“We thus call upon all consumers with active Samsung Galaxy Note 7 mobile devices in the country to immediately stop using them, and to return them to the nearest Samsung distributor for a full monetary refund or value equivalent device exchange,” NCC Commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed said on Thursday.
Mohamed said the NCC was pleased thus far with Samsung’s cooperation and compliance with the Consumer Protection Act in respect of the safety recall and that its investigations team was keeping a close eye on the matter.
The NCC has held several meetings with the company, with the latest meeting held on Tuesday.
Samsung last month notified the NCC in terms of Section 60 of the Consumer Protection Act that it was implementing a voluntary exchange programme to recover all devices that were sold to consumers locally as pre-launch purchases.
At a subsequent meeting the company advised the NCC it would also extend the voluntary exchange programme to consumers who may have acquired the device through overseas purchases.
At this week’s meeting with the company, Commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed expressed his relief at the minimal spread of the device in the country.
Mohamed said South African consumers are quite fortunate the defect on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was detected before it could be launched in the country.
“The use of defective and hazardous products, particularly those that are electronic and motorised in nature, can have devastating consequences for consumers. The NCC is quite relieved that the mobile phone device was recalled before especially children who are prone to keep up with technology trends, could be exposed to its risks,” said Mohamed.
At Tuesday’s meeting at the NCC’s new offices in Groenkloof in Pretoria, Samsung advised the NCC that it has since intensified efforts to recover devices locally by, among other things, implementing a full on safety recall programme, placing a global airline ban on the device, as well as setting up of exchange zones locally at all international airports.
Commissioner Mohamed said the commission has been made aware of the pre-launch sales that took place in the country, as well as the possibility that the device could have entered the country from overseas as parallel imports
The NCC – which is an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry - is set to meet with Samsung again at the end of October to further monitor progress on the recall of the mobile device.
On Tuesday, South African Airways (SAA) announced the prohibition of the use of the mobile phone on all of its flights as of Wednesday this week.