Samsung UK has confirmed that Galaxy Note 7 owners won’t be getting any sort of rebate on the purchase of their Note 8 devices. So if you’re an American you are getting a much better deal than your friends over the pond. This is causing some rage in the UK as you can imagine.
UK and US users got broadly the same offer when returning their Note 7. You would get the price difference refunded if you selected another Samsung device, plus $100 in the US and £100 in the UK. Not in itself a bad deal, but bear in mind that Samsung was staring down the barrel of arguably the worst scandal in consumer electronics history. Retaining customer loyalty was key.
The problem for UK customers now is that they are well aware of the rebate offer Samsung has on the Note 8, and are wondering why there’s no equivalent in the UK. I’ve asked about the EU, but my local representative was unable to offer a firm answer as Samsung European PR is handled separately. I note that Samsung’s German site has no similar offer, while even Canadians lack the trade in offer their Southern neighbors get.
However, I was also contacted by US users on the comments of that article who felt that Samsung was also short-changing them. They argued that they had signed up for two-year phone deals on lesser devices, like the S7 or S7+. They could trade in that phone, and get the $425 rebate from Samsung but they would still have to finish their contract and many felt that the phone was worth more than that.
Now I do have some sympathy for this, but I can also see Samsung’s position. It did compensate Note 7 owners with $100 or refunded all their purchase cost on the device if they opted to go to another manufacturer. So let’s do some maths.
The Note 7 cost around $870 at launch while the Galaxy S7 Edge was $780, so $90 difference. Samsung added $100 to take the amount you’d pay to $590 for the S7 Edge. One year later the company is offering you $425 if you trade in your phone (it doesn’t say it has to be a Samsung or even a recent phone). So the handset you paid $590 for last year is now worth $425 (you won’t get more on eBay, I checked). So after the rebate you’ve lost $165 over the year.
Of course to get the rebate on the Note 8 you’ve had to spend $929. With the $425 deducted you’ve now spent $504. And if you add on that $165 for the year you had the S7 Edge then you’ve spent a total of $669 for, basically, three years of handsets (assuming you keep phones two years). I can’t see that as a bad deal, especially if you traded in an older phone, as you could sell your S7 Edge and get $300 on eBay.
So my conclusion? The US users of the Note 7 have done reasonably well. I think Samsung has got the balance about right. For the UK, Canada and Europe it’s a much less fair deal. I don’t know what Samsung us offering in Asia or other regions, but feel free to get in touch if you do know of similar deals to the US.