Note 7 originally purchased from: Best Buy
9:30AM: While waiting for Best Buy to open, I re-read the email they sent that mentioned 3 options: 1) Be put on replacement list (no mention of a temporary replacement phone), 2) Get the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge and accept that as a permanent replacement, 3) Get a full refund. However, their updated website (linked within email) completely removed option 1.
10AM: Walked into store and asked to hear the clerk’s understanding of the situation. She mentioned options 2 & 3. I asked why option 1 was no longer available. The answer was that they were being told that it may be up to 6 months before Samsung could be able to re-supply non-defective phones. Best Buy didn’t want to be left “holding the bag” that long.
10:30AM Drove over to the AT&T store and asked them what policy they are using. They said I could get the S7 or S7 Edge as a “temporary” replacement. AT&T personnel were told it may be anywhere from 2 weeks until some unknown future time before working Note 7 devices were available. I was told that to avoid upgrade charges and plan changes, I would have to pay for the phone outright. Between what I spent on the Note 7 and the potential cost of the S7, that would be nearly two thousand dollars until the refund on the Note 7 came back. I left the store to have time to think. I drove over to talk to a friend who also is facing having to replace his Note 7. He said he spoke to his carrier and to Samsung through the special 800 number that was setup to handle the issue. Samsung told him to deal with his carrier. His carrier (not AT&T) didn’t have the same options.
11:00AM: Drove back to AT&T and bought the S7 Edge outright. Tried to transfer (phone to phone via cable) my apps, but not all came over. Samsung's transfer app is NOT as good as claimed by others. (It took me 3 days to completely setup the Note 7 when I originally transferred from the Note 3 a few weeks ago). Samsung absolutely has shot themselves over and over again in the foot over this debacle.
12:00PM: Drove to Best Buy and returned Note 7. For some odd reason, even though I bought it on my credit card, they weren’t able to refund the whole amount to the card. I had to take over $100 on a gift card. I tried to merely cash out the gift card -- not allowed. I spoke to store manager and explained situation. He chopped up the large gift card in smaller $10 cards and then cashed them out. What an absolute fiasco! All this because of their policy not to cash out gift cards. I didn’t want any of it on a gift card in the first place.
Because I decided to do things the way I did, I did not qualify for the $25.00 apology gift from Samsung. That’s okay, Samsung. I will never forget this. If it weren’t that nobody had the Asus Zenphone 3, the Honor 8, or the One Plus 3, I would not still be a customer of yours. Do not ever expect me to be a customer of yours again. Do not expect I will have any kind words for you. If anyone asks, I will absolutely advise against buying Samsung products. They are overpriced, over-hyped, and not worth the hassles. Although Best Buy also holds some accountability here with their anti-customer policy about cashing out gift cards or even refusing to reimburse the whole amount to my credit card, I hold Samsung responsible for this whole event because if it weren't for their shipping defective phones in the first place, none of these other issues would have come up.