Verizon pressures users to return Note 7; Sprint's recall incentives end Friday

samsung galaxy note 7
Samsung's Galaxy Note 7. Image: Samsung

While Verizon is stepping up its efforts to entice customers with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to return their phones, Sprint’s recall incentives will end Friday.

Verizon told Fortune that it will rout outgoing non-emergency calls from the “thousands” of Note 7 phones still on its network directly to customer service, enabling staffers to speak with owners of the devices. The carrier also said it may bill Note 7 users for the full retail cost of the phone even if they had previously been reimbursed. The Galaxy Note 7 launched in August with a price tag of roughly $850.

Meanwhile, Sprint’s program to encourage users to return the recalled phone will be available only through Friday, a representative said.


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“Note 7 returns and exchanges will incur no activation or upgrade fees through January 20,” a spokeswoman said via email. “The Samsung exchange credit offer of up to $100 is also valid only until January 20.”

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission officially announced a recall of the Note 7 after Samsung received 92 reports of batteries overheating in the U.S., including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage including fires. Samsung produced a second wave of devices, but issued a second recall after a replacement phone caught fire aboard a Southwest Airlines flight.

All four major U.S. carriers recently pushed a software update from Samsung designed to brick the phone by preventing it from being recharged, but some tech-savvy owners may have been able to avoid the push. (Verizon initially said it would not issue the upgrade before reversing course and joining its rivals in supporting the software push.)

AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint all declined to say how many customers are still using the Note 7 on their networks. Samsung said last month that roughly 93% of the recalled devices had been returned.

Samsung conducted an investigation into the cause of the overheating phones and is expected to release a report Monday blaming a battery flaw.