When the Samsung Galaxy Note7 hit the news in a big way, the headlines weren’t exactly glowing. Great new features aside, the brand’s latest release corresponded with an increasing number of reports of the device bursting into flames. The combustion incidents resulted in both injuries and property damage, all of which were eventually traced back to a dangerous battery defect in Note7 handsets purchased before September 15.
Samsung’s initial response stated that it was “a very rare manufacturing process error” causing the batteries to combust, and the company quickly stopped selling the Note7 two weeks after its release. Samsung ultimately committed to a voluntary recall prompted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and its worth nothing that while the manufacturing error may be rare, it’s estimated that 1 million devices have been affected by the issue.
How to Determine Which Devices Are Part of the Recall
To help Note7 owners determine whether their devices are part of the recall, Samsung launched a software update that caused unaffected device to display a green battery icon in the status bar. Handsets that are part of the recall display a safety alert that prompts owners to exchange the devices for one of the new replacement models.
Even with the headlines describing confirmed cases of major property damage and the software update, usage rates among affected handsets have been mostly unaffected by the recall and a majority of Note7 owners have simply continued to use their devices. The CPSC is continuing to urge consumers who even suspect that their devices were part of the recall to stop using the handset immediately and initiate an exchange through Samsung or their wireless carrier.
Exchanging a Recalled Samsung Galaxy Note7
Samsung has shipped more than 500,000 replacement units of the Galaxy Note7 to carriers like T-Mobile and retail stores in the U.S, and all of the major carriers have announced their recall options. Verizon customers can return their phones until September 30 and AT&T is letting customers exchange the Note7 for any other Smartphone or the restocked handsets without the defect.
Like other carriers T-Mobile is doing everything it can to help customers through the transition – including setting up a FAQ for the recall and letting customers return recalled Note7s in any store for either a new CPSC-approved Galaxy Note7 replacement or a full refund. Customers who choose the latter option can buy any device in T-Mobile’s inventory without paying a restocking fee and won’t have to forfeit the free Netflix subscription and Gear Fit or SD card they received during the Galaxy Note7 pre-order period. T-Mobile is also giving all customers affected by the recall a one-time $25 credit on their bills.
Ensuring a New Note7 Is Safe
For those who want to be sure that the replacement handsets they receive in exchange are safe, Samsung is marking boxes of new Note7s to make it easier to see at a glance that a device is a replacement model. The reissued phones are packaged in boxes with either an “S” mark or Black Square (or both) on the label. Still concerned? Samsung’s also has a page where consumers can check the IMEI number of specific devices against the recall.