Galaxy Note 8 trade-in for Note 7 owners comes with a catch

Turns out, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 olive branch to original Galaxy Note 7 owners comes with a few thorns.


Samsung alerted press that the company would give US Note 7 buyers a trade-in credit of up to $425 on their current phone if they purchased the Galaxy Note 8 on Samsung.com. This is the gesture CNET was hoping Samsung would make to owners of the doomed Note 7 once the Note 8 went on sale.

But if you were burned by the double recall after multiple units overheated and caught fire in 2016, it won’t be as easy as raising your hand to get the deal. There are conditions, as there always are. For the most part, the Note 7 trade-in program fits right in to Samsung’s existing program for new phones, with just one extra caveat. In fact, the last update to terms and conditions occurred August 14, more than a week before the August 23 Note 8 event.

Like any trade-in agreement, it pays to read the fine print before getting started. Here are the most important things to know before making good on the Note 7 deal.

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Want that Note 7 loyalty credit? Not so fast.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung’s offer is only good through Samsung

You must deal directly with Samsung to get the trade-in value. Your local carrier or retailer will not offer you Samsung’s deal.

The easiest way to kick-start the process is by going to Samsung’s website just for Note 7 owners.

It’s for US customers only and runs until September 30

We’re not sure why Samsung didn’t globally roll out the offer, or if the company plans to extend it to more countries in the future. What we do know is that the offer window closes September 30, 15 days after the Note 8 goes on sale (September 15).

You must prove you bought the Note 7

With your:

  • Original register receipt
  • Credit card bill
  • Carrier bill
  • Contract or lease agreement

It must be clear that the Note 7 was the device you purchased.

Yes, you get the Note 8 preorder gift, too!

Samsung told CNET that Note 7 owners who participate in the trade-in are also eligible for the Note 8 preorder gift that Samsung is extending to anyone who buys the phone. You’ll be able to choose between a wireless charger and a 256GB microSD card, or a Gear 360 camera. Either option gets you about a $200 value if you were to purchase them separately. 

The bundle is a limited-time offer (until supplies run out and all that).

You may not get the full $425 trade-in value

$425 is the maximum value you’ll be able to get for the phone you’ve been using since returning your Note 7, not a blanket promise. That’s because the value of devices varies. So say you’ve been using and entry-level Android phone when you returned your Note 7. That phone will fetch you less than the value of, say, a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

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Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 8 puts its stylus to good use.

by Jessica Dolcourt

The trade-in phone has to be in good condition

According to Samsung, that means it:

  • Powers on and maintains a charge
  • You can use it (“has a functioning display”)
  • Has no breaks or cracks or other visible defects that go beyond normal wear and tear
  • Is not on a black list of any kind (e.g. isn’t listed as stolen)
  • Has Reactivation Lock, Google Factory Reset Protection, or any other anti-theft locking software disabled (you’re not trying to sell someone else’s phone)
  • Has been wiped of personal information through a factory reset (you get to this from the settings menu)

You can’t still owe money

This is really important. If the phone you’re currently using isn’t fully paid for, like you leased it or still owe money on an installment plan on any sort, it’s not eligible. So if you financed your phone, you’ll need to pony up the balance and own it outright before you can participate in Samsung’s trade-in.

You have 15 days to send back your old device after getting the new one

Once Samsung sends you the shipping label and instructions, your 15-day countdown is on.

That means Samsung has to receive your phone (and not your charger, case or any extra accessory) by that deadline, and in good working condition (see above). 

Here’s the “or else” if that doesn’t happen: 

  • Samsung might charge you for the full amount of the agreed-upon trade-in value, which you will not get back
  • If it’s in bad condition, Samsung will value it at $25.00 and charge you the difference
  • Samsung will charge the same credit card or other payment method that you use to buy the Note 8 (Samsung’s selling it for $930)
  • If you don’t have enough credit, Samsung will come after you until you pay up

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Again, you have to wipe the phone first

This is worth repeating, and is a no-brainer, since you don’t want your personal information on there anyway. You’ll find the factory reset option in the phone’s settings.

You must have a Samsung account

It’s free and you can create one from a Samsung phone or online here.

You will never get your other phone back

Sorry, them’s the rules.

Specifically:

“Samsung cannot return your Trade-In Device to you, even if you return your New Samsung Device within the applicable return period.”

But you can return the Note 8

As long as it’s within the typical return window of 15 days after receiving it. Of course, you’ll get your money back, too.

You have to be 18 to participate

If you’re under 18, you’ll need to ask a parent or guardian to help.

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