A little-known aspect of recent Pixel devices is an arbitration agreement that essentially prevents you from suing or taking part in a class-action suit against Google related to your smartphone. The Google Pixel 4 arbitration agreement will be active for everyone who buys one in the United States.
In order to opt-out of the agreement, you’ll need to do so manually within 30 days of purchase. We have all the instructions you need on how to do so below!
However, before we get into that, let’s explain what this arbitration agreement is, what it means for you as a Pixel 4 buyer, and why you probably want to go through the slight hassle of opting-out.
What is this Google Pixel 4 arbitration agreement?
An arbitration agreement is a legally binding contract that prevents you from getting the courts involved should some sort of dispute arise between you and a company. While the Google Pixel 4 arbitration agreement isn’t iron-clad, it would definitely present a hassle for you if something were to go wrong with your device outside of its warranty.
If you want to see how in-depth the arbitration agreement that comes with the Pixel 4 is, check out some images below. This is the agreement that will come inside retail boxes of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL in the US:
To be clear, this doesn’t mean Google won’t fix your device if it breaks under warranty. It also doesn’t mean you can’t sue Google if your Pixel 4 explodes in your pocket and severely burns you. This agreement means that should an inventory-wide defect arise somewhere down the road with the Pixel 4 series, you can’t individually sue Google over it nor can you participate in a class-action suit against the company regarding that problem.
Instead, you would contact Google directly and it would either fix the problem for you (by replacing your device, for example), or refuse. If Google refuses, you couldn’t take the company to court. Instead, you would work with a third-party arbiter who would make a final decision on your claim outside the court system.
As a real-world example of what we mean, there was a class-action suit against Google and Huawei related to the Nexus 6P and its well-known bootloop issues. If this arbitration agreement existed for that device and you didn’t opt-out of it, you would not have been able to participate in that suit. You could also not individually sue Google over the problem.
In general, arbitration agreements are usually a bad idea for the consumer. Not being able to use the court system to fight back against companies when there’s a problem gives the company a lot of power, even with that third-party arbiter.
The good news is, you can opt-out of the Google Pixel 4 arbitration agreement. Follow the steps below.
How to opt-out of Google Pixel 4 arbitration agreement
- Head to Google’s opt-out page within 30 days of purchase of your Pixel 4.
- Select your device from the drop-down menu (in this case, you’d choose Pixel 4).
- Type in your Google Pixel 4 serial number which can be found on the retail box. If you don’t have that, you can find it on your phone by going to Settings > About phone > Model & hardware.
- Enter your email address. It needs to be exactly the same address as the one you used to sign in to your Google account on your Pixel 4.
- Hit Submit and you’re done!
Once you’ve opted-out, you will be able to participate in any class-action suits against Google related to the Pixel 4, should any arise in the future.