Samsung Reps Try To Do ‘Galaxy Note7’ Damage Control At DIA

By Melissa Garcia

DENVER (CBS4) – Samsung representatives were at Denver International Airport replacing phones for customers who have the recalled Samsung Galaxy Note7 on Monday.

The U.S. Department of Transportation banned the model from all flights because the phones can overheat, and some of the devices have even exploded.

The flight ban has made the Note7 a federally prohibited item. Officials said that anyone who tries to board a plane with the device would be turned away. The device was also banned from checked luggage.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Samsung sent representatives were out at DIA to switch out Note7 phones with the Galaxy S7 or the Galaxy S7 Edge phones.

CBS4’s Melissa Garcia talked with Fred Apodaca, a frequent business traveler who was checking in at DIA’s ticket counter for a flight out of state. He said that he liked his Samsung Note7 but was not happy with the S7 Edge that the company replaced it with.

“It’s got half the memory and half the power,” Apodaca said.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

He had waited to upgrade his old Note5 until the release of the Note7 in August. Shortly after he bought the Note 7, reports started coming in of the phones going up in flames.

“It’s definitely a concern now,” said Ken Lekach, another Samsung customer. “I definitely don’t want to get one of those phones,” Lekach said of the Note series.

Samsung initially blamed the overheating defect on the manufacturer of some of its batteries. Replacement Note7 devices with new batteries, however, blew up too. That meant that customers like Apodaca had to switch phones again.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“The $25 they gave us for our inconvenience didn’t pay for it,” he said. “And I think Samsung needs to get a little better quality control.”

He may think twice before buying Samsung’s next generation of Note when it comes out next year.

“I’ll wait and see how it goes,” Apodaca said. “I won’t be the first one to get one, for sure.”

He isn’t the only one.

“Now that I’ve heard about this, I might even consider switching to an iPhone,” said Lekach.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

A Samsung spokesperson said that the company urges Note7 owners to exchange their device or get a refund at their local carrier or retail store before heading to the airport.

Airport travelers needing last-minute travel assistance with Note7 devices that have not been replaced can locate an onsite representative by calling: (844) 365-6197.

A DIA spokesperson said that he expected Samsung representatives to be working with customers at the airport for the next couple of days.

Statement From Samsung

“All Galaxy Note7 owners should visit their local carrier or retail store and participate in the U.S Note7 Refund and Exchange Program immediately and before traveling. We are coordinating with various partners to communicate the U.S. Department of Transportation’s recent order to ban all Galaxy Note7 devices in carry-on and checked baggage on flights across multiple touch-points. We are providing support to Galaxy Note7 owners by exchanging their devices or refunding them in a wide range of places, including at some of the most frequently visited airports around the country. These on-site reps are there to help customers with last minute travel support and can be located by calling the Galaxy Note7 hotline at 1-844-365-6197. But we urge all Galaxy Note7 owners to exchange their device or obtain a refund before they arrive at their airport. We know this is an inconvenience to our customers but their safety has to remain our top priority.”

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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