Beware Google Store Returns


I ordered a Pixel 3 XL to see if I wanted to switch from Apple to Android, tried it out for a couple of days and then initiated the return process (knowing I was going to be charged a restocking fee). I used their return RMA shipping label, dropped it off at Fedex (as I’ve done previously with Google Store returns) and did not think about it for a couple of weeks.

At week three I contacted Google Support and they told me they received the device and would let me know about the refund shortly. At week four I contacted Google Support again and this time I was bumped up to a warehouse support team and they told me that they would contact me in 1-2 days. Another week goes by (now I am a day or so past the Google finance payment date) and I contact Google Support and they tell me to email Google Support using the email that they sent my chat transcript to.

So we are now over a month since I shipped it back, nobody from Google has contacted me directly, and I am the person initating all contact. This morning (in response to my email) I am informed that the box they received from FedEx had nothing in it. I was told to mail in my phone or put in a claim with FedEx.

This is their customer service it appears. Nobody contacts me at all for over a month and now they tell me the phone never arrived. So I filed a claim with FedEx and we will see how that goes.

Never again will I purchase anything from Google. I can understand theft occurring, etc. but they could have told me this on December 17, 2018 when the phone was signed for by a Google employee.

What's the verdict so far on Project Fi?

This isn’t the only horror story buying from Google lately:

This one concerns a person who had their credit card declined by the Fi store because their bank had put a fraud flag on the card due to something unrelated:

From what I’ve since learned, if a card in your Google Pay is stolen, or someone uses your Payments account fraudulently, or anything happens that leads to a security flag being raised, it can lead to your Google Payments account being frozen.

And that can wreak havoc on your Google life.

They were unable to make payments on the Google Play store, for Youtube Premium, any Google service because their account had been frozen, and they were completely unable to do anything about it.

Getting this fixed is actually impossible , and I say that as someone who really, truly, loves solving problems and has made a living off getting phone agents to want to help me.

We have submitted copies of his ID four times, my ID twice, multiple photos of credit cards, and various credit card statements. We’ve talked to agents and supervisors at Google Payments and Google Fi. No one is empowered to do anything , and even a well-intentioned agent doesn’t get the same answer from the “security department” twice.

I’ve since found hundreds of comments and Reddit threads from people having similar experiences, with almost zero positive conclusions.

The only suggestion of a solution we’ve been given is that he abandon both his email address and phone number of the past twenty years and start fresh.

My Pixel is on its last legs (it crashes if I try to take a photo when the battery is at less than 40%, and the power button works intermittently.) I’ll probably switch to another carrier when I replace it.


The phones are good, though, so just buy them from the carrier’s store. I got my Pixel 2 from Verizon. No hassles.


Google’s customer support is laughably hilariously insanely terrible across the board. You should go out of your way to never interact with them. Never using any of their services of devices is a solid way of doing so, though I admit I am a little addicted to Gmail and Play Music :)


Yeah, our entire college is deeply entrenched in the Googleverse, from email to storage to apps. We don’t have much choice there. Luckily, most of the time the stuff works really well. And when it doesn’t, I can go to our own IT folks to fix it. THEY have to deal with Google, at least for the work stuff. Home stuff, though, yeah.


I was a paying Google Play Music customer and played around with custom ROMs and bought more than 5 Android phones in 1 year. They would not allow more than 5 deauthorizations in a year, and only approved 1 manual override from their end. They lost my business as a result.

Neither Spotify nor Apple Music is this much of a PITA.


That’s some statement, given that I find iTunes to be a veritable spawn of Satan. I’m not disputing you, mind you, just saying, ouch.


I had cause to return a chromecast over here, I was given a prepaid returns label and as soon as that label was scanned at the local post office I was issued a full refund.

Their support is non-existent though, I ordered the latest version of the Chromecast - they shipped me the 2015 version and after I complained, edited the store to change the pictures to the 2015 version and never responded to my emails.


Yeah, I actually purchased a Pixel and Pixel 2 (returned and received a new one with no problem). But having dealt with Apple and Microsoft with problems in the past, I am now OK paying their price premiums. I like Chrome too much to completely give it up, but I will avoid Google where I can.


Quick update. I filed a claim with Fedex (as mentioned above) and did not hear from them for two weeks. Once again, I initiated contact with Fedex, they were helpful (asked for the IMEI number for the phone) and said somebody would be in touch this week. I decided that I would call Fedex again on Friday, but out of the blue I received an email from Google saying that my refund for the Pixel 3 XL will be processed in the next 14 days. Only took two months and I will never purchase anything from the Google Store again, but looks like things are finally resolved.