NEW YORK — Samsung released new guidance for Galaxy Note 7 users on Saturday: Turn off the phone and bring it in for a replacement phone.
The message comes a week after Samsung announced it would immediately stop selling the phone and replace the 2.5 million it had already sold.
Samsung is not calling what it is doing a recall and instead labels it a “global replacement program.” But, let’s face it, it’s a recall. Both Verizon and AT&T are calling it a recall on their websites.
Samsung didn’t respond to CNNMoney’s request for comment. So we reached out to the U.S. call center and a representative said Note 7 users should power off the phone and bring it back to the retail location where it was purchased. Customers must bring the phones with them to receive a refund or a different model.
Here’s what you should know:
What’s the problem?
There’s a risk that the Note 7 can catch fire while charging due to problems with the battery. The issue is only believed to affect 0.1% of all devices.
Samsung said last week that it had found only 24 phones to be defective.
In the U.S., the Consumer Product Safety Commission urged users to power down their phones and said it would be providing guidance about an official recall “as soon as possible.”
The “exchange program” comes as rival Apple unveiled its new iPhone 7 on Wednesday. Samsung is the world’s biggest selling smartphone maker.
The Note 7 went on sale in August.
What countries are affected?
Sales of the Note 7 were halted last week in 10 countries: the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, the UAE and Korea.
However, notices of the return program were posted on Samsung’s global website as well as those of several countries not listed in initial statements about the battery problem.
Phones in China don’t appear to be affected because they have a different battery.
What should you do?
Samsung “strongly” advised customers to power down their phones and participate in the program in a statement posted on their global website.
Customers are advised to contact their local call centers or visit the retail location where the phone was purchased. In the U.S., customers can call 1-800-SAMSUNG or 1-800-726-7864.
Customers have the option to replace their phone with the Galaxy S7, the Galaxy S7 Edge or a different device and receive reimbursement for the difference.
For Note 7 holders who would prefer to wait for a new model, they will receive a Samsung J Series loaner phone until the new model is released. New Note 7 phones will need CPSC approval before they can be released in the U.S.
Note 7 accessories can also be returned for a refund and Samsung is issuing a $25 gift card, in-store credit or bill credit to users for the inconvenience.
Can I take it on a plane?
Note 7 users can take their phones on board airplanes but the phones must be powered off and cannot be connected to a charging device.
The phones should be carried onto the plane and not stowed in checked luggage, according to guidance from airlines around the world.