Samsung will keep bugging you to turn in your faulty Galaxy Note 7
By Hayley Tsukayama September 21 at 4:33 PM
Samsung Galaxy S7 mobile devices are on display at the Olympic Park in Rio de
Janeiro on Aug. 2. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)
Samsung’s U.S. replacement program for the Galaxy Note 7 kicks off Wednesday.
This gives those that purchased the phones the opportunity to swap out their
recalled phones for new models that don’t have the battery linked to fires and
Any Galaxy Note 7 sold before Sept. 15 in the United States will likely need to
be replaced. The new phones will have a different battery indicator than the
old ones, to ensure that customers can tell the difference between them. Safe
phones have a green battery indicator, while the older phones have a black and
The safe phones will have a green battery indicator. (Samsung)
Samsung and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have urged all Note 7
owners to turn their devices off and stop using them. Those who have not will
get a software update pushed to their phones that will repeatedly show a safety
message that echoes this request. The message will appear every time users turn
on or charge their device, Samsung said. This update should have reached
affected users’ phones starting Tuesday.
This message will appear on all phones with the faulty battery. (Samsung)
“Working hand in hand with the CPSC, we are delivering as promised and moving
quickly to educate consumers about the recall and make new Note7s available,”
Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement late
Samsung first made problems about the Galaxy Note 7 public Sept. 2 and
officially launched a recall Sept. 15. The company first tried to deal with the
problem by initiating its own independent exchange program without government
cooperation, but faced criticism from Consumer Reports and others for not
initiating an official recall at that time.
When announcing the official recall, CPSC chairman Elliot Kaye said that it was
not ideal to have companies go off on their own to deal with serious product
defects. But the agency on Wednesday had praise for Samsung when asked about
the company's actions directly preceding and following that announcement.
"Samsung is taking steps that go above and beyond what the average recalling
company does. And that’s a positive for consumers," said CPSC director of
communications Scott Wolfson.
He again urged Note 7 users to exchange their phones as quickly as possible and
to stop using them to avoid the risk of another car fire, house fire, or leg
burn because of the phone's battery.
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"What we are seeing through accounts on social media and news accounts is that
there are consumers who are still using the phone," Wolfson said. "That’s not
surprising to us considering the utility of the product." But, he added,
consumers have no excuse now to delay exchanging their phones now that
Samsung's official exchange program now in effect.
"There was no excuse starting on Thursday [when the recall was announced], but
now there’s really no excuse to not be taking advantage of the recall," he said.
Those still unsure about whether their Note 7 is affected by the recall can
visit Samsung’s website and type in their phone’s IMEI (International Mobile
Equipment Identity) number. Customers can find that number by looking on the
box or a sticker on the back of the phone. It can also be found by going to a
phone’s setting using this path: "Apps > Settings > About Phone or General
Management > Status > IMEI information or Serial number.”
Overall, the Samsung recall affects 1 million phones in the United States,
according to the CPSC. In a statement Tuesday, Samsung said that it has more
than 500,000 replacement devices on hand available for exchange Thursday.
Customers can also ask for their money back; many carriers are also offering
other Samsung devices as a potential replacement for the Note 7.