As you've surely heard by now, the Samsung Galaxy Note7 is in the midst of a global safety recall due to a potentially explosive battery cell. Samsung has announced it will give existing customers the choice of a repair, a full refund or a replacement. But what if you purchased your Note7 through a telco and are still paying it off? Here are the current options for Telstra, Optus and Vodafone customers.
If you were one of the 51,000 odd customers who purchased the Samsung Galaxy Note7 in Australia, you're probably wondering what to do next. All Note7 owners have been advised to stop using their phones immediately as a safety precaution.
"Samsung Electronics Australia is taking the proactive and voluntary step to recall 51,060 Galaxy Note7 smartphones," the company's Australian arm explained in a statement. "The recall is in response to the recent announcement by Samsung Consumer Electronics global regarding isolated battery cell issues with the Galaxy Note7 device."
But there's a problem. At the time of writing, Samsung has not shipped new, safe handsets to its partners, nor indicated a time frame for when this will occur. This means you're basically stuck with a phone you can't use until further notice. Tch.
Thankfully, Australian telcos have extended an olive branch of sorts to customers who already purchased the Galaxy Note7 on one of their plans. Here's what representatives from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone had to say:
Those who have purchased Note7 from us will be contacted by our specialised team. Samsung has announced an exchange program for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 customers, which will allow you to have your existing device repaired or replaced. Details of this program are yet to be announced but you can upgrade or change your plan to a new mobile and we'll waive the ETC's. (You can change to any other phones.)
A pretty solid peace offering, we're sure you'll agree. If you wait a few weeks, you might even be able to swap your Note7 for an iPhone 7. (If you've been thinking about migrating to iOS, this is as good an excuse as any!)
Optus customers should visit their local Optus store to discuss their immediate options, which will include a temporary replacement phone if available. The replacement phone will be a Samsung device. Customers are best to discuss specifics with their local store.
Optus is only offering a temporary Samsung device as a stop gap solution, which means you'll be stuck with an inferior model (albeit one that doesn't explode.) Better than nothing, we suppose.
Update: Optus has revised its solution to fall in line with Telstra and Vodafone. From the Optus Note7 replacement page: "Customers who do not wish to wait for a replacement Note7 can get a full refund, or change to another phone on a new plan, without incurring cancellations fees." Hurrah!
Until we receive the confirmation from Samsung, you can take a J1 mini handset from Vodafone store for free to use in the meantime. Or else, you can get the handset changed with any other handset and we'll adjust the price accordingly.
Like Telstra, Vodafone is allowing its customers to permanently swap to another handset. The only stipulation is that you need to return the Note7. Obviously.
The quickest way to finalise things is to head into a physical retail shop. We've included the store locator for each telco below. You're welcome!