Tags - consumer

After a few weeks of investigations, confusion and more than ninety exploding Note 7s, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has now officially instructed Galaxy Note 7 owners in the US to stop using the smartphone immediately and return it to Samsung as soon as possible. Although the company did recall the Note 7 smartphones worldwide much earlier, there was quite a bit of confusion regarding what the situation was exactly and how to proceed with the replacement or refund. In order to make things easier, here's what the official statement from CPSC declared earlier.

"Consumers should immediately stop using and power down the recalled Galaxy Note 7 devices purchased before September 15th, 2016,"

"Contact the wireless carrier, retail outlet, or Samsung.com where you purchased your device to receive free of charge a new Galaxy Note 7 with a different battery, a refund, or a new replacement device."

If you opt to exchange your Note 7 for a brand new and safe one, the new box should have an "S" in blue, printed over the bar code to denote that it's safe. We have information from Recode that in spite of the multiple warnings, only about 130,000 customers have returned their devices so far in the US. Hopefully this formal CPSC statement will encourage more customers to opt for the replacement/refund.

Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)

Android updates are a bit of a mess, especially if you have not paid a very hefty price for a flagship device. In fact, it is even debatable whether it is Google or the OEM who should be held responsible for providing consumers with timely updates. In this state of confusion, a Dutch consumer protection group named Consumentenbond has held the OEM responsible for not providing timely updates to its devices, and the OEM in question is the market leader in Android Smartphones, Samsung.

The non-profit organization based in Netherlands had approached Samsung over a month ago on December 2, but without avail as Samsung had not reverted back to them with any substantial response. As a result, "injunctive relief proceedings" were issued against Samsung which alleges the company of employing immoral business tactics by keeping the consumers uninformed about updates and patches for the device that they are investing their money into.

Consumentenbond is demanding full disclosure about the plans of the company in regard to Android updates, firmware updates and security patches for its smartphones. In addition, a time period of two years from the date of purchase is demanded by the group, during which it must keep all its devices, including the old ones updated.

While this may sound like the right thing to do on paper, such a policy would definitely increase the cost of the mobile phones significantly. Also, Samsung would have to stop releasing so many devices in order to keep updates a real life possibility. The increased cost may hurt the budget segment, but a more select set of polished releases does not really sound like a bad idea. We will have to wait and see how the lawsuit pans out over time.



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