It's hard to believe that there's anyone who hasn't heard about the Galaxy Note7 recall that was prompted by combustion incidents resulting in both injuries and fires. Apparently, however, numerous reports of phones bursting into flames haven't been enough to push Note 7 owners to take the recall seriously.
As of now a majority of Note 7 owners have continued to use their devices, ignoring both stern warnings issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and recall announcements released by every major wireless carrier.
Is Your Device Part of the Recall?
Possibly! The CPSC is urging all current Note 7 users who purchased handsets before September 15 to turn the devices off and keep them off. “Consumers should immediately stop using and power down the recalled Galaxy Note 7 devices purchased before September 15, 2016,” reads a recent CPSC announcement. “Contact the wireless carrier, retail outlet or Samsung.com where you purchased your device to receive free of charge a new Galaxy Note 7 with a different battery, a refund or a new replacement device.”
While the CPSC clearly hopes consumers will take a better safe than sorry approach to the recall, Samsung is also doing its part to help Note 7 owners stay safe. Shortly after the brand committed to a voluntary recall of the estimated 1 million affected devices, it also launched a software update designed to help customers determine if they're in possession of a dangerous device. Unaffected Note 7 handsets now display a green battery icon in the status bar while those that are part of the recall show a safety alert prompting owners to exchange the devices for one of the 500,000 replacement units that were shipped to carriers like T-Mobile.
How Carriers are Helping Note 7 Customers
Each of the major carriers has announced recall options, which include refunds, exchanges and extras. Verizon subscribers, for instance, can return recalled handsets until September 30 and AT&T is allowing subscribers to exchange the Note 7 for any other phone or the restocked Note 7 models as they become available.
T-Mobile is being particularly helpful during the transition. The carrier has set up a detailed FAQ for the recall and is letting customers return recalled Note 7s in any store for either the new CPSC-approved Galaxy Note 7 replacement or a full no strings attached refund. Those subscribers who choose the refund can then purchase any smartphone in T-Mobile's inventory without paying a restocking fee and won't be asked to forfeit the free Netflix subscription and Gear Fit or SD card that were a part of some pre-order promotions. Additionally, T-Mobile is giving all subscribers impacted by the recall a one-time $25 credit on their bills because of the inconvenience.
The Note 7 combustion incidents may have been caused by “a very rare manufacturing process error” (as Samsung put it) but the dangerous battery defect in the affected phones has caused everything from minor burns to major property damage. It's absolutely worth double checking to make sure that the Galaxy Note 7 in your pocket is among the safe handsets!
To reassure costumers that the replacement phones weren't manufactured during the recall period, Samsung is marking boxes of new safe Note 7s with either an “S,” a black square or both. Handsets in these boxes do not have the battery defect. Additionally, Samsung's official recall page has a field where consumers can check the IMEI number of specific devices against the recall. That said, if you're still unsure you can always consult with your wireless carrier.