The embattled South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics announced Thursday to recall every one of its recently released Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.
Samsung’s announcement is in response to the fierce controversy surrounding the new model of its flagship product, which came with a defect that endangered the users’ safety. Per Samsung’s policy, all consumers who purchased the Galaxy Note 7 can now either receive full refund or exchange the smartphone with another product. It has been known that approximately 1.9 million Galaxy Note 7s have been sold since its release.
1. Exchange for another Samsung product
To prevent its customer base from shrinking further, Samsung is providing $100 credit to those who decide to exchange their Galaxy Note 7 with another one of its smartphones. However, those who already exchanged their Galaxy Note 7 for a $25 credit will only receive $75 in credit instead.
Since the release of the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung has already gone through the process of release → recall → exchange for a new product → rerelease → final recall. The series of events that concluded in Samsung stalling the sale of the Galaxy Note 7 has evidently tarnished its brand image. Industry experts say that Samsung’s latest decision is in response to its customers who may have lost their trust in the manufacturer.
2. Exchange for another manufacturer’s smartphone
Samsung will still provide $25 credit in courtesy to customers who choose to exchange their Galaxy Note 7 for a smartphone that is not one of its own products. Samsung will also provide full refund to those who choose to return the smartphone.
3. Safety box
To customers who wish to return their Galaxy Note 7 via mail, Samsung will distribute a safety box and glove for proper shipping and handling as the device has reportedly been hazardous.
40 percent of Samsung exist customers are now opposed to owning its product. According to research firm Branding Brand, 40 percent of the surveyed Samsung customers are not willing to purchase another one of its products. It is also unknown whether the remaining 60 percent are intent on choosing another Samsung product.
4. Industry reaction
In response to the recent controversy, Samsung reiterated its “commitment” to customers by adequately compensating them. So far, the reaction to Samsung’s decision has been positive. Many experts believe that the $100 credit policy will help Samsung to retain its core base of customers.
“$100 is no little money,” said Jong-won Choi, the president of All Star Wireless, a premium Verizon dealer. “Many Android users are averse to switching to an Apple product, so the credit policy should help Samsung a lot.”
Furthermore, some Samsung customers have already exchanged the Galaxy Note 7 with either Galaxy S7 or the Edge, according to one T-Mobile representative.
“After the first recall, the number of customers who flocked into our shop was quite high,” said a Sprint store employee in Koreatown, who wished to remain anonymous. “But after the final recall was announced, the people coming in for exchange has not been as great. It looks like Samsung’s decision has already made an impact on the customers.”
Case in point, some customers are even willing to keep their Galaxy Note 7 at the expense of their safety. However, industry experts strongly recommend that products that have been confirmed to be hazardous must be powered off and be returned or exchanged as soon as possible.
By Sung Cheol Jin