Complaints Surface Over Google Store Trade-In Packaging


The photo above is said to show what Google is sending out to those who enroll in the company's new trade-in program to send in their phones. This is a service that Google only recently launched and one which allows device owners to trade in their devices through the Google Store (or through Project Fi) and use the value against the purchase of a new smartphone from the Google Store. Something which if offered with the upcoming Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones when they are released, is likely to be a service which is used by many.

However, some of those who have already started using the trade-in program have now taken to places like Reddit to vent their frustration at the quality of the packaging Google provides to send back traded smartphones. As shown in the photo, along with the "trade-in instructions" leaflet the only packaging Google provides is a relatively small and thinly padded envelope. One which many are arguing is hardly strong or durable enough to protect a smartphone during transit.

As to be expected with a trade-in program, some of the requirements for the value offered is the phone is in good working order (powers on) and does not contain a cracked display. So it stands to reason that those who are trading in their phones and expecting a set amount for that phone are weary of using this level of packaging. After all, if the phone arrives at Google with a cracked display or is no longer working then it could be the case that Google argues the condition of the phone is not as was stated by the seller. Which could result in a reduction of the value offered or worse still, no value offered at all. In fact, Google's trade-in T&Cs states as much "Your Device is not in the condition You represented on the Website, or Your Device is not one of the Devices accepted by the Trade-In Program, the Final Trade-In Quote may be minimal or zero." Some of those posting to the Reddit thread have stated that they intend to use different packaging to send their trade-in phones and the actual original poster of the thread and photo did later specify that they had gotten in touch with Google and Google had 'agreed' to let the seller send in the phone in a larger box. Providing the phone was still placed in the original Google envelope and the envelope was then shipped in the larger box. One of the others who commented made it clear that they plan to shoot a video showing the phone in a working condition before shipping it off – although whether that would be sufficient enough evidence to argue against transit damage remains to be seen as the T&Cs also clearly state "Google will have no liability to You if Your Device is lost or damaged during the return shipment."


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John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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