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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active test - anyone else's handset faulty? And can I edit my review?

(28 Posts)
Queen0fFeckingEverything Mon 10-Feb-14 09:17:14

I was selected as a product tester for this phone last October and it was amazing for the first three months until about Christmas when it started randomly switching itself off and not staying on once restarted. Did some googling and found there was a known battery issue - they were swelling up and causing phones to turn off at random and the battery to instantly drain so they won't turn back on. Checked my battery and it was indeed swollen.

Phone went back to Samsung who put in a new battery from a different batch, and returned it. But within a week it was switching itself off again and I suspect the swollen battery has somehow damaged the phone. About to ring Samsung to see what if anything they can do next.

Anyway I'd quite like to edit my review to reflect this because it turns out this was a known issue before the product test even started (Samsung had put out a press release about the issue offering replacement batteries for free about a month earlier), the phone is unusable atm because it won't stay on reliably and its really rather irritating! But it seems reviews can't be edited - is there a way round this MNHQ?

magentastardust Tue 11-Feb-14 11:39:39

Hi-I had similar problem-was a tester too. My phone started switching off and on -I too googled and read about swollen batteries. I spoke to Samsung customer service as Mumsnets Samsung contact wasn't overly helpful to be honest.(Which did surprise me as surely my review and thoughts still count a couple of months in)
Samsung man said they weren't allowed to send out replacement batteries anymore for free but he also said they were aware of this problem with the Samsung S4 but they had never heard of this issue with the active.
They said if I did choose to buy a battery elsewhere I wouldn't be reimbursed.
I did point out that they take the same batteries but neither he nor a colleague could confirm that they did.
I then asked Anne Mumsnet and Samsung to confirm back to me that it was the same battery before I spent £25 on a new one but they never came back to me.
You could see that the battery was swollen so I ended up taking it to a local shop who could confirm this and it has been running fine since.

I know I should have sent it off to Samsung as one of the other guys I spoke to did say that they need to give it a quick check over as when the battery swells it can damage parts of the phone-however if you sent it away to them they should have checked this.

I didn't send it in to Samsung as they said it would be aprox 10 workings days before the dealt with it and with 3 kids at different childminders, day care etc and my work I couldn't be without my mobile for 2-3 weeks, and my old mobile was useless as I had to cut up the sim card for it to fit in the new phone!

Anyway I too would like to alter my review as the whole point was that we were advised to review it as if we had bought it -If I had spent £500 on the phone then I would have created a lot more of a fuss to be honest about the not great customer service.
I don't feel my 5 star review is now accurate -different if it happened a year or so down the line.
It was disappointing that after 7 weeks of owning my phone it wasn't useable.
Hope you get somewhere as it is pretty frustrating.

Queen0fFeckingEverything Tue 11-Feb-14 14:34:15

Oh, that's very interesting!

I found Samsung CS pretty good to be fair, they immediately agreed to have it back for repair and testing. They said I could take it to a service centre for an on the spot check and free battery but I live miles away from the nearest so I sent it off in a prepaid envelope one Tuesday and had it back on Saturday 4 days later.

Shame it wasn't actually fixed hmm

I am going to report my own thread to see if we can get the reviews edited to reflect the reality!

MoogDroog Tue 11-Feb-14 16:15:56

I also had a swollen battery - I posted about it a couple of weeks ago in the original review thread. Mumsnet Suggested I spoke to samsung customer service and I found them to be pretty good to be fair - I had to send our off but I sent it on a Thursday and it was back by the following Tuesday with a new battery. Apparently they've tested it to check there's no damage, so will wait and see I guess.

magentastardust Wed 12-Feb-14 00:55:15

Ah okay -maybe my CS person was just being cautious about the 10 working day thing. If it happens again I will send it in if it is only a few days.
Interesting that they claimed to have it not being a known fault in the Actives though and that 3 out of 10 /15 (I can't remember!) of us have had the same problem.

Queen0fFeckingEverything Wed 12-Feb-14 07:22:56

They certainly accepted it was a known fault when I rang them.

There were 20 testers iirc.

Queen0fFeckingEverything Wed 12-Feb-14 07:27:19

Oh and the other thing I would like to make public knowledge is that the swollen battery caused the back cover to warp slightly. So now, you can get a fingernail under it at the bottom and I'm fairly certain it would leak water as I don't think the seal has proper contact along the bottom of the back cover any more. Which is annoying!

AliceinWinterWonderland Sun 16-Feb-14 11:10:04

Is this problem specific to the S4? I received a Samsung Galaxy Y from MN during a product test for the Sainsbury mobile network testing, and after a few months I noticed that it was switching off frequently and often kicks me off the network, even though it doesn't SHOW that it's not on the network. I have to switch it off then and switch it back on to fix it. Pretty annoying as there's no warning and I can be out and about all day, not realising it's kicked me off, so my DCs' schools wouldn't be able to reach me and it doesn't tell me there are messages waiting either when that happens.

Just wondering if anyone has experienced these problems as well? I find myself having to send a text to myself here and there during the day just to make sure I'm still connected. (and I'm no longer on the Sainsbury network, so it's not that - I'm on Virgin but never had this problem with any other handset, so suspect it's handset-related)

Queen0fFeckingEverything Sun 16-Feb-14 17:37:55

No idea Alice but have a google for "galaxy y battery problems" and see what it turns up... That's what I did when my S4 Active started playing up and it transpired that it was a known issue even before the product test started, which I think is really shoddy of Samsung!

Alternatively you could just ring Samsung and explain, their CS was very good and the phone was back with me very fast. It does now seem okay again too, after I did a hard reset myself <fingers crossed>

AliceinWinterWonderland Sun 16-Feb-14 17:54:16

ok thanks, will look into it.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Feb-14 11:02:23

Sorry for delay in coming back to you guys: bear with whilst we look into this for you.

And any outstanding issues please do call Samsung CS.

And apologies magentastardust - your battery query should have been answered. Will chase this for you

magentastardust Mon 17-Feb-14 12:04:08

Thanks Ann, its ok now -the guy at my local phone shop place helped and I just bought a replacement battery and I haven't had any more trouble so far.

Queen0fFeckingEverything Mon 17-Feb-14 14:06:39

Thanks Ann - mine is now fixed, and I've registered it with Samsung so if I have further problems I will be able to get it fixed again.

The main thing is that I would like to edit my review to reflect this. I know I got it free and I'm very grateful for it but like others have said if I'd spent £500 on a phone I would've been livid to find that it had a known battery issue at the time of purchase and that said issue had affected one of the main selling points of the phone (the water resistant cover).

Thanks for highlighting this. I really wanted an active, mainly for the water resistant thing! So will be rethinking unless Samsung can convince me this isn't a cause for concern.

Queen0fFeckingEverything Mon 17-Feb-14 16:00:32

Bertie from what I have found out through a bit of searching, there was a batch of batteries made in China with serial numbers starting BD that were affected. Samsung issued press releases last October saying that anyone having battery trouble could get a free replacement - that was about 2 weeks before the product test was announced and IMO they should have recalled the affected ones not just carried on sending them out. I don't know if there's any way to check the serial number of a battery included in a phone before you buy it...? My original (the one that swelled) was made in China and had a BD serial number and my new one is different (made in Lithuania iirc).

I just won't be letting mine anywhere near water ever again - not too big a problem as things go (gift horse/mouth etc, after all its still a fantastic smartphone and I still love it and most phones aren't waterproof anyway) but had I chosen and bought the phone based on the waterproof-ness then that would really annoy me and I'd be taking it a lot further.

magentastardust Mon 17-Feb-14 17:05:34

Ah that's interesting Queen -just checked mine and the one that was swollen did indeed start with a BD serial number. My new one starts LC (still made in china though).

GhostsInSnow Thu 20-Feb-14 21:49:23

Me! (old NN JuiceOrtiz)

About a month ago my battery life suddenly became appallingly bad. As an experiment I tried a friends S4 battery and was a bit surprised mine wouldn't fit in her standard S4.. then I realised my battery was so swollen it was affecting the back of the case. I turned off the phone, kept the battery out.

Popped it into my local Samsung repair place the next day, an hour and a new battery later and all is well in the world again grin

The repair place told me the issue primarily affects Galaxy S4's and mine was the first Active they had seen with the problem as they were reasonably sure all 'BD' affected batteries had been recalled before the Actives went out. Looks like a few slipped through.

Huge thumbs up for Samsung repair though.

emblosion Fri 21-Feb-14 14:16:37

Oh this is interesting. I haven't had problems with the battery, but my charge port (where you plug charger in) is knackered and phone therefore currently useless as it wont charge. I've had to buy a cheap pay as you go handset as I'm going to have to send it off to be fixed.

Ive not got round to ringing Samsung CS yet - will report back with their take on things.

I agree that if I had paid 500 quid for the phone I would be beyond annoyed. The charge port has always been stiff, and I did have problems with it around Christmas that seemed to self-resolve. At one point my son stuck a bit of sequin in there which I blamed initially but thinking back I noticed that straight away & problems predated it. I reckon the connectors must have always been a bit bent. Annoying.

magentastardust Sun 09-Mar-14 22:47:53

Did we ever get an update/answer on this?

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 20-Mar-14 15:23:14

Hello - sorry for the massive delay - Samsung say "in the event you have specific technical issues related to S4 active battery please contact Mumsnet who will escalate this to Samsung" - you can contact us by PM-ing me.

Our contact does have some spare batteries which they can send out to any tester who needs a replacement.

YeahBuddy Thu 20-Mar-14 15:32:45

I had the same problem with the battery, googled and sent for a new one from eBay (cost about £8 I think) rather than faff about with calling Samsung. Haven't had any problems relating to battery life since - fingers crossed! But I am having other issues and would also like to change or add to my review if possible HQ? That stupid flimsy cover on the charger port has fallen off meaning it is no longer waterproof, plus as others have said, I couldn't be sure the swelling battery hasn't affected the back cover in some way.

MellowMarshmallow Wed 26-Mar-14 23:20:19

Me too - fat battery, phone keeps turning off sad

magentastardust Fri 18-Apr-14 22:59:05

Thanks Anne- I did let you know about the faulty battery though and it cost me £23 as Samsung just said to contact customer services!

This one seems okay though -fingers crossed that is it sorted!

Can I ask if everyone else who has the active are still operating on System 4.2.2? Mine hasn't upgraded to 4.3 and I know there is a new 4.4 coming soon.
Samsung say to send it off to them for repair if it isn't updating but just wondered if it was something I was doing wrong or whether everyone else has had automatic updates?

Thanks everyone.

magentastardust Fri 18-Apr-14 23:00:28

Reading through thread probably worth passing on to Samsung that out of 20 testers at least 6 or more? have had faulty batteries.

Moogdroog Tue 22-Apr-14 10:55:46

Magenta - still on 4.2.2 - I think they just take an age to roll or updates for each specific model.

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