Don't Give Up Your Right to Sue Google

No company wants to be sued. Since lawsuits can be common for large companies, especially large tech companies, it makes sense that these organizations create strategies to reduce their chances of being sued in the first place. But when those tactics are subtle, scummy, and anti-consumer, as is apparently the case with Google, you need to call it out.

Google’s arbitration agreement

As noted by Reddit user AldenB, Google essentially forces you to agree to an arbitration agreement when setting up a new Pixel device in the US. In this agreement, you waive your right to join a class-action lawsuit against Google regarding the device, should one exist in the future. In exchange, Google agrees to waive its right to join a class-action lawsuit against you. You know, because Google is constantly filing class-action lawsuits against its users.

This “agreement” is limited in scope: It only covers your right to join a class-action suit over the Pixel you’re registering, and not all future class action suits against the company. Even still: This tactic is bullshit.

Google is not going to file a class-action lawsuit against you. There is a much greater chance you might feel the need to file or join one against the company. Imagine if the company sold you this Pixel device, knowing there was a fatal flaw in the tech. A class-action lawsuit is filed, since so many users were affected by this deceitful business practice. But, wait! You all agreed not to join such a lawsuit when you set up your phone, so you can’t hop on. Bummer! Hey, at least Google can’t sue you, either.

If you’ve never had to join a class-action lawsuit against a company before, it might not seem like a pressing issue. But these things do happen. Take Apple’s butterfly keyboard disaster; the company knew these keyboards were doomed to fail, and yet sold them to customers for years. That case is on-going, but it’s a situation you’d want to be available to join if you bought a MacBook with a butterfly keyboard.

I haven’t set up a new Pixel device in a few years, so I can’t personally comment on what that part of the setup process looks like. But there is a way to opt-out of this shady clause, albeit with some steep limitations.

How to regain your right to join a class-action lawsuit against Google

There’s good news and bad news here. The good news is you can opt out of the arbitration agreement via this link; just make sure you’re logged into the same Google Account as your device, choose your specific device from the list, enter its serial number, then hit Submit.

The bad news, unfortunately, is you lose the ability to opt out of this agreement 30 days after setting up your phone. If you recently bought a new Pixel device, or any other device covered in this agreement, it’s a great time to check if you can opt-out of the agreement.

This agreement only concerns individual products, and not your entire Google Account. If you miss the 30-day window, you don’t lose your right to join a class-action suit against Google for some other reason. Google Home, Pixel Buds, and other devices have their own agreements you can opt-out of within 30 days.

And worth noting: This agreement only concerns Google users in the US. If you’re outside the States, you don’t need to worry about it.

Источник: Lifehacker