Busted…

Saw a bunch of articles in my Feedly news stream about increasing reports of battery swelling damaging Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones. Took the case off my Pixel 3 XL. It was "busted".

Saw a bunch of articles in my Feedly news stream about increasing reports of battery swelling damaging Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones. Since Ryan and I both have Pixels and have them in cases, thought we should check. Fortunately, Ryan’s Pixel 3 was fine, but my Pixel 3 XL was “busted”. Although not officially confirmed by Google, it appears this issue may be caused if you use a wireless charger. I use the Google Pixel Stand.

Busted Pixel 3 XL

We bought the phones through Verizon Business when we did the switch to Verizon after moving to Tallahassee. We have them under protection plans through Verizon that provide one business day replacement. I had an issue with my Pixel shortly after we purchased and called and had a replacement the next day. When I called about this issue, I was told my 18 month old phone was “out of warranty” and my only option was to call Asurion since they actually provide the protection plan I pay Verizon for every month. I explained that this appeared to be a widespread manufacturing defect that Google was reportedly replacing. The Verizon representative told me that wasn’t their problem, it was mine (They were actually a bit nicer, but this was the bottom line).

I checked our Asurion plan. The device was covered, but I would have to pay the $200 deductible. Needless to say, this didn’t make me incredibly happy. I then did some searching and found out how to contact Google Pixel Support. They let you request a call back or do a chat. I chose chat. The initial agent asked me a long set of questions, but they all seemed like they were the information Google would need for a warranty claim. After I answered and provided images, I was passed to another agent who told me they would do a “one time cost-free” replacement. They emailed me information on how to box the unit up and return to Google. Once they received it, I should geta replacement unit in “five to ten business days”.

Not exactly the service plan I thought I had purchased, but better than laying out a significant amount of cash to fix a manufacturing defect in an 18 month old $1000 phone. Because I “thought” I was paying for one business day service, I never bought a backup phone after I switched to the Google Pixel. So next step was to swing by our local Best Buy and buy a “backup” so I would be functional while Google did its thing. I was going to get one of the Motorola phones, but the Best Buy rep said they had a bunch of issues getting Moto phones activated on Verizon. I wound up getting a LG K30 for $150 all in.

Just finished resetting the damaged Pixel 3 XL, and printing the RMS docs. Will be heading t0 local Office Depot to send back with FedEx.

So lessons learned:

  • Rethink buying Google hardware. I have been pretty happy with the 3 XL, but they have lost credibility with me as a device manufacturer. It’s too bad. There is a lot to like, but it doesn’t outweigh having a reliable piece of hardware.
  • Probably won’t buy phones through carrier again, as least not with Verizon.
  • Rethinking my relationship with Verizon. Generally happy with network service, but if they won’t stand behind what they sell it is probably time to look at other carriers. I never had an issue like this with AT&T, but to be fair, I only bought Apple devices through them. For all my issues with Apple, this is one area they always came through on. They backed their products.

With everything going on from a pandemic to wildfires to political turmoil, I know this seems a bit of a “first world problem”, but really would be nice if companies like Verizon and Google delivered on their promises.

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