Google pop-up stores once again mushroomed in Los Angeles and New York City, but this time, the company decided to sell only Google made products. However, reports started emerging that the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL are being offered to customers with a premium added.
Following such reports, Google says that there was an error, which is fixed now, and the customers, who paid extra at its pop-up stores will be reimbursed. In a statement to The Verge, a spokesperson said “Sorry for any confusion. We’ll be reaching out shortly to reimburse those impacted.”
Prior to this clarification from Google, The Verge reported that pop-up shops are charging $30 extra for every Pixel 2 and Pixel XL. After the premium, the Pixel 2 starts at $680 and goes up to $780 for the 128GB model, while the Pixel 2 XL starts at $880 for the 64GB and rises to $980 for the 128GB. “To be clear, this is neither the result of sales tax (which would work out to a total of over $700 for the usual price) or a bundled activation fee,” said The Verge’s Chris Welch. Along with the premium, Google was selling Verizon versions of the Pixel and Pixel 2 XL, and not the unlocked variant, according to CNET.
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Nevertheless, Google has done the right thing by deciding to return the premium amount charged on the latest flagships, given the fact that some are already finding the phones to be slightly overpriced. However, there is something else about these pop-up stores, which is largely going unnoticed as of now. Google pop-up stores seem like an innovative idea, but there are chances that users could face some challenges when returning the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL, as these stores will only last for a few weeks until December.
“And if your return period extends to after the temporarily locations close, you’re told to call a phone number to process a return,” says Welch.
Overall, with the pop-up stores, Google is on the right path as people still need to look and feel the product before buying it. These temporary stores in New York and Los Angeles are housing the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL and Google Home Mini. More devices will make their way to these Google pop-up stores as and when they release. These stores will be around until December 31, so you have one more stop for your last-minute holiday shopping.
Separately, Google has been rather aggressive in selling the Pixel and Pixel 2. The search engine giant is comfortable bending some of its usual practices and policies to push the Pixel 2 devices. Usually, the Android device owners get operating system updates for two years. However, for the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL, the updates will be supported for three years. Google, it seems, is leaving no stone unturned to boost the sales of its latest flagship phones.
Talking about the features and specifications, Google has done a remarkable job by bringing its phone on par (if not better) with the likes of Samsung and Apple. On the hardware front, however, the pricing could have been less aggressive to convert customers into their loyal user base.