Samsung is reportedly halting production of the Galaxy Note 7 after several more phones set themselves on fire over the weekend — phones that were themselves recall replacements for the original batch of defective phones. It’s safe to say that the entire situation is a disaster; as The Verge’s Jordan Golson says, the Note 7 is "a fundamentally defective product and it should be pulled from the market without delay."
And it’s carriers that have had to step up and handle the Note 7 issue — Samsung itself has been alarmingly quiet about the issue, and it hasn’t made the process or scope of the actual issue terribly clear to customers at all. Just look at this email exchange, sent to The Verge by a senior executive at a large tech company trying to replace his Note 7:
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2016 6:20 PM
Subject: EMAIL FORM
Subject: Return for refund
I called in about a week ago to return my Note7 for refund, and was told I would get an email with return/refund instructions. I have not yet. My order number is XXXXXXX. Please followup with how to get refunded for this recalled product.
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 5:50 PM
Subject: Re: EMAIL FORM
Hi there, its been a few more days and I still have not seen anything. I can just send it in myself. What address should I mail it in to? What should I include in the package for a refund?
Date: Sat, Oct 8, 2016 at 7:21 AM
Subject: Re: EMAIL FORM
At this time you may have received the information for the new system they have in place. If you have not yet, I am supplying the link below to the site. There are some minor issues and errors with it, but it is a massive step in the right direction to get this effectively solved for the customers.
One of the issues happening is that customers are receiving emails with their email address, but a different order number. If this happens, please refer to your original confirmation order number to attempt the sign up, and this should solve that issue. Customers were finding when they tried the original number, it matched the email and the order would go through correctly.
This new program is being headed up by a company that specializes in recalls. Through the web page you set up your exchange or refund, and have the option to ship the phone (they mail you the special packaging to send the phone back in), or you can arrange for an agent of this company to come to your home and pick up the phone directly. This does not apply in some areas as they do not have agents stationed in some of the more rural areas. In that case the packaging will be sent if the agents are not available to your area. It is also an "advanced" exchange. We basically will ship you the phone and the packaging independently of each other, but from when you place the exchange order. So if you choose to exchange, they will begin processing both items to go out. You will not receive them 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.
As this is going to another company, when these exchanges are submitted, we cannot check the status of them for you until they submit you an order number for the new phone or tracking information. We have limited information on a lot of the process at this time. I hope this information is helpful and resolves the issues soon.
"One of the issues happening is that customers are receiving emails with their email address, but a different order number," says Samsung. "We have limited information on a lot of the process at this time." Of course, Samsung also says it’s "working diligently" on the issue, but all that diligent work didn’t stop replacement phones from blowing up too, so maybe the time for calm diligence has passed.
This is a total mess, from start to finish. If you have a Note 7, take it to your carrier store and get it exchanged for a different phone immediately; every major carrier is taking them back now. Waiting for Samsung to sort this out is risky and dangerous.