I'm like everyone else I guess; I prefer buying things online because I can save money at Amazon. But there is one thing you should never buy online: a non-Apple smartphone.
Samsung's Note 7 debacle is a good example. Customers who purchased a Galaxy Note 7 or a replacement model from their wireless carrier, they can simply return it to the store for an exchange or refund. Customers who purchased the device at Samsung.com or at Amazon are left with a phone they shouldn't use and no answers of what to do with it.
On its website Samsung urges all Note 7 owners to return the device to AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile or Best Buy. But for customers who purchased it online, the company basically said 'just hold on to it until we figure something out.'
The problem isn't with Samsung replacing the device, it's how the company is going to get the phones back. None of the shipping companies, FedEx, USPS or UPS will allow the phones to be shipped because of the chance the device could catch fire. With no Samsung store, customers are just holding onto a phone they can't use.
Samsung offers a phone number on its website for those customers but no one on the other end of the line can tell you what to do. I called it and was told to call back at the end of the week when a decision is expected. That's what I was told back on September 15th when I spoke to a customer service representative.
Emails to Samsung's media line were opened but not returned.
For now customers who purchased the phone online from Samsung or Amazon must go without a phone until the company figures something out.
The problem would not exist for Apple and iPhones. If something similar were to happen customers could return the device at an Apple Store provided there was one close enough to drive to, but I'll say this, if my options were to drive 3 hours to replace my iPhone or go without a device for days or weeks, I'd gas up and drive.
Samsung urges all Note 7 owners to turn off the phone and remove the battery