This Is How Verizon Is Punishing Galaxy Note 7 Holdouts

Verizon is having some trouble getting customers to give up their Galaxy Note 7 devices. So now, it's taking its efforts to the next level.

Speaking to Fortune in an interview on Tuesday, a Verizon spokeswoman said that the company still has "thousands" of customers that haven't turned in the Galaxy Note 7 and continue to use the ill-fated handset on its network. The person added that they have skirted a Verizon software update that would have left the customers with a bricked Galaxy Note 7.

Credit: Jeremy Lips

(Image credit: Jeremy Lips)

Verizon said it will now place all Galaxy Note 7 users into a category within its customer base that will re-route calls. So whenever a Galaxy Note 7 owner tries to place a call, he or she will be automatically redirected to Verizon customer service, which will ostensibly request the customers get a new device.

If that doesn't work, the Verizon spokeswoman said, the company could bill customers for the full cost of the Galaxy Note 7. Verizon previously reimbursed all Galaxy Note 7 customers that amount after the handset was discontinued.

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Samsung last year released the Galaxy Note 7 in hopes of delivering a device that would beat the iPhone 7. And early reviews suggested the Galaxy Note 7 hit all the right points to be a success. However, soon after its release, customers reported overheating problems. In some cases, the Galaxy Note 7 caught fire and exploded.

Soon after, Samsung responded by issuing a recall on the device and promising that replacement products would be safe. However, after similar reports surfaced with its second-run handsets, Samsung was forced to discontinue the device.

Over the last several months, Samsung and its carrier partners around the world have been working to retrieve all Galaxy Note 7 devices. The company has offered credits towards new products and made the turn-in process as simple as possible.

Verizon's comments on Tuesday, however, suggest that some subscribers have found a way around the update and continue to use the device.

Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.