A previously announced settlement in a class action lawsuit against Google over claims of defective microphones in first-generation Pixel phones and failure to honor warranty claims has been finalized and a website set up to process claims, per the Verge. Those eligible for payouts may receive up to $500, but anyone who owned a Pixel or Pixel XL during the time period covered by the settlement could receive up to $20.
According to the terms of the settlement, first-generation Pixel owners who reside in the U.S. and purchased a device manufactured before Jan. 4, 2017 (and who did not purchase the Pixel for the purpose of flipping it) and did not receive a replacement device manufactured after Jan. 3, 2017 or refurbished after June 5, 2017 are eligible. However—as the recent debacle over the paltry checks many may receive in the Equifax data breach settlement illustrated—those who file claims may receive less money than expected.
Google has set aside some $7.25 million for the settlement, which will be further reduced by administration and lawyer’s fees, per the Verge. From there, anyone who owned an eligible Pixel or Pixel XL but who does not have documentation showing their device had audio defects will technically be eligible to receive “up to $20,” but that pool is capped at 25 percent of the settlement fund. As the Verge noted, that means that claimants without documentation will only receive the full $20 if less than 14,500 others (or fewer, depending on those fees) do so.
According to the Verge, those who paid insurance deductibles to replace Pixels with audio defects will be refunded; a pool of money has already been set aside for this purpose to ensure that all such claimants are reimbursed. Those who experienced the issue on more than one Pixel device and documented their struggles will get $500. Finally, the settlement terms say those who only have documentation of owning one defective Pixel will get up to $350, “unless there is not enough money left to make those payments, in which case the rest of the fund will be distributed to them on a pro rata basis.”
Proper documentation includes “emails, customer service chat logs, repair records, insurance claims, Return Merchandise Authorization (“RMA”) confirmations, or other credible evidence of failure,” according to the settlement website. The deadline for filing claims or opting out (in the extremely unlikely case someone feels like suing Google all over again) is Oct. 7, 2019.
This is actually the second time today that Google has reached an arrangement to reimburse people for a Pixel-related screwup. On Monday, Gizmodo reported that Google said it will work with customers who received time limited $100 Google Store credits in a Pixel 3a promotional deal and applied them to pre-orders of the Founder’s Edition of its upcoming Stadia game streaming service, only to find that their credit cards had been charged in full. Google told Gizmodo it has directed its customer service department to work with customers whose credits expired before July 1, 201 and failed to have the amount applied towards Stadia pre-purchases, as well as extended the validity of credits expiring after that date until January 2020.