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Google changes controversial repair language, although leaves it open-ended

The new text suggests it could keep your device if there are health or safety concerns.

Published onJune 6, 2024

Google logo boot Pixel 8
Damien Wilde / Android Authority
  • Previously, Google had language in its service and repair terms and conditions that said if you sent in a device with non-OEM parts, it would not return the device.
  • That language has now been changed to clarify that Google will return your device unless there are health or safety requirements that prevent it from doing so.
  • The company denies that it ever actually kept devices.

Just yesterday, Google’s service and repair ToS contained wording that said it would not return your device if it found non-OEM parts in the Android phone you sent in for repair. The firm has now changed its terms and conditions to reflect that it won’t steal your phone.

Earlier this week, Google landed in hot water after it was discovered that the company could keep your phone if you sent it in for repair with non-OEM parts. After pointing out the language, a Google spokesperson reached out to Android Authority to clarify that it doesn’t keep Pixel phones, regardless of whether they have non-OEM parts or not. The company also said it would be updating its terms and conditions.

That update has now been made. Here’s what the old version of the page said:

Unauthorized Parts: You will not send in a Device containing non-Google-authorized parts — if You do, Your Device will not be returned to you.

Here’s what that section says now:

Unauthorized Parts: If You send a Device containing non-Google-authorized parts for repair, in certain situations (e.g., safety), Service Provider may not be able to repair Your Device. Service Provider will return Your Device except when health or safety requirements prevent us from doing so. If Service Provider can’t return Your Device, Google will work with You on next steps.

The new text adds that the company may not be able to repair devices with third-party parts. However, it will return your device unless health or safety requirements prevent it from doing so.

This news comes not long after a controversy related to Samsung and its relationship with independent repair shops. A leaked contract revealed that the tech giant requires these shops to disassemble Galaxy phones if they have aftermarket parts.

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