People across the globe are returning their Galaxy Note 7 mobiles to Samsung in exchange for apology rewards, to try to put out the fire on their reputation. But which country is getting the best deal? We took a look worldwide and ranked the company’s responses from best to worst.
This Galaxy Note 7 firestorm (sorry), cost the company $2.3 billion in profit in Q3 2016, and they’re really hoping it doesn’t cost them anymore… Well, you’d think they are, until you saw how specific national arms of the business apologised to its customers.
New Zealand definitely got the best deal from Samsung – receiving $100 (around £56) credit or a voucher to stop cracking jokes about the Note 7’s explosive tendencies, along with swapping their device for a S7 or S7 Edge. This is amazing customer service. I wish I could say the same for everybody else…
Head over to France, and they’re apologising with a free 128gb microSD card. Good way to keep people from buying an iPhone I guess… Beyond this, 1,000 of the affected customers will win a trip to Samsung’s own VR theme park. In all of my years working in PR, I would frown upon turning a huge issue of this magnitude into a PR opportunity – but kudos to their bravery.
Cross the Atlantic and you’ll see America’s lame excuse for an apology, as Samsung’s regional boss apologised in a full-page apology ad letter, in various national papers. When people were rightfully annoyed about the lack of-action, it forced Samsung America President & COO Tim Baxter, to plead for forgiveness on YouTube. Still no freebies though, so sorry about that USA.
But the majority of us in Europe got bugger all – no freebies and just an open letter posted to Samsung’s website… Mostly ripped off from the letter that Americans received…
Finally, and most oddly brilliant, was China’s apology. There were no freebies or apology rewards, but 23 company executives took to a stage and literally grovelled on their knees for forgiveness. No, I am not joking.
Not only was this observed by the planet as a bit desperate, but it created a whole new level of contempt for the company in China – given the cultural significance of bowing in the nation.
Quoting from English-language state media outlet China Daily:
A Chinese will kneel down before a god to beg for a blessing or express his or her gratitude to the god for a wish that has been fulfilled. They may kneel before their parents on special occasions such as their parents’ birthday or Spring Festival to show their gratitude for their efforts to bring them up.
They will also go on their knees when they are desperate, if someone is pointing a gun at them, for example, and they are begging for mercy for their loved ones, or a person might kneel and beg for a bowl of rice if they are starving.
This act set the whole of Weibo on fire with people posting their angry goodbyes to Samsung. “They claim to be a global company, but the management doesn’t know about the importance cultural differences?” one user wrote.
Turn your attention to Zhihu (kind of like China’s equivalent to Quora), and the response gets even more angry. “South Korea is a country whose president is controlled by a cult and “eight fairies.” If the culture and mindset of its largest biggest economic pillar aren’t normal, do you think this country can continue on this course?” a commenter responded.
In a statement from Samsung following the event, they tried to distance themselves saying “PR had no knowledge of it beforehand.” But in situations like that, where every single move is closely monitored by a team, they had to have known.
Apology accepted Samsung. We look forward to your next steps – I suggested a few outlandish ideas.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.