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Verizon to redirect calls in last-ditch effort to deter Samsung Galaxy Note 7 users

Verizon will soon take extreme steps to deal with the "thousands" of people on its network still using Samsung's fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 in spite of a recall and subsequent attempts to cripple the device, a report said on Tuesday.




Owners of the fiery device who are using Verizon's network will soon find calls automatically redirected to customer service unless they are attempting to dial 911, Verizon explained to Fortune. On top of this, the company is considering billing holdouts for the full cost of the phone, reversing previous reimbursements.

Samsung put a stop to Note 7 production in October after the device's design was found defective. Since then, Samsung and carriers alike have tried to get people to return or exchange the phone, using financial incentives as well as crippling software updates. The Note 7 is also effectively banned from air travel.

The most recent software update —issued through all U.S. carriers —prevents the phone from charging. It is not clear how people have been circumventing the code while maintaining a usable device.

Samsung is said to have recently concluded an internal report finding that battery problems were indeed to blame for a rash of fires after the Note 7 launched in August. The company may have left too little space for the battery in its design, creating dangerous pressure.

This, in turn, has allegedly been linked to Samsung rushing the phone to market, hoping to grab more customers away from Apple, which was on the verge of releasing the iPhone 7. Instead the company is preparing to take a $5.2 billion hit.