My (failed) attempts to return my Samsung Note7
I'm writing this because despite all press urging users to return their Note7 devices ASAP, it's still impossible to return a device purchased in Singapore and likely many other countries as well. While this is far from proof of anything, I'm publishing my record of events, specifically return attempts and Samsung's responses.
As of today October 14, 2016 (JST), Samsung SG's official statement continues to be:
Samsung is in close discussions with telecommunication operator and retail partners, and details on how Galaxy Note7 customers can go about the exchange or refund will be provided soon.
Timeline of events for my record are as follows. Some dates from CIO.com adjusted for Asia timezone.
- August 19, 2016 - Preordered Note7s available for pickup
- August 25, 2016 - Initial reports of fire issues surface
- September 3, 2016 - Voluntary recall starts. CPSC investigation begins
- September 16, 2016 - Samsung claims issue has been found and fixed.
- September 20, 2016 - Samsung announces how to identify "safe" Note7. Additionally launches IMEI checker.
- October 1, 2016 - Purchased "safe" Note7
- Samsung re-starts sale of "safe" Note7 after initial recall
- Checked the IMEI on Samsung.com's site before paying. The site returns an exceptionally cheerful message "Great news! Your device is NOT in the list of affected devices"
- October 6, 2016 - Reports of supposedly "safe" devices still "exploding" including one on the Southwest flight. Samsung says it's investigating.
- October 9, 2016
- Reports of "safe" devices failing now up to 5
- Press speculates that Samsung will have a full recall
- 3 of 4 US major carriers stop Note7 sales and independently offer alternatives while Samsung continues investigating
- October 10, 2016 - Retrun attempt #1
Samsung is committed to producing the highest quality products and we take every incident report from our valued customers very seriously.When asked about the recent news, the operator could not offer any comments but went on to check my IMEI and surprisingly read this result to me during the ongoing CPSC investigation of safety issues with the new devices:
"Great news! Your device is NOT in the list of affected devices. Feel free to continue to use the device normally as there is no risk to you or your family"
- October 11, 2016
- I return to Tokyo from Singapore
- Samsung announces they will stop production on the Note7 model and issue a full recall.
- Samsung SG updates it's website to what it still shows today that "...details on how Galaxy Note7 customers can go about the exchange or refund will be provided soon."
- October 12, 2016 - Return attempt #2
- Called Samsung JP to see if they would allow returning the device in Japan but since it was never released in Japan they could not offer support
- October 13, 2016 - Return attempt #3
- samsung.com/sg/note7exchange/ is gone and redirecting to samsung.com/sg/
- I used the Samsung SG chat function to see if anything has changed in their process but again am told "...details on how Galaxy Note7 customers can go about the exchange or refund will be provided soon."
- October 14, 2016
- http://www.samsung.com/sg/note7exchange/ has been updated
- From Oct 26, note7 owners can apply for refund or exchange
- FAQ says that owners abroad who purchased N7 in Singapore should work with local Samsung centers. Guess I'll be stopping by there tomorrow.
- October 15, 2016
- US Department of Transportation officially classifies Note7 as hazardous and bans all Note7 from air transportation in the US.
- On a personal note, I feel really bad for any US residents currently abroad with their Note7 in a country which has yet to announce refund plans.
- October 16, 2016 - Samsung JP will accept return*
- Received official return instructions from Samsung Japan. As long as I have the original receipt (which I do) they will send me a box to return for refund. *Unfortunately this return does not apply to any accessories like the S$169 (now discontinued) Samsung Note7 lens kit I purchased.
- Singapore Airlines announces Note7 ban on all flights making returning this to Samsung SG unlikely if they eventually announce refunds for Samsung original accessories specifically for Note7.