Interview: We chat with the man behind the exploded Samsung Galaxy S4 video

Over the weekend, a YouTube video concerning Samsung's treatment of a Galaxy S4 customers went viral. Basically, the video from "GhostlyRich" claimed that Samsung tried to silence any mention of a Galaxy S4 exploding while it was being charged earlier this week, in exchange for the company sending over a new phone. "GhostlyRich" was clearly not happy with this kind of customer service.

Neowin got in contact with "GhostlyRich" (real name Richard Wygand) for a quick email interview. We have now found out thanks to this communication that the phone in question was not actually owned by him but by a friend of his named Tariq. Both Richard and Tariq live in British Columbia, Canada. Here is our Q&A with Richard.

Before this incident occurred, what was your opinion of Samsung in general and their Galaxy phones in particular?

I loved them! Put it this way; (My) father and mother both have S3s and both my brothers have Note 2s; the amount of customization is amazing and all the features.

Obviously the phone was defective but why do you think Samsung seemed to be so eager to try to silence this incident just so you could get a new phone from them?

Actually to clear this up, the phone is a good friend of mine's and when the incident went down I was staying the night on the couch when i smelled electrical smoke (i work with car electronics for a living i know when something electrical is in trouble). I hurried to find the cause and found the phone looking like it was having a melt down. My friend tried taking it to Rogers and was told to take it to the Samsung store. We were then sent from the Samsung store to the number located under the phone battery. We called the number and was told to email pictures of the phone so we did. He also included a YouTube link to my first video of proof, we then received the waiver in his email he asked me to read it over and could not believe the terms they wanted him to agree to!! If they would have just asked to remove the YouTube video i would have been fine with that but the other requests were right out of line, and that's how the second video that went viral was born.

What other conversations, emails and messages have you had from Samsung since you posted your YouTube video?

We broke contact with Samsung since the waiver was sent.

Have other smartphone makers gotten in touch with you to perhaps give you some free hardware?

None.

What other unexpected things have happened to you since the video went viral?

I have been viral before with my 3D split screen trick video on YouTube but this one has been completely different! This blew up instantly! The other one took months to get noticed. Also I have been contacted by many articles which I'm not used to and with this one it is being posted everywhere so it's kind of a scary feeling (LoL).

Do you think the poor way Samsung has handled this incident will be a lesson for them and all companies going forward in terms of customer service?

Yes; with the price we pay for our handheld devices and how hard it is to be the top brand you must not only have a good product but great customer service and Samsung really let me down on the customer service end. They could have avoided the the entire youtube video just by doing the swap at the store that day. The waiver i was sent made me sick to my stomach after supporting them for not only phones but TVs and other electronics.

Is it safe to say you won't be spending any more money on a Samsung phone?

You are correct.

Finally is there anything else you wish to say about this incident and how you feel it has all turned out?

I would like to thank everyone that has sent me messages about their customer service complaints. Working with Samsung it has shown me I am not the only that has had this kind of treatment and I would like to thank everyone who shared this. In the end I created this not because the phone was having a meltdown but because of how the situation was handled by Samsung and the waiver. Thanks again everyone and have a safe holiday season.

We would like to thank Richard for answering our questions. We are attempting to reach out to his friend Tariq for more information. We have also attempted to contact Samsung for their side of this story.

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17 Comments

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I don't comprehend why news writers continue to use the word "exploded" when this is clearly not the case and never has been: there was an electrical short in the charging port, probably just a misalignment of the pins (it does happen sometimes) and nothing exploded.

For Pete's sake, writers, stop blowing things out of proportion - PUN INTENDED.

Neowin's article writers seem to be decidedly less interested in interviewing the people that have exploding iPods and iPhones, anything to trash Android huh?

You must read again, again ... and again. This is not about exploding. All manufactures have a few incidents where the phone exploded with the chargers. However, this is the issue where Samsung handled the situation badly. Also, there is no indication that he blamed it on Android. This is just about Samsung.

Javik said,
Neowin's article writers seem to be decidedly less interested in interviewing the people that have exploding iPods and iPhones, anything to trash Android huh?

Still the same deal, given Apple also place gag orders on a lot of people they reach settlements with in such cases.

Can you post an example for that? ... If not, then Samsung is the only one right now doing that way.

Javik said,
Still the same deal, given Apple also place gag orders on a lot of people they reach settlements with in such cases.

This looks like two extremely bored people, who forced the USB in the wrong way, left it like that... and it shorted...

Credibility... 0%

What a waste of an article.. Clearly fishing for bull****.. Bored already, just by looking at the tittle.. Can't believe you wasted your time on this crap..

On a side note, Samsung will continue to dominate the mobile phone sector!

GG

Atari.2600 said,
What a waste of an article.. Clearly fishing for bull****.. Bored already, just by looking at the tittle.. Can't believe you wasted your time on this crap..

On a side note, Samsung will continue to dominate the mobile phone sector!

GG

Proud Samsung Galaxy owner alert.

Atari.2600 said,
What a waste of an article.. Clearly fishing for bull****.. Bored already, just by looking at the tittle.. Can't believe you wasted your time on this crap..

On a side note, Samsung will continue to dominate the mobile phone sector!

GG


for anyone wondering, that's boss like fanboyism right there!

Atari.2600 said,
What a waste of an article.. Clearly fishing for bull****.. Bored already, just by looking at the tittle.. Can't believe you wasted your time on this crap..

On a side note, Samsung will continue to dominate the mobile phone sector!

GG

Well i lol'd. That's for sure.
Ritalin, get some.

Torolol said,
you should've ask: "is the exploding are perfectly re-produce-able?"

They could have asked him how this video was proof that the phone burned down without his fault? There is no proof he didn't do anything to the phone.