Irish customers promised refunds after Note7 debacle

11 Oct 2016

Samsung. Image: MilsiArt/Shutterstock

The costly, explosive end of the Note7 is nigh as Samsung finally calls it a day. Irish operators have revealed their refund plans.

Samsung’s woes look set to continue for weeks as the fallout to one of the most disastrous smartphone releases ever trickles through.

“For the benefit of consumers’ safety, we have stopped sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note7 and have consequently decided to permanently stop production,” the company finally announced earlier today (11 October).

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Reuters has estimated that the company’s bank balance will be hit to the tune of $17bn to withdraw and deal with any follow-on problems from the original sale of the phone.

And in Ireland, users are understandably concerned.

Irish operators have been offering their tuppence worth, as alleged issues with Vodafone’s original recall and replacement were detailed on the company’s thread in recent days.

However, now that the device has been officially pulled entirely, matters are somewhat more clear.

“Vodafone Ireland is aware of media reports suggesting that a small number of people have had problems with the replacement Samsung Galaxy Note7,” it said in a statement.

“Vodafone Ireland advises any of our customers with a Samsung Galaxy Note7 to back up your data, then stop using the device, turn it off and return it to the nearest Vodafone store. At Vodafone stores we will immediately exchange the Note7 for an alternative device or cancel the customer’s order.”*

“If customers want to exchange their Note7, we will propose an equivalent handset and will replace with same,” it said, adding that those in a contract on the new device will receive a refund in the difference between the Note7 and the replacement device.

“If the customer does not wish to exchange for a replacement handset, we will fully refund for the device and roll back their contract,” it added.

Three has said it will begin contacting its Note7 customers today. It will “arrange a refund, the return of their replacement Samsung Galaxy Note7 and [the] purchase of an alternative device”.

“If a customer entered a new contract when they purchased their Samsung Galaxy Note7 and does not wish to remain in that contract, we will make arrangements to cancel that customer’s contract without penalty,” it said in a statement.

Carphone Warehouse is answering questions through its customer care, telling “At the end of the week, all of our customers should receive information as to what options are available. All handsets need to be returned and we are looking at alternative options.”

Eir – responsible for both Eir and Meteor – has responded by saying: “We had a small volume of Samsung Note7 devices sold as part of a pre-order campaign. When the issue first arose, we exchanged all devices that had been distributed and suspended sales of any new devices.

“As a result of suspending sales at the start of September, the volume of Samsung Note7’s in circulation remained low.”

“We are now contacting all customers who have the device and offering them an alternative device to the same value. If they choose a device to a lower value, we will refund the difference and we will release anyone out of their contract if they choose.”

We’re awaiting information from other Irish mobile operators.

Updated, 2.14pm, 11 October 2016: This article was updated to include an up-to-date statement from Vodafone.

Updated, 4.25pm, 11 October 2016: This article was updated to include an up-to-date statement from Eir.

Samsung. Image: MilsiArt/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic