After several dozen reports of faulty batteries, Samsung moved quickly to announce a full recall of its brand new phablet, the Galaxy Note 7, on Friday.
Samsung said it would voluntarily replace all current Note 7 devices “over coming weeks,” but has not yet announced the procedure for current owners. “We are working closely with our partners to ensure the replacement experience is as convenient and efficient as possible,” Samsung said in a statement.
Among those partners are the four major U.S. mobile carriers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Customers who purchased a Note 7 through one of the carriers and don’t want to wait for Samsung’s exchange program will able return or exchange the devices, the companies said, although the terms varied.
At Verizon, Note 7 buyers who want a refund or exchange won’t be charged the usual return fee for restocking a phone.
“This morning, Samsung announced a voluntary recall of the Galaxy Note7 in response to an issue with the device’s battery,” Verizon said in a statement on Friday. “Because customer safety is our top priority, Verizon has stopped selling the Galaxy Note7. Additionally, through September 30, 2016, Verizon is waiving the restocking fee for any customers who purchased a Galaxy Note7 and wish to return or exchange it.”
New orders for the phone have been delayed until September 30, according to Verizon’s web site.
AT&T said it has stopped selling the device, but as of Friday morning was still working on its return procedure. “We are in the process of determining the exchange process for our customers and how they can replace their current Note7 as quickly as possible,” the company said in a statement. “We will have more information later today.”
The Note 7 was not shown on AT&T’s web site. It was still selling the older Note 5 model.
At T-Mobile, CEO John Legere quickly jumped on Twitter, his preferred communications medium with customers, to announce refunds. “We are making sure T-Mobile Samsung Note7 customers are taken care of,” Legere tweeted. “They can return the device for a full refund.”
T-Mobile said in an accompanying statement that it will offer refunds on the Note 7 and any shipping fees or purchases of related accessories, as well. T-Mobile will also waive its usual restocking fee. Customers will get to keep the free, year-long Netflix subscription they received for pre-ordering the Note 7. Customers “can then use their refund to choose a similar device or any device in T-Mobile’s stores, including a new Note7 replacement which we expect to be available in the next two weeks,” T-Mobile said.
Sprint offered to exchange any customer’s Note 7 for a similar device. “We are working closely with Samsung to ensure those customers who already have purchased the device are taken care of,” Sprint said in a statement. “For those customers that previously purchased the Note 7 we will offer them a similar device until the issue is resolved. Customers should go to a nearby Sprint store to exchange their Note 7 device.”
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