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Stupid Enough to Use Note 7? Samsung Is Pulling the Plug

Samsung so badly wants you to stop using your Galaxy Note 7, it’s even stopping it from connecting to wireless networks.

Samsung this week published a notice on its site saying that any Galaxy Note 7 owners who try to connect to cellular networks in New Zealand on November 18 or later will be out of luck. While the devices will still be operational for offline activity, they won’t be able to connect to any cellular network in the country to place calls, use data, or send SMS messages.

“Between November 4th - 18th, we will contact our customers on at least two separate occasions with information about this network discontinuation event to ensure they have received adequate notice,” Samsung said in its statement. “We would like to thank our Note7 customers for their patience and understanding.”

MORE: Best Galaxy Note 7 Alternatives

Samsung has had a rough few months after reports in August surfaced, saying the Galaxy Note 7 was overheating and causing some units to explode. Soon after, Samsung apologized, offered replacements, and said its second-run of devices would be safe. However, some of those devices also exploded.

Over the last couple of months, Samsung has been trying its best to get back the more than 2 million Galaxy Note 7s believed to have been in the wild. The company has issued a global recall, discontinued the handset, and made clear to all customers how dangerous it might be.

To sweeten the pot a bit, Samsung has offered credits to customers and cited government agencies who have banned its smartphone from traveling in hopes of getting back its troubled devices. Samsung has even offered customers in Korea a 50-percent-off deal on next year’s handsets if they bring back the Galaxy Note 7.

To make it easy for customers to get a new Samsung smartphone, the company has erected kiosks in airports across the world.

But alas, some Galaxy Note 7 owners are unwilling to hand over the smartphone, leaving both them and those around them in danger.

Samsung’s move in New Zealand appears to be the nuclear option: when all else fails, ban the smartphones from accessing networks and try to retrieve them. But New Zealand is a rather small market and it’s unclear whether Samsung will expand its blockade to other countries at some point in the future.

Regardless, anyone who still has a Galaxy Note 7 should listen to Samsung (and just about everyone else) and return it. There’s no good in owning a smartphone that can explode at a moment’s notice.

Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it would expand its blockade to other parts of the world.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.