The Note 7 fiasco is bringing into serious question the way Samsung does business

It has been nearly a week since a Southwest Airlines plane was evacuated at the gate in Louisville, and there has been no official statement from Samsung on what its customers should do, beyond a “we’re working on it, be patient”.

It’s bringing into serious question the way the Korean company does business. When the recall was first announced, I publicly praised Samsung for the way it handled the situation. It got wind of reports that the Note 7 was dangerous, investigated, and responded quickly. It offered its customers a clear direction: wait for replacement units to arrive, or exchange it for a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge. Its president, at least of the US arm, even publicly apologized on video to its customers.

But in the weeks since, that opinion of Samsung has skewed. Its international arms offered confusing information that contradicted each other, the decisions its making seemingly getting worse by the day. It then became evident that Samsung had left regulators behind, initially thought to be due to its desire to move as quickly as possible, is quickly looking more like Samsung did so in order to keep shipping the Note 7. And now, as it becomes evident that the replacement units aren’t safe either, the company has stayed mum on the issue for nearly five days, while a rep sent a text message clearly not intended for the general public: “Just now got this. I can try and slow him down if we think it will matter, or we just let him do what he keeps threatening to do and see if he does it.”

At this point, if Samsung’s not going to tell you to do this, I will. The Note 7 is a product with a design flawed to its very core, and it’s unlikely that any number of battery supplier changes will fix that. If you have a Note 7, turn it off now, and exchange it for another product if Samsung will allow you (some of its international arms continue to insist on you getting another Note 7, but that may change in the days following this), or demand a refund. If you find yourself able to find trust in Samsung, the S7 Edge will be an easy transition, but otherwise, plenty of other options remain.

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