Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as a smartphone is in serious trouble. Global sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 have been halted by the company. The South-Korean tech giant is now asking people to return their phones, old or the replacement ones.
Samsung’s latest advisory says this to customers who are still holding on to their Note 7, “Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note7 or replacement Galaxy Note7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available.”
But there are questions being raised over how Samsung has dealt with this entire issue. For starters, the latest statement still doesn’t mention the word ‘official recall’, which is important, because a recall implies that it is mandatory to turn in the device.
Samsung’s latest statement reads like this, “We are working with relevant regulatory bodies to investigate the recently reported cases involving the Galaxy Note7. Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note7 while the investigation is taking place…We remain committed to working diligently with appropriate regulatory authorities to take all necessary steps to resolve the situation.”
So yes, Samsung admits it is investigating the issue of the Galaxy Note 7 catching fire, it simply says sales and exchanges are stopped while the investigation continues. There’s no mention of an official recall, which is crucial when a smartphone poses an actual burning/explosion risk.
Samsung’s replacement Note 7 was supposed to be safe, but that hasn’t been the case and five phones have caught fire in the US. So it is hard to believe that the company has managed to solve the issue. The new replacement phones were supposed to come with a ‘green battery’ indicator to show they are safe, but that hasn’t done any good.
And it seems even the way the exchange program was handled by Samsung didn’t do much to help customers either. Emails from Samsung to customers looking to get a refund for their Note 7 highlight how badly this issue has been managed from the start. The Verge has published an email sent by a Samsung representative to a customer trying to get their Note 7 exchanged, which shows just how confused things are internally.
In the email, the customer representative admits there are issues with the exchange with people receiving emails with a different order number. Samsung’s email also says the exchange program is headed by a “company that specializes in recalls,” and it mentions the special packaging to send the old phone back is being mailed at a different time.
The email says, “You will not receive them (packaging and new phone) together, they may arrive at different times, but you will not have to return the old phone before they begin to process the new phone. If you opt for a refund instead, it will be just as previous refunds were. Once the item is returned, they will process your refund.” Samsung also says in the email they can’t check the status of the refund since it is being handled by a different company.
What is damning is this sentence, “We have limited information on a lot of the process at this time.” No better indicator that Samsung has bungled this exchange and the Galaxy Note 7 as a product entirely.
Seriously those who still have the Galaxy Note 7 should power it down immediately, and not try and switch it back on, while you figure out the exchange/return process. Given Samsung has gotten it wrong with the phone a second time, it’s hard to see people going back to this phone a third time.