Sam­sung of­fers up­grade op­tion for Note 7 cus­tomers in S. Korea

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

SEOUL: Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics is of­fer­ing an up­grade pro­gramme op­tion to Galaxy Note 7 cus­tomers in South Korea who trade in their re­called de­vice for a Galaxy S7 phone, mark­ing its lat­est at­tempt to re­tain cus­tomers.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, Sam­sung said cus­tomers who trade in their Note 7 phone for ei­ther a flat-screen or curved-screen ver­sion of the Galaxy S7 can trade up for a Galaxy S8 or Note 8 smart­phone launch­ing next year through an up­grade pro­gramme.

The world’s top smart­phone maker per­ma­nently ended Note 7 sales due to con­tin­ued re­ports of fire from the flag­ship de­vice. In ad­di­tion to of­fer­ing re­funds or ex­changes for a Galaxy S7 smart­phone, Sam­sung has al­ready of­fered fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives amount­ing to 100,000 won (RM368.25) to af­fected cus­tomers in South Korea.

Users in the up­grade pro­gramme will need to pay only half the price of a Galaxy S7 de­vice, rather than the full amount, be­fore ex­chang­ing to the S8 or Note 8, Sam­sung said.

In of­fer­ing the Note 8 up­grade op­tion, Sam­sung in­di­rectly re­in­forced pre­vi­ous state­ments that the Note series will not be dis­con­tin­ued. The com­pany said the avail­abil­ity of such a pro­gramme in other mar­kets will be de­pen­dent on the sit­u­a­tion in each coun­try. It did not elab­o­rate.

Sam­sung has stepped up mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tion for its Galaxy S smart­phones to try to make up for some of the lost sales. The Note 7’s col­lapse is al­ready cost­ing Sam­sung 5.4 bil­lion won (RM20 mil­lion) in op­er­at­ing profit be­tween the third quar­ter of this year and the first quar­ter of 2017.

Some an­a­lysts say Sam­sung will need to of­fer in­cen­tives to af­fected cus­tomers as part of their ef­forts to limit long-term dam­age to its brand and rep­u­ta­tion from the Note 7’s fail­ure.

The South Korean firm is fac­ing le­gal chal­lenges from cus­tomers, as well. Har­vest Law, a do­mes­tic law firm, said yes­ter­day one of its lawyers, Peter Young-yeel Ko, and 526 oth­ers have filed a law­suit in a South Korean court against Sam­sung seek­ing com­pen­sa­tion of 500,000 won per per­son. Sam­sung did not im­me­di­ately com­ment on the suit.

The firm is also fac­ing a pro­posed class ac­tion law­suit from three Galaxy Note 7 cus­tomers in the US. – Reuters

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