Samsung Will Keep Bugging You to Turn in Your Faulty Galaxy Note 7

(The Washington Post) -
An employee uses a Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 7 new smartphone at its store in Seoul, South Korea. (Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)
An employee uses a Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 7 new smartphone at its store in Seoul, South Korea. (Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)

Samsung’s U.S. replacement program for the Galaxy Note 7 kicks off Wednesday. This gives those who purchased the phones the opportunity to swap out their recalled phones for new models that don’t have the batteries linked to fires and explosions.

Any Galaxy Note 7 sold before Sept. 15 in the United States will likely need to be replaced. The new phone model will have a different battery indicator than the old one, to ensure that customers can tell the difference between them. Safe phones have green battery indicators, while the older phones have black and white indicators.

Samsung and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have urged all Note 7 owners to turn their devices off and stop using them. Those who have not will get a software update pushed to their phones that will repeatedly show a safety message that echoes this request. The message will appear every time users turn on or charge their device, Samsung said. This update should have reached affected users’ phones starting Tuesday.

“Working hand in hand with the CPSC, we are delivering as promised and moving quickly to educate consumers about the recall and make new Note7s available,” Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement late Tuesday.

Samsung first made problems about the Galaxy Note 7 public Sept. 2 and officially launched a recall Sept. 15.

Those still unsure about whether their Note 7 is affected by the recall can visit Samsung’s website and type in their phone’s IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. Customers can find that number by looking on the box or a sticker on the back of the phone. It can also be found by going to a phone’s setting using this path: “Apps > Settings > About Phone or General Management > Status > IMEI information or Serial number.”

Overall, the Samsung recall affects 1 million phones in the United States, according to the CPSC. In a statement Tuesday, Samsung said that it has more than 500,000 replacement devices on hand available for exchange Thursday.

Customers can also ask for their money back; many carriers are also offering other Samsung devices as potential replacements for the Note 7.