Samsung, wireless carriers announce exchange options after Galaxy Note 7 recalled

HONG KONG  -- Samsung is recalling millions of new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones worldwide after reports of the devices catching fire while charging.

However, Samsung and some carriers have announced an exchange program. Either, customers can exchange their existing Galaxy Note 7s with a new one starting as early as next week (but it may be two weeks), or customers can immediately exchange the Galaxy Note 7 for either a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge with a refund of the price difference.

  • AT&T: Offering for customers to exchange the Galaxy Note 7 with any smartphone, as well as return any related accessories. If you choose another Samsung phone, you will get a $25 bill credit. You can also wait and exchange for a new Galaxy Note 7 when it comes in
  • Verizon: Through September 30, customers who bought the Galaxy Note 7 can exchange or return the phone without incurring a restocking fee.
  • T-Mobile: Customers can return the phone for a full refund, as well as any related accessories, without incurring a restocking fee or shipping fee. Also, customers can keep the free Netflix subscription they got with the purchase if they pre-ordered the phone.
  • Sprint: Customers will be offered a similar device until the issue is resolved. Go in to your local store for more details.

The massive recall of one of Samsung's flagship devices is an embarrassing setback for the world's biggest selling smartphone maker. The Note 7 was unveiled just a month ago, and big rival Apple is expected to show off its new smartphone next week.

Samsung said Friday it had found a problem with the battery in some of the phones and was halting sales. Only a small number of incidents have been reported.

Within the next two weeks Samsung will again begin to offer customers a new Note 7 that works correctly. The 2.5 million customers who already have a Note 7 that needs to be replaced would get devices first.

South Korean news agency Yonhap had previously reported that there have been five claims around the world of Note 7s catching fire while charging. Unverified photos posted on social media showed charred devices.

Samsung, a giant South Korean company, said it had been alerted to 35 claims of faulty phones worldwide. It said it had so far found 24 devices with problems for every million sold.

U.S. mobile networks sell the Galaxy Note 7 for at least $850. At a news conference, company executives declined to comment on exactly how much replacing all the devices would cost.

"It is a big amount that is heartbreaking," said Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung's mobile communications business.

Samsung shares fell Thursday on reports of problems with the Galaxy Note 7 battery but closed 0.6 percent higher Friday before the recall was confirmed.

 

The phone was well received by reviewers, drawing attention for several unique features such as an iris scanner, which allows users to unlock the phone with their eyes.