Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Users Avoid Disable Update After Recall

Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 camera app Fionna Agomuoh

Verizon subscribers still using Galaxy Note 7 handsets will soon find that phone calls made from the device will be redirected to the carrier’s customer service department, Fortune reported Tuesday. This move is yet another effort to encourage users to return the handsets, which have been recalled and discontinued since October.

Samsung, in conjunction with U.S. carriers, sent an end-of life update to the Galaxy Note 7 in late December 2016 and early January to disable handsets. While Verizon at first hesitated to comply with the update, the carrier did proceed with pushing the software, which rendered Galaxy Note 7 handsets unable to charge. Now, Verizon has revealed that a significant number of users still continue to use their handsets.

“In spite of our best efforts, there are still customers using the recalled phones who have not returned or exchanged their Note 7 to the point of purchase,” Verizon told Fortune. “The recalled Note 7s pose a safety risk to our customers and those around them.”

According to the carrier, thousands of Galaxy Note 8 handsets remain in use as owners have figured out how to avoid installing the end-of-life update. As a result, these owners have not returned their handsets. In addition to the call redirect effort, Verizon is considering charging users who fail to return handsets for the full $850 cost of the device. Galaxy Note 7 owners who return their handsets can be a bill credit for up to $100 and a waive of their upgrade free. 

Samsung addressed the Galaxy Note 7 at its CES 2017 press conference, stating that the company is dedicated to determining the ultimate cause of the device’s malfunction. Samsung is expected to reveal the results of its investigation before the end of January.

According to Samsung, 96 percent of Galaxy Note 7 handsets are off the market. Other carriers have not spoken up about whether they have had issues with subscribers continuing to use Galaxy Note 7 handsets after the end-of-life update.

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