Samsung Electronics Australia Pty Ltd has provided the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission with a court enforceable undertaking following ACCC concerns that Samsung may have breached the Australian Consumer Law by misrepresenting the energy savings of its Bubble Wash washing machines compared to conventional washing machines.

The ACCC’s concerns relate to the energy savings representations made by Samsung in an in-store demonstration kit featuring a promotional video which was displayed at approximately 90 retail stores between March 2011 to October 2011. A list of these stores is attached.

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.

The machines involved are:

  • Samsung 7.5kg Front Loader model WF0754W7V
  • Samsung 8.5kg Front Loader model WF0854W8E

For consumers who purchased either of these Samsung washing machine models from the stores that displayed the demonstration kit and promotional video during the period from 1 March 2011 to 31 October 2011, Samsung has undertaken to extend the manufacturer’s warranty from 2 years to 5 years.

As part of the undertaking Samsung will write to these consumers, where it is possible to identify them, offering an extension of the manufacturer’s warranty. Samsung will also place on its website a notification advising of the extension of the manufacturer’s warranty.

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

“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,” Mr Sims said.