UPDATE 9/21/2016: More than 500,000 Galaxy Note 7 replacements have been shipped to the United States from Samsung. The new phablets are available for exchange at retail and mobile carrier stores as of Wednesday.
UPDATE 9/6/2016: Samsung has posted an official announcement laying out Exchange Program Details for the Galaxy Note 7 on their website.
UPDATE 9/5/2016: Gear VR owners are being warned by Oculus not to use their headsets with the Galaxy Note 7 until a replacement phablet is obtained.
Now that the worldwide recall of the Galaxy Note 7 is official, new owners who waited so patiently to get their new phablet are probably wondering what to do next. According to an official statement by Samsung on Friday, owners may swap their phablets for new ones as early as next week.
If you are looking for an immediate exchange, Samsung is offering up a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge, with replacement of any Note accessories and a refund of the price difference. Samsung also said they will be offering a $25 gift card or bill credit from “select carriers” when swapping for a new device through the replacement program.
Carriers are waiving restocking and shipping fee’s, allowing owners to keep the Gear Fit or 256GB microSd card they received as part of a purchase promotion. Owners should contact the retailer where they purchased the device, or call 1-800-SAMSUNG for more information.
What are the mobile carriers saying?
T-Mobile says they have been working closely with Samsung to finalize detail for their Note 7 exchange program. At the moment, customers have two options: return the Note 7 for a full and complete refund of anything paid for the device, including accessories. Owners may also keep their free Netflix subscription and Gear Fit or SD card they received with purchase.
Customers have the option to use their refund to choose any device in T-Moble’s stores. Magenta says as soon as they have inventory from Samsung, customers can exchange their current Galaxy Note7 for a new Galaxy Note7, and they will be notifying customers as inventory becomes available.
Verizon put out a tweet Friday morning saying they have stopped selling the Note 7 and noted that they are waiving their restocking fee on returns or exchanges through September 30.
We have stopped selling the Samsung Galaxy Note7. No restocking fee through 9/30 for Note7 returns/exchanges: https://t.co/k5ikaI4O1C
— Verizon News (@VerizonNews) September 2, 2016
The following statement was also posted Friday, on the Verizon Wireless website:
On September 2, 2016, Samsung announced a voluntary recall of the Galaxy Note7 in response to an issue with the device’s battery. Because customer safety is our top priority, Verizon has stopped selling the Galaxy Note7. Additionally, through September 30, 2016, Verizon is waiving the restocking fee for any customers who purchased a Galaxy Note7 and wish to return or exchange it.
AT&T announced that Samsung has notified them to stop selling the device because they have “identified a battery cell issue in certain Galaxy Note7s.” Because safety is their top priority, customers are strongly encouraged to exchange the Samsung Note 7 for a new device.
Affected customers may select a Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S7 active, Galaxy Note7 or any other smartphone, and may also return any Note 7 accessories. AT&T is also offering a bill credit of $25 per device if a customer chooses another Samsung device. Of course, customers will be also able to exchange their defective Note 7 in the future, but details on when that process will kick off has yet to be shared.
Sprint has also suspended sales of the Galaxy Note 7 immediately following Samsung’s announcement to discontinue sales worldwide. Customers should go to a nearby Sprint store to exchange their phablet, where they will have three options:
- Replace their current Galaxy Note 7 with a new one when stock becomes available.
- Immediate exchanging for a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge; this includes replacement of any Note 7 accessories with a refund for any price difference between devices.
- Exchange their Note 7 for any Sprint device and will reimburse any price differences and waive any restocking and shipping fees.
What to do after swapping for a new device.
It seems like a lot of trouble and not much payback for owners who have already picked up the new phablet. Transferring your data from one device to another can be a time consuming process that owners will no doubt be subject to again if they take Samsung up on its offer. Swapping out phablets should be relatively painless if you use Samsung Smart Switch.
Samsung Still in Hot Water
Even with the swift and proper response from Samsung, they might not be in the clear just yet. A recent report from Consumer Reports has specifically called Samsung out for failing to issue an “official” recall that would involve the US Consumer Products Safety Commission.
That would basically require more transparency with what exactly is going on with the phablets and what owners will do next, but Samsung reportedly hasn’t done it. Officials have expressed “concern” over the process, but have not officially commented on the recall, according to a report by Recode.