Fri, Oct 14, 2016 - Page 4 News List

NCC requests recall of Note 7s

REMOTE RESPONSE:Samsung said that it would use a firmware update to reduce the battery capacity of old Note 7 smartphones to 60 percent to maximize the recall rate

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday said that 42,000 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones have been sold in Taiwan, adding that telecoms and Samsung’s office in Taiwan have been asked to recall devices with faulty batteries.

Samsung on Tuesday said that it would permanently stop the production and sales of the Note 7 smartphones following multiple complaints from all over the world that batteries were exploding while the devices were being used or charged.

NCC spokesperson Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said that the commission has received four complaints from Note 7 users, in which they asked for a refund or an exchange following a series of battery explosion reports.

Their requests were denied by Samsung’s retailers and they filed complaints with the commission, he said.

The commission met with Samsung’s representatives in Taiwan on Wednesday morning to address the issues involved in recalling the phones, Wong said.

According to the company, 42,000 Note 7 phones have been sold in Taiwan since it was launched in August, with 6,000 customers asking for a refund or requesting an exchange.

The company also said 30,000 users have registered to exchange their old Note 7s for ones equipped with new batteries, adding that 27,000 users have received a new Note 7 smartphone.

Meanwhile, 6,000 Note 7 users have not registered to get a new Note 7 smartphone, company data showed.

The commission has also asked telecoms to help it contact their Note 7 customers, Wong said.

“Samsung still bears the main responsibility,” he said. “We have asked the company to use every means possible to contact all Galaxy Note 7 owners. They should also set up a special section on their Web site to inform customers about relevant issues.”

“In addition, they should have a team of professionals to properly handle all cases presented to them by Note 7 customers until each case is closed,” he added.

Meanwhile, the company should make sure its announcement to Note 7 users can be widely spread through all media outlets, Wong said.

To maximize the recall rate, the company said on its Web site that it would reduce the battery capacity of the old Note 7 smartphones to 60 percent through a firmware update.

In Taiwan, Galaxy Note 7 users can start requesting refunds at the stores where they purchased the smartphones.

They can also choose to exchange their old Note 7 smartphone for a new Galaxy S7 Edge or a Galaxy Note 5 and get an additional NT$3,000 voucher.

Wong said that the commission would not scrutinize Samsung phones when they are submitted for certifications for radio frequency equipment.

Specifications for the batteries powering the smartphones are set by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, he said.

In related news, the commission is to hold two advisory consultation sessions to hear opinions from experts on Morgan Stanley’s proposed acquisition of multiple system operator China Network Systems (CNS, 中嘉網路), which was returned to the commission for a second review.

The first session should be held at the end of this month, he said.

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