Samsung Is Offering Up to a $100 Credit So People Will Return Their Fire-Prone Phones

Samsung

Samsung is now offering full refunds for its fire-prone Galaxy 7 Note as part of a total recall announced on Thursday — and, just in case, you needed an extra incentive to return the phablet and its problematic lithium-ion battery, the company is offering $25 to $100 bill credits to Note 7 holders “as a token of our appreciation and acknowledgement of your inconvenience.”

The recall, which applies to every Galaxy 7 Note in existence as of 3 p.m. Thursday, comes of the heels of Samsung’s decision to nix production of the product for good.

What Happened

Reports of igniting Galaxy 7 Notes began popping up shortly after the phone hit the market in August. Samsung first tried address the issue by halting production of the devices and offering replacements with different batteries to their owners. This move was followed by an official recall of 1 million Galaxy 7 Notes in mid-September. That recall, backed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, allowed customers to receive full refunds or replacement devices. But problems persisted — and not just with the old devices. Earlier this month, Southwest Airlines reportedly had to evacuate a flight after a man’s replacement Galaxy 7 Note started smoking.

According to the CPSC, Samsung has received 96 reports of Note 7 batteries overheating in the U.S., including 23 new reports since the initial September 15 recall. Samsung has received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damage associated with the Note 7, the CSPC said.

What Note 7 Owners Need to Know

Samsung is asking people with original and replacement devices to power them down immediately and return the phones. You can do this by contacting the carrier or retail outlet where you got your Galaxy Note 7. People who got their phablets from Samsung.com can go to samsung.com/us to start the exchange.

The aforementioned $100 credit is available to customers who choose to exchange the Note for another Samsung device. Samsung will give customers who already exchanged their faulty phone for a different Samsung phone a $75 bill credit in addition to the $25 they initially received. And, if you’re choosing to go with a device from a different company, you’ll still receive a $25 bill credit for your troubles.

“We appreciate the patience of our consumers, carrier and retail partners for carrying the burden during these challenging times,” Tim Baxter, president and chief operating officer of Samsung Electronics America, said in the press release that announced the expanded recall. “We are committed to doing everything we can to make this right.”

Customers with further questions can contact Samsung at 1-844-365-6197.

When Shopping for a Phone

Remember, smartphones and phablets can be an expensive proposition, so you should read the terms and conditions regarding any product you’re going to purchase to be sure you understand what you can do if stops working and how much it could potentially cost to replace, should the device get lost, damaged or stolen. And, if you’re shopping around for cellphone plan to go along with a new device, it’s a good idea to check your credit. Most providers check a version of your credit report when you apply, and a good credit score can help you qualify for better rates or lower fees. You can pull your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and view two of your scores, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.

Image: CPSC

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How to Replace Your Galaxy Note 7

After dozens of reports of Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 7 catching fire and exploding, the South Korean company issued a worldwide recall of the phone on Monday.

The Note 7 was released in August with much fanfare. But within days, reports that the device was overheating, catching on fire and subsequently blowing up appeared, spurring Samsung to issue an initial recall in early September.

At that point, the company halted sales, recalled 2.5 million Note 7s and began an exchange program to replace the exploding Note 7s. That was going fine until customers reported the replacement phones also had begun to spontaneously combust. Analysts say an end to Note 7 sales cold cost the Samsung nearly $17 billion.

Samsung has since ended its Note 7 project and is asking everyone who still owns one to shut it down and exchange it for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge, both of which were released earlier this year. The company has linked with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate reported cases involving the Galaxy Note 7.

While they figure things out, here’s what you need do to get your new phone:

Backup Your Information

Samsung thinks the risk of using the Note 7 is high enough to ask millions of customers to shut their phone immediately, so you should probably heed their warning.

But if there is something that you absolutely need on your device, you can quickly protect your data and information by backing up and clearing your data using Samsung’s Smart Switch software on a PC.

If your files are already backed up on a cloud storage platform like Google Drive or Dropbox, then you can skip this part and should turn off your Note 7 ASAP.

Get a Refund or Exchange

Galaxy Note 7 owners have two options at this point:

  1. You can get a full refund. Contact Samsung at 1-844-365-6197 if you bought it from Samsung directly. If not, contact the retailer that you bought it from. Samsung has a list of Note 7 retailers with contact information here.
  2. You can exchange the phone for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge and any Note 7 accessories that you’ll need to replace. You’ll get a refund for the price difference between the devices. Samsung will also throw in a $25 gift card for your trouble. The gift card will either be for in-store credit or bill credit from your wireless carrier. To get started, go to the store where you bought the phone or contact Samsung directly at 1-844-365-6197.

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