In case you missed it, a second recall for the Galaxy Note 7 has now been made official, with Samsung working alongside the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to get defective devices out of the hands of consumers. It should be noted that this second recall applies to both original and replacement phones, meaning if you own a Galaxy Note 7, it’s being recalled regardless of variety. As an added incentive to get customers to turn in their potentially dangerous Note 7 devices, Samsung is offering a range of bill credits – here’s how to figure out which credit you qualify for and how to secure it.
For those who swap out their Note 7 for another Samsung device, the company is rewarding your brand loyalty by offering a $100 bill credit. Most carriers will be participating in this credit, which is available from 3 PM ET today. Keep in mind that this isn’t meant to ease the cost of getting into a new phone – Samsung and US wireless carriers are offering full refunds on all Note 7s and allowing trade-ins for any other device, refunding the difference in cost should there be a price discrepancy between the Note 7 and your new device.
That means the $100 bill credit is just an added incentive to turn in your Note 7. Obviously, if you’re planning to get in touch with your carrier today, expect long lines at retail stores and long waits for customer service calls.
You’ll generally be able to return your Note 7 at either retail stores or through customer service. If you choose to return your device in person, try to ensure that you go to one of your carrier’s corporately run stores instead of visiting an authorized retailer – while there’s generally nothing wrong with retailers, going to a corporate store means there’s less potential for a mix up.
Should you decide to go through you carrier’s customer service channel, you’ll likely be sent a box to return your device. Wait for the box from your carrier to arrive and send your device back in that. Don’t send it back in anything other than that box. In a lot of cases, carriers will designate specific processing centers for returns, so shipping your device in your own packaging to an address you found online might mean that the people responsible for doling out these credits never get notified that your device was returned. You don’t want to happen.
Here’s where it gets a little convoluted: when the first recall was in effect, Samsung was working with some carriers to offer a $25 bill credit to folks who returned or exchanged their Note 7s. If you participated in that first recall and your wireless account is flagged to receive that $25 credit, you won’t receive the full $100 for jumping to another Samsung device. Instead, you’ll only receive $75, bringing your total credit amount up to $100.
Of course, you may not want to switch to another Samsung device when you turn in your Note 7. If that’s the case and you end up jumping to anything other than a Samsung device or simply refunding the cost of your Note 7, you’ll still get a $25 credit as a goodwill gesture from Samsung.
Like the $100 credit, the process for securing this credit should be relatively hands-off as far as consumers are concerned. Simply return your defective Galaxy Note 7 to your carrier and your account should be automatically flagged to receive the credit, though it should be noted that if you’ve already received a $25 credit for returning your device during the first recall, you won’t be eligible to receive this one.
While the process of receiving your bill credit should be automatic, mistakes do happen from time to time, and they’re bound to happen to some folks during this second recall. Here are some steps you can take to make it easier to get the credit you’re owed should it fail to show up:
If you’re returning your phone to a corporate carrier store or through your carrier’s customer service channel, ask the representative you’re working with to notate your account with details of the return. That way, if something bad happens and your credit gets lost in the shuffle, representatives you work with in the future will be able to quickly reference the actions the previous reps took.
All customer service reps and corporately-employed sales reps should have the ability to notate your account, so if the one you’re working with says they can’t, ask to work with someone who can.
Make sure you ask for a receipt showing that the return or exchange was completed. If you’re returning in-store, ask for both a physical and emailed copy. In most cases, receipts will also be saved to your account to allow reps to look up previous purchases, but it never hurts to have back ups.
Finally, if you’re shipping your phone to your carrier, save the tracking number you’re provided. If the package never makes it to the carrier, the tracking number will be the only thing you have to prove that you actually sent it back.
Keep in mind that this credit will take one or two billing cycles to appear, so watch your bill closely over the next few months to make sure it’s actually applied. For more information on the recall, you can visit Samsung’s website or call the company directly at 1-844-365-6197. While it’s a fairly difficult to come up with a true alternative for the Note 7, we also have a list of phones that should serve as a decent stopgap while you wait for another premium phone on the level of the Note 7 to arrive on the scene.