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Google says it will not keep Pixel devices sent in for repair with ‘unauthorized parts’

1 month ago 61

Google’s repair policy for Pixel devices was briefly under fire when it was noticed that the company would not return a device to the owner if it used “unauthorized parts.” Now, the company is striking that from its policy.

YouTuber, repair shop owner, and right-to-repair activist Louis Rossman this week put a spotlight on Google’s repair policy for Pixel devices. Since at least last year, a support page explaining Google’s repair policy said explicitly that if a device was sent in for repair and “unauthorized” aftermarket parts were found on the device, the device “would not be returned” to its owner.

The policy came to light following Samsung being criticized for how it handles repairs. iFixit ended its partnership with Samsung on Galaxy devices recently, and a further report revealed a contract which, among other things, told repair shops to effectively destroy devices that were found to use aftermarket parts rather than returning those devices to the customer.

Google’s policy only speaks to the company’s own repairs of Pixel devices, but similar says that a device found to be using aftermarket parts would “not be returned to you.”

The policy reads in part:

Unauthorized Parts: You will not send in a Device containing non-Google-authorized parts – if You do, Your Device will not be returned to you.

The policy has been in place since July 19, 2023, when Google

In a statement to Android Authority, though, Google has since confirmed that it will be changing its stance here. Going forward Google “would not keep” the device if it has non-OEM parts, but would return the device to the customer if it cannot complete a repair “if there are safety concerns.” The company’s Terms and Conditions will apparently be updated to “clarify” this.

If a customer sends their Pixel to Google for repair, we would not keep it regardless of whether it has non-OEM parts or not.  In certain situations, we won’t be able to complete a repair if there are safety concerns. In that case, we will either send it back to the customer or work with them to determine next steps. Customers are also free to seek the repair options that work best for them. We are updating our Terms and Conditions to clarify this.

The change has not yet been made in the Terms and Conditions just yet, however.

Recently, Google spoke on the “Made by Google” podcast about how it wants to produce future Pixel devices with repair in mind, with the “end goal” to not need special tools to repair a device. The company has also made pushes for improved repairability on Pixels in recent years, partnering with iFixit in 2022 for DIY Pixel repairs (which are, as the Rossman video brings out, prohibitively expensive), committing to at least 7 years of parts availability for Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, offering the first DIY repair option for a foldable in the Pixel Fold, and adding “Repair Mode” to Pixel devices late last year to protect user data during a repair.

More on Google Pixel:

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