[Updated] Yes, Google is offering free Pixel motherboard replacements, but not to all
Currently, there is a lot of confusion going on over whether or not Google is providing free motherboard replacements (through their authorized service partners like uBreakiFix) for bootloop issues plaguing OG Pixel phones.
So, we thought of clearing the clutter and giving cornered Pixel users a cleaner, and easy to understand picture. Basically, there are two ongoing issues with original Pixel phones that may require motherboard replacement.
Lets take a look at both the problems one by one.
For past couple of months, a lot of first gen Pixel users have been facing abrupt crashes/bootloops, with the device even bricking/dying in some cases.
As the problem somehow showed up after the warranty expiration (in most of the cases), Google Support suggested them to get in touch with uBreakiFix for further diagnosis.
After a detailed investigation, those affected were informed by the concerned service centres that the problem lies within the motherboard, which needs to be replaced, and would cost about $400.
Another ongoing problem that users have been facing is the microphone/audio glitch on first gen Pixels for which Google recently faced a lawsuit action.
Users affected by this problem have also been reporting that their units get into bootloop, and the only way out of this is replacing the device’s motherboard.
Free motherboard replacements only for …
The good news is Google is providing free motherboard replacements, but only to those encountering bootloops due to microphone-related issues (lawsuit affect?). Some one who claims to be working for uBreakiFix have recently confirmed this on a Reddit thread discussing the matter.
The thing were approved for replacing in warranty is audio issues and boot looping that comes with the audio issues. The just not turning on Is probably something separate unfortunately.
Furthermore, the same person addressed the Issue 1 (bootloops not due to microphone/audio) and added:
bootlooping is something that ubreakifix is fixing, but it’s not as widespread as the audio issues. You may run into problems store to store with getting a replacement for the bootlooping issues, but for audio issues it should be across the board at this point.
If your unit doesn’t have microphone issues, but is still getting into boot loops, then tough luck. Here’s what the same person said in a different comment:
If it’s strictly boot looping they might be a little more hesitant to do it, but the main thing I’ve noticed is that it seems to be either audio issues or bootlooping going on right now. And if it has audio issues, bootlooping seems to follow shortly afterwards.
In addition, another employee of uBreakiFix (as they claim) also confirmed the news and said:
Im a Ubreakifix employee. The motherboard replacement is only officially authorized for the microphone and speaker issue. So ymmv for the boot loop issues.
Google’s vague response
To clear the air amid growing confusion, a Google employee addressed the complainants a few hours back on one of the relevant threads at the company’s official help forum. However, the statement lacks specifics, with no mention of free motherboard replacements. Take a look at what they said:
We want to make sure you are having the best experience with your Pixel so if you come across a problem, please contact us and we will help find a solution.
Furthermore, they added
You can do this through the support tab in your settings app on your Pixel or request a callback. If you’re out of warranty, you can get help from many of our partners including ubreakifix.
Here’s their complete statement:
To sum it up, neither Google nor their authorized service centre uBreakiFix have given any official statements regarding free motherboard replacements. But what's coming to light is that apparently there are no free motherboard replacements if the bootloops are caused by something other than audio/microphone issues. Sad, but that's how it currently stands.
Meanwhile, we have approached uBreakiFix for more clarity on the matter, and will update the story as and when we hear back anything relevant.
@uBreakiFix Does uBreakiFix replace the motherboard of OG Pixel phones facing Boot looping issue for free? Or is the free motherboard replacement specific to the case of microphone/audio problems on OG Pixel?
— PiunikaWeb (@PiunikaWeb) May 3, 2018
Update (May 08):
uBreakiFix has given an official statement on the matter, saying they are not providing free motherboard replacements for bootlooping Pixels.
I'm so sorry, however, currently we are not offering free motherboard replacements for bootlooping Pixels. We're happy to perform our free diagnostics to determine what the issue is and see if there is something else we can do to assist in repairing your device!
— uBreakiFix (@uBreakiFix) May 7, 2018
We are not sure if it’s related or not, but a lot of comments coming from those who claimed to be uBreakiFix employees that we linked in our story have been deleted (apart from one) from the Reddit thread .
Update (September 05): Looks like approaching consumer forum is a way out of this problem, at least in India. Here’s how an affected user explained their case:
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