Samsung South Africa has dramatically (and quietly) reduced the benefits included in its accidental damage from handling (ADH) warranty that it bundles with the Galaxy Note 4.
No longer offering two free repairs for screen or liquid damage (or one of each), Samsung now gives Galaxy Note 4 owners a single free repair for the screen. Liquid damage is no longer covered by the warranty.
There is also no mention of guaranteed future buyback for the Note 4 as enjoyed by Galaxy S5 and Note 3 owners.
We contacted Samsung South Africa for comment regarding the change, but the company did not answer questions on why it implemented the change or how it affects the warranties of older devices.
No communication about new ADH warranty
Employees at local Samsung Experience Stores did not know anything about the Note 4 not getting the same “ADH Premium” warranty as its predecessor by Monday, 20 October 2014.
This is troubling, as it suggests that this major change to the value proposition of the new Galaxy Note was not properly communicated to those who bought the device when it launched on Friday, 17 October.
However, the aforementioned Samsung store told us to call back on Tuesday, at which point they could confirm that the ADH warranties of the Galaxy S4, S5, and Note 3 would remain unchanged.
ADH Premium vs ADH for Note 4
Under the old ADH warranties, owners of top-end Samsung devices got either two free screen damage repairs, two free liquid damage repairs, or one of each. If you had a double-whammy (cracked screen and dropped in water) it ate up both repairs.
The “ADH Premium” warranty which Samsung introduced for the Galaxy Note 3, and was included with the Galaxy S5, added a number of additional features, each with its own marketing name:
“Smart swap” granted owners a loan unit while their damaged device was being repaired. This feature is retained in the new Note 4 ADH warranty.
“Smart Pick-up” offered free collection of a damaged device and 24-hour delivery of a replacement in all major centres in South Africa. The Note 4’s ADH warranty also seems to have a version of this benefit, though there is no mention of the 24-hour timeframe.
“Smart Value” was a guaranteed future buyback (GFB) feature that was valid within the first 12 months of ownership. It also allowed unused repairs to roll over to the next Samsung device which you purchased and was covered by ADH Premium.
There is no longer any mention of “Smart Value” in the Galaxy Note 4 ADH warranty, which means that if you bought a Note 3 last year and make use of GFB to trade it in, it does not seem as though your unused repairs will carry over.