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Google will replace your Broken Nexus 5, free of charge!

I recently heard that Google has begun replacing broken Nexus 5s, completely free of charge.  Believe it or not, they will even replace one with a smashed screen.  Apparently, this isn’t an official policy, but the Google Play Store representatives can do this for you under their own discretion.  So be nice and respectful :-).

I’ve had good luck with my Nexus 5, except that it developed a significant GPS problem a few months ago.  The GPS has been inaccurate, and losing connection often.  It’s been frustrating and dangerous to use it for navigation.

So I called for a replacement.  Note:  this only works if you are the original owner, and you bought the phone directly from Google (via the Google Play Store) within the one year warranty period.  And this is a US replacement policy, I’m not sure if it applies to other countries.

Here’s how it works:

  • Google will send a refurbished replacement phone,  “reconditioned to strict factory standards and like-new condition”
  • Once you receive the replacement phone, you have 7 days to return the broken device.   Google provides a UPS shipping label that you print and attach to the box.
  • You keep your original charger, and other accessories.  The only thing Google sends is a bare phone, and the only thing you return to them is the bare phone.
  • This is completely free, Google covers everything, including shipping the new device to you, and the old phone back to Google
  • Your credit card will be authorized for the full price of the phone and shipping, but it will not be charged as long as you return your old device.

I requested my replacement, and it was very simple and painless.  My replacement Nexus 5 is on the way.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Call Google Play support at (855) 836-3987.  Go through the phone options for Android devices, warranty issues.
  2. The representative asked for the phone’s IMEI number.  You find this under Settings –> About Phone –> Status –> IMEI
  3. The representative looked up my IMEI number, and after a minute or so they asked to verify my address.  After that, they explained the return process.
  4. After finishing this conversation (~5 minutes), I got an email from googleplay-support, with a a custom link to  order an exact replacement for my phone – which happens to be a 32GB black model.
  5. I clicked on the order link, chose my address and payment method (remember it’s only authorizing, not charging you), and that was it.

I’m now waiting for the replacement to arrive.  This is outstanding customer support.  Great job Google.

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