Samsung’s worldwide recall of the new Galaxy Note 7, which was unveiled last month, consists of replacing the 2.5 million devices sold and a temporary halt in sales of the smartphone. While this recall means all retailers and carriers will stop selling the Samsung Galaxy Note 7—AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint have issued statements about halting sales—you can potentially still get your hands on one, if you really want to.
At the time of publication, third-party vendors are still selling the device on e-commerce platforms such as Ebay and Amazon, making the product available to determined consumers. Whether or not the orders will be processed remains a question as both companies have taken swift and strict measures to prohibit the sales of contentious devices in the past. Ebay, for instance, shut down sales of smartphones with the Flappy Bird mobile game installed on it after the game was taken off app stores. Earlier this year, Amazon removed all hoverboards from its website in light of a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advisory.
Both vendors also list a firm policy on selling recalled items on their website. "Sellers aren't allowed to list items that are prohibited from being sold because of a recall," reads Ebay's policy. "If an item can be legally sold but is subject to a recall, sellers must include appropriate information about the recall within the listing."
Meanwhile, Amazon states on its website: "Amazon monitors public recalls alert websites and also learns of recalls directly from manufacturers and vendors. When we learn of a recall, we suspend all impacted product offerings from our website and quarantine any related inventory in our fulfillment centers. We also reach out to any customers that previously purchased impacted products (and any seller that may have offered such products) to inform them about the recall."
While the phone might be available online or in stores while the recall goes into full effect, consumers should stay far away. A handful of those who own the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 have reported the devices are catching on fire while charging. Take YouTube user Ariel Gonzalez, who shared a video of his damaged phone on Aug. 29.
“Came home from work, put it to charge for a little bit before I had class,” said Gonzalez in the video. “Went to put it on my waist and it caught fire. Yup. Brand new phone, not even two weeks old. Be careful out there, everyone rocking the new Note 7, might catch fire.”
Samsung’s diligence in recalling 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7s and stopping all sales suggests there is a serious risk with the device. Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung's mobile business, told reporters in a news conference that an investigation revealed “there was a tiny problem in the manufacturing process so it was very difficult to find out.” The issue, reports The Associated Press, is with a battery cell produced by one of Samsung’s battery suppliers.
“To date (as of September 1) there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market,” wrote Samsung. “However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note7.”