Ur­gent Note: turn it off and take it back

UAE au­thor­i­ties tell Sam­sung hand­set own­ers to get their money re­funded

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Ma­hak Man­nan @Ma­hakLFC

Thou­sands of UAE cus­tomers have been told to switch off their Sam­sung Galaxy Note 7 smart­phones and re­turn the de­vices to re­tail­ers as a part of a global re­call.

The Min­istry of Econ­omy urged own­ers to claim a re­fund and said they could re­port sell­ers who refuse to ac­cept the re­turned hand­sets.

The move came as Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics yes­ter­day said the firm is per­ma­nently dis­con­tin­u­ing pro­duc­tion and sales of the Note 7 amid on­go­ing con­cerns about the de­vices burst­ing into flames, like the one pic­tured.

The South Korean firm first an­nounced a re­call of about 2.5 mil­lion units in Septem­ber amid nu­mer­ous re­ports of hand­sets catch­ing fire. Then, in re­cent weeks, some of the re­place­ments were re­ported to have over­heated and caught fire too.

The Min­istry of Econ­omy said in a state­ment that an owner should “shut it down and re­turn it to the shop”. It added: “They need to have a re­ceipt to get their money. If the shop re­fuses to re­turn the money and take the phone back then peo­ple can con­tact the Con­sumer Rights Depart­ment and register a com­plaint.”

Re­tailer Jumbo said it alone had sold about 6,000 of the phones since the model went on sale.

How­ever, it is not known how many de­vices have been sold in the UAE al­to­gether. A Jumbo em­ployee said: “Peo­ple are still will­ing to buy it and we are com­pletely sold out right now. “We’ve sold al­most 6,000 of those de­vices so far.” Ashish Panjabi, Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer of Jacky’s, said it has al­ready cleared out its stock of the hand­sets. He said: “As of now we have been asked to stop sell­ing Galaxy Note 7 units. “Our re­main­ing stock is be­ing re­turned to Sam­sung. “As for the re­fund, we are still await­ing a con­fir­ma­tion. “How­ever, if it is a packed unit, we will take it back. If it is an open piece then we still need to get Sam­sung’s ap­proval.” Le­banese-Amer­i­can ex­pat Ghul­miyyah M, 32, said he had to change his de­vice four times since the launch. He said: “I bought the phone be­fore the sto­ries of it ex­plod­ing came out and have ex­changed it four times in a month. “It would freeze, hea­tup and crash and I had to save ev­ery­thing from scratch ev­ery time. “When news came out of ex­chang­ing the phone af­ter the first burn in­ci­dent, I gave my phone back to Sam­sung and they did not give me a re­place­ment de­vice.” The re­call has had a sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial ef­fect on the elec­tron­ics gi­ant. In­vestors wiped nearly $20 bil­lion off Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics’ mar­ket value yes­ter­day as its shares closed down 8 per cent – the big­gest daily de­cline since 2008.

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