Here's what U.S. carriers are doing about the Galaxy Note 7 recall

Some details are still being fleshed out, but here's what you need to know right now about your options if you have a Note 7.

So now that Samsung has issued a recall for the Galaxy Note 7, you’re probably wondering what to do with that potentially-combustible smartphone you’re holding.

Your choice is going to depend on what carrier you've got. We have some more details on what each is doing, thanks to a series of official statements. Samsung has pledged to replace devices “over the coming weeks” once it determines the cause of the problem. To date, 35 phones worldwide have been identified by the company as suffering from the faulty battery.

Given how serious the potential hazard is, it makes sense if you want to part ways with your Note 7 entirely. It looks like you’ll be able to do that with relative ease based on what the carriers have announced so far:

Verizon

Verizon says through Sept. 30 you’re able to return your Note 7 for a refund without any restocking fee. The carrier has also stopped selling the phone, with no indication about when sales would resume. Most likely this will happen after Samsung gives some type of “all clear.”

AT&T

In a statement, the carrier said it is “in the process of determining the exchange process” for existing Note 7 customers. Like other carriers, AT&T is also no longer selling the phone in its stores or online. Once AT&T finalizes the process for its process, we’ll let you know.

T-Mobile

T-Mobile offered more specific details than other carriers. In a statement, the network said it expects replacement Note 7s to be available in the next two weeks. Until then, you can return your phone and any accessories for a refund or exchange for another phone model. You do get to keep the one year of Netflix that came with your purchase, however.

Sprint

Sprint says Note 7 owners can bring their phone in and receive a “similar device” until a fix is issued. There’s no word about refunds or an exchange for a different phone, so you probably should go into a Sprint store or contact the carrier through phone support to see if this is an option.

International/unlocked devices

This area gets murky, as Samsung doesn’t sell an official, unlocked version of the Note 7 for the U.S. market. But a ton of unlocked devices are sold for international markets and end up online for purchase here.

So your best bet is to contact whoever you bought the phone from to see if they’re offering a refund or an exchange. Given that Samsung has said it will replace current devices, you may want to contact the company directly if you don’t get anywhere with the retailer you bought your phone from.

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Derek Walter

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