayed Samsung's Bubble Wash video

“The ACCC considers that the comparative energy savings representations made in the demonstration kit and incorporated promotional video were likely to have been misleading as Samsung represented that its Bubble Wash washing machines when using cold water offered significant energy savings over conventional washing machines using cold water, when this was not the case,” said the ACCC in a statement.

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To alleviate any concerns, Samsung has agreed to extend the manufacturer’s warranty on two machines (WF0754W7V and WF0854W8E), both front load washers, from two years to five years. To be eligible for this extension, consumers must have purchased one of those appliances between 1 March 2011 and 31 October 2011.

Samsung has agreed to contact, if possible, affected consumers communicating this extension and the Korean company has also placed a notice on its website.

“Consumers’ purchasing decisions can be significantly influenced by energy savings claims both in terms of perceived environmental benefits and household costs savings,” said ACCC Chairman Rod Sims in a statement.

“It is important for consumers not to be misled by manufacturers’ comparative advertising claims.

“Where a company compares the energy savings that can be obtained from its own product with other competing products on the market, the comparisons made must be accurate, thereby enabling consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.”

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