EXCLUSIVE: Worldwide or not? Google Pixel 2 warranty is a confusing mess

Well, it turned out be a tiring exercise, and now I am wondering why I even thought of buying a Pixel 2 unit. The entire Google phone hardware warranty thing is like a swamp, the more you try to figure out its reality, the deeper it drags you in the muddle.

Lets start from the very beginning. I am presently an Apple iPhone user, and was thinking of buying a Pixel 2 XL. Of course, I know about all major bugs plaguing Google’s latest flagship device, but then, bugs are part and parcel of a smartphone’s life these days. Plus, Pixel 2 is a beautiful phone, isn’t it? And not to mention the quality of images it captures.

I would love to juggle between iPhone and Pixel, making the most of both the phones. But sadly, Pixel 2’s warranty policy is holding me back from spending a good dime on it.

I travel quite frequently, so I usually invest in phones that offer global warranty, as it’s convenient to get your phone checked, fixed, or even replaced wherever you are. But, I am baffled to see how Google is confusing Pixel 2 buyers about the hardware warranty they offer for the phone – the language on their official pages just adds to the confusion.

Let me explain how.

If you take a look at the Limited Warranty section on the company’s official Hardware Warranty page, it states

This Limited Warranty is only valid and enforceable in locations the Phone is sold and will apply only if you purchased your Phone from Google or its authorized resellers.

And that stands true both in the United States, and India. Now, if I try to decode this statement as an end-user, I would easily say I can claim the device’s warranty in any country around the world where Google (or an authorized retailer) is officially selling the phone.

But besides being an end-user, I am a technology reporter as well, one who is well aware that policy/legal language is best comprehended by experts. So I wanted to be absolutely clear what exactly the company intends to convey. I googled a bit, and was taken by surprise that this warranty confusion is already a big problem which is troubling a lot of Pixel 2 buyers worldwide.

When it all started

If you remember, back in October last year, Google officially extended Pixel 2’s warranty from one to two years, with a company employee Mario Queiroz (VP, Product Management, Google Hardware) saying:

tl;dr: We’re very confident that the Pixel 2 delivers an exceptional smartphone experience, and to give users peace of mind, every Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will now come with a 2-year warranty worldwide.

The use of words “warranty worldwide” is what got Pixel 2 users questioning that whether it means international warranty? While reverting back to a similar query on Google forums, another Google employee Orrin, came up with the following clarification a few weeks later:

The warranty is for devices purchased directly from google (or from authorized resellers), and the warranty is only valid in the country of sale. So in this case, the US warranty is not valid in India. I don’t know all the fine details around this, but I’m guessing it partially has to do with the fact there are many country-specific regulations and policies when it comes to warranties.

Now, as we quoted in the beginning, the official US Hardware Warranty page for Pixel 2 says the warranty is valid “in locations the Phone is sold.” So even if we assume Mario Queiroz’s statement was inline with this, what Orrin said is completely contradicting.

Two Google employees seemingly going in opposite directions got users talking, and they started inquiring more on different help forums (1,2,3,4) about how Pixel 2 warranty actually works.

Adding to the mess, even some forum experts (members of Google’s Top Contributor program) who usually respond to user-queries before Google employees jump in, appear confused as they are giving contradictory statements on the matter. Take a look:

expert coment1expert coment2

Moving on, here’s what Google’s Twitter Support has been telling users:

So whom should an end-user believe? Google Support or the official documentation?

What hardware warranty pages for other regions say

Up until now, we only went through Pixel 2 warranty documentation for the US and India. So we thought of taking a look at hardware warranty details for other regions/countries, like Australia (first) and EEA (second) to gain more clarity, and found that they are way more precise and direct.

This Limited Warranty is only valid and enforceable in Australia and will apply only if you have purchased your Phone from Google or its authorised resellers.

This Limited Warranty is only valid and enforceable in the EEA and Switzerland and will apply only if you have purchased your Phone from Google or its authorised resellers.

So it’s clear that if you purchase a Pixel 2 in Australia or EEA and Switzerland, then you can only claim warranty on in the region of purchase. But – as we’ve already discussed in the beginning – that is not the case in other markets, like the US and India.

Hello Google

Obviously, due to all the aforementioned confusion, I thought it would be best to contact Google directly and ask them to clear the picture. So I initiated a call request, and got a call from the company’s support center in the US.

Initially, when I told them I want to buy a Pixel 2 unit and I want to know about the kind of warranty it comes with, the support rep told me the device comes with a 2-year warranty. I then asked whether or not it is worldwide, they said if you purchase directly from Google, then this 2-year warranty is worldwide.

However, for more clarity, when I further asked if the unit is purchased from India, can I claim warranty for it in the US? They put me on hold, and came back with a different statement altogether, saying that the hardware warranty is only country specific. Meaning, it’s restricted to the country/region from where you buy a Pixel 2.

Now, I confronted them with the language on the official Pixel 2 Hardware Warranty policies for both the US and India (….warranty valid in locations the Phone is sold …), they said that might be written on the website, but as far as they know, the warranty is not truly international.

Conclusion

It’s difficult to understand why can’t a company as big as Google state a direct and clear hardware warranty policy as well as keep their support staff inline with it. For the record, I also contacted Apple Support, and they were way too clear that they offer one year global warranty (and that’s what their website states as well). So if Apple is clear, why can’t Google be? Considering how confusing things are, we expect Google to shed more light on the matter sooner than later.

Meanwhile, if you have got any similar warranty related experiences to share, drop us a comment.

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Dr. Aparajita Sharma

A budding entrepreneur by profession, and a psychologist by education. As a founding member of PiunikaWeb, I am nurturing this firstborn with my sharp-eyed expertise and even journalistic writing when needed.