Consider more options for Note7 phone swop

I read, with growing concern, frequent reports of the new Samsung Galaxy Note7's fire-prone batteries and the subsequent banning of the use of the device on many airlines, including Singapore Airlines ("SIA bans charging, use of Note7 on flights"; last Saturday, and "Samsung Note7: Phone exchange starts next week"; last Wednesday).

While Samsung may have taken quick action in Singapore, even without any documented cases of the Note7 catching fire here, a little bit more can be done to quell the growing concern.

In other countries, such as the United States, Note7 users have not just the option of a one-to-one exchange, but they can also opt to get another new handset from Samsung instead of the Note7, or ask for a full refund.

This doesn't seem to be the case in Singapore, where buyers of the Note7 get a replacement Note7 that has to be of the same colour and configuration.

Yesterday's report ("Samsung opens more time slots for Note7 swop") said that when asked why a refund was not being offered in Singapore, Samsung replied: "Our Singapore exchange programme takes into consideration the local market operating conditions and processes, and it has been developed in order to be the most efficient and least inconvenient to our customers in Singapore."

This explanation is unclear, and does not explain why the other options are not possible.

The same replacement options that customers in the US have should be made available in Singapore as well.

I love the Note7; it is a great piece of engineering, design and technology. But I value my safety and that of my family more.

Amit Nagpal

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2016, with the headline 'Consider more options for Note7 phone swop'. Print Edition | Subscribe