EE and Vodafone halt Galaxy Note 7 exchanges, while O2 and Three consider options.
After a weekend of dire press for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, with reports of battery fires in replacement units in the U.S. and Asia, and Samsung apparently suspending production of the phone, the UK's major network operators have weighed in.
While new Galaxy Note 7 sales have yet to begin in the UK, pre-order customers who had picked up their phones before the September 2 street date had been participating in the official exchange program through Samsung and its carrier and retailer partners. Today EE and Vodafone confirmed to Android Central that they're halting exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7. Voda notes that it isn't aware of any of its customers being affected by battery fires, adding that it's also suspended pre-orders for the phone.
In statements given to AC, Three and O2 say they haven't taken any direct action yet, but that they're in communication with Samsung over the issue.
So far Samsung UK has confirmed that it's adjusting its Note 7 production schedule in light of the reported battery fires in some replacement Notes, but has yet to comment or take any action beyond this. It's worth noting that significantly fewer Note 7s will be in customers hands in the UK and other parts of Europe, because the launch was halted before the main September 2 street date.
Official statements from the major carriers follow:
EE considers the safety of its customers to be of the utmost importance. Following recent media reports of further Note 7 issues in the US and Canada, we have suspended Note7 exchanges and are currently in direct contact with Samsung regarding next steps on the matter.
Vodafone UK is aware of media reports suggesting that a small number of people have had problems with the replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Quality and customer safety are absolute priorities for Vodafone, so we are in close communication with Samsung, which is undertaking tests on affected devices. We are not aware of incidents involving Vodafone customers who had an original Note 7 and who have received a replacement device. However, we have paused pre-orders of the Note 7 as well as our device replacement programme until such time that we receive satisfactory assurances from Samsung about the safety of the Galaxy Note 7.
Safety of our customers is of upmost importance for us. We have not been selling the Note 7 since Samsung advised O2 in September that there would be an exchange programme for the phone. We are currently in discussions with Samsung and reviewing our options.
We are currently assessing the situation with Samsung and we will be seeking guidance from them as to the next steps as the safety of our customers is paramount.