Galaxy S4 allegedly catches fire, Nokia steps in to help after Samsung flubs support

One of the big selling points in buying a Lumia Windows Phone, besides the unique and excellent design, is the customer support that Nokia offers. Whether they have had issues with firmware, a defective unit or just general feedback, the Finnish company has always treated their customers with respect. That hands-on sincerity has not gone unnoticed by many and it’s something that Samsung could learn a thing or two about.

Recently, an owner of a Galaxy S4 claimed that his phone caught fire during the battery charging process. The video was posted on YouTube and it quickly went viral. To be fair to Samsung, such events are super rare and are always plausible with electronics. There’s no indication that this is widespread event. Rather, it looks to be an isolated case of some defective hardware.

In that sense, this should be an open and closed situation. Samsung reportedly contacted the owner and were willing to replace his S4 with a “like device”. The only catch was they purportedly wanted Richard, the owner of the S4, to remain quiet on the matter. Removal of his video and his silence of the event going forward was evidently requested of him in a letter from Samsung. Recoiling at this request, Richard made a second video opining Samsung’s strong-arm tactics.

Never missing an opportunity to take advantage of Samsung’s failure for customer support, Nokia stepped in with a Tweet to Richard “we want to help you out. Let me send you a Nokia Lumia so you can experience how customer service should *really* work.”

Since then, a small dialog has opened between Nokia and Richard, with the Lumia maker offering a phone on Richard’s carrier, Rogers. That means he’ll most likely be getting a brand new Lumia 1020 for his troubles with Samsung. Not a bad deal and Richard genuinely seems thrilled with the prospect.

It’s not unreasonable that Samsung would request the video be taken down. After all, they have an image to protect and clearly the S4 is okay in terms of safety. However, they have certainly erred in how they are dealing with the unfortunate event, and now the “fix” is worse than the original offense of a defective unit.

Kudos to Nokia for stepping in and trying to win a new convert. It’s a slow battle, but we have to admit that once you become a fan of Nokia, it’s hard to go back.

Nokia teases Samsung on Twitter

This also isn't the first (or last) time Nokia has taken on Samsung. Recently, the company teased the Korean firm about their Smart Gear on Twitter, as seen above. They have also humorously​ welcomed Samsung back to Windows Phone and pitted the Lumia 920 against the S3.

Source: Nokia (Twitter), Richard Wygand (@ghostlyrich, Twitter); via: WP-Hub; Thanks, Tyler V., for the tip

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

136 Comments
  • Lol
  • Nokia and Amazon classically have great customer support.
    Samsung and Apple on the other hand...
  • If dodging your taxes is 'great customer support' then Amazon are the best. As a tax paying customer who uses public services, I personally don't enjoy Amazon's idea of 'great customer support' as I tend to prefer a little more honesty and ethics. Just saying.
  • Honesty and ethics? Taxation is theft.
  •   Sniff,  Sniff,  I smell a troll...  
  • Taxation helped build the first societies (eg. Mesopotamia, Babylon, Indus Valley etc). Even if considered bad, it is definitely a necessary evil.
  • What do taxes have to do with customer support?
  • if you are referring to sales taxes, then it's the customer who dodged the taxes, not Amazon. companies are only required to collect taxes in states where they have nexus. that means the need to have either a physical presence, employee, or warehouses in the state. amazon didn't have nexus in many states. in those states, it was up to the customer to report their online purchases and pay the sales taxes. many customers chose not to do that.
  • Amazon was given sales tax breaks upon its inception; like most online companies years back were struggling to stay solvent. Today these companies (like amazon) are kicking the crap out of mortar and brick stores. The no tax requirement imposed when they (Amazon) were fighting to stay solvent is long past.
  • I don't know about Samsung but Apple has great customer service.
  • One time when my daughter';s iPhone Brick on me when I did an update. I took over to the nearest Apple store and the guy from the genius bar said he can give me another iPhone for $99.00 without asking what's wrong with mine. I told him that I don't need another iPhone, but when I did the update it brick my phone, and that's the only time he took care of my problem. Yes good customer service without asking WTF is wrong first before selling another shit.
     
  • Apple has awesome customer support.
  • Only if you're willing to pay an arm and a leg for it.
  • Apple has an awful customer support. FTFY
  • Indeed. I haven't had to work with Nokia Customer Care yet, both my 900 and 920 are awesome, but on the few occasions I have had to work with Amazon I was simply blown away! I am an Amazon customer more for their customer care than for their price.
  • Now we know you're lying. Apple has excellent support.
  • I agree Apple has excellent service and at the same time we pay more for the cellphone and extended warranty. However on the other hand Nokia provide similar support and do not charge you much for extended warranty.
  • I can't wait to see how Nokia traditions.
  • I can't wait to see how rodneyej festivals.
  • Quick and witty, NIST! Damn you, coke burns the nose!
  • I meant transitions... Bubble neck..
  • Down down droid up up wp
  • Ehh it was galaxy s4 a typical android phone. Droid phones are made by motorola exclusively for Verizon wireless.
  • Droid stands for Android in this context.
  • I know droid is android. But droid have some other benifits that other android users dont have. They even have great battery life when compared to any other android phone. Rahul said droid which does not make sense here. Gs4 is android phone not a droid. Bing it difference btw droid and android.
  • Admit it, your just nitpicking.
  • hahah nice caught aaron ;) off to sleep now cant stretch this conv.
  • Awwe how down to earth nokia is (blush blush )
  • Totally
  • Eh... Samsung. Pitiful. Also pitiful of them to try to offer Richard the same phone. Yeah, like he would want it after his caught fire! Hooray for Nokia! He's so lucky to be getting a Lumia 1020!
  • Awesome
  • He better be careful switching to Nokia. The GS4 is your "life companion" and a nutty jealous b*tch. Next time it catches fire, it's taking him and the house with it. Life companion, death companion -- same thing.
  • I love Nokia support. They are so friendly and down to earth. So glad Im a Nokia user.
  • Agreed, Nokia support tops them all.
  • Very old news.
  • How is "within the last 48 hours" old? It's new to me. That's all that matters ;)
  • This is news to me since I don't really follow android all that much. Some ppl have very little to contribute so they make comments like that...
  • I think he may mean that Samsung devices catching fire is nothing new. I've heard similar things about the S3 and even the SII.
  • Then you're 48 hrs late.  48 hr old news is 'old'. 
  • No, you are from future !!
  • So if my phone catches on fire, I'll get a free 1020? Guess I'll start looking around for some matches... ;D
  • I was just thinking the same thing.
  • No they would not. I had this happen on one of my 920's. Nokia did not help but instead directed me to AT&T who replaced the device at no cost, shockingly with a new device and not a return.
  • Might be because your phone is an AT&T one and it should be replaced with another AT&T phone rather than an unlocked one, which is why they directed you to AT&T.
  • I think you are right on that. I had an issue with an HD7, my dog chewed the back cover, and neither TMo or HTC would help. I offered to pay but they said they don't cover it. My Titan microUSB port burned out and both HTC and TMo both refused to assist. They said it is not covered by warranty?
  • Good. Someone on Reddit had started a thread saying they should do this. Looks like someone is paying attention.
  • If I was Richard I'd take Nokia Lumia deal in a heartbeat. My 822 is the best phone I have ever owned.
  • We gave a few employees 822s - each one is a piece of ****...nothing but problems and each has already been replaced, some more than once. The 928s, however, have been great and will be replacing the 822s as soon as possible.
  • Right now I can't afford the upgrade but plan to get my wife and I a Lumia 1020 soon as tax time hits.
  • Agreed, extremely pleased with my 822, wouldn't mind having a 1020 though.
  • Everyone I know who has a 928 has zero problems, including myself.
  • No problems with my 928 :-)
  • Two 822s here that we have had since release and they have been fantastic. 8 other employees at work with them and no problems there. Either your employees using them are a bunch of nitwits or they are an anamoly. The 822 has not been known for many issues whereas the 928 has been documented with more (AFAIK). One 928 in the family and 5 at work. Half of them experience some intermittent touchscreen issues and screen freezing problems. Replaced and have overall been fine.  Don't get me wrong, I love the 928 better, but calling the 822 a PoS is a bit strong and shortsited IMO.
  • They're not nitwits...the phone sucks. Biggest issue is the speaker stops working, followed by the device turning off and not powering up anymore. What's worse is the replacements are just refurbished handsets which end up with the same problems. Calling the 822 a PoS is not an overstatement.
  • Well...that's what you get from buying a Samsung instead of a Nokia. Though he better hurry up in getting Nokias, they won't be around for longer.
  • Because of the illegal, immoral, evil deal with MS, right?
  • My sides XD
  • This isn't Nokia. This is Nokia *USA*. Here in the third world things are a little different... Carriers don't give a sh*t, manufacturers don't give a sh*t, no one gives a sh*t. If your phone has problems around here and you're under warranty, be prepared to be treated like a stinky dog, wait 30 days and receive your device still with the same problem. Repeat this two more times and voilá! You have a refurbished phone! Otherwise, if your phone is out of warranty, you'll simply be told to spend another hundreds of dollars and aquire a new device. Plain simple.
  • Sorry for you. But Nokia in Europe operates in the exact same way than in the USA. Best customer support.  
  • True, man. Felt the same attitude in Russia several times.
  • I've only had positive experiences with my carrier and Nokia, here in Sweden. Really helpful people.
  • Of course no one gives a sh*t. We have our first-world problems to worry about. Things like "what will my friends of me when <yada, yada>, or that hairstylist cut my hair 1/20 of an inch too short. Or being offended by ... Well, probably less writing to put down what doen't offend us. You get the idea.
  • Can you tell us specifically which country? I've heard bad things about Nokia India.
  • I feel bad for anyone with an ATIV product
  • Go nokia!
  • :P
  • Love it. We see a lot of Samsung charging port issues at our service center.
  • My S3 had that issue.  AT&T replaced it, but I decided that I didn't want to risk that happening again.  I sold it, and bought a L520 as a stopgap phone.
  • not a Samsung fan and I own a 920 but Nokia dumping Samsung like that is pathetic, Samsung also makes Windows Phones so why not encouraging them to make more instead of making fun of their customer support?
  • I don't understand how that is pathetic? Even though Samsung makes windows phones, Nokia still wants people to buy and use their product. It's still competition. Plus, Samsung should have had much better customer support.
  • Its Nokia, not Microsoft. Get your **** together.
  • qudahamohammad   1st point, this is about Nokia and not Microsoft (at least until MS completes Nokia devices sector ful take over). 2nd point, Smasung is the only OEM for Windows phone that made the worst hardware and little to no marketting push for that OS versus what it did for android plus marketing. Samsung is not looking for rwindows phone success of any kind.
  • This is what happens when business "Leaders" are cowed ny their Lawyers.
    Any fool-in-charge (aka CEO) should know that the only way to respond is acknowledge the problem, remind the Customer its a rare occurrence, and then give him a new phone of his/her choice, plus a Gift card for their time and inconvenience. The result would be a loyal customer for life and a second YouTube video about what great customer service they provided.
    I hope there are a couple of job vacancies at Samsung over this one.
  • I have had the worst customer service experience of my life when dealing with Samsung; despite many of their devices being of excellent quality, you certainly pay for it, and with that kind of price tag you expect a customer service experience which is more concerned with end user satisfaction than any other motive. I purchased a midrange Samsung ultrabook; simply put, it would not resume from hibernation without crashing the WLAN adapter and requiring a reboot to restore BT and WiFi capability.  Working in IT, I made sure to sufficiently troubleshoot and document the issue, ensuring I could provide easy to follow steps for replicating the problem. After spending about 20 hours of my own time researching and trying to address the problem on my own, I engaged Samsung's support team.  After a lengthy back and forth, they finally agreed to allow me to send the laptop in for service.  What I got back was the exact same laptop with a clean OS install -- something I had tried amidst my own troubleshooting.  Frustrated, I contacted them back to explain what had happened, and they told me their service notes indicated the issue was resolved.  I had to pry to get someone to acknowledge that I wasn't a crazy person, and maybe -- just maybe -- their repair center had failed to address my issue. The ultrabook went back into the mail for a second time, and I eagerly awaited the return of a non-defective unit, because after giving a customer a run around for this long, I mean... how could you not follow up on the repair and ensure it gets resolved the second go around?  Optimism was met with disappointment, when I opened the box and found my ultrabook untouched, with a note saying "no issue found". Furious, at this point I was going to be satisfied getting a new unit, for which I had offered to pay the price difference on.  This process took me a month and a half, as Samsung's support has an ever elusive "second tier" support group, whom has no direct phone number.  First tier support must have explicit instructions to not transfer users to this group, as I had to wait for a call back for several days.  Once on the phone with them, I was told, "too bad".  I asked for a supervisor, whom also did not have a direct dial and also required several days to get a call back from.  He also told me, "too bad". By sheer luck, I called into first tier support and started over.  Got someone on the phone who processed my replacement-upgrade after I explained the situation.  Total time to get my laptop replaced: 3 months. Needless to say, once I got a working device, I sold it and bought a Lenovo, who has given me nothing but good service experiences the three times I have contacted them: 1) driver issue (resolved over the phone in 10 minutes) 2) device return because an upgrade component was not made available in the time I was told it would be (I paid shipping, nothing else, and refunded in full within the week) 3) motherboard issue as the result of a bad flash process (mainboard replaced at no expense to me, then back in my posession within 3 days of them receiving it). In a world where gadgets simply aren't made to last, service is nearly as important as the product itself.  No one wants to be on an island when their 700, 800, 1000 dollar product takes a dump. tl;dr - Samsung service blows
  • Hah, cheap trick. I used to bring my Lumia 800 to service four times with same problems: clock running faster several minutes a week and faulty accelerometer. They have been doing lots of things according to reports but never cured it. I even recorded a video because they insistedeverything is ok. I could have brought it there fifth time (according to local laws them would have given me a new phone) but warranty period went over. Couple of months after that is suddenly bricked and the story of Famous Nokia Service was over. Obviously I should've bought faulty galaxy to experience the benefits of Nokia service.
  • But still I bought Nokia, 920 this time, got the quite famous raspy vibrator fault, when got in touch with Nokia they said it's not a warranty case. I love Nokia but I'm really f**ked up and no longer care. I just decided that nokias phones and service are usual but I still choose them.
  • Nokia has a good sense of humor. I like them. :)
  • The shameful Samsung practices is exactly why I've ditched my s3 and came back to Nokia (I also wanted windows phone cause I was sick of google and android). Samsung lost me and a few of my family members when it was proved that they paid for people to bash other brands online. They also tried to force bloggers to give stellar reviews for their products, faked bench results by altering software, etc, etc, etc. NEVER AGAIN. The only Samsung gadget I now own is a tv in my bedroom and it was a gift.
  • Boy how fun it is to forget what your favorite company does when they are seeking publicity and you are madly in love. Cough, Nokia phones catch fire and customers are left without support!!! http://efytimes.com/e1/fullnews.asp?edid=117193
  • That "article" was written 1 day after the failure of this guy's phone. So to claim no support was given seems premature.
  • Article must be anti-Nokia, because I am one of those "every" Nokia users, and my phone gets mildly warm at worst/best.
  • Well this occurred on my 920 as well so as much as I love Nokia lets not pretend this is a Samsung only issue. And Nokia did not help, ATT however did.
  • I like the ending. 
  • Well, I must say that the Nokia Care here in Brazil is just top notch! Be it over twitter, phone call, or even via chat (at their website) the treatment and support are always the best there is. And I love Nokia for that.
  • lets just hope nokia continues to be nokia even after gonig to MS, well at least the hardware and devices division. 
  • well thank you Nokia for treating a Samsung customer better than your own! I twitted you to ask to match the miscorosft deal on a Lumia 1020 I purchased at AT&T just 3 days earlier and you wouln't do anything for me.
  • Really? This is your problem with Nokia? You should be asking AT&T to price match it (if anything). Not sure any manufacturer is going to do that for you. I bought a game on Steam during their sale over BF for $7.50 and it went down to $5 the next day. Steam or the developer won't give me the $5 price. Sure some (not many) companies have a price guarantee within a certain time but that is usually on their own pricing, but you are complaining about a manufacturer that isn't actually selling you the product. Sorry, no sympathy here. #firstworldproblems
  • Did I say it was a problem? I still have my 1020 and bought 2 more for the rest of my household.  Besides, what are they doing here? They are obviouly trying to make brand goodwill, so why do it on their own. If they were willing to save Samsung customers, why not AT&T. It's you who has a problem, really first world problem, trying to butt in on other people's business. besides, my comment is not for you. am I not allowed to say something? eat your steam, I am not asking for your sympathy 
  • "I twitted you to ask to match the miscorosft deal on a Lumia 1020 I purchased at AT&T just 3 days earlier and you wouln't do anything for me." Okay, I may have come across a little harsh, I have just been hearing too much recently with all of the sales. But if that doesn't sound like a first world problem where there is a mentality of entitlement I don't know what is. And sorry, but it isn't butting into your business if you decide to post it on a message board. At that point you made it for EVERYONE and I am merely pointing out how childish/naive this statement is. They are doing it for media attention, nothing more, and it is a smart move. They most likely aren't cutting into a potential sale from their many customers (i.e. Amazon, VZW, AT&T... not end users) so no potential for backlash from them. Nokia does not sell phones direct to customers so why would they price match one of their distributors? They aren't going to undercut their distribution system, that would be big problems. You could have gone to AT&T and asked them to price match the MSFT deal. If they would not, then return them and pick them up from MSFT. That is how it should work. Nokia shouldn't be handing out refunds for discounts their distributors make.
  • In Switzerland, Nokia support is non existent...
  • I'm sorry, but I just cannot trust Nokia support after closing its support for Symbian and Meego users. Nokia is closing the app stores for Symbian and Meego one month from now. And Nokia promised support for Symbian until 2016. Considering that an Iphone 4 available at the same time as my N8 received continued support and the recent IOS 7, yes, Nokia support sucks.
  • I just got my Samsung Galaxy Player back from repair after a month of Samsung having the device in their hand. They didn't even read the paperwork specifying the problem and wasted their time replacing a part that didn't even need to be replaced. Guess what? My problem is still there. It needed a freaking new digitizer, not a new motherboard.
  • To be honest, I would take a Samsung Ativ-S over any Nokia, until MS revises the hardware and gets the quality right. I mean, random quality, constant freezes are the reason that Nokia is of my radar... I sincerely hope, that next year I can buy a MS device with the level of quality in operation as my HTC One or One max.
  • "once you become a fan of Nokia, it’s hard to go back."   This is SO TRUE.
  • I'll take my ATIV S to any NOKIA device any day. Thank You! With the many Sammy's I've owned, only one has given me an issue.
  • I posted this on reddit last night. Wow, alot of Windows Phone haters, haha and alot of people thought I even worked for Microsoft. Over 9000 upvotes and 7000 downvotes. One of my friends on Facebook, owns the wb-hub website, and he found this information, and then I posted it to reddit. I had fun last night. :)
  • Reddit is funny like that. A huge circle jerk.
  • Next phone is gonna be a bloody Samsung.. So I can get a Lumia for free.
  • I will buy a used POS Samsung instead, just to get a free Lumia.
  • I want those shoes. That way I can strut down the street to "Staying Alive" like the bad ass that I am.
  • In Croatia (part of EU) Nokia customer service is horrible, they never give you a new phone... If it has fault, they repair it...and usualy they don't repair it as it should be...
  • Hahaha I just love Nokia. They're right, ill never go back.
  • Nokia has always been this great! Too bad the OS is not helping them at the moment. Still waiting for that day...
  • I think exaclty the same, Nokia has great CS and hardware but the OS.... that is why I always end going back to Android after a month (something less) of using a Nokia (WP8) device.  I already had (900,920,1020 and 1520)  Great devices, not so great OS (apps availabitily)  
  • Haha now its at 13000 upvotes 11000 downvotes....
  • I liked Samsung until my friend got a problem with his Samsung Galaxy S4 last week and I had to help him out dealing with it.  1. Samsung knows about the battery issues. 2. They have only ONE place where they fix they phones (not replace) and it's in TX. We are from NYC - and the is NO places around here to fix Samsung phone without voiding warranty.  3. My friends phone had the same issue - he charged his phone and it died to the point that it won't turn on, black, nothing is happening. We called Samsung - first reaction - they are trying to blame us, like we did something wrong, like we don't know how to stick 1 wire and charge the phone. Pfff. 4. Fixing process would take about 10 days, what are they expecting people to sit around without a phone for 10 days? Nicely don'e guys!  After all that - boohoo to Samsung. And btw I'm loving my Lumias - and prev 920 and current 1020 with a camera grip!!! 2 days ago ordered Dell Venue 8 Pro! Windows rulz
  • Since the battery on the S4 is replaceable, couldn't you just buy another battery from Amazon or some place? It only costs around $10 (without shipping and taxes).
  • I feel like Nokia would've pulled the same stunt had it been a Lumia device that caught fire, but a nice gesture nonetheless. I hope this guy enjoys his free Lumia 1020, he lucky duck.
  •  "we have to admit that once you become a fan of Nokia, it’s hard to go back." Once you go Lumia Black...
     
  • I'm a 'Fan' of Nokia, I just don't like the lack of apps in WP8., I would buy a Nokia 1520 with Android in a heartbeat.
  • That sounds totally awesome except for having to use Android. Ooh, shitty apps AND I get to have a go at turning Google's adware money pump. Where the crap do I sign up?! :D seriously, have you ever had to actually use Android? It's trash.
  • "one of the big selling points in buying a Lumia Windows Phone, besides the unique and excellent design, is the customer support that Nokia offers."
    Nice one. I'm still laughing! My out of the box 920 had camera problem from the factory. I sent it to Nokia care in Greece and guess what? Not only they didn't replace it but they left me without phone for 36 days to fix it!!! And that after countless complains about the delays. If this is support then you haven't see anything.
  • He will regret to not take the S4,  changing from a S4 to a 1020 is a downgrade,  no more IR Blaster so he will not be able to use the phone as a TV Remote, lower screen resolution, and as usual the lack of apps that he was probably using and he will not find in WP8.
  • Have you tried a Windows Phone? Best phone type I've ever owned. Android is broken from carrier crapware installed on it. Rooting should never be required to have a decent phone.
  • Actually I did, I had a Nokia 900 then the 920, 1020 and the 1520, all great phones (hardware and specs) but Windows Phone is just to much limited for my taste and the lack of official apps that are fully feautred like in iOS or Android just takes me away from it.  Every couple of months I give it a try to see if something has changed, but I always get back to Android, and whats the point of having an Android device if is not to get it root, that's half the fun of it, just