Let the T-Mobile Note 7 replacement process shit show begin! Here we are on the morning of September 19, 2016 and there has been no word, update, or anything from T-Mobile on how exactly customers who held on to the Note 7 wanting to replace it for a “safe” Note 7 are going get a replacement “no later than September 21st”. I checked there web site this morning hoping for something other than the POS “Notify Me” site, but no such luck. I tweeted @Tmobile and I appreciate the quick reply but it was about as insightful as a rock in the mud. You can see the reply here: https://twitter.com/TMobile/status/777829989060382721. I find it pretty hard to believe they have no idea about the when’s, where’s, how’s, etc… this is going to happen and we are two days away from the 21st. I have a sinking feeling in my stomach this is going to turn in a complete shit show. I don’t have a lot of faith in the web form that I will actually get notified they have “replacement stock” and that it is going to be a smooth process. I am really hoping I don’t just some stock E-mail saying something like “new Note 7’s are here, call your local store for more info”. What I am really hoping for is details saying something like since you signed up to get notified or since they can see that I still have a Note 7, that I will get more direction and it will be as easy as walking in to the closest store and swap and done! No calling every store in town until I am lucky enough to find one that got like 20 and they are all the craptastic fake gold version. Please T-mobile don’t drop the ball and fuck this up!!!
Why do I care so much? Why am I jumping the gun and assuming the worst? Well, two reasons really. I have had every version of the Note since the Note 2. I have multiple lines on my accountant and have used other phones in conjunction with whatever Note is current. I ALWAYS go back to my Note as my daily driver for one simple reason, the S-Pen. I use it in many different ways and it is the reason why this product line exists. I know I am not the only one attached to the functionality and glory that is the S-Pen. Anyone who says “get a different phone and use a stylus” has clearly never used a Note for more than 5 minutes in the store. It is no where near the same! This was the first time I did not “play” with the phone ahead of time in a store demo. I knew what was coming with it and knew that it was going to be my next phone. When I got it, I was not disappointed! My biggest complaint about the previous Note’s was that they were a little too big and it was difficult to reach from side to side on the keyboard. “One handed mode” sucks! I don’t know anyone who actually uses that. As soon as I had the 7 in my hand and powered it on it felt great! Once the screen came on it looked great! I was worried about the dual edges because I hated how the S7 Edge felt in my hands. The dual edges on the Note 7 did not give me the same problems, functioned great, and looked amazing. When I was using the phone it caught everyone’s eye. If Samsung came to me and said you can design the ultimate phone for you, it would be pretty damn close to the Note 7. However, I knew something was wrong with the battery after a couple of days of using it. It never really got hot when charging, but under heavy use it would get warm pretty fast and battery life was no where near what it was supposed to be! I am all for safety and at first was impressed that Samsung was being open about the problems and correcting them quickly. I know here in the states the CPSC HAS to be involved, but I thought they did their thing and got out of the way pretty quick……well quick for a government agency anyway. Now the ball is somewhat in Samsung’s court, but the carriers are also in the game.
That is where my second concern comes in. T-mobile was the first to originally get the phone is customers hands as usual. Now, they are not doing a good enough job communicating with customers who still have a Note 7 and want to skip the loaner phone circus or trade for an inferior phone. I have contacted them through social media, the CSC, and calling some local stores. They all say the same script that they SHOULD be available at MOST retail outlets no later than the 21st. Oh, thanks for reading the web site to me! I was really struggling with it! There are reports that Best Buy and Sprint started getting devices over the weekend. I called 3 local T-Mobile stores over the weekend and was told a variety of useless scripted lines, but the gist of it was the same. They were all playing dumb and claimed to have no idea the than they thought they were supposed to start shipping the middle of this week. I am just having a hard time swallowing that. How is it that a company of this size who in the past has always been very much ahead of the curve on taking care of it’s customers can be 2 days out from when they are supposed to have the phone but have no idea how the swap is going to work and when the phones will physically be in the stores????? Come on! I am sure the tweeters, store workers, and CSC reps all have to follow orders from corporate and stick to the script. Hey John Legere, time for a re-write. You have some clever writers working on the new commercials, how about a some kind of updated information? Anything! There is no way logistically that if customers are supposed to be able to go to the local store and swap the Note 7 for a new Note 7 in 2 days that the stores either don’t already have them or are getting them today. Even if they have them but are not allowed to release them to customers until the 21st (which would be stupid), then be honest and tell us that. Don’t give us some bullshit that you are “still waiting on word from Samsung”. Word on what???? Just give us something!!!!
I have been with T-Mobile coming up on 10 years. I know there are varying opinions on them, but I have not had reception issues (no service or EDGE ONLY) for years. No one can argue that they are not the most innovative wireless carrier leading the way for the other big carriers to follow and try to keep up. They have a CEO that actively communicates with customers in a variety of ways. All that means something to me. John may be a little crazy sometimes and not act like your typical CEO, but I love that! More companies need to take this approach to running their business. I have had some negative experiences with customer service both on the phone and in the store. However, I blame more on the individual person than T-Mobile. I drive past 2 T-Mobile stores to get to a specific store where I have ALWAYS had great customer service EVERY time. I don’t really think there is a chance in hell I will switch to the new “1 plan”. It is just not a good fit for me or my family for what we all use our devices for. Not sure what I mean, read the fine print about “unlimited data”. However, of all of the big carriers in the US T-Mobile is the by far the best value out there. The fact that I am a total phone whore and jump on demand is basically my favorite feature of my plan so that I can always get the latest device is what will keep me with T-mobile for a long time. So, clearly I am a fan and I tell as many people who will listen to me to look in to using them as their personal carrier. They have handled this whole clusterf@#k as best they can and stepped up to the plate from day 1 offering “loaner” phones (however it sounds like to varying degrees of success) or to do a straight up refund, or swap for any other device in stock. However, the fact that what, 1% of ALL Note 7’s on any carrier in the US have been turned in says that people love this phone and want nothing more than to swap their current Note 7 for a new “safe” Note 7 as soon as they can. I am one of those. I just want what is in my opinion the best phone I have ever had back and I don’t want to get the run around from a company that preaches transparency and the customer is #1.
Now that I have all that out of the way, time for the obvious. It is really unfortunate this whole thing happened. I hate that people have been physically injured or suffered loss of personal property because of this problem. I hate that this is going to tarnish the Samsung name and that when people who think they know what they are talking about but are either uninformed morons or iSheep will make some wise ass comment if I have my Note 7 out in public. I have been concerned about the battery getting hot under heavy use in EVERY Samsung model since they went to the none replaceable battery. Hell, I even remember my Note 4 (which I am currently using) getting hot at times (downloading big software updates). However I have noticed this with iPhones, HTC, LG, Motorola, etc… This was a big problem with serious risks and it simply should not have happened. Samsung dropped the ball and rushed the phone out to beat the iPhone 7 to market. However, they were very quick to respond and ask that users stop using the phone. The carriers were quick to offer loaners, replacement phones, or refunds within days of the Samsung recall (not the CPSC recall). As much as it pained me, I powered off my Note 7 when they first announced the problem. I kept fighting off the temptation to turn it back on and just keep an eye on it. To help in the fight I did a factory reset so that I would not be tempted to turn it back on. I feel like when the Samsung recall first came out it was covered pretty well by various news outlets, tech sites, and blog posts. People who kept using the phone after the issue was first announced and were told to shut them down and stop using them, but did so anyway have no one to blame but their own ignorance for problems that occurred. The guy who owned the jeep that “exploded”, I would really like to know if he was using a Samsung approved car charger and cable? The media was soooooooo quick to jump on the story of the 6 year old in Brooklyn who oh oops was not even using a Note 7. I don’t want anyone to get hurt by something as common as a phone, so please replace your Note 7 ASAP if you are like me and waiting for the replacements to be available. Until then the misinformed FAA, TSA, Airlines, Colleges (BTW, WTF????) who are automatically going to assume that any Note 7 they see will be an issue just need to chill the fuck out!!!! Educate yourselves!!
Help us Obi-Wan-Legere, you’re our only hope!