UPDATE: ‘We could have died’


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A family in Leeds, who were seeking compensation after a Samsung mobile charger began burning through the phone case during the night, say they are ‘upset’ at the lack of communication they are receiving.

30-year-old Roundhay resident, Sanjay Thukral, spoke last week to the Asian Express about the time he awoke to the smell of burning electrics coming from his phone.

At the time, Mr Thukral was working a morning shift and so had his alarm set for 4.30am. As it went off, he said he instantly smelt the burning scent and upon inspection of his Samsung S4, he noticed the charger had begun to melt in the phone.

DISAPPOINTED: Babita Thukral holds the burnt phone case, which the family believes could have burnt the house down, in one hand and the £35 offered in compensation in the other

DISAPPOINTED: Babita Thukral holds the burnt phone case, which the family believes could have burnt the house down, in one hand and the £35 offered in compensation in the other

An official statement from Samsung, in regards to Mr Thukral’s case, said: “Samsung has investigated this situation and worked with Mr Thukral to come to a resolution.

“We can confirm that the unit in question has been repaired and sent back to Mr Thukral and a subsequent offer has been made to refund him for the damaged flip case.”

Yet, after being offered £34.99 in compensation, Mr Thukral, who lives with eight members from four generations of the same family, aged between one and 71, says it is not enough for the mental strain he has been forced to endure.

He said: “I was disgusted to be honest. What I went through meant nothing to them because they are such a big company and at the end of the day we are just another number to them.

“I have looked for legal advice but because nothing actually physically hurt me no solicitor has wanted to get involved and because Samsung is so big it just seems too much to ask.

“There may not have been any physical damage but mentally, the amount of stress we are still going through today, because of their faulty products, is not fair.”

Mr Thukral added that he had issued the communication company with a copy of a doctor’s note as requested but was still turned away.

“They asked me for an official note from my doctor which I sent over,” he explains. “However, after that they told me I didn’t have a case for compensation.

“Now I just don’t know where I am at the moment. It is just a waiting game with them.”

Ian Bitcon, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Area Manager for Fire Safety, said: “We were not called to a fire in this particular instance so cannot comment on this case specifically. However, there are general safety tips we can give in relation to chargers.

“We would always reinforce the importance of using a charger that is supplied with an item, never using one which may be counterfeit and always ensuring that they are switched off at night.”

A house fire, which killed five members from three generations of one family in Sheffield earlier this month, is reportedly believed to have been started due to a faulty phone charger.

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