Home Android Galaxy Note 7 Recall & Replacements: What You Need to Know

Galaxy Note 7 Recall & Replacements: What You Need to Know

On October 11th less than two months after the release of the flagship Galaxy Note 7, Samsung has permanently terminated the product. Following a recall procedure over fire hazards and exploding devices. After replacement models were found to potentially be just as dangerous, the product is no longer available. Samsung has started disabling service to handsets in select regions. Here’s what owners need to know and do.

The company issued a statement last month that even replacement models are no longer available from carriers or around the globe. They have halted all recalls and production, and now it appears that the Galaxy Note 7 is dead. Gone forever and will never be available again.

Read: Galaxy Note 7 Warranty: What You Need to Know

Samsung quickly made over 500,000 safe new phones and replaced devices for customers in September. It looked as if the problem was fixed, but in less than two weeks over a dozen fires were reportedly started in the US from the device. Read on for more details.

Note-7-outdoor

Now, as of November 4th Samsung is still dealing with the Note 7 recall disaster. The company recently confirmed models in select regions will soon stop working. In fact, in New Zealand all Galaxy Note 7 smartphones will no longer be able to connect to networks or fully function starting November 18th. Calls won’t work, users can’t send messages, the phone will have no network connectivity. This is one of many attempts to get stubborn owners to return the device. If this process expands to the US or other regions we’ll update with additional details. Read on for what to do, and how to get it exchanged for another phone.

At the same time, starting November 5th T-Mobile will start sending updates that lowers battery life to 60%. Users will get an over the air notification, the battery icon will turn grey, and phones will no longer charge to full. Return those phones. (end of update)

After the recall was initiated on September 2nd, Samsung quickly launched a “Product Exchange Program” for the Galaxy Note 7. The link above goes over all of the details. Users could trade it in for a different device, get a temporary loaner phone or a full refund. Here’s an exert from their official statement.

Fast forward to October and the situation is only getting worse. One caught fire on a Southwest flight, causing an evacuation of the plane. Another caught fire overnight, and one “safe” replacement Note 7 burned a young girls hands.

Owners can head to the retail outlet or carrier where it was purchased, or call 1-800-SAMSUNG to initiate a product exchange and to resolve any other questions or concerns. Samsung and all carriers or retail stores are accepting full returns. Owners can get their money back, return any accessories and more.

“We are working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to investigate the recently reported cases involving the Galaxy Note7. Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note7 while the investigation is taking place.”

 

On October 10th Samsung issued the statement above, but now one day later it looks as if they’ve decided to simply cancel the smartphone altogether. The Wall Street Journal reported Samsung will cut their losses and terminate the device. And the official Samsung Blog said the same although that page is no longer available.

Has My Galaxy Note 7 Been Recalled?

Short answer, Yes!

After a recall process allowed owners to replace their original Galaxy Note 7 for a new safe model, many users received new phones. However, now it has been confirmed the new models aren’t safe either.

All Galaxy Note 7 smartphones need to be turned off, do not plug them in to charge, and return them to the place of purchase. Samsung will likely start a voluntary recall and service to acquire all units, but that’s yet to be determined. Of course the company can’t make you return it, but at this point it’s better safe than sorry.

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-9-44-39-am

Return the Galaxy Note 7 and get something else. The Galaxy S7 Edge is a great phone, a safe phone, and is nearly identical in specs aside from the screen size and a few other small differences.

How to Check If Your Note 7 is Safe

Update: This no longer applies. Even the new modes are unsafe, potential fire hazards, and have also been recalled. Do not use any Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.

Samsung announced three different ways users can check to ensure their device is safe to use. New replacement models will have a sticker on the box with a big white square and a blue “S” inside, which is a new phone. A software update even changed the battery status indicator in the notification bar from white to green. New phones will have a green battery in the top corner. As shown below.

A "Green" battery indicator logo indicates a new and safe Galaxy Note 7
A “Green” battery indicator logo indicates a new and safe Galaxy Note 7

If the battery logo is white on your new phone you have two options. One, use the IMEI checker tool in our link above to make sure you have a safe new phone, or wait for the software update from Samsung.

When Will the Recall Start?

Samsung’s official recall started around September 2nd and new phones were available on September 21st. However, per the statements above, that replacement program has been terminated.

As of right now there is no second recall for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Owners with an original or a new Galaxy Note 7 need to return it. The company will most likely not offer another replacement program. Instead, return it for a different device or a full refund. Regardless of the condition of the device.

What Can You Do Right Now?

Obviously something that could potentially explode and catch fire, or worse, burn down your house, is a big deal. Which is why it’s completely understandable that many owners are concerned.

Thankfully you have a few different options. For one, we’d recommend owners stop using the Galaxy Note 7 and go back to an older device, or head into a carrier store for more help. Below is information from all major carriers in the United States. If you have an old Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5, iPhone or some other device, switch to that for now.

It isn’t the biggest and best phone, but it’s the safest bet. Personally I’d recommend users return it to their carrier store and get the Galaxy S7 Edge. It’s almost the exact same phone with a slightly smaller 5.5-inch screen, the same water-resistant features, and actually has better battery life. Oh, and it won’t explode. Here’s a comparison between the two.

Read: Galaxy S7 Edge Review: Samsung’s Best Yet

Samsung recommends owners do not use the Note 7. Do not charge it, especially overnight. Power the smartphone down and return it. In fact, some carriers won’t even turn it on to do a transfer to allow owners to backup and save their content. It’s a mess.

For now we’d recommend all owners backup their Galaxy Note 7, and use SmartSwitch to transfer everything to a Galaxy Note 5 or Galaxy S7 Edge until further notice.

Galaxy S7 Edge (left) vs Note 7 (Right)
Galaxy S7 Edge (left) vs Note 7 (Right)

Plugging the phone in and starting a long transfer process could heat it up, and potentially cause a fire hazard. Instead, head into settings > security > backup & reset and use Samsung Backup. It uploads everything on the phone to the cloud. Then owners can restore it to a new and different Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Should I Keep Using My Note 7?

Once Samsung and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission confirmed the “new” Galaxy Note 7 models were safe to use, we said sure, go get one. However, now that there have been over 10 reports of replacement Galaxy Note 7 smartphones catching on fire and all replacements stopped, do not use it.

As we said above, no, do not use the Galaxy Note 7. It’s simply not worth the risk to yourself or property.

Are Other Samsung Devices Affected?

No, there is no evidence to suggest any other Samsung devices are affected. We’ve seen similar reports about exploding smartphones or a battery issue from most companies. It happens from time to time. This is something we’ve seen on iPhone’s, Motorola, LG, Samsung, and even my iPod Touch exploded a few weeks ago. So it’s something that could happen, but no, no other Samsung devices are at risk. This situation is only for the Galaxy Note 7.

It looks like the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is officially done for. The product will never be available again, replacements are unavailable and refunds are being given out. Some regulators and analysts are even calling on Samsung to cancel the entire Note brand. However, expect a fresh new very capable and impressive Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Edge in February of 2017. Samsung recently confirmed there will be a Galaxy Note 8 next year too.

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28 Comments

  1. Oscar Pedroso

    09/02/2016 at 5:08 pm

    I just returned from an ATT store. They were very professional and I was able to get an S7 Edge until the Note 7 is available. I would like to thank both Samsung and ATT for such professional response to their customers. Many people might think that this will hurt Samsung’s reputation, but I believe that it won’t. On the contrary, they have done this recall in spite of losing millions of dollars and perhaps some bad propaganda. By doing this, Samsung has only proven that we the customers matter !! (By the way, before people star bashing me, I own Apple products in my house) I decided to stick to Samsung because of its great reputation. Things happen to anybody in this business, but what matters is how much do they care for the customers and not their “reputation”

    Reply

  2. Faisel

    09/03/2016 at 8:01 am

    How do I exchange or return a International version Note 7 ?I bought mine in India, because I wanted the dual sim version, now I have a problem returning it,
    Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Reply

    • OSCAR PEDROSO

      09/03/2016 at 6:26 pm

      Perhaps you can try calling Samsung directly?

      Reply

      • Elvis X

        09/12/2016 at 12:26 pm

        Unfortunately no. They just refer you back to your mobile carrier. That has been my experience so far anyway. The mobile carrier has no clue when they might receive replacements. US Consumer Protection Agency just waded into this and will likely complicate the process with an additional and extra thick layer of bureaucratic chaos…

        Reply

  3. Stas Firer

    09/06/2016 at 10:23 am

    i’ve go the same problem with an Australian version of the phone. The US customer service told me to contact Australian Samsung customer service.

    Reply

  4. Alex D

    09/07/2016 at 8:51 pm

    I just replaced my note 7 with s7 edge with AT&T, even though mine seems fine, but I just want to play safe. The AT&T rep was extremely helpful. She took the time to transfer everything over, and set up new one for me. I love the note 7 and hope to get a new one soon. Samsung did the right thing and I’m sticking to its products.
    I had the iPhone 4s before, then the note 4 and now upgrading to note 7. IPhone was great, but is getting bland, and Samsung products are great, especially the note.

    Reply

  5. David

    09/09/2016 at 3:59 pm

    Verizon is terrible with this process. I have called and went to 3 different Verizon Corporate Store to no avail. No one seems to be able to process this recall. I have been getting a different instruction each time. To date, I am holding the same old dangerous device. I called Samsung, told to go to Verizon, went to Verizon, told they are waiting for instruction from Samsung. This is not a good reflection of Samsung’s genuine attempt to rectify this situation and/or trying to keep their loyal customer base. Samsung should contact and send a replacement phone to all owners to make a statement.

    Reply

  6. TJ Brower

    09/10/2016 at 1:34 pm

    Maybe this is common sense to some but when i was out today i received a text from Att saying return my device right now, so i look up the recall and it says nothing about making sure you return the booklet, box, charger, s pen tips and even the sim ejector tool. So since i was out already i swung by the Att store, they would not accept my phone since i did not have everything that came with it. They said they would not accept it even if I brought everything in but not the box. They need to state this on their webpage honestly…how many people keep a box?!?! I am very mad, they will accept a phone with a broken or cracked screen…but not a phone without the box? I called 3 stores in the area and they all said the same thing. I think they should accept the phone even if you don’t have the charger.

    Reply

  7. Jeremy

    09/10/2016 at 2:54 pm

    I was down in Denver 500 miles from home went to closest ATT, gave me a new phone no question only had the phone

    Reply

  8. Elvis X

    09/12/2016 at 12:19 pm

    “Samsung further explains owners can head to the retail outlet or carrier they purchased the phone, or call 1-800-SAMSUNG to initiate a product exchange and to resolve any other questions or concerns.”

    This is completely untrue. If you call Samsung to initiate a product exchange they just tell you there is nothing they can do and to call your carrier for exchange (At least that is what I could make out from the support representative who could barely speak English, they must have taught them all to say “No and call your carrier” because that was the answer to every question).

    Reply

  9. Sarah F

    09/12/2016 at 2:05 pm

    Went to my local spirit store today per Samsung instructions over the phone. I was looking for a temporary phone to exchange my note 7 until the replacements arrive. It was a corporate sprint store and both reps told me they have no phone to replace the note 7 unless it’s a phone I want to keep. Nothing for temporary use and that I should just keep the Note 7 to use until the new note 7 arrived. “It’s not a danger in the US”.
    Thank you sprint.

    Reply

  10. Brady kathol

    09/12/2016 at 8:11 pm

    If I have a minor crack in my note 7 due to a child dropping it lol, will i still be able to exchange it still?

    Reply

  11. Chelsea Bly Holstad

    09/12/2016 at 9:52 pm

    I called Verizon who said to call Samsung who said to call Verizon. How can I exchange my phone if no one will help me?!?

    Reply

  12. Andrea

    09/13/2016 at 12:22 am

    I had a horrible experience with the corporate store in Arvada. Every part of the process was a struggle. The website said I had to return my free tablet since I was returning my Note 7 but the store wouldn’t do it without charging a $45 restocking fee. I called customer service and they didn’t charge it. Do not let them charge you restocking. They absolutely can and are required to take the phone back no matter what. It can be broken, missing parts, missing the box etc. Do not let them tell you differently when there own website says otherwise in their frequently asked questions.

    Reply

  13. Jason Harris

    09/20/2016 at 9:24 am

    Just called my local Verizon store. I said, “I plan on coming by tomorrow and exchanging my Note 7 for a new one with the safe battery. I’ve read where they’ll be available. What all should I bring?” That’s when the guy responded like a deer in headlights of an oncoming 18-wheeler. “Uh, sir… we don’t have any new Note 7’s. We haven’t been told we’re getting any. We don’t know when they’ll ship if we do get them.”

    This is infuriating. Apparently the UK and Canada got preferential treatment, and our local carriers are utterly CLUELESS as to when the new devices will be made available. I don’t want a different device! I waited to upgrade SPECIFICALLY for the opportunity to get a Note 7. Where are they? Ugh!!

    Reply

  14. Joe

    10/02/2016 at 9:25 am

    I purchase note 7 from a third party what I need to do to exchange it?

    Reply

    • rotisory

      10/18/2016 at 12:29 pm

      Your 1st course of action is to return it to the 3rd party for a full refund. If they won’t take it back, then you’ll have to work directly with Samsung to see if they will do anything for you.

      Reply

  15. A.J.

    10/15/2016 at 7:57 am

    I am a big fan of the Note line and currently have a Note 7. I really enjoy the s pen features, which is why it has been my phone of choice for so long. I guess I just want to know will I be able to exchange my forced replacement for a future note because ultimately that is what I really want. When I say future Note I mean the next version. I currently on Verizon and my phone was subsidized so I AM basically stuck with my next device for 2 years. I guess am disappointed because of that.

    Reply

    • rotisory

      10/18/2016 at 12:35 pm

      It’ll be at least another year before they put out another Note. They need time for the current fiasco to dissipate before it’ll be worth investing into the design of the next generation, if they do it at all. Personally I’m considering just keeping the S-Pen when I mail it back to them in the ceramic coated box they are sending me. I’m sure I can find some apps that it’ll work well with.

      Maybe Samsung could be convinced to sell apps and the S-pen as an accessory to their S8’s early next year.

      Reply

  16. Pedro

    10/16/2016 at 7:02 pm

    Well just tried to exchange my Note 7 for an S7 edge, and they are trying to charge and also already charged customers a $20 upgrade fee, so I cancelled the exchange and kept my Note 7.

    Reply

    • rotisory

      10/18/2016 at 12:24 pm

      I’d be keeping mine too if the wife wasn’t so freaked out about it, and the possibility that they will push out an update latter this year that will disable or cripple them like they did with the first batch. There’s also insurance issues that you’ll run into if it does cause a fire (the chances are quite small I’m sure, but still a chance). I’ll miss the phone, but hopefully the Pixel XL I ordered will be a good phone for the next few years.

      Reply

  17. Pedro

    10/16/2016 at 7:03 pm

    By the way my carrier is Verizon.

    Reply

    • rotisory

      10/18/2016 at 12:27 pm

      Same here, they charged me $20+tax but said I’d get it back as a refund from my original Note7 purchase.

      Reply

  18. Latripa

    10/17/2016 at 8:58 pm

    What if your camera glass lens cracked?

    Reply

    • rotisory

      10/18/2016 at 12:21 pm

      They won’t care. They just want them properly destroyed anyway.

      Reply

  19. rotisory

    10/18/2016 at 12:20 pm

    Are they going to care if I don’t give back the S-pen and a few of the accessories? It seems they are going to recycle these things anyway, so I can’t imagine they’d care too much if there’s a few things missing or damaged.

    Reply

  20. Waverly

    10/18/2016 at 8:06 pm

    I am wondering the same thing who wants some ear phones someone else had in their ear.lol
    Can we keep the charger also?

    Reply

  21. John Medley

    12/28/2016 at 9:56 am

    What if I wasn’t the original owner,, (I purchased it from a friend that got another phone), I know if a car has a recall,it’s taken care of no matter who owned it.

    Reply

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