Galaxy Note 7
Galaxy Note 7

Samsung has found itself in thick soup with hundreds of South Korean Galaxy Note 7 smartphone owners preparing to file a lawsuit against the company over the faulty, fire-prone batteries used in the new premium model.

It was reported that attorney Peter Young-Yeel Ko, head of the Harvest Law Firm, said that at least 527 consumers are looking forward to sue Samsung and want the company to compensate them for the costs of visiting mobile phone shops, for waiting for hours while transferring data and for psychological harm the hazardous device has caused.

The lawyer also said that his clients include a consumer who claims to have lost all family vacation photographs saved in his phone and another who drove eight hours round-trip to return the phone, reported The Jakarta Post

The South Korean giant had stopped the sales of its flagship model after numerous reports of the phone catching fire across the globe surfaced. The phone manufacturer had also asked carriers to stop selling and exchanging the device while some reports suggest it is already planning to move on to successor models.

Another Samsung Galaxy Note 7 owner Ko said he had to visit a mobile shop three times after buying the device in August 2016. Another consumer Kim Chae Yong said he spent nearly $100 on gas and highway fees to return a Note 7 phone after the first recall as he had to drive 300 kilometers (185 miles) from his home to the shop from where he brought the device.

"I feel betrayed...I am angry and I don't ever want to use it again," said the 26-year-old plant engineer, as reported by the news portal.

Damage control

Meanwhile, Samsung is trying to control damage by coming up with marketing strategies focussed on promoting its other models and promised to compensate customers for their "big inconvenience". On 13 October, the smartphone manufacturer announced refunds and exchanges of products in its home market.

The company was offering a coupon worth 30,000 won ($26.91) to customers who returned their Note 7s, priced at about $880. For the customers who chose to exchange for another high-end Samsung phone for the faulty device were promised an additional 70,000 won mobile credit.

The company also started sending fireproof boxes and protective gloves to customers returning potentially explosive Note 7s in the United States, an act that received flak on social media.

Samsung is not only likely to incur a loss of around $17bn after the Note 7 debacle, but the company's rivals like Apple and LG have already come up with plans to capture the market share in the wake of the crisis.