An Oct. 27 warning by Yale Environmental Health & Safety informing members of the Yale community about Samsung’s recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 device has had little impact on campus, students said.
Samsung recalled the smartphone-tablet in September due to concerns that its lithium-ion battery can overheat and catch fire, according to a press release by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. In mid-October, Samsung suspended sales and production of the device.
“EHS often notifies the campus or specific users of product recalls, et cetera, related to safety,” said Peter Reinhardt, the director of Yale Environmental Health & Safety. “In this case, we have not been made aware of any issues involving [the Note 7] at Yale, but we felt it was in the best interest of the wider Yale community to ensure everyone had the information regarding their possible dangers and urge all users of these devices to follow the manufacturer’s recall instructions.”
Students interviewed said they were aware of the recall, but that because they owned Apple iPhones or other Samsung devices, they did not feel that it affected them.
“My mom uses a Samsung Galaxy S7, and I’m a little concerned for her safety,” Christina Huang ’19 said. “In the future, I think I would recommend that she purchase an iPhone instead.”
With production of the Note 7 halted, analysts predict a drop of billions in revenue, as well as damage to the Samsung brand, according to a report by Reuters. However, this did not seem to be the case at Yale.
“Personally, I don’t think it’s affected whether or not I’d buy a Samsung phone,” Klaire Tan ’19 said. “I’ve had a Samsung Galaxy for years and it’s been fine. Companies mess up, but I’m sure because of this incident, they’ll be more on guard for future phones.”
Jiajun Luo SPH ’17 said that most of his classmates use Apple devices, not Samsung ones. Luo added that while he is not completely familiar with the details of the recall, he noticed that Samsung took action in the United States more rapidly than in China, where Luo is originally from.
According to an Oct. 18 article published in The New York Times, Samsung sparked controversy for recalling the device in the United States and elsewhere before doing so in China.
“The way that they did the recall, is going to lose them a lot of customers,” Anna Roberts ’19 said. “They left a lot of their customers in really bad positions: Some had exchanged the phone once or even twice, and they are still stuck with a phone that doesn’t work, or is a risk, even if it does work. I think if they had recalled it as soon as it had become an issue, they would have avoided this problem. I think a lot of people are just fed up.”
Roberts added that she doesn’t know whether the recall will affect her purchasing in the future, as she typically waits a long time after cell phones are released before purchasing. However, she noted that it does change her opinion of Samsung.
“It doesn’t seem very trustworthy to keep that covered up,” Roberts added.
Samsung received 96 reports of batteries overheating in the United States, with 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damage associated with the Note 7.