About 15,000 UK customers who pre-ordered the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 have been urged to return the phones immediately after a fire risk was identified with them. While the Royal Mail won't collect recalled faulty phones for safety reasons, some network providers will send couriers to pick up the devices and most will accept returns in store.
Problems with the Galaxy Note 7 were originally investigated by Samsung on 1 September following 35 reports globally of the handsets catching fire in the first two weeks of going on sale.
The investigation found the issues were due to a fault in the phone's battery cells, so the tech giant offered to replace all 2.5 million devices that had been purchased with a new device deemed safe.
However, Samsung yesterday (11 October) announced that it's recalling the replacement devices after they too started to catch fire – and that it will no longer be manufacturing the handsets.
Although the recall comes before the phone was scheduled for general release in the UK, about 15,000 UK customers have managed to get their hands on the new phone by pre-ordering.
As part of you consumer rights, you should receive a refund within 14 days of your device being returned. Check out our guide for full info on your consumer rights.
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I've got a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, what should I do with it?
First and foremost, if you're one of the thousands of UK customers who've pre-ordered a Galaxy Note 7 you should turn it off immediately.
Once you've done this, you should return your device to the network provider you bought it from. How you go about this will depend on where you bought it, but it's worth bearing in mind that the Royal Mail is refusing to take delivery of the device due to it being a fire risk.
We contacted all major mobile phone providers, as well as Samsung, to find out how customers should return their devices.
- EE – a spokesperson told us that EE has been texting affected customers urging them to get in touch. Those who have received a Galaxy Note 7 can return the handset in store, or can contact customer services on 0800 956 6000.
EE customers can then choose between receiving a refund or exchanging the device for any other handset of equal value that is in stock.
- O2 – a spokesperson confirmed that all returns would be dealt with through the designated helpline: 0333 234 1457. Affected customers will be offered a refund or the opportunity to upgrade to a different device on a new 'O2 Refresh' contract.
O2 has said it won't be taking returns in store, but that it will arrange for a courier to collect the devices.
- Three – customers will be refunded and can return their handsets in store. There is also the option of having Three arrange collection of the phone. Customers wanting to exchange their Galaxy Note 7 for a different device are able to do so. And a helpline has been set up for affected customers, on 0800 358 4045.
- Vodafone – an alternative device will be offered to those who pre-ordered the Galaxy Note 7, but a spokesperson for the company refused to tell us whether refunds would be offered. Vodafone says it will be contacting customers to discuss their options.
- Samsung – a spokesperson refused to comment on how people can go about returning their phones, but confirmed that customers can exchange the device for a Galaxy S7 or an S7 Edge, and will refund the difference in costs. We're waiting to hear back on how Samsung will handle such refunds and will update this story when we do. Customers with queries can contact Samsung on 0330 726 1000.
Why can't I just return my faulty phone in the post?
Unfortunately, regulations on the transportation of faulty lithium batteries (such as those found in Galaxy Note 7s) mean you won't be able to return your phone by post.
A Royal Mail spokesperson says: "In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7, Royal Mail and Parcelforce are unable to accept the posting of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 phones.
"For several years there have been Government restrictions in place around the transport of lithium batteries, which are also present in the Galaxy Note 7. All customers are asked to detail what is in each package so that we can make sure that we are not carrying items that are hazardous."
What if I'm still waiting for my device to arrive?
Most customers who pre-ordered the handsets will have received them. However because the original devices were re-called in September, some customers may be waiting for their replacements.
If you pre-ordered a Galaxy Note 7 and it's not arrived yet, don't expect to receive it. On the advice of Samsung, all mobile phone providers have stopped selling and distributing both the original and replacement handsets.
You'll receive a refund for the phone, unless you choose to swap it for a different model instead.
What does Samsung say?
A spokesperson says: "For the benefit of consumers' safety, we have stopped sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 and have consequently decided to permanently stop production."