Earlier this year, Google agreed to settle a class action lawsuit that claims the company knowingly sold first-generation Pixel phones with defective microphones. Now, the final approval has gone through, meaning if you bought an original Pixel or Pixel XL before January 7th, 2017, you’re probably eligible for some money.
The settlement is surprisingly inclusive: while most of the cash will be given to those who can document that they experienced microphone issues, the settlement will pay out up to $20 to any Pixel or Pixel XL owner who owned one of those two devices during that time period.
Here’s how to submit a claim:
First, you’ll need to make sure your Pixel is eligible. That means you:
- Live in the United States
- Bought a new Pixel or Pixel XL smartphone manufactured before January 4th, 2017 (and you didn’t buy it just to resell it)
- Didn’t receive a replacement device manufactured after January 3rd, 2017, or refurbished after June 5th, 2017
- Aren’t a Google employee, family member of the judges, or a lawyer on the case
If you check all of those boxes, you’re good to go.
Submitting a claim
Next, you’ll need to submit a claim, which you can do on the class action’s website. If you already submitted a claim of problems to the class action suit, you’ll already have all of your information here. If not, you’ll need to sign up with your name, address, and other information like how you’d like to receive your piece of the settlement.
This is also where you’ll have to submit proof of any issues you were having and / or any replacement devices, insurance deductibles, or other details related to your specific device(s). You’ll want to take time to do that right, too, because while the settlement promises up to $20 for any Pixel owner (unless too many people submit claims), people who actually experienced the issue will get more money.
So how does the money get split up? Well, Google is paying $7.25 million for the settlement. Once things like administration fees and attorneys’ fees are paid, the rest goes to the members of the class action suit, divided up as follows:
- “Up to $20” to each person who owned an eligible Pixel or Pixel XL, but either didn’t run into the audio defect or doesn’t have documentation of it. That pool is capped at 25 percent of the total settlement fund, which means that if more than 145,000 people submit $20 claims, the number everyone gets will be prorated down. (It will likely be less, given the aforementioned fees that will reduce the total fund.)
- If you paid an insurance deductible to receive a replacement Pixel, you’ll get refunded the deductible. (There’s an amount set aside up front to make sure that everyone in this group gets paid.)
- If you experienced the mic issues on multiple devices — and have the documentation to prove it — you’ll get $500.
- Lastly, if you only ran into the issue on a single Pixel, you’ll get $350 — unless there is not enough money left to make those payments. In that case, whatever’s left will be distributed to people in this category at a prorated rate.
There are a few more wrinkles: if the first group hits its cap and would have to pay less than $20 per person, but the fourth group has extra money, that cash will go toward getting everyone in the first group up to $20 per person. If there’s still money left after that, then the extra cash will go toward increasing the payments of the $350 group.
When’s the deadline?
If you think you meet all of these requirements, head over to the Pixel Settlement website and start your claim. You have until October 7th, 2019, to submit a claim, opt-out of the class action (in the event you’re pursuing individual legal action), or submit a comment to the court.