Imagine being flown out to a foreign country and then abandoned with no way of getting home. Now you have an idea of how Samsung treated two professional bloggers.
Currently underway in Berlin is the IFA electronics show, which births some of the most innovative technologies. So far in 2012, a variety of 4K televisions, a slew of Windows 8 hybrid devices and inspired smartphones have been unveiled at the show.
Samsung played a big role by unveiling the world’s first smartphone running Windows Phone 8 and the next generation Galaxy Note II phablet. It’s understandable then the company wants to share these milestone announcements with the audience of the World Wide Web.
In an effort to do so, they offered to fly down and provide accommodation for blogger Clinton Jeff of Unleash the Phones and another man who chose not to be named as part of their “Mobilers” ambassador program. It is a common practice.
Samsung promised the bloggers they could be impartial when reporting on their products, in spite of them flipping the bill.
But arriving in Berlin, they were instructed it is compulsory to wear Samsung branded uniforms and demonstrate Samsung products to members of the press.
“We then got a call from Samsung India saying, you can either wear the uniform, or get our own hotel and flight tickets home,” Jeff said to Fairfax media.
The pair hoped to cover the entire IFA show, which ends tomorrow on the 5th of September, and tried to get in touch with their contact in India. Their efforts were to no avail as they received another call “saying that our [original] flight tickets are cancelled, and that we’d get a flight on [September 1] to go back, but only if we wear the Samsung t-shirt” to their launch events.
For fear of not getting a flight home, the pair agreed to Samsung’s terms, which included not revealing Samsung’s conduct.
But when The Next Web revealed the story it spread like wildfire across online blogs. Nokia has since stepped in and covered their accommodation throughout the event and flights home.
“How Samsung treated me really hurt me,” said Jeff. “I mean I did not expect that at all. Come on, who does that? All we wanted was to cover their products, and maybe others but this was insane.”
Samsung has emailed Jeff admitting “we put you through undue hardship and we are trying to rectify the situation.” A Samsung representative met with the professional blogger this morning and ‘apologised profusely’ for what the company referred to as a ‘misunderstanding’ in a press release.