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Galaxy Note 7 Recall FAQ: Samsung's new flagship banned from flights

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Update: The FAA has made it a federal crime to carry the Galaxy Note 7 aboard airplanes in the United States, as Samsung urges customers to turn off their handsets indefinitely

Samsung has warned users against using their Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, asking customers to power down the handsets and ‘stop using’ them for the foreseeable future. The decision comes after a number of users reported that their new or replaced Galaxy Note 7 handsets were catching fire.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung now plans to “permanently discontinue production and sales” of the Galaxy Note 7. In a statement to South Korean regulators, Samsung said: “Taking our customer’s safety as our highest priority, we have decided to halt sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7.”

And to further complicate matters, many airlines have now banned the Galaxy Note 7 from being taken on board a flight. In fact, the United States' Federal Aviation Authority has made transporting the phone on an airplane a federal crime. We recommend checking with your airline if you've travelling with a Note 7 in the near future.

Galaxy Note 7 recall explained

Samsung issued a global recall for the Note 7 on September 2 after an internal investigation uncovered a serious battery flaw that was causing some users’ handsets to spontaneously catch fire. Despite replacing a large number of phones, it appears that the issue still remains, as users with replaced handsets have been uploading evidence of random combustion to the internet.

The original defect related to batteries that are believed to have been built by Samsung’s own SDI battery division, which were apparently squeezed into too small a space, which put pressure on the cell. This meant that the positive and negative poles came into contact, generating excess heat – and ultimately melting smartphones. But it appears that engineers are still baffled by the latest fires, which you can read all about here.

To make matters worse, the WSJ recently revealed that Samsung tested its own batteries in-house, which is atypical. Usually, phone manufacturers selling their wares in the United States test their batteries through a third-party lab that's been certified by the CTIA, but Samsung utilised its own CTIA-certified lab.

The South Korean government has now launched its own independent investigation into the matter, probing Samsung via the state-run Korea Testing Laboratory.

How to replace or exchange your Note 7 in the UK

Unfortunately, given the latest developments in the Note 7 recall debacle, it’s not actually clear whether Samsung will be replacing any more handsets. We’d recommend asking Samsung for a full refund.

To contact Samsung directly, you can call the customer service team on 0330 726 1000 between 09:00 and 18:00 on any day except for Sunday.

It’s worth noting that Samsung’s US contingent is offering credit to all Galaxy Note 7 customers who are willing to exchange the phone for a new device. Better still, you can get credit even if you swap to a phone built by another company.

There are two options currently available through the US Note 7 Refund and Exchange program, as of October 13 at 15:00 (ET):

  • (1) Up to $100 credit to exchange your Note 7 for any Samsung smartphone
  • (2) A $25 bill credit to exchange your Note 7 for a refund, or other branded smartphone

However, we’re not convinced that exchanging your phone is any better than getting a full refund – if you paid full price for the Note 7 anyway.

The Note 7 launched at £749 in the UK and $799 in the US, which is what most customers probably paid. But the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have now dropped considerably in price, retailing at £490/$545 and £540/$612 respectively. So if you swap your Note 7 for another top-end Samsung phone and get $100 credit, you may still be worse off than if you’d requested a full refund.

It’s not clear whether Samsung’s US credit offer is available in the UK too. We’ve asked for clarification, and will update this article with any response.

Is Samsung sorry?

At the time of the recall, Samsung’s Mobile chief DJ Koh said: “Samsung offers a sincere apology to all customers and users for the battery fire occurring soon after the release of new products.”

How can I get through these tough times?

By listening to this song on repeat, of course:

Related: IFA 2016

Watch: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review

What do you think of Samsung's new Galaxy Note 7? Let us know in the comments.

Phil

September 2, 2016, 9:46 am

Brave and honest move - not something you can really say about a lot of big manufacturers and faults.

toboev

September 2, 2016, 11:48 am

What a difference a replaceable battery would have made.

L4lefty

September 2, 2016, 12:15 pm

Sincerely, I applaud your lack of cynicism Phil. But, why brave and honest?

Jools Oughtibridge

September 2, 2016, 12:24 pm

I've had a Note 7 since Wednesday and it's needed resetting on a regular basis since then. Spoken to Samsung customer service who advised speaking to retailer, Carphone Warehouse advised to take back to them for a full refund.

Phil

September 2, 2016, 12:51 pm

Brave in that it will upset investors and likely heavily impact their bottom line / reputation with a mass recall of a flagship model and delaying shipping, allowing competitor devices to emerge and take market share, forcing people who want to upgrade now to choose a different brand, etc, etc. Honest because, with such a low number of faulty batteries (24 per million might be considered acceptable by some), of which even fewer were likely to catastrophically fail given the number of safeguards in place in LiPo cells, they could easily have covered it up and blamed something like a non standard charger or something like that.... like we have seen from multiple large companies where problems have occurred. Apple is a bugger for denying issues which are well documented online and so on.

I'm usually exceptionally cynical but I applaud the speed of the investigation, the openness and the immediate cessation of shipping along with a recall and promise of replacements for early customers who have bought at the highest price the device will ever cost and are paying their R&D costs. I work in healthcare and you'd be amazed at the stunts that certain manufacturers of medical devices have pulled in the past with potentially life threatening manufacturing issues. Car manufacturing history is littered with examples where potentially lethal faults have been covered up as long as possible before government agencies got wind and forced a recall. As a result I respect Samsung's approach here as it's often a lot easier and cheaper to just change the manufacturing process / part and cover it up, leaving the dangerous devices out in the wild and accepting that a few people may sue but it's unlikely to cost anywhere near as much. Luckily, in the US at least, class action lawsuits have made that approach not pay off in the past for companies (one manufacturer was ordered to pay such a ridiculous amount to every patient affected to show all of them that the cover up gamble would never be allowed to pay off and make the risk too great to contemplate it) and so they're pushed into taking the honest route. All manufactured products will have faults - it's a matter of how that manufacturer chooses to deal with it that matters. I think people will always respect openness and honesty like this.

Da La

September 2, 2016, 2:06 pm

Bought 1 in Thailand 2 days ago, haven't even had time to enter my UK sim into the phone when I discovered this potential problem. My receipt is 6000 miles away so I will be interested to know how Samsung Customer care deal with this when I phone them.

Sean Keach

September 2, 2016, 2:08 pm

Be sure to let us know how you get on!

iFrank

September 2, 2016, 2:32 pm

Yup! My sentiment too.

The God of Fair Commerce hath punished an apostate, as foretold in holy forums across the Inter universe.
Samsung can atone with price reductions and perhaps the market will inflict some penance.
iPhone 7 will be revealed, linking it's lips. The Beast is loose.

David Hale

September 2, 2016, 2:45 pm

The link to the High Voltage video made my day! Still laughing now! Great choice!

I do think this looks like a swift and good response from Samsung though!

aeonturnip

September 2, 2016, 3:00 pm

Got a Note 7 via Samsung pre-order earlier this week and whilst it hasn't exploded, it has got awfully hot especially when doing the data move from my old Note 3. After half an hour on hold at Samsung customer care, they took my details and those of the phone, and said that they would be in touch about a replacement "soon"...

D Lewis

September 2, 2016, 5:29 pm

Just received from EE.....You may have seen in the news that Samsung have reported isolated incidents on their Note7 devices which could be a safety concern. As your safety is paramount to us, we've made a decision to recall all Note7 devices. We will be calling you shortly to discuss your options and will help answer any questions you may have on this matter.

L4lefty

September 2, 2016, 7:15 pm

You've given this issue context, which I knew nothing of...So, my first reaction was to feel that brave and honest is actually PR salvage /forced attrition. Having read your response, I'll adjust my cynical thought that you were being naive. I can see the irony of course :-)
Grown up discussions on 'tinternet...We're doing this all wrong!

toboev

September 2, 2016, 7:42 pm

Yes, you're supposed to belittle each other and score points.

L4lefty

September 2, 2016, 7:46 pm

I'm saving my 'your mum' salvos in case he cuts up rough, Toboev.

Phil

September 2, 2016, 8:43 pm

To be honest, most of the time people do get all bitchy on the Internet but I enjoy being challenged and will always explain my ideas. If I'm wrong and someone corrects me then so much the better - I've improved. It should always be remembered though that some random individual's "facts" on a forum should rank amongst the most unreliable data it is possible to collect, unless it is referenced to a decent source.

Yo momma....

EDIT: What I also meant to say is that what we are missing at the moment from Samsung is mitigating action - i.e. what can customers do to mitigate the risk? This may unfortunately be out of their control as they will acquire the battery from an OEM and they may be unwilling to reveal something about their own intellectual property or weaknesses that could deter future investment. Even so, at the moment if you charge your Samsung overnight, are you playing Russian Roulette? Better buy a fireproof LiPo bag (which if you knew anything about the kind of energy these things pack and the kinds of failures that can occur, you would use anyway).

EDIT EDIT: I'm bored, pumped up on steroids from a recent hospital visit and so can't sleep and as a result I've calculated just how many Joules an S7 Edge is packing right next to your trouser snake / face - some 46620J. This can also be converted neatly in the metric equivalent - AKA "a metric f**k tonne". Or about 5% of the energy of a hand grenade.

Phil

September 2, 2016, 10:22 pm

Unless they're like Apple (who wanted proof of purchase for my OE Apple charger in the form of my also owning the associated laptop that they demanded I bring into the store, it's an APPLE charger, where else d'ya think it came from? Santa?) I think they'll just accept it's their product, the serial number tallies with the date of the recall and just do it. The fact that you have the product should be proof enough.

Brompton Brompton

September 3, 2016, 11:12 am

Well said. Someone with a brain who is pragmatic, logical and fair. A rare thing these days lol!

krzyzag

September 3, 2016, 1:16 pm

Thank you - with that last edit edit you have put me off from using my note7 and VR... :P

Phil

September 3, 2016, 2:18 pm

Thanks, I try but often fail and just sound like an arrogant wannabe know it all.

*Googles "pragmatic"*

Phil

September 3, 2016, 2:21 pm

Just think of it adding to the thrill of VR. There's real danger now.

OAK

September 5, 2016, 11:05 pm

I got my Note7 on business pre-order from EE on the 30th August and it has worked flawlessly so far.

On Friday the 2nd September, EE sent this text:

"You may have seen in the news that Samsung have reported isolated incidents on their Note7 devices which could be a safety concern. As your safety is paramount to us, we've made a decision to recall all Note7 devices. We will be calling you shortly to discuss your options and will help answer any questions you may have on this matter."

An article on one website I read says that if the label on the back of the phone says "manufactured in China", then it's likely you have one of those that are OK. If it says "manufactured in Vietnam (or Korea)", then it is more likely to have one of the faulty batteries.

Mine says "manufactured in Vietnam" so in the meantime, whilst I wait for EE, I'm avoiding the use of the fast charger that Samsung supplied as the phone heats up quite a bit during fast charging. Instead I'm using wireless charging which is slower but the phone stays cool.

Here's praying that EE come through on time.

OAK

September 7, 2016, 9:55 am

Had my Note7 swapped with an S7 Edge yesterday...quick turnaround by EE. EE say they will swap it back with a new Note7 when Samsung have sorted out the recall and re-distribution, hopefully by mid-October.

George

September 8, 2016, 3:34 am

I had a friend bring a Gold one back from Dubai for me as it's not available from UK carriers in Gold. Sealed on my desk was going to open today but then I saw the news. Made in Vietnam on the box. Boohoo. Not sure what to do as they won't have the Gold in UK and if I tell them it's from Dubai (to check if they can replace Gold) I wonder if they'd still replace it. Might have to somehow do the exchange through Dubai (more hassle/time/money). Good luck!

Hassan Ali

September 19, 2016, 2:40 pm

I purchased by note 7 from Dubai Duty free and every time i get email from samsung support it tells me to take it back to the retailer or operator i made the purchase from.
This is being handled very badly. The device is not fit for release and my note 7 resets about 6 times a day!.
I rang the UK support line and all they could offer is callback at some later date to get a UK version (which i don't want as my one is dual sim).
The support staff are useless and read of script and do no listen to a word you say!
at this point i just want a refund and I have been a loyal Samung customer for 3 years!

Richard Williams

September 26, 2016, 12:26 pm

I am having the same issue, have a dual sim Note 7, uk are refusing to replace offering a single sim.....so they cock up and we suffer, not i am limited to 60% overridden to 80% but still left with no replacement where do we go and who do we complain to?

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