I just got back from the AT&T store where I dropped off two Galaxy Note 7 units, submitting myself to Samsung’s recall. You might say I’m getting caught up in some of the scary news surrounding the device. Australian airlines won’t let Galaxy Note 7 owners charge phones during their flights. A dude in Florida just fried his Jeep Cherokee because he left a Galaxy Note 7 charging inside. I decided last night I’m not willing to take the same risks, no matter how minimal, so I set an appointment to take it to AT&T today.
AT&T made it almost-seamless to return my device.
There’s a bit of a long story that I’ll try to make short: I cracked my first Galaxy Note 7 so I bought another one quickly before traveling last week. When I took both to the store, one employee tried to tell me (multiple times, almost to the point of a full-blown argument) that he wouldn’t take the broken Galaxy Note 7 back. Normally I’d never ask someone to take back a broken phone, but a policy is a policy.
AT&T’s site actually says it will accept any condition Galaxy Note 7. After a few seconds of arguing a manager stepped in and said it must be a new policy. Stick to your guns if you wind up in a similar situation: AT&T will take back your phone even if it has a cracked display or doesn’t turn on.
AT&T provides several options (as do all major U.S. carriers.) for its customers. In my case with AT&T, I had the choice to return the device and wait for the Galaxy Note 7 to return to stock, swap it for another Samsung product to avoid paying a restocking fee, or swap it out for another device entirely. AT&T also gives you a $25 credit if you choose a Samsung device, and any returns obviously reset your upgrades. Since the iPhone 7 pre-orders begin in a few hours, I’ll probably upgrade one line to that and another to the Galaxy Note 7 when it comes back in stock.
For whatever reason, one of the in-store employees at AT&T who was helping me told me he was sticking to his. He said it’s too much of a pain to swap out everything. But is that really worth the risk? Samsung is taking a huge financial hit and recalling its phones for a reason – and not one that I’d mess with. I’d rather move my files than have a phone burn my car to the ground.
In any case, it’s a rather painless experience. Return your Galaxy Note 7 and get a different phone, or wait until the replacement units come in.