Samsung sued by 527 Galaxy Note7 owners
Samsung slapped with lawsuit by 527 Galaxy Note 7 owners in South Korea Reuters

As many as 527 Galaxy Note 7 owners in South Korea have filed a lawsuit against Samsung over the handling of the device's recall process by the company.

The plaintiffs want Samsung to offer compensation to them for the costs they had to bear to visit shops to exchange their phones, for the time they had to wait to transfer data from the phone to another one and finally for psychological harm from using the hazardous product.

One of the consumers claims that he lost thousands of photos from family vacation while another said he drove eight hours to return his phone. The consumers are asking 500,000 won ($442, £361) compensation per head. However, the amount might increase later.

"We are filing a lawsuit not to ask for hundreds of millions of won in punitive damages like in the United States. We are demanding fair compensation for the simple damage that consumers have suffered," attorney Peter Young-Yeel Ko, head of the Harvest Law Firm told the Associated Press.

Even Ko visited a mobile shop three times after buying the Note 7. He said first he went for a battery check when reports of the phone catching fire surfaced and second time to get a replacement device after Samsung issued recall in early September. Third time was when he went to get a refund and hand in exchange replacement unit.

Another customer Kim Chae Yong said he spent about $100 on gas and highway tolls to return a Note 7 after Samsung launched first recall. Kim said he drove about 300km from Cheonan to Busan, where he purchased the Note 7.

"I feel betrayed. I am angry and I don't ever want to use it again," said Yong.

Samsung recently announced consumers who replaced the Note 7 with Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge can get 50% discount if they upgrade to Galaxy S8 or Note 8 smartphones. This latest policy is apparently Samsung's response to the criticism.

Samsung earlier offered coupons worth 30,000 won for the Samsung mobile shopping mall to the Note 7 owners. Consumers switching to other Galaxy devices were offered 70,000 won ($62) worth coupons.