Samsung to start refunds, replacements of phablets

CONDITIONS::Samsung said any Galaxy Note 7 bought from an authorized dealer would be covered, but units purchased elsewhere would not be eligible for refunds

Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Sep 13, 2016 - Page 11

People who purchased Samsung Electronics Co’s latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, are to be able to apply for a replacement or a refund starting today, as reports of the device catching fire due to a battery problem have caused concerns.

Samsung confirmed 35 cases of the Galaxy Note 7 catching fire as of Sept. 1, most of them occurring while the battery was being charged, and the South Korean firm has announced a global recall of the smartphone.

In Taiwan, consumers who purchased the smartphones from authorized dealers are to be able to swap their Galaxy Note 7 for a new one or another flagship model, and they are also to have the option of applying for a refund, the South Korean electronics giant said.

Samsung said that the replacement and refund service would be carried out unconditionally.

However, people who purchased the device through parallel sales channels are not eligible for a refund, Samsung added.

The company stopped sales of the device in Taiwan on Sept. 3, after several reported incidents of the smartphone catching fire last month.

People who choose to receive a new Galaxy Note 7 would need to register on Samsung’s Web site from Monday next week, and deliveries of replacements are expected to begin on Sept. 23, the company said.

The 5.7-inch “phablet” went on sale in Taiwan and nine other markets around the world, including South Korea, on Aug. 16.

So far, 2.5 million handsets have been sold around the globe, according to Samsung.

Samsung mobile communications president Koh Dong-jin urged Galaxy Note 7 owners to immediately turn off and swap their smartphones as a precaution.

Taiwanese airlines on Friday last week announced that passengers should not use their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices in flight or put them in checked baggage, due to safety concerns over the smartphone’s fire-prone battery.

The move followed an announcement by the US Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday last week that “strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices aboard aircraft and not to stow them in checked baggage.”