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Samsung orders repair people to grass on their customers

by on24 May 2024

In the contract

In exchange for selling them repair parts, Samsung has been demanding that independent repair shops to give Samsung the name, contact information, phone identifier, and customer complaint details of everyone who gets their phone repaired at these shops.

According to 404, it has also wanted these nominally independent shops to “immediately disassemble” any phones that customers have brought them that have been previously repaired with aftermarket or third-party parts and to “immediately notify” Samsung that the customer has used third-party parts.

 Samsung may terminate this Agreement if these terms are violated."

The contract also requires the “daily” uploading of details of every repair that an independent company does into a Samsung database called G-SPN “at the time of each repair,” which includes the customer’s address, email address, phone number, details about what is wrong with their phone, their phone’s warranty status, details of the customer’s complaint, and the device’s IMEI number, which is a unique device identifier.

404 Media has verified the authenticity of the original contract and has recreated the version embedded at the bottom of this article to protect the source. No provisions have been changed.

The use of aftermarket parts in repair is relatively common. This provision requires independent repair shops to destroy the devices of their own customers, and then to grass them up to Samsung.

Public Knowledge legal director John Bergmayer said that  Samsung might try to defend the provision about ‘Service Parts not purchased from Samsung’ requiring a phone to be destroyed as a measure to fight counterfeits.

“But the language goes beyond that significantly. Would a customer bring their phone in to be repaired only to have it destroyed? People have a right to use third-party parts under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, for one thing, and it's hard to square this contact language with that basic consumer right.”

It also would break aspects of European privacy law because it would mean that a client’s personal information and details about their devices are being shared with the manufacturer without their  disclosure of or consent.

What is worse is that signing this agreement does not even make a repair shop an “authorised” repair centre, which is a distinction that requires shop owners to jump through even more hoops.

Last modified on 24 May 2024
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