Just days after Google's Pixel Fold started shipping, some of the first customers to take delivery of the new foldable are reporting issues with its folding screen. Aggrieved customers also say they’ve found Google's customer support unhelpful.
The reports come from various threads on r/GooglePixel and r/PixelFold. One customer complained that he’d barely used his Pixel Fold before thin pink lines began to appear on the display, while another said they’d had their Pixel Fold for just a few hours before the internal screen protector began to peel. This follows the news that one tech journalist saw his Fold’s internal screen fail completely after only four days of use.
Making matters worse, apparently, has been Google's customer service. One customer reported that the company told them it would take up to two days to get back to them after they complained that their Fold had become completely unusable.
Though Google likes to compare itself with Apple, Google's customer service is notoriously lacking compared to other brands. Google has few physical stores and requires customers to mail in their products for repair, often either with holds placed on their payment cards for the full value of their device for an expedited replacement, or with users being left without working phones for a week or more.
Known weaknesses on all accounts
The Pixel Fold is being hailed as one of the best foldable phones, and our Pixel Fold review was mostly positive – our US Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff called it “an excellent, multidimensional handset” and “a strong performer”. However, it’s a first-generation device sporting a form factor with a history of mechanical issues – notably with their folding screens and hinges – from a company with a history of issues, when it comes to quality control. Nothing here quite strikes me as a surprise.
If you’re concerned about Google’s customer service, depending on your country, the best way to proceed to avoid Google’s customer care would be to purchase a Pixel Fold from a third-party retailer, for example, Amazon in the US, Argos in the UK, or your carrier, and deal with them, rather than Google.
As for the fragility of foldables, it arguably come with the territory. Though foldables in the consumer phones market have been around for roughly five years now – and get closer to becoming a mainstream product with each new release – some weaknesses are still inherent to the form factor. Combine that with Google’s questionable record on quality control, and you can see the potential for problems. Caveat emptor, as they say.
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A UK-based tech journalist for TechRadar, helping keep track and make sense of the fast-paced world of tech with a primary focus on mobile phones, tablets, and wearables.
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