After just a few days of deliberating and organising, Samsung has issued an official local recall for the Galaxy Note7 in Australia, following the announcement of a worldwide halt on sales and a worldwide recall. Owners are being advised to switch off their phones and return them to where they were purchased — and to use a courtesy temporary replacement provided by Samsung.
Samsung has set up a website devoted to the recall of the 50,000-plus devices sold to Australian customers. Device owners can complete a form to be contacted by Samsung, or can call the company's customer service phone line on 1300 362 603.
Those courtesy devices will be available from Wednesday 7 September, and will be provided to customers until replacement Galaxy Note7 stock comes into the country in three to four weeks. Alternatively, any customer that doesn't want to keep their Note7 in light of the recall is being offered a full refund.
Anyone that purchased a Galaxy Note7 through Samsung's carrier partners — Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile — will be contacted directly or can contact their telco's customer service to coordinate a return for the recall. Carriers may offer different remedies to Samsung for their customers, but Samsung says both will be eligible for temporary replacement devices whole waiting for new Note7 deliveries.
In the weeks since launch, Samsung has sold 51,060 Galaxy Note7 smartphones in Australia. No reports of battery incidents have been confirmed in Australia, although the company is investigating "a small number of reported incidents" locally, and a total of 35 incident reports across Korea, the US and Taiwan were made to Samsung from the approximately 2.5 million Note7 devices sold since the mid-August launch.
Samsung is asking Note7 owners not to use their phones any more, to complete a backup and to switch off their devices, and to contact either their carrier or Samsung directly (as appropriate) to arrange the recall. Samsung will cover the courier costs for picking up affected devices and delivering replacement handsets and temporary handsets, and recommends that customers talk to its support staff to complete a data backup that can be transferred between devices.
The issue, as explained by Samsung, is a manufacturing fault in the Note7's battery — which is unique to this handset and not used in any other Samsung device: "Based on our investigation, we have learned that there was an issue within the battery cell. An overheating of the battery cell occurred when the anode-to-cathode came into contact which is a very rare manufacturing process error."
Here's the official statement from Samsung:
Samsung Electronics Australia is today taking the proactive and voluntary step to recall 51,060 Galaxy Note7 smartphones. The recall is in response to the recent announcement by Samsung Consumer Electronics global regarding isolated battery cell issues with the Galaxy Note7 device.
Samsung Electronics Australia advises all customers who use a Galaxy Note7 smartphone to power off their device, return it to its place of purchase and use an alternative device until a remedy can be provided. Customers who have purchased a Galaxy Note7 from Samsung are entitled to a new Galaxy Note7 (and a courtesy device until replacement Galaxy Note7 stock arrives) or a full refund.
The delivery of a replacement Galaxy Note 7 to customers is expected within three to four weeks. Alternatively, customers who have not purchased a Galaxy Note7 from Samsung can approach their place of purchase to discuss their remedy options.
“The safety and ongoing satisfaction of our customers is our top priority,” said Richard Fink, Vice President IT & Mobile, Samsung Electronics Australia. “We know our Galaxy Note7 customers are our most loyal customers and we are taking a proactive approach to support them. We are asking customers to contact Samsung or their place of purchase to arrange a suitable courtesy smartphone or refund.
“Courtesy devices will become available from this Wednesday (September 7, 2016).”
Galaxy Note7 smartphone owners can visit the place of purchase of their device or call Samsung Customer Service on 1300 362 603 or visit http://www.samsung.com/au/galaxynote7-notice/.