Sam­sung scraps Note 7, so what next for con­sumers?

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - MARKETPLACE - By Bree Fowler

NEW YORK >> Sam­sung has of­fi­cially scrapped the Note 7. So what’s next for con­sumers?

Re­ports of bat­tery fires first prompted a round of re­calls and then ex­changes for what the com­pany said were safer de­vices. Then Sam­sung was forced to junk the huge phone-bor­der­ing-on-tablet al­to­gether after re­ports that the re­place­ment phones were caus­ing fires too. All of the ma­jor U.S. mo­bile car­ri­ers halted sales and trade ins.

So what’s a Note 7 owner to do? Here are some answers to com­mon ques­tions:

I HAVE ONE OF THE RE­PLACE­MENT PHONES. DO I RE­ALLY NEED TO STOP US­ING IT?

Ab­so­lutely. The mul­ti­ple in­ves­ti­ga­tions into re­place­ment units catch­ing fire and the fact Sam­sung has pulled the plug on the model should tell you some­thing.

In ad­di­tion, South Korean safety authorities said Tues­day that they may have found a new de­fect that may not be re­lated to the bat­ter­ies.

If you in­sist on us­ing a Note 7 un­til ob­tain­ing a re­place­ment, don’t plug it in at night at your bed­side, and don’t give it to your kids. Use it at your own risk.

HOW BAD HAVE THE FIRES BEEN?

So­cial media is filled with pic­tures of smol­der­ing phones. While dra­matic, these oc­cur­rences are far from com­mon. But you don’t want to be­come the next head­line.

Michael Kler­ing of Ni­cholasville, Ken­tucky, says his re­place­ment Note 7 caught fire while he was sleep­ing last week. The fire scorched a night­stand and filled his house with smoke that he says has caused his fam­ily to suf­fer breath­ing prob­lems.

And when U.S. reg­u­la­tors an­nounced their re­call of the orig­i­nal Note 7s last month, they cited 92 re­ports of the bat­ter­ies over­heat­ing in the U.S., in­clud­ing 26 re­ports of burns and 55 of prop­erty dam­age. The prop­erty dam­age in­cluded fires in cars and a garage.

DID I JUST WASTE NEARLY A THOUSAND DOL­LARS ON THE NOTE 7?

Sam­sung has been slow to re­lease spe­cific in­for­ma­tion on the re­place­ment phones. Its ini­tial re­call of­fered own­ers a refund, a re­place­ment Note 7 or an­other Sam­sung phone such as the Galaxy S7 with a refund of any dif­fer­ence in price.

While the re­place­ment phone isn’t an op­tion any­more, the of­fer of a refund or an­other model of Sam­sung phone still stands. All ma­jor U.S. car­ri­ers are also let­ting cus­tomers switch to an­other man­u­fac­turer’s phone.

Cus­tomers who ex­change a Note 7 for an­other Sam­sung prod­uct also get a $25 in the form of a gift card, in-store credit or bill credit from se­lect car­ri­ers or re­tail­ers.

WHAT ABOUT AC­CES­SORIES?

It depends on the car­rier. T-Mo­bile and AT&T, for in­stance, are giv­ing full re­funds on ac­ces­sories.

Some Sam­sung gad­gets, such as its Gear Fit2 fit­ness tracker, will work with other An­droid phones. The Gear VR vir­tual re­al­ity head­set re­quires a re­cent Sam­sung phone, though.

I’D LIKE TO STICK WITH SAM­SUNG. WHAT’S AVAIL­ABLE?

The Galaxy S7, which came out in March, doesn’t of­fer the same huge screen as the Note 7, but it has many of the same fea­tures. Notable ex­cep­tions are the Note 7’s iris scan­ner and pen.

Sam­sung’s Galaxy S8 is ex­pected in Fe­bru­ary or March, mak­ing the S7 feel old al­ready. Even older is last year’s Note 5 (there was no Note 6).

It’s un­likely that Sam­sung will try to push out the S8 ear­lier to fill the gap, as the com­pany is de­pen­dent on parts that might not be ready un­til next year.

COULD OTHER PHONES CATCH FIRE?

Given con­sumer de­mand for bat­ter­ies that are more pow­er­ful, last longer and charge faster, it’s a lit­tle sur­pris­ing that Note 7 is the only phone catch­ing fire these days.

Not that long ago, some lap­top bat­ter­ies were go­ing up in flames too.

The Note 7 is still be­ing dis­sected by tech ex­perts for Sam­sung and the gov­ern­ment. They may find that the prob­lem isn’t with the bat­tery at all.

Fol­low Bree Fowler at https://twitter.com/APBreeFowler. Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/author/bree-fowler.

AHN YOUNG-JOON — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A vis­i­tor tries out a Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Galaxy Note 7 smart­phone at the com­pany’s shop in Seoul in Seoul, South Korea, Mon­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.