Google hilariously botches Pixel 3 refund process, sending someone 10 pink units by mistake

Google hilariously botches Pixel 3 refund process, sending someone 10 pink units by mistake
While decent Pixel 3 discounts have been relatively easy to come by over the past few months at both the official online Google Store and third-party retailers like Best Buy, one Redditor going by the username Cheetohz seems to have accidentally stumbled on the deal of a lifetime. But instead of trying to take advantage of a hilariously colossal shipping error, the original buyer of a single Pixel 3 unit wants to "do the right thing" and return the 10 unsolicited devices he was delivered after ordering a replacement.

The strange case of the pink Pixel 3 replacement bonanza, as this incident shall forever be remembered, started with unspecified issues on the white phone Cheetohz initially purchased. This led to the owner returning the $900-worth handset (with 128GB storage, presumably) in pursuit of a refund. At the same time, a "Not Pink" Pixel 3 was ordered to take the defective white unit's place, which is where the story completely goes off the rails.

For one thing, Google purportedly offered Cheetohz a puny $80 refund for his faulty white Pixel 3, which only covered the sales tax and obviously not the actual value of the stock Android-powered phone as well. Pretty much simultaneously, the company screwed up on a second level, shipping ten times as many pink handsets as Cheetohz had ordered.


Basically, the frustrated Reddit user/hero of our bizarre story is now in possession of around $8,000 worth of merchandise he never asked for. In other words, he paid for two devices in total and received eight bonus ones at no extra charge, which takes so-called BOGO deals (buy-one-get-one-free) to a whole new level of generosity (BTGE?). 

From a legal standpoint, there's a bit of a controversy regarding what might come next for Cheetohz. On one hand, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says you have a "legal right to keep" unsolicited merchandise "as a free gift." On the other, there's something called "unjust enrichment" in contract law that could kick in if the phones are not returned. 

For what it's worth, keeping the extra eight phones "as a free gift" was never this Redditor's intention. But Google still needs to refund him for the original purchase. In a nutshell, Google has this guy's money, he has the company's phones, and the right thing to do now is obviously a swap. All in all, this is a terribly messy situation that Google needs to clear up ASAP. Perhaps letting Cheetohz keep one of the extra Pixel 3 units would be the "right thing" to do on the tech giant's part.

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4 Comments

1. IT-Engineer

Posts: 566; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Karma is nice, man up Google and give this guy the customer support that any customer deserves!

2. tokuzumi

Posts: 1929; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

With the visibility this story has received, I'd be shocked if Google doesn't send him a shipping label to return the surplus phones.

3. KingSam

Posts: 1476; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Apparently the law is in his favor from what I’ve heard. Google probably doesn’t want negative publicity with the follow up stories if that happens.

4. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

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