Samsung is facing another PR backlash after it was revealed that it tried to force a Galaxy S4 user to remove a YouTube video showing damage the phone suffered after catching fire.
After a Samsung Galaxy S4 owner brought a problem with his smartphone to the attention of the South Korean company, he was told there was no problem giving him a replacement smartphone - but only if he removed a video he had posted on YouTube showing the damage, and refrained from making any more videos or statements about the problem.
The waiver sent by Samsung to Richard Wygand has been posted online and states:
"As a condition of exchanging the phone with a similar model, *** agrees to remove his Youtube video from the following link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dc4duKuPrQ0 or any other link or statement relating to these matters and refrain from making other videos or statements about or relating to the matters set out herein."
This is not the first time that Samsung has faced questions about problems with the Galaxy S4 catching fire, and the signing of a waiver is an apparent attempt to keep the story out of the spotlight.
The move has had the opposite effect however, with Wygand's two Youtube videos about the problem getting almost half a million views, and the story being covered widely in the media.
The waiver was allegedly sent by Samsung after Wygand contacted the company in relation to his damaged phone and goes on to stipulate that Wygand will "maintain the confidentiality of this settlement and will not divulge the terms, details, facts, or related discussions about this settlement to any persons."
IBTimes UK has contacted Samsung for a comment, but at the time of publication there was no response.
In the first YouTube video (see below), Wygand told how he plugged his phone in to charge before going to bed using the cable and plug supplied by Samsung and awoke some hours later to the smell of smoke and burning.
In the video you can see that the microUSB port on the Galaxy S4 was charred and damaged. Wygand also removed the rear cover of the phone to show some internal damage. Unsurprisingly the phone would not turn on following the incident.
In the comments on the video, Wyland said Samsung had been "jerking him around" and he was posting evidence to "prove his claim" and as a "warning to all Samsung S4 owners."
Wyland also makes reference to other reports of similar problems experienced by Galaxy S4 owners.
Back in June a Galaxy S4 owner in Abu Dhabi reported an almost identical problem, with Sarah Shurrub telling Samsung: "I cannot explain to you my extreme frustration, disappointment and extreme fear when I found my brand new Samsung Galaxy S4 burning at the charger connection to the phone."
Shurrub added: The phone was found burning, while charging. It's only thanks to God that I woke up in the middle of the night and controlled the burning before it could cause damage to my home and family."
In July a report from Hong Kong suggested that a Galaxy S4 spontaneously exploded and caused a house to burn down.
The Galaxy S4's predecessor, the Galaxy S3, has also been reported for spontaneous explosions with a teenage girl in July claiming one of the phones had badly burnt her leg when the phone exploded in her pocket. This however was supsequently blamed on a defective third-party charger.