Samsung's reputation continues its downward spiral. One of the company's faulty note 7 devices is now the culprit in car fire incident that occurred in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Though the local authorities are still investigating the exact cause of the fire, the word is already out that the smartphone was to blame. Whether true or not, at this point, it is irrelevant. The mere accusation is enough to besmirch Samsung's name further. 

Scared Of Samsung

One needs no more proof of this than to look at a story from earlier in the week when multiple outlets reported that a phone that had exploded in a 6-year-old boy's hand in Brooklyn, New York, was a Note 7.

It turns out, it was a Galaxy Core. Most news outlets have amended their stories, but the initial accusation is already out in the public consciousness. The fact that it was a Samsung phone does not do much to improve the optics of the situation for the company.

At this point, people will believe almost any story regarding a Note 7. Suspicion of Samsung phones has spread to the entire product line. The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge have not experienced the same battery issue as the Note 7 but are similar enough in appearance to cause confusion about which is which. Anecdotal reports from airline passengers claim that all Samsung phones have to be turned off during flights now, even though the Note 7 is the only one under a recall notice. Trepidation among the public is real, and Samsung's failure to appropriately address this entire fiasco is adding fuel to the fire. 

How Samsung Faltered

Reports of exploding Note 7s first started surfacing in August.

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Samsung issued its recall on September 2, citing battery issues, but was unclear about what the precise problem was, and failed to warn users to turn off their devices. This advice did not come until a week later when they finally were able to coordinate with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. By some reports, they did not even alert the CPSC when first issuing the recall. 

Samsung told consumers that they would be able to exchange their devices immediately. Then they changed their tune a week later, saying that the exchanges would be available with approval from the CPSC. This left customers confused as to what was going on. Some have been able to get new phones, but others have not, and the information regarding the exchanges is not consistent.

To top this all off, the software update that Samsung developed to cap battery charging and reduce overheating risk will not be available in the States. The U.S. is one of Samsung's largest markets, and leaving customers scratching their heads with few details about when and how things will get sorted does nothing but erode consumer confidence.

Samsung has had plenty of opportunities to get out in front of this debacle and portray themselves as the hero. Acknowledging the problem and issuing the recall was a good step, but they will have to be clearer in conveying information if they want to pull themselves out of this hole and start repairing their image.