Consumers International Letter to Samsung: Galaxy Note7

13 October 2016

Dear Dr Kwon,

Consumers International and a number of its members around the globe are calling on you to properly address the continuing safety issues with the Galaxy Note7, globally, fairly and consistently to the highest standards across all markets, so that all consumers can have full confidence in Samsung’s products and get a full refund if they choose.

•   Consumers International and its members want Samsung to publicly explain exactly how this serious failure in product safety happened, why it wasn’t identified in testing before being released to market and what practices they will put in place to ensure that this or any similar incidents don’t happen in the future.

For this to be done to the highest standard, it should involve independent scrutiny, with a clear timetable to release the findings. If the findings show the cause of the problem to be the fault of a third party, Samsung should, as far as possible, be transparent in disclosing the name of the party as a public safeguard.

During this process, Samsung should, in the interest of environmental protection and its corporate social responsibility, announce a clear and comprehensive environmental plan for managing waste in relation to the Galaxy Note7.

•   Samsung should offer all their customers who have purchased the Galaxy Note7, global exchange or refund of parallel import products, to facilitate consumers who are overseas using the Galaxy Note7 to redress the issue in the markets in which they are currently located.

•   Samsung must not simply repair the problematic handsets and market to developing countries as this will be deemed by the consumer movement to be exporting the risk to markets that may have much less protection for consumers.

•    If a consumer elects to replace the phone, the model must be the proven to be safe and the replacement should be accompanied with a refund for the difference in price from the Galaxy Note7.

•    These remedies should be offered consistently across all their partner providers and operators in all markets.

•    In addition to this, Samsung should provide safety information on the Galaxy Note7 in all markets regardless of where the phone has been sold, in order to protect consumers who may have live, work or travel in other countries. Currently communications with customers across markets has been inconsistent, for example, the level of detail given to Hong Kong consumers was much higher, with customers in this market being told the exact number of remaining affected units and had yet to be exchanged, as well being one of the few initial countries with the ability to cross check whether their handsets were safe with an IMEI database look up. This level of useful information was not rolled out globally.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Amanda Long
Consumers International

A cross section of Consumers International’s over 200-strong membership share these concerns on the issue of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 recall. Below are some examples from around the world: