Samsung revealed earlier today that it was recalling more than two million Galaxy Note 7 devices — due to concerns over faulty batteries — and offering buyers a replacement device instead. Now, U.S. telecom giant T-Mobile is going a step further by offering concerned customers a complete refund.
With this move, T-Mobile has laid down the gauntlet to its rival networks in the U.S., as it is the first to offer a full, unconditional refund. Earlier today, Sprint revealed it would offer a “similar device” in exchange until the issue is resolved, while AT&T has merely said that it’s currently “determining the exchange process.” Verizon, meanwhile, issued a similar statement, saying that it’s “waiving the restocking fee” for those wishing to return or exchange their device.
Introduced in early August, the latest addition to the Galaxy Note-branded phablet family met with positive reviews, but last week, reports began to surface that some people had encountered exploding batteries that caused their device to catch fire. The issue gained global attention when YouTuber Ariel Gonzalez uploaded this video of a Galaxy Note 7 on fire.
Samsung revealed today that it had received only 35 complaints of exploding or otherwise faulty batteries in the Galaxy Note 7 but was nonetheless offering to replace all the devices in the weeks ahead. Rather than waiting for this process to come to fruition, however, T-Mobile is inviting anyone who has procured one of the devices through its plans to return it for an immediate, “full, complete refund,” according to a statement.
“We are working closely with Samsung as they are finalizing details of their exchange program for the Note 7, and we want to make sure T-Mobile customers are taken care of as Samsung works to resolve this,” the company said.
This refund goes beyond the device itself and will include a refund on anything purchased alongside it, such as accessories, while also letting customers keep some of the perks they received. “We’ll waive any restocking charges and shipping fees, and customers can keep the free Netflix subscription they received with purchase during pre-order,” the company added.