For Galaxy Note 7 Customers There's More Pain To Come
You'd think that having bought what promised to be the best smartphone on the market, finding out it was a fire hazard and needed to be replaced, getting it replaced and finding out it was still a fire hazard and needed to be returned to never be seen again; that Galaxy Note 7 customers have endured all the suffering that this episode could bring.
Not so. There's a further mess to be sorted out and this time it's going to be rather more widespread and much more difficult to address.
Inevitably the purchase of a new smartphone means the purchase of new accessories too... more so for Note 7 buyers as for the first time for Samsung, it featured a USB-C port which likely meant a whole slew of new add-ons to purchase. New case, extra sync cables, new car charger, for some users a VR headset... and that means a whole host of third party retailers will have been involved.
So whilst those who bought from established outlets like Amazon should be able to tee up a refund without too much hassle, items purchased from smaller retailers aren't going to be quite so easy to return. After all that third-party case you bought from your local accessory shop isn't faulty and it isn't the retailers fault it's now no good to you.
The retailer will itself have a bunch of its own problems. I noticed several stores here in Auckland with large stocks of Note 7 accessories. I doubt very much that the manufacturer will be keen to take them back. Not their fault the Note 7 is no more.
And of course the manufacturer will have their own problems too. Having built stock of Note 7 accessories that they can no longer sell their own profitability will be at stake.
Legally Samsung isn't liable for any of these add on costs, although I expect it will come to some form of accomodation with the larger retailers, networks and Amazon, if for no other reason than it wants to be able to sell new devices in future.
Customers may also be able to go direct to Samsung to discuss these add-on costs they have incurred. Again I expect that Samsung will be sympathetic to a lot of these cases on the basis that screwing over valued customers isn't a great long term business strategy.
I fear that the whole thing will be a long drawn out, messy and inevitably painful process from which nobody will emerge unscarred.