Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
Galaxy Note 7 recall: what you need to know (Note 7 officially discontinued)
By now, you’ve probably heard about the whole exploding Galaxy Note 7 problem. It wasn’t too long ago that Samsung began recalling all Note 7 units it had shipped due to the risk of malfunction and fire, but now the situation has escalated far beyond that. The company has now permanently discontinued the Note 7 and stopped all global sales, which you can read about below.
Since this is a developing story, we’ll update this page whenever new information comes to light. Here’s what you need to know about the Galaxy Note 7 recall and what you should do about it.
Samsung permanently discontinues the Note 7, stops all global sales
It’s official, folks. Samsung has announced it has permanently discontinued production of the Galaxy Note 7. This news comes just one day after the company put a global stop on sales of the defective device. In the official filing with South Korean regulators, Samsung said:
Taking our customer’s safety as our highest priority, we have decided to halt sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7.
What makes the situation even more unfortunate, it’s possible that the company could be taking up to a $17 billion loss in sales revenue. This number is based on the lost sales of the 19 million Note 7 units Samsung originally planned to sell throughout the Note 7’s lifetime.
In case it wasn’t clear already, stop using your Note 7. Power it down and exchange it for another phone with your carrier. If you’re not sure which device to exchange it for, we have some good Galaxy Note 7 alternatives for you.
Oculus disables Gear VR app on the Note 7 for ‘customer safety’
Oculus, Samsung’s technology partner for VR, has disabled Gear VR support for Galaxy Note 7 devices over customer safety concerns. The Gear VR app, intended for use with Samsung’s Gear VR headset and compatible smartphones, received a push update to disable Note 7 use, following numerous reports of the Galaxy Note 7 catching fire.
One Reddit user uploaded an in-app message from Oculus after the update. The message read:
Customer safety is Oculus’ top priority. Oculus is removing support for all Note 7 devices on the Oculus platform. Until further notice, Note 7 devices will not be compatible with the Gear VR. For more information regarding the Note 7, please contact Samsung directly.
Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Australian and European carriers halt Note 7 sales
Not that it’s a good idea, but it’s getting harder and hard to buy a new Note 7 in the United States. Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and a number of Australian and European carriers have stopped selling the Galaxy Note 7. Multiple retailers around the world have pulled the Note 7 from their websites and brick-and-mortar stores, as well.
Replacement Galaxy Note 7s keep catching fire
Although Samsung thought its replacement Galaxy Note 7 units were safe, it turns out many of them aren’t. Multiple incidents of replaced handsets burning up have been surfacing. KSTP news reports a melting phone in Farmington, Minnesota. The device was replaced and supposed to be the safe solution, but it melted on a teenager’s hand, leaving a small burn in her thumb. Another incident was reported in Nicholasville, Kentucky, where a man’s Galaxy Note 7 replacement unit caught fire while it was sitting in his room, unplugged and not in use. The user then noticed his room was filled with smoke and walked in to find the Galaxy Note 7 in flames. Later that day he was diagnosed with acute bronchitis.
Replacement Galaxy Note 7 catches fire on a Southwest plane
Talking to The Verge, Brian Green said his Samsung Galaxy Note 7 began smoking on a Southwest Airlines flight waiting to take off from Louisville to Baltimore earlier this morning. All crew and passengers exited the plane with no reported injuries, and Southwest Airlines canceled the flight and placed passengers on later flights.
Now, we don’t talk about exploding phones as much as we did when the Note 7 recall first came about, but this scenario is special. Green’s Galaxy Note 7 was a replacement unit, one that Samsung deemed safe. Green picked up his replacement Note 7 at an AT&T store on September 21, and confirmed the unit did have the small, black square symbol on the box along with a green battery icon, indicating the phone was safe to use.
Samsung issued a statement on the incident:
Until we are able to retrieve the device, we cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Note7. We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause. Once we have examined the device we will have more information to share.
Live in the UK? Don’t try to return your Note 7 via Royal Mail
If you want to ship a parcel in the UK, there are several carriers you can use – most are international names such as DHL, FedEx, ParcelForce and DPD – but there’s also have Royal Mail, which is the equivalent of the United States Postal Service (USPS). Most customers will simply post to their local Post Office and ship something using Royal Mail but if you want to ship your Galaxy Note 7, you’ll be in trouble.
Thanks to a tip, we’ve been able to establish that there is a directive in place requiring the Post Office to ask about the contents of every package and to refuse any parcel containing a Galaxy Note 7. However, some Post Offices are taking this a step further and refusing to accept packages containing any Samsung phone, although this is not an official decision. We also managed to confirm with six Post Offices that they couldn’t carry the Galaxy Note 7 and of these, two said they wouldn’t accept any Samsung Galaxy phone.
Samsung responds to the FAA
Samsung has put out a press release saying it is aware of the FAA’s statement against using the Galaxy Note 7 in flight or putting it in checked luggage, saying “consumer safety and peace of mind are our top priority”. Samsung has also said it plans to “expedite new shipments of Galaxy Note 7 this week” to help alleviate customer inconvenience.
Samsung edits its exchange program page
Perhaps even more tellingly, a quick look at Samsung’s Note 7 exchange page in The Wayback Machine (a tool for viewing older versions of web pages) indicates a few worrying changes:
- Samsung added “we are advising that you power down your Note 7 and exchange it now” where the prior version simply announced the exchange offer.
- Samsung also added “strongly advise” to both mentions of returning your current Note 7. These two changes indicate that the problems may be more severe than initially thought.
- You can no longer get a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge as a temporary replacement while your new Note 7 is shipped. Samsung is now offering a Galaxy J series phone as a replacement instead.
- Samsung added “pending CPSC approval” to its mention of a new Note 7, indicating replacement Note 7’s aren’t just going to be rolling out of Samsung’s manufacturing lines without some oversight.
Stop using @SamsungSupport Galaxy #Note7. Full statement: https://t.co/v7sfEouZw2 pic.twitter.com/0NufAJScId— U.S. CPSC (@USCPSC) September 9, 2016
The Note 7 makes the “no fly” list
No, the Galaxy Note 7 isn’t a terrorist, but aviation authorities the world over are strongly recommending passengers not use the Galaxy Note 7 in flight or put it in their checked luggage. This is a major inconvenience for anyone using the Note 7 as a primary device if they have a flight coming up.
Countries/regions that have advised against using the Galaxy Note 7 on a flight include:
- The FAA and Transport Canada
- The European Aviation Safety Agency
- Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau
- India’s Civil Aviation Authority
- Various Australian airlines
- Various Taiwanese airlines
- Singapore Airlines
Samsung has also asked its South Korean customers to stop using the Galaxy Note 7 generally, although no South Korean airline or authority has taken a position on use of the phone in flight yet. Again, note that Samsung US has also advised “you power down your Note 7”.
Replacements arriving from next week
Samsung Australia revealed that the first Galaxy Note 7 replacements will arrive from September 21. It’s likely that other markets will receive replacements units around the same time. As for normal sales, Samsung will begin selling new Note 7 units from early October.
How to tell whether a Galaxy Note 7 is safe or not
Replaced (new, safe) Galaxy Note 7 units will feature special markings on their retail box. Look for a black square and a round “S” sticker on the barcode label on the box. Alternatively, you will be able to look up the phone’s IMEI number on a Samsung website that will go live once the replacement units arrive. More details here.
Amazon Note 7 recall – full refunds
It looks like Amazon isn’t taking any chances with the Note 7 fiasco. The retail giant has sent out emails to customers asking them to contact support for a full refund. While the wording isn’t very clear, it looks like Amazon is not asking for the phone back, at least for now. Amazon could ask customers to return the Note 7’s at a later date, but it’s unclear how Amazon could force customers to actually return them.
Greetings from Amazon.com.We have learned of a potential safety issue regarding the Samsung Galaxy Note7, which you purchased on Amazon.com.According to the manufacturer (Samsung), there is a potential safety issue with the battery. Samsung’s official announcement can be found here:
http://news.samsung.com/us/2016/09/02/official-statement-samsung-galaxy-note7/It is recommended that you stop using the phone immediately, turn it off, and do not plug it in or charge it.In order to obtain a full refund, contact Amazon Customer Service. Please do not return the phone right now. We will follow up with you as we learn more, and the refund is yours to keep.If you purchased accessories for this phone on Amazon.com, we can help you return and get a refund on those items.If you purchased this item for someone else, please notify the recipient immediately of this potential safety issue.We regret any inconvenience this may cause, but trust you will understand that the safety and satisfaction of our customers is our highest priority.Thanks for shopping on Amazon.com.
Has anyone here got this message from Amazon?
Note 7 US recall details
Samsung has announced the first details of its recall program in the US.
Customers will be able to get a Note 7 replacement from as soon as next week or receive a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge plus the price difference. If you want to switch to an S7/S7 Edge, Samsung will refund the price of any Note 7 accessories you may have bought.
Samsung is throwing a $25 gift card for every customer as a “gesture of appreciation.”
To initiate the exchange, customers are asked to contact the retailer they bought the Note 7 from or call Samsung at 1-800-SAMSUNG.
Here’s the email that Samsung is sending out to customers:
As you may have heard, there have isolated battery cell issues reported, which affect the Galaxy Note7 device. After a thorough review and in order to ensure that our customers have the best possible experience, Samsung has launched the US Product Exchange Program. The program offers you the ability to exchange your Galaxy Note7 either for a new Galaxy Note7, a Galaxy S7 or a Galaxy S7 Edge. New Galaxy Note7 inventory should be available as early as next week, and Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge devices are available now. You will also have the ability to exchange or receive a refund for any Galaxy Note7-specific accessories you may have purchased. Regardless of which Galaxy device you choose as the exchange, you will also receive a $25 Reward eCertificate good toward the purchase of mobile accessories or devices at Samsung.com.We are in the process of finalizing the full details of the US Product Exchange Program, and will contact you directly, within the next few days, to provide you with the additional information you’ll need in order to exchange your Galaxy Note7, if you decide that this is the course of action that you’d like to take.If, before we contact you again with the details of the exchange program, you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call the Samsung eCommerce Customer Support Team at 1-855-726-8721; our support representatives are available seven days a week from 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM, Eastern Time.Please be assured that your safety and confidence in the Samsung products you own are our highest priority, and we sincerely apologize for this issue. We are committed to doing everything necessary to ensure that you are completely satisfied with your purchase, and to ensure that you continue to be confident about our products and our brand.
Galaxy Note 7 recall: carriers reactions
Verizon announced that it has stopped selling the Note 7 and is making refunds or exchanges free through September 30. Full statement:
On September 2, 2016, Samsung announced a voluntary recall of the Galaxy Note7 in response to an issue with the device’s battery. 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.
If you’re affected by the Verizon Note 7 recall, head over to the nearest store or contact Verizon customer service by phone or online.
AT&T has stopped sales and is offering replacements to affected customers. Full statement:
Samsung has notified us that they have identified a battery cell issue in certain Galaxy Note7s. They have asked all retailers, including AT&T, to stop selling the device. They are investigating if the issue could lead to potential safety concerns. Because safety is our top priority, customers are strongly encouraged to exchange the Samsung Note7 for a new device. Customers with a Note7 may select a Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S7 active, Galaxy Note7 or any other smartphone, and may also return any Note7 accessories. If a customer chooses another Samsung device, he or she will receive a bill credit of $25 per device.Customers will be also able to exchange that interim device for a new Note 7 in the future. That process will be shared as soon as it is available. Visit www.att.com/note7 for more information.
If you need to get a replacement from AT&T for your Note 7, you can do so from the nearest store. AT&T is offering you the possibility to replace the recalled Note 7 with any device you want, but if you choose a Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, or Galaxy S7 Active, you’ll get a $25 credit. You can also use the device you get as a loaner for the duration of the recall process.
T-Mobile is accepting refunds and waiving all fees related to the recall. Full statement:
We have been working closely with Samsung to finalize details of their exchange program for the Note7, and we want to make sure T-Mobile customers are taken care of. Customers now have two options:
As we announced earlier this morning, customers can return the Note7 to T-Mobile for a full, complete refund of anything paid for the device and any Note7 accessories. We’ll waive any restocking charges and shipping fees, and customers can keep the free Netflix subscription and Gear Fit or SD card they received with purchase during pre-order. Customers have the option to use their refund to choose any device in T-Moble’s stores.
As soon as we have inventory from Samsung, customers can exchange their current Galaxy Note7 for a new Galaxy Note7, and we will notify customers as soon as we have inventory available.
Customers can visit their local T-Mobile store where they bought the device or call 611 on their mobile phone or 1-800-937-8997 through at least September 30 to take advantage of either option.
It’s pretty clear: you can get a full refund (and keep any accessories that came with the Note 7), get a replacement device, or wait for new Note 7 unit to arrive.
Sprint is asking customers who bought a Note 7 to go to Sprint stores to receive a “similar device until the issue is resolved.” Full statement:
Sprint is working closely with Samsung and will be participating in its U.S. Product Exchange Program for Galaxy Note 7 users to ensure we quickly address the needs of customers who already have purchased the device.Sprint Note 7 customers have three options:Customers can replace their current Galaxy Note 7 with a new one when stock becomes available.
Customers also have the choice of immediately exchanging their device for a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge; this includes replacement of any Note 7 accessories with a refund for any price difference between devices.
Sprint will allow customers to exchange their Note 7 for any Sprint device and will reimburse any price differences and waive any restocking and shipping fees.Sprint customers should visit the store where they purchased their Note 7 and a Sprint team member will gladly help customers get up and running with their new device on the Sprint network. Sprint Note 7 customers can also call (888) 211-4727 for information on how to exchange their device.As a gesture of appreciation, Samsung is offering all customers choosing a Galaxy S7 family device or the Galaxy Note 7 within the exchange program with a $25 service credit applied to their Sprint account within the next 90 days.
Like T-Mobile and AT&T, Sprint is giving you the option to pick from a refund, a replacement, or a Note 7 replacement, once it becomes available.
Telus has suspended sales of the Galaxy Note 7, and will announced details of the recall process at a later date. Full statement:
“After a thorough investigation conducted by Samsung, Telus has been advised by the manufacturer that it has found a battery cell issue in Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices.”“Consistent with Telus’ policy of putting customers first, and because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority, we have suspended sales of the device across all Telus corporate, dealer and retail locations, as well as online. We are working closely with Samsung to ensure the replacement experience is as convenient and efficient as possible for our customers.”
Bell Canada will begin contacting affected customers ASAP. Full statement:
“Bell has suspended sales of the Galaxy Note 7 and we are contacting all customers affected by the issue. We’re working with Samsung to ensure these customers receive replacement phones as quickly as possible.”
Rogers has suspended sales, and asking customers to come in store for an exchange or loaner. Full statement:
“After being notified by Samsung that they have stopped selling the Galaxy Note 7 due to reported safety issues, we immediately suspended shipments and sales of the device in all our stores and through our website. Samsung is working on a replacement program and we’ll continue to work with them to ensure the process is seamless for our customers. In the meantime, customers can visit their nearest Rogers store to exchange their Note 7 or get a loaner device.”
Galaxy Note 7 recall: F.A.Q.
Wait, what happened again?
Samsung has discovered an issue with the battery of the Note 7 units it has shipped so far. By Samsung’s count, the issue has caused at least 35 incidents where the Note 7 dangerously overheated or caught fire while charging, or soon after charging.
The problem is estimated to affect one device in every 42,000 units. Samsung says it shipped around 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 units so far, so if the estimate is correct, only a few dozen phones sold worldwide are at risk.
Samsung said it’s recalling every Note 7 unit it has shipped so far out of an abundance of caution.
This sounds bad. Should I be worried?
If the “one in every 42,000 units” estimation is correct, the risk of your Note 7 being defective is very, very low. While it’s good to be cautious, there’s little reason to be worried about your phone exploding, catching fire, or even breaking.
Why do phones even catch fire or explode?
Smartphones (and other modern electronic devices) from all manufacturers have been known to catch fire, usually while charging (often through a third-party cable or charger). These incidents are relatively rare, but with hundreds of million units being sold every year, they are bound to happen occasionally.
Here’s an in-depth explanation of what happens when a phone catches fire and the most common reasons behind these incidents.
YouTuber JerryRigEverything has a video explanation of what happens when batteries malfunction, or better said, when they are tampered with. Check it out:
What is Samsung doing about it?
Samsung is recalling all Note 7 it shipped so far, worldwide. This includes devices that are already in the customers’ hands and devices that have been shipped to carriers and retailers but haven’t been sold to end-users yet. The total number of recalled Note 7 units is around 2.5 million, according to Samsung.
When will the Note 7 recall start?
Samsung said it’s working on manufacturing Note 7 replacement units for the recall. The process will take two weeks, according to the company. That means that, in the absence of any change, the first replacement units will reach customer hands in a few weeks.
Keep in mind that the recall process will differ from market to market. The speed of the process will also depend on the retailer or carrier you bought the phone from, and potentially on the model.
How long will the Note 7 recall take?
Samsung did not say how long the recall process will take, but it did confirm it will issue replacements instead of repairing units that are brought in. That should make the process faster.
Will I get a new device?
Yes, Samsung said it will replace your Note 7 with a new unit of the exact same model.
Will there be any compensation for my trouble?
Samsung did not offer any details about that, but it’s possible. Some carriers or retailers may also offer partial refunds, credit, or other forms of compensation for the recall or the cancelled orders. For instance, UK’s Carphone Warehouse has already announced a £25 account credit for every customer who pre-ordered the Note 7.
I have a Note 7, what should I do to get it replaced?
Samsung will announce details about the recall process for every market. For now, the only thing you can do (other than returning the phone and asking for a refund, if possible) is to wait for further news. Keep an eye out for announcements from the retailer or carrier you’ve bought the Note 7 from, as well as the Samsung branch from your country.
Should I keep using my Note 7?
Again, the risk of anything bad happening is very low, statistically speaking. But if you’re very worried about your Note catching fire, the safest thing to do would be to shut the phone down and put it in a safe place until you can get it replaced.
What can I do to stay safe until I get a replacement?
There are a few common sense precautions you can take in order to keep safe, which are valid for any electronic device. To boil it down:
- Stop charging your phone it if becomes too hot.
- Stick to first-party chargers.
- Don’t charge your phone in bed.
- Be mindful of where you charge your phone.
I don’t want a Note 7 anymore, can I get a refund instead of a replacement?
Samsung did not specify, but your retailer or carrier may give you the option to ask for a full refund. Since the Note 7 only launched two weeks ago, your purchase might be protected by your local customer protection laws.
My Note 7 is arriving soon, what should I do?
If your Note 7 order is under way, you may want to cancel it, just to avoid the hassle of dealing with the recall. We advise against buying a Note 7 until the situation becomes clearer, especially from random individual sellers on Craigslist, eBay, or other similar sites.
Are other Samsung devices affected?
No, there is no information to suggest that other Samsung devices might be affected by the same issue.
India recall compensation
To make up for the delayed availability of the Note 7 in India, Samsung is offering those who pre-ordered the device the new Gear VR headset for free, as well as a $50 (~Rs 3,300) Oculus content voucher. More details here.
UK recall details revealed
Samsung UK has now clarified details for the recall program for the UK and Ireland. Samsung actually had stopped phone shipments before its official launch, and so only a select pre-order customers actually ever received units. If you are amongst that group, Samsung says that UK customers will be contacted by the provider or operator that they purchased the phone from and exchanges will begin starting September 19th.
Gear VR warning
It’s common sense, really, but in case you haven’t already, you should also stop using the Note 7 with the Gear VR headset. The last thing you want is a device that could potentially catch fire that is strapped just inches from your eyes.
Here’s the brief warning that appeared on Oculus’ website, warning against the usage of the Note 7 with the Gear VR:
A Note 7 just blew up in Australia
If you needed more proof that the Note 7 recall situation is serious, a reader in Australia just sent us these pictures.
Android Authority reader Tham Hua says his Note 7 “exploded” while plugged in and charging. The first two pictures show the device, and you can see the aftermath of the incident in Tham’s hotel room. Fortunately, Tham was not injuried seriously, but he did burn his finger while throwing the burning device off the bed.
Following the incident, Tham got in touch with Samsung Australia, who will provide him with a loaner device.
Take this incident as a reminder that, despite the small odds of something bad happening, you should still try to get your Note 7 replaced as soon as possible. In the meantime, don’t charge your device overnight, don’t leave it unattended while charging, and don’t charge it on beds, pillows, or in other where an overheating phone could start a fire.
Missed anything? Do you have questions about the Galaxy Note 7 recall? Ask away in the comments!