If you always buy the latest gadgets and cars, you will eventually own an item that gets recalled. Recalls create a lot of anxiety for people who don’t know what to do with the recalled items they own. Following these four steps will help you make the right choices so you can stay safe without losing money on your investment.
Make Sure the Recall Affects You
Recalls often apply to specific model numbers, so you should check your item to make sure the recall affects you. You may also want to look at recall lists once every few months to determine whether anything you’ve bought has been recalled.
Checking the specifics of a recall can get complicated depending on the situation. Recently, millions of cars equipped with Takata airbags were recalled. The recall applied to a wide range of vehicles from over 30 manufacturers. If you have a car that you suspect has been recalled, visit the safercar.gov website and search for your vehicle by vehicle identification number (VIN) or make and model.
Stop Using the Product Immediately
Some products get recalled because manufacturers realize that they made mistakes. These mistakes may not put you in harm’s way, but they will prevent you from using the products as intended.
Other recalls happen because the government forces companies to recall dangerous items. When the lithium-ion battery packs used to power hoverboards started overheating and causing fires, the government stepped in to hold companies responsible and make sure consumers knew how to protect themselves.
Whether or not you think your product poses a serious risk, you should stop using it as soon as you learn about the recall. A defect that seems harmless could put you and your family at risk. If a company or government agency has issued a recall, there is a reason for it.
Reach Out to the Manufacturer or Retailer
Companies may choose to handle recalls in a couple of different ways. They commonly advise customers to return recalled items to the manufacturer or to a retail store. For instance, you can get a replacement for your T-Mobile Galaxy Note 7 by taking it to one of your local T-Mobile retail stores, where you can turn in your recalled device for a replacement. When Samsung releases an updated version of the Note 7, you will have the opportunity to get one free of charge.
Note that companies get to choose how they will orchestrate a recall. A car company might choose to have their dealerships upgrade malfunctioning parts, while other companies may choose to refund the money you spent on the product.
Wait for the Solution
After you return a recalled product to the manufacturer or retail store, you just have to wait for a solution. How quickly that happens depends on several factors, such as whether the company has already found a way to fix the problem and how many people respond to the recall.
Regarding the Galaxy Note 7 recall, you can expect to wait at least a couple of months before you receive an updated version. Samsung has to make a model that passes an inspection from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Even if the company solves the battery problem quickly, it will take a while for the CPSC to test the new product and give it the green light.
In the meantime, you can trade your Note 7 in for a Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge or a similar device made by Samsung. You can also return any Note 7 accessories that you purchased. In return, you’ll get a gift card, bill credit, or in-store credit for a future purchase.
Recalls are somewhat burdensome, especially when you have to spend time waiting in a long line at a dealership. Even though recalls are a pain, they exist to protect consumers from serious dangers. No company wants to issue a recall unless it’s necessary. By following these four steps, you can avoid potential dangers and get an updated product that works better than the one you currently own.