Samsung made headlines when the technology giant voluntarily recalled nearly 1 million Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones sold prior to September 15, 2016, due to potential fire and burn hazards. Reports indicate less than 100 phones have been reported as affected. Affected consumers complained that the phone’s powerful lithium batteries were overheating and causing property damage. To keep consumers safe and get the phones out of the marketplace, Samsung and the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have requested that all consumers who purchased a Samsung Galaxy Note7 prior to September 15 power them down and turn them in for an updated version.
Recalls are never bright spots for a company, but Samsung can recover with a fast response that keeps its focus on the consumer. Ultimately Samsung will be judged not by the recall but how they handle it. Here’s a look at the measures they’re taking to educate the public and ensure a safe and smooth transition to the updated phones.
It takes more than a few press releases to start a recall. Efforts need to be coordinated within Samsung itself, followed by an official recall from the CPSC. Samsung announced the battery issue on September 2nd and stopped selling the defected models. But this step only stops the release of new phones and keeps current owners at risk.
To quickly alert owners about the potential danger of their Note7, Samsung, and the U.S. CPSC created a power down guidance alert for current Note7 owners. Their phones warned them to power down immediately and stop using the phone. Social media also helped spread the news about Samsung’s efforts and how to handle turning in devices for new models.
Software and Battery Updates
Electronics companies often refurbish devices to sell at a discount. But according to CNET, the new Note7 phones will not be refurbished and will have new batteries. To avoid confusion and anxiety over the safety of the Note7, the latest models come with a software update. If the battery icon is green, then the phone is unaffected. If it’s white, customers have a recalled Note7 and should turn it in immediately.
Samsung also set up a website for anyone who wants further instructions on checking the device themselves for added peace of mind. Consumers can use their IMEI or serial number and enter it into the “Check” function. The site will automatically look up if the Note7 is the latest and safest model and provide further instructions about the recall.
Compensation for Inconvenience
Consumers ready to turn in their devices for the latest model won’t walk away empty-handed. Samsung is offering a $25 phone bill credit or gift card for the inconvenience and mail exchange to swap out the devices. Consumers can also return their device to the retail store they bought it from to receive a refund. Most stores, including T-Mobile, will also refund the purchase of Galaxy Note7 accessories. Loaner devices were also offered to anyone who turned in their phone while waiting for the release of the new version.
Time is of the essence not just to keep consumers safe, but to replace their devices and get them re-connected to the world. Since September 21, over 500,000 new Galaxy Note7 replacement devices are in stores and ready for exchange. 19 days from stop sale to device replacement and the defective Galaxy Note7 are out of stores and the marketplace.