Hyderabad: A consumer disputes redressal forum in Hyderabad has directed Google Pixel 2 consumer support and Bajaj Electronics to refund Rs 73,000 to a customer who had bought a Pixel 2 phone.

The complainant had purchased Pixel2 XL from Bajaj Electronics for Rs. 73,000 for his son who was traveling to the U.S. However, the complainant said that the company did not reveal that several features of the phone were not covered under the warranty. “I explained to the Google salesperson that my son will use this phone in the U.S. When I was checking other brands like Samsung and Apple, the Google salesperson informed me of Pixel’s features like underwater photography and a rating of IP67. I purchased the phone based on all the features the Google salesperson told me about,” said the complainant.

According to the complainant, the salesperson hid the fact that the mobile phone was not covered under warranty in the U.S. though he had informed them that he was purchasing the phone for his son who was going to the U.S. The salesperson also did not inform him that “underwater photography” was not covered under the warranty.

In July 2018, the phone developed a problem after it was exposed to water. The complainant’son went to a Google service center, UBREAKIFIX, in the U.S. However, the service center said since the phone was purchased in India the warranty was not valid in the U.S. When the repaired phone developed similar issues, it was shipped back to India to Google for repair. However, the customer support team sent the complainant Rs. 36,000 on 14 August 2018 stating that since the phone was repaired at UBREAKIFIX in the U.S. it cannot be considered for a warranty.

Responding to the complainant’s claim, Google customer service said, “As the damage has been diagnosed as liquid damage which is not covered under warranty policy, hence the service factory can do only a paid repair for the device.” It further said, “The service factory cannot consider the device in warranty after it was repaired from UBREAKIFIX from the USA.”

Considering all the facts produced by the complainant, the consumer forum said, “All the reply mails by Google and Bajaj Electronics goes to show that they had been dodging the matter of repairing the mobile on one pretext or the other and demanding service charges. In the given circumstances they are under lawful obligation to render free service since the problem in the device has emerged within the warranty period but the opposite parties failed to do so.”

The forum said promoting a product and luring the customer to purchase a product by highlighting its special features but hiding the fact that that particular feature is not covered under warranty amounts to unfair trade practice. The consumer forum also said that not getting it rectified in spite of several follow up’s amounts to deficiency of service. Hence, the forum directed Google customer service and Bajaj Electronics to jointly refund the sum of Rs. 73,000 and further pay compensation of Rs. 101 and Rs. 10,000 towards costs of litigation.

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