The debacle surrounding Samsung’s fiery Galaxy Note 7 has been borderline surreal, so utterly bizarre that some might liken the entire astonishing episode to something out of Monty Python. And just like Python’s perished parrot, the Note 7 smartphone has now passed on. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. Yes, just a couple of months after the flagship device launched to great fanfare, it is now an ex-smartphone.
With an apparent tendency to explode just when you weren’t expecting it, and replacement devices faring no better, Samsung was left with little choice this week but to pull the plug on its beleaguered phablet.
And now, besides the monumental challenge of trying to restore its battered reputation, the company is also scrambling to recall the 2.5 million Note 7 phones it sold during its brief lifetime, a task proving ever more challenging as an increasing number of shippers make clear their reluctance to handle the device.
Fireproof return kit
In a bid to smooth the way, Samsung is sending fireproof packaging to customers who bought the Note 7 from its website.
The contents of the return kit, shown off by XDA Developers, are likely to leave recipients in little doubt that this recall is extremely serious, and that keeping a potentially explosive phone in your house, in your car, or by your face really is not a good idea at all.
The kit comes with a pair of safety gloves so you can handle your device secure in the belief that if it does decide to spontaneously combust while you’re prepping it for return, you won’t be left with charred fingers. First, you need to place the phone inside the supplied static shield bag before putting it inside a small box. It then goes inside a slightly larger box before being placed inside a final box that includes a lining designed to contain extreme heat.
The outermost box displays a printed message warning that it contains a “damaged/defective lithium ion battery; forbidden for transport by aircraft; ground and vessel shipment only.”
FedEx, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service said this week the device would not be allowed on its planes, and, according to CNN, “there will be tight restrictions on when its trucks will be allowed to carry the phones.”
Further complicating the recall for Samsung, FedEx Ground said it would “accept new or used devices, but only from mobile phone retail locations [and] only in packaging that meets strict regulatory guidelines.” It added that it’s not accepting any phones from “individual customers or through retail outlets, including drop boxes.”
Samsung is also reported to be scheduling appointments with Note 7 owners to go and collect the smartphone.
If you still have a Note 7 in your possession, then check out DT’s dedicated page to find out what steps you should take to return and replace it.