After so many years of building its own phones, Google still struggles with some of the inherent problems that come with making hardware. The days when you couldn’t find a Pixel in stores are long gone, but that doesn’t mean Google has been able to sell boatloads of Pixel phones since launching the first model.
Nevertheless, Google just launched a new generation of devices in more markets than ever, but the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL were plagued by various issues when they came out that Google will fix via software updates . But if you happen to drop the brand new phone, which can cost north of $900, you’re on your own. Google can’t help you, and the same goes for any repair shops that are trained to replace the damaged glass.
It’s not rocket science to repair smartphones that shatter during accidental drops for these repair centers, and the procedure is usually pretty simple. You bring the damaged device in, pay for the repairs, and they’ll get it done. But Google and its partners can’t do that yet as there are no spare parts available.
Two distinct accounts, including a report from 9to5Google and a post on Reddit, explain that Google isn’t yet prepared to handle accidents, and repair shops may have similar problems.
Long story short: Google isn’t fixing broken Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL units itself quite yet, and is instead sending people off to uBreakiFix. Our local uBreakiFix is currently out of stock and not even expecting to get repair components — except the battery — for the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL for the foreseeable future. That means that my wife’s new phone is currently damaged without recourse. (Another national repair service, Puls, can also fix Pixel 3 devices, but currently only in San Francisco.)
This isn’t a lone case, either. There’s a handful of reports across Reddit of users not being able to get their device repaired by uBreakiFix. One report claims a one month wait period to get their device repaired. Another quotes uBreakiFix as not being able to get the necessary adhesive to reattach the back glass. This is clearly a widespread problem.
From the Reddit report:
So I turned to Google. They just sold me a phone for upwards of $900 surely they have some repair system in place. They will have spare screens on hand. No. I just finished speaking with a Google support specialist who essentially told me there’s nothing they can do and referred me to the same repair shops I had just called. This really irked me because I’m willing to pay for the repair, it was an accident and it’s not their fault. I just want some support from the company that I just bought into. It’s as if they pointed me right out the door and said “You’re on your own!” On top of all of this, I live in Seattle and there is only one authorized repair shop that can perform this repair.
That doesn’t mean things won’t get better in the future. But if you already own the Pixel 3 or 3 XL or plan to buy one, be extra careful with it. You may be stuck with a broken device for quite a while.