Galaxy Note 7 still being used by 'thousands' of this US carrier's customers

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 may have a reputation for, you know, exploding, but apparently that's not stopping "thousands" of customers of one US carrier from using the twice-recalled smartphone. 

Verizon provided the figure to Fortune, and while it's a relatively small portion of the largest US carrier's 143-million strong subscriber base, it's still a troubling number. That's especially true when you consider that, after initially refusing, Verizon issued the Samsung software update intended to kill the Note 7 on January 5. 

A Verizon spokeswoman provided this statement on the matter to Fortune: "In spite of our best efforts, there are still customers using the recalled phones who have not returned or exchanged their Note 7 to the point of purchase. The recalled Note 7s pose a safety risk to our customers and those around them."

It seems the customers somehow eluded the update, which prevents the device from charging or making calls. We've asked Verizon how this happened, and will update this story if we hear back.

Whatever the case may be, Verizon isn't sitting on its hands, hoping the last Note 7s walk through the door on their own. 

The carrier's newest round-up measures are to reroute any calls made from a wild Note 7 straight to customer service, unless it's to 911. What's more, Verizon may actually charge customers the full retail cost of the phone since it's already sent out reimbursements. We've also asked Big Red it's plans here.

While there are no doubt some who have intentionally held onto the device and continue using it despite warnings not to, other customers may not have been able to return the Note 7 or have no other choice but to use the phone for one reason or another.

This latest chapter in the Note 7 saga comes after two recalls, the discontinuation of the device, an ongoing ban on airplanes and the phone-crippling software update. Last month, Samsung said 93% of Note 7s in the US had been turned in.

Whether Verizon's current attempts to wrangle the remaining Note 7s work we're not yet sure, but two extra incentives may be that customers are still eligible for a $100 credit on their bill and a waived upgrade fee when they bring in the phone.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.