U.S. carriers respond to Samsung’s kill switch for the Galaxy Note 7

01_Galaxy Note7_black

Because not everyone in the U.S. returned their Galaxy Note 7, Samsung is rolling out a lethal software update to disable the phone from being used again. It’s up to individual carriers, though, to send the software update to customers. So it’s interesting to see the differing takes on whether or not a kill switch should be implemented.

Hit the break to see what the U.S. carriers are doing.



Here’s T-Mobile’s official statement:

“We always want to do the right thing and make sure our customers are safe, so on Dec. 27 we will roll out SAmsung’s latest software update, which is designed to stop all remaining Note 7 devices from charging. These devices were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Oct. 13 and should no longer be used. T-Mobile customers who still have a Note7 should immediately power down and stop using the device, and bring it back to a T-Mobile store for a full refund and a replacement device.

The software update from T-Mobile will be released on December 27.



Here’s AT&T’s text going out to customers:

“As of 1/5/2017, Samsung’s software update to prevent the Galaxy Note7 battery from recharging will be pushed to your Note7. The battery will no longer recharge. This Note7 was recalled and is banned on all flights in both checked and carry-on luggage. Your safety is a priority, please return your Note7 to the place you purchased for an exchanged. For more details go to att.com/note7.”

The software update from AT&T will be released on January 5.



Here’s Sprint’s official statement:

“To drive increased participation in its U.S. Note7 Refund and Exchange Program, Samsung will release a software update beginning on January 8, 2017 that will disable all remaining Sprint Note7 devices from being able to hold a charge. This software update will eliminate the ability of these Galaxy Note7 to work as mobile devices.”

The software update from Sprint will be released on January 8.



Here’s Verizon’s official statement:

“Today, Samsung announced an update to the Galaxy Note7 that would stop the smartphone from charging, rendering it useless unless attached to a power charger. Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note7 users that do not have another device to switch to. We will not push a software update that will eliminate the ability for the Note7 to work as a mobile device in the heart of the holiday season. We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation.”

So you see Verizon is the only major U.S. carrier not working with Samsung to disable the Galaxy Note 7.

About the Author: Justin Herrick

Born and raised in New Jersey, Justin is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University where he studied marketing with a focus on digital marketing. He's very talkative and enjoys discussing anything from technology and sports to video games and television. As for Justin's current device rotation, he carries around the Google Pixel and Nexus 9. In the rare case that his phone or tablet is not in his hand, he is either flicking through cards on his Moto 360 (2015) or typing away on the Microsoft Surface Book. Justin is patiently waiting for the day that Google replicates the Galaxy Nexus with modern day specifications.

  • Ravyn

    “Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note7 users that do not have another device to switch to.” Added risk? What?? “We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation.” Yes Verizon because we may need those phones to call 911 that our house is on fire because the phone battery just exploded…….oh wait. Verizon cares nothing about it’s customers or their safety! Shame on them!
    This may be the the proverbial straw that causes me to switch.

    • ChuckN007

      You sound like a Verizon hater. Do you even have a Note 7? I doubt it. There is no reason to still have a Note 7 if you ever did have one. I doubt that you even have Verizon. If you do, go ahead and go to Sprint or AT&T or T-mobile. They are all far worse.

  • ChuckN007

    Geez. If you still have a Note 7, turn it in and get your free replacement. You are risking the safety of yourself and people around you to keep using it. You can’t get on many airplanes. What’s wrong with you? Now you’ve got 30 days warning that it will be bricked by an update. I think Verizon will come around to that too.

    • K V

      Free replacement? what are you smoking…there is no free replacement, you’d have to use your “upgrade” , and pay to downgrade to another phone

      • Justin_Herrick

        Samsung will let you get a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 in exchange for returning your Galaxy Note 7. They pay you the difference, too.

        Read Samsung’s Recall & Exchange Program page: http://www.samsung.com/us/note7recall/

        • K V

          Please quote where on that website it says you get a “free” Galaxy s7 ???

        • K V

          That’s not called “free”..you’re still paying in full for the replacement phone

          • ChuckN007

            Wrong. It’s free. Plus money back

      • ChuckN007

        KV — You are either grossly misinformed, or intentionally lying. What are YOU smoking? Are you a Samsung hater?
        I bet you don’t even have a Note 7. You are probably an Apple fanboy.

        An owner of a Note 7 can get a free replacement of something like a Galaxy S 7 or Galaxy S 7 Edge. AND on top of that, you get money back if the replacement was a less expensive phone, which is true for those two most recommended replacements.

        An S7 or an S7 Edge have a slightly smaller screen than a Note 7, and don’t have the S Pen. So for someone who cares about a 5.7″ screen instead of 5.1 or 5.5″, and/or who cares about the S Pen, those replacements don’t have quite those same features.

        However, an S7 or S7 Edge are actually better than the Note 7 in other ways. They came out after the Note 7, and had Samsung improvements in several areas, including the camera.

        • K V

          It seems you’re the misinformed one. there is no “free” replacement, they let you get a replacement phone and they will give you the price difference meaning you stilled paid for that replacement phone. And if bought it from a carrier, you’d have to return it for a refund and then use your “upgrade’ to BUY another phone…where do you see FREE in all of this?

          • ChuckN007

            Wrong. It’s free. Plus money back.

            • K V

              lol….Educate yourself before typing

            • ChuckN007

              lol yourself, you ignorant moron troll.

              I’ll help to educate you, since you can’t do it yourself. Follow this link, and read the policy :


              If you cared to actually learn more, there are plenty of other links and information sources.

              Obviously you do not have a Note 7. What do you have? Probably an iPhone. You’re an iPhone fanboy, aren’t you?

            • K V

              Quote me where it says you get a “FREE” Galaxy s7…still waiting to see that

            • ChuckN007

              So you admit that you don’t have a Note 7, and that you’re an iPhone fanboy.

              Send me links to the pages that you’ve read, and I will point out in those pages where it says that Samsung receives a customer’s Note 7 and provides a replacement such as a S7 or S7 Edge, and that Samsung also refunds the difference in price, because those replacements have a lower price than a Note 7 had.

              How old are you? What is your education level? Do you have a learning disability?

              Why are you even bothering here since you don’t even have a Note 7? Just to be a troll?

              I have a Note 5, and it’s a great phone. Samsung makes great products. My next phone will be either an S8 or an S8 Edge or the S8 Edge Plus that supposedly will have a 6.2″ screen.

              Samsung products are way better than what you have.

            • K V

              haha i can just imagine you pounding in rage them sausage fingers on your keyboard at your mom’s basement.

              You yourself are saying of the money you paid for Note 7, samsung will only give you back the price difference so it’s not FREE….I can’t believe you can’t comprehend first grade math.

            • ChuckN007

              Actually I am in one of my several law offices. In addition to my law degree and 35 years of experience as a trial attorney, my undergraduate degree is in psychology, and I am intrigued by your psychological profile and responses.

              In terms of the math and the business aspects here, you don’t know what an “exchange” means.

              The initial exchange with Samsung was the customer turned in one Note 7 and got another brand new Note 7 in exchange, and no money changed hands. It was a simple “swap.” Even your little mind should be able to see that this was “free” as that word is used.

              When Samsung realized that the battery problem still existed in the Note 7’s with the different design, Samsung then said that it would no longer do that swap because it was discontinuing the Note 7 altogether. So then the swap was the customer turns in the used Note 7, gets a brand new S7 or S7 Edge, and gets back as additional cash the difference between the higher priced Note 7 and the lower priced S7.

              So if the buyer had paid $800 for the Note 7, they would get in exchange a brand new S7 worth $600 plus $200 additional as the price differential, plus $100 additional as a cutomer goodwill bonus.

              So the buyer would then no longer have the Note 7, would owe nothing for a replacement, would have a brand new S7, and would have $300 additional cash.

              KV, I know that you can’t comprehend this, but I am writing it for the benefit of people who might be reading here who have the intelligence to comprehend it.

            • K V

              You’re skipping the part that Samsung will still have $500-600 of the buyer’s original money so the buyer has essentially paid in full (minus the $100 promotion) to have a S7 so stop typing its a “free replacement”…comprehend? If you can’t comprehend such a basic concept i doubt they let you clean the floors of a law firm, let alone practice law at it.

            • ChuckN007

              No. Samsung gave the buyer a $600 phone (the S7 to replace the Note 7) without charging the buyer. That S7 was the “free replacement.” So Samsung does NOT still have that $600.

              The buyer paid $800 for a Note 7. The buyer ended up with an S7 worth $600, plus has $200 cash in their pocket. The net effect is that it’s as if they bought an S7 for $600 which is its regular price.

              Samsung ends up with the Note 7, which is worth $0 at this point.

              The buyer ends up with a $600 S7, and has spent a net amount of $600.

              Print all of this out, and show it to your math teacher, and ask that person to explain it to you.

              This is math at junior high or lower level. So your inability to understand this means that you are either in 6th grade or below, or your math comprehension skills are at that level.

            • K V

              I skipped over most your seizure-like rant. Bottom line is buyer has spent $600 for a S7…..buyers have to return their defective note 7 since you know, it can blow up in their face, and the majority of the money they spent on that note 7 will be used to give them a S7..There is nothing free here…buyers are paying for that S7

            • ChuckN007

              The 19,000,000+ buyers in the U.S. who exchanged their Note 7 disagree with you.

  • Justin_Herrick

    Sure, it doesn’t explicitly use the word “free.” But that’s what it ends up being if you swap for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge. You get the phone and then the difference.

    Carriers, too, are participating in a refund/exchange program.

    • K V

      are you serious? let me break this down…if you bought a note 7 for 800 bux and you exchange for an S7 which is 600 bux, you get 200 bux of your 800 bux back so you essentially have a S7 that costed you $600…does that somehow translate into “free” in your mind?

      • ChuckN007

        No, in your scenario, you turn in a Note 7, you get a S7 without paying any money (the Note 7 is the exchange), and you get $200 for the price difference, and you get $100 more as a customer appreciation bonus.

        So you turn in a Note 7, you get a S7, you pay nothing, and you walk away with $300 extra in your pocket or as a credit on your account with your carrier.

        • K V

          Wow the lack of comprehension. You pay nothing MORE because you already paid $800 for that note 7 that you just returned so your S7 isn’t “FREE” …it’s paid in FULL …the $200 price difference isn’t “extra in your pocket” its just the difference for the s7 that you had to downgrade to

          • ChuckN007

            More than 19,000,000+ buyers of the Note 7 in the U.S. who exchanged their phone disagree with you.

      • Richard Dennis

        what the fux is a “bux”

    • ChuckN007

      Justin, KV is just being a troll. He’s 14 years old, has an old iPhone, and is all excited about arguing with adults.

    • Richard Dennis

      Well has a Note 7 owner twice.. (Had to pay the taxes on the First one, And the First Replacement, and the S7 i ended up with) I would say there was a big problem.. almost 300$ in Taxes.. for what ended up being 1 phone. So yea.. Free but pay the taxes.(On Retail)

  • ChuckN007

    It’s an “exchange”. The word “free” doesn’t apply, because it’s an exchange.

    If you had a Note 7, you would turn that in, and receive an S8 or S8 Edge, plus money back, plus a customer appreciation bonus of $100.

    But you don’t have a Note 7, so it doesn’t apply to you.

    You were hoping to get something for free even though you don’t even have a Note 7?

    • K V

      haha…Well that’s my point, Bobo. There nothing “free” about this transaction so stop typing “free replacement”