Note 7 courtesy devices may vary by carrier

Alex Kidman 7 September 2016


The replacement courtesy devices for affected Note 7 owners may vary depending on where you got your phone from.

If you weren’t already aware, Samsung is in the middle of a very large scale recall of every Samsung Galaxy Note 7 device sold in Australia since its launch;. Samsung says it has sold some 51,060 Notes 7 devices locally, but that figure could be slightly higher once you take direct importers into account.

As part of the recall, affected customers can opt for a full refund, or if they still like the Note 7 (and as our review points out, there’s quite a bit to like), they can instead hand in their potentially risky Note 7 and wait for new stock to arrive in Australia. That process is expected to take around 3 to 4 weeks.

For those customers, Samsung is offering "courtesy devices" for use during that month-long period. However, in its FAQ about the recall scheme, it doesn’t actually mention what those courtesy devices would be, so checked with the manufacturer as to how the scheme would work and which phones customers could expect to get as temporary replacements.

The answer is that... it depends.

According to Samsung, the device will vary depend on who you actually got the Note 7 from, and which phones they decide to supply as interim replacements. When we contacted Samsung it was still putting the finishing touches to its own replacement methodology, but the expectation was that "similar" devices would be provided to afflicted customers. If you purchased your phone directly from Samsung, it will send a courier out with a replacement device and collect your Note 7 at that time.

For telco customers, it’s a question of contacting your telco and seeing what their system is for replacement or courtesy devices. Optus has updated its commentary on the Note 7 recall, but simply states that customers visiting Optus stores will be issued "a temporary replacement phone", or the choice to switch to another handset on a fresh contract. Vodafone advises that from 8 September 2016 customers will be provided with "a comparable Samsung smartphone loan device" as well as a $10 credit, or alternatively their choice of a completely different handset on a new contract.

Telstra is a little more specific in its support notes, advising that customers wishing to use a temporary replacement phone can choose between the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge or the significantly lower-powered Samsung J1 Mini smartphone. That might seem like a no-brainer, save for the fact that if you do opt for the J1 Mini, Telstra won’t require it back when your new Note 7 device arrives. Like Optus and Vodafone, you could also opt for a different phone if that suits you to go on a new contract.

If you purchased your Note 7 device via another means (for example, a direct importer) Samsung’s general advice is to contact the supplier. Given the Note 7 is now subject to an official product safety recall notice any Australian business should comply with consumer law and at the very least offer a full refund, although whether you’d get a courtesy device is rather more up in the air.

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