Phone lines

Thousands swop faulty Note7 for new phones

Samsung Galaxy Note7 owners yesterday at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition centre where 90 counters had been set up for the exchange of their smartphones.
Samsung Galaxy Note7 owners yesterday at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition centre where 90 counters had been set up for the exchange of their smartphones. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The Samsung Galaxy Note7 exchange programme started here yesterday, with thousands of customers swopping their old devices for new ones.

Users had to book an appointment online before heading down to Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition centre, where 90 counters were set up for them to make the exchange.

Phone-maker Samsung issued a global recall of the phone two weeks ago, following reports of the phone's battery exploding while charging.

When the doors to the waiting area opened at 1pm yesterday, a queue of about 50 people formed. But the queue moved quickly.

Most consumers whom The Straits Times spoke to said the exchange was fuss-free and smooth. Most took 45 minutes to two hours to complete the exchange. It took longer for those who opted to transfer data from their old to the new phones, for instance.

"I expected a long line, but there's not much of a queue at all," said customer service executive Nur Serena Tay, 44. She had backed up her phone at home, but waited 10 more minutes for an assistant to transfer data between the two devices, "just in case".

But insurance agent Danny Chay, 34, said the process could have been more efficient. He turned up at about noon to queue, an hour before the doors opened.

"For example, when we were waiting outside, they could have used an SMS queue system to tell us when it was our turn instead of having us stand in line," he said.

Consumers who did not have an appointment or who had booked a different time slot were turned away at the entrance.

Those who exchanged their Note7 phones received a goodie bag with food and water, as well as a letter of apology from Samsung, a $30 CapitaLand Mall voucher and a screen protector.

They can keep the accessories from the old device such as the charger and stylus.

Sales consultant Evelyn Ong, 23, said: "Samsung is making an effort to make it up to its customers and I do appreciate it. We shouldn't be too picky as the recall is also a huge task for them."

So far, more than 50 per cent of the thousands of Galaxy Note7 users in Singapore have registered for the exchange programme.

The programme will run from 11am to 9pm on weekdays and 9am to 11pm on weekends, from now until Oct 2.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2016, with the headline 'Thousands swop faulty Note7 for new phones'. Print Edition | Subscribe