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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.