Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 smartphone -- which lived just under two months, following a grand unveiling in August and a flurry of critical acclaim -- is now dead, thanks to its exploding battery problem.
The Korean tech giant halted all production of the device on Tuesday, ordering carriers to remove it from shelves, but even that isn’t the final coda to this nightmare saga: The company on Thursday announced a refund program, offering up to a $100 credit for customers willing to turn in their faulty devices for another Samsung phone.
For anyone hesitant to let go of their Note7, you might want to study the program, which works like this:
- Samsung will offer up to $100 bill credit at select carrier locations if customers exchange their Note7 for another Samsung phone.
- If you just want a refund, and choose to switch to a different smartphone brand, Samsung will supply “$25 bill credit from select carrier or retail outlets as a token of our appreciation and acknowledgement of your inconvenience.”
All of this is a bit of shame-ridden consolation extended by Samsung -- the first smartphone manufacturer ever to initiate two mass recalls affecting millions of products. The US Consumer Protection Agency also issued a formal Note7 recall on Thursday, noting “the lithium-ion battery in the Galaxy Note7 smartphones can overheat and catch fire, posing serious fire and burn hazard to consumers.” Earlier this week, the USCPA and Samsung advised all Note7 customers to power down their devices.
The USPCA notes that 96 incidents of overheating Note 7s have been reported across the US, the most gruesome of which have actually maimed people. Twenty-three incidents occurred after Samsung initiated its second recall on September 13 -- after the company claimed the phone’s battery issues had been remedied. According to the USPCA, “Samsung has received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damage associated with Note7 phones.”
Unsurprisingly, the debacle has proven financially worrisome for Samsung: According to Reuters data compiled on Monday, the company could stand to lose $18 billion in valuation -- a troubling figure to be sure.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.
Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.