Samsung Gulf is offering Note 7 buyers three options, including refund, to replace their device despite no issues of battery catching fire in the UAE, sources close to the company told Gulf News.
“The options are – exchange a Galaxy Note 7 for a new Note 7, exchange a Note 7 for a Galaxy S7 Edge or refund the full amount whether it is purchased from anywhere in the world with an original bill of purchase,” the source said.
Customers in the US have two options - exchange a Note 7 for a new Note 7 or exchange a Note 7 for a S7 Edge and replacement of any Note 7 specific accessories with a refund on the price difference between the devices, plus Samsung is giving Note 7 buyers a $25 gift card or credit off their carrier bill for their troubles.
Samsung issued a global recall of Galaxy Note 7 on Friday following reports in the US, Taiwan and South Korea of the phone exploding during or after charging.
The Korean company confirmed 35 instances where Note 7 devices caught fire: 17 cases each in the US and Korea and one in Taiwan.
“Customers are advised to go into the retailer they bought the device from or call Samsung Helpline on 800-7267864. Samsung will issue more clarity on the subject within the next few days on their website. There may be a delay in providing the free replacement of approximately three weeks,” the source said.
Customers are advised to back up their data before handing over the device for replacement.
The source said that Samsung takes customers’ safety more seriously rather than sales. Samsung is committed to producing the highest quality products and take every incident report from its valued customers very seriously.
The company said it has not found a way to tell exactly which phones may endanger users out of the 2.5 million Note 7s already sold globally.
“In response to recently reported cases of the new Galaxy Note7, we conducted a thorough investigation and found a battery cell issue.”
Models in China feature a different battery and are not being recalled by Samsung.
“We acknowledge the inconvenience this may cause in the market but this is to ensure that Samsung continues to deliver the highest quality products to our customers. We are working closely with our partners to ensure the customer experience is as convenient and efficient as possible,” source said.
Samsung Gulf has already pulled out the existing stocks from the market and the market is dry.
Hashim Al Nuaimi, Director of Consumer Protection in the UAE Ministry of Economy, told Gulf News that, based on the UAE Law No. (24) of 2006 on Consumer Protection, “the customer has the right to exchange or replace any new device if the device is found faulty”.
The law says that a customer has the right to be protected from products, production processes and services that may cause harm to health and safety.
“When we contacted Samsung, the company has agreed to exchange or replace the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices sold in the UAE - around 19,000 units - in exchange for new devices soon,” Al Nuaimi said.
He also urged customers not to use the faulty Note 7 until a replacement is made from the dealer or distributor.
The Ministry added that for more enquiries, customers can contact its helpline on 600522225.
Strategy Analytics said the Korean company may sell fewer than 10 million Note 7s this year compared with its previous estimate of 14 million globally. The combined cost of the recall would erase $5 billion off its smartphone revenue this year and cut smartphone profit margin by 1.5 per cent.
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