What the heck Google? My Pixel 2 and Project Fi woes

Like a long time Google fan I watched the October 4 announcement of new hardware live. Excited for the new phone, I pre-ordered the Pixel 2 just hours after it was announced.

October 4, 2017: Order placed

Although Verizon would have phones I could buy in store on October 19, I get my cellular service from Project Fi, Google's own take on cellular service, so I ordered it through them. They also device financing so I can pay the $649 spread out over 24 months.

It's kind of a disappointment though that by using Google's own cell service, I would get my phone 5-7 days later than if I didn't use Google's cell service.

A bummer, but that would become the least of my concerns.

October 18th: Order shipped!

Fast forward to October 18th. I received an email that my order has shipped. Woohoo!

I checked the tracking information from Fedex on Friday October 19, again on Saturday October 20. I checked Sunday October 21st. I was checking it like crazy because I had planned to take the day off of work so I could be around to receive it.

Every time I checked it said an estimated delivery date of Monday October 23.

October 23: Scheduled for delivery

Because on Monday morning it said it was still scheduled for delivery, I took the day off of work to make sure I received the package. I waited all day, refreshing the tracking info and looking out the window.

At 10:01 am there was an update. It said it was still in Troutdale, OR, but that it was still scheduled for delivery today.

Okay. A little odd if it's really going to go from Oregon to WA before the end of the day, but I was still hopeful.

As the day went on I grew less and less hopeful. In fact, I grew a little annoyed that I had taken the day off of work for this.

Later that evening on October 23 I received a tracking update:


October 24: Out for delivery (take two)

The following morning, October 24, I received notifications that it was out for delivery.

I decided to take yet another day off of work to make sure I received the package.

I cozied up on the couch and waited by the window.

Then at 11:07 am I saw a FedEx Ground truck literally drive by my house.

And from my other security camera:

At 11:08 am I refreshed the tracking information and to my surprise, saw that it was marked as delivered. No signature required. What? Who mails out a $700+ phone without requiring a signature, and more importantly, who's front porch did this end up on?

I went outside and checked around the house. I walked down the street to see if it was delivered to a nearby neighbor. I walked around my house checking all the doors. I double and triple checked the address I used for the order.

At 11:14 am I called FedEx, went through a bunch of prompts, typed in my tracking number when asked, waited 15 minutes on hold, and finally spoke to someone, who then asked for my tracking number (seriously?). I explained that the driver literally drove by my house and marked the package as delivered. They said they would have to start an investigation. They gave me a case number and said someone would call me back within a couple hours.

At 11:57 am I received a call from FedEx where they asked me the contents of the package, the rough size and weight (even though the dimensions and weight are listed with the tracking number) and asked me some questions like "What does your house look like?" in which I replied, "An ordinary blue house with the house number visible and legible from the street. The house number is above my door and also above my garage". Type it into Google Maps and it shows up clear as day on street view.

The FedEx operator (Ashley) said they usually give the drivers 3 business days to check the warehouse, their truck, and to retrace their steps. I could expect a phone call back on Thursday October 26 at the earliest, but I might want to check with the shipper.

I walked around the neighborhood again and rechecked the two security cameras. No one had approached my house at any point in the day other than the USPS mailman later that afternoon.


October 25: Try Google customer support

At 11:17 am on Oct 25 I decided to call Project Fi and see if there was anything they could do about it. After describing the situation I was placed on hold for about five minutes. After the hold, Savonni (the Project Fi customer service representative) apologized for the situation, said she would escalate it with FedEx, but that the best course of action would be to reorder the phone. She would look into things on her end and would refund me the amount I had already paid.

I asked if there was any backorder or a long wait if I was to reorder the phone. She put me on hold again for another few minutes, came back and said there was currently no backorder and that if I selected overnight shipping she would credit my account the $15.99 (or thereabouts) for that. Feeling that this was the best they could do, we ended the call and I went to reorder the phone.

However, after hanging up with Project Fi customer support, and trying to order the phone for the second time, it said it would leave the warehouse by Nov 5.

Really?? So now I've been misled by both FedEx and Google / Project Fi.

I'm at a loss now and not sure what to do. So much for pre-ordering the phone just hours after it was announced. So much for using Google's own Project Fi instead of Verizon, where I could have bought the phone back on the 19th. So much for taking two days off of work to ensure I received the package.

I can't believe there was no way to contact the FedEx driver just minutes after he/she drove by my house and marked the package as delivered.

Google still doesn't really get customer service. I can't believe they want me to go through the process of re ordering it all over again and wait nearly two more weeks before it would show up.

And even then, would FedEx actually deliver it, or just say they delivered it?

***Updates below ****

October 25, 2017 11:43 pm I received an email follow up based on my phone call.

So I replied to that and asked why I was told one thing on the phone (after being placed on hold while they checked) and then got different information when I went to order:

Then they said there was actually a backlog and that even if I re-ordered it and selected expedited shipping, it would be sent via Fedex ground.

This is after they told me on the phone to select overnight shipping (which they would credit back to me) and there were currently no inventory issues or any backlogs.

So after Fedex lost my package and lied that it was delivered, Project Fi support told me three lies over the phone when I turned to them for help:

"We'll credit you for the phone that didn't arrive". My account shows no credits.

"Currently there's no backlog". There's a 2 week backlog.

"You should select overnight shipping and we'll credit you for that". All expedited shipping is on hold and orders would be sent via Fedex ground.

October 26: Helpless tweeting

Still no updates from either Fedex or Project Fi. I tweeted at @projectfi and @madebygoogle but haven't gotten any responses.

A tweet to @fedex got me a canned private message to contact their support to do a trace. However I already had initiated that just moments after the driver went past my house and marked it as delivered.

October 27: No news from Fedex

I was supposed to receive a call back from Fedex yesterday with updates from their investigation, but that never happened.

I called them at 11:26 am and gave them my case ID number. First I spoke to Spencer who said it was still under investigation, but then I was transferred to someone from the trace department who said they don't have anything further and that I should contact the shipper to get the package resent or reimbursed for the loss.

The person on the phone from Fedex was exceptionally rude to me.

I sent a third email to Project Fi customer support at 12:44 pm and mentioned that Fedex told me that the only thing to do at this point is to contact the shipper.

Based on the some posts on the Project Fi support forum it looks like other people are having issues getting real answers from customer support.

At 9:05 pm I received an email back that said to just keep waiting another 24-48 hours:

October 28: Radio silence from Fedex and Project Fi

No updates today from either Fedex or Project Fi today. Meanwhile I saw the monthly charges show up for the nonexistent Pixel 2 on my account statements.

October 29: Project Fi shrugs their shoulders

Since my last call on Friday with Fedex ended with them telling me (quite rudely) that I just need to contact the shipper at this point, I tried calling Project Fi again.

I spoke with a very nice but helpless Jason from Project Fi at 3:16 pm. After being put on hold a few times (for a total of 10 minutes) he said he needs to send my request to the "shipping specialists" which is pretty much what the very nice but helpless Savonni from Project Fi said four days ago.

I asked if there was any time frame or estimate of when I could expect a response or update and he said he'd be lying if he gave me a date, so he didn't give me one.

I guess this is the sort of customer support Google is so well known for.

October 30: Nothing

As of 12:00 pm I have not heard any updates from Fedex or Project Fi.

Around 12:30 pm I sent some hopeless tweets to @FedEx, @googlestore and @madebygoogle.

The @FedExHelp account responded just to say the same thing they already told me when I called on Friday.

I'll keep this updated if I hear anything from anyone, but I'm not holding my breath.

October 31: More canned Google responses... then a real response?

I've been vocal in the /r/ProjectFi and /r/GooglePixel/ subreddits in the last couple days, and it looks like there's a bunch of people in similar situations. However Google doesn't really post anything other than very infrequent product announcements to those forums, so it's kind of a lost cause. **Update below

I've also been trying the Official Project Fi Help Forum and the Google's Pixel User Community which is basically a black hole.

I thought it was pretty funny that after posting in one of Google's help forums they sent an email with the following statement:

It's funny because one of the "answers" that I got from an expert this morning was just a hopelessly useless canned response that had nothing to do with my actual issue:

Sorry Rachael, but I already received a shipment confirmation email once the device was on it's way to me. That's not the issue. You just completely blew me off.

But hey, I guess I'm one of the 85% questions that got an answer from an expert within 24 hours.

That's the only update so far for today, a non-answer from the official help forums.

**11:05 am update I checked Reddit and saw that I received a message saying the Project Fi team would love to hear more.

At this point I can't tell if it's another robot or not. Will update if I have any new information.

11:55 am Ziggy sent a message and said they'll pass it along to the team and that P.S., they're not a robot.

12:15 pm Head of support for Project Fi calls me and leaves a message, says he'll try again shortly.

12:28 pm Head of support calls again and we have a chat on the phone. He apologizes for all the headache. He says he's putting in an order right now to overnight a phone to me (I ask to have it sent to a different address) and that he can credit my account some amount (I think he said maybe a month's worth?) for the troubles (and perhaps because I've been a customer for ~2 years?).

I mentioned that dealing with Fedex has been awful and that it's weird they would not deliver a package and then just tell me to contact the sender. I also mentioned that there are other people expressing similar issues with Fedex. He said he's looking into, and that I should not have had to contact Fedex and deal with them. I wish I had known that because Fedex was very rude to me.

Perhaps after all the fuss I made, that this will be resolved? It's kind of insane it took this much work. I doubt I would have been speaking to the head of support if I hadn't been meticulously documenting all this and posting about all the hoops I had to jump through.

I asked what to expect next (tracking number, etc) and he said that I should receive an email saying that the order has shipped with a tracking number. He thinks it'll make the cut off today, I should get an email shortly, and I could have my phone tomorrow.

10:00 pm I have not received any email or tracking number. I wonder how I'll get in touch with this person if I don't get anything further. I didn't receive an email follow up and I'm not sure if the number he called me from is his direct line.

November 1: A tracking number appears

8:27 am I get an email from the Google Store with a tracking number. Whew. Fedex says the tracking number isn't found, but that's normal at this point. I'll be watching it for any updates.

10:00 am Tracking information just says, "Shipping label has been created. The status will be updated when shipment begins to travel."

3:30 pm Tracking information is the same as before. The head of support said he was putting the order in around ~12:30 pm yesterday as I was on the phone with him to try and make the cut off for the day. It does not look like that happened?

27 hours later all I have is that a shipping label has been created.

5:00 pm I checked the tracking info again and there's now an entry that it was picked up at 2:08 pm from Schaumburg, IL and left the Fedex origin facility at 4:00 pm. I guess it just took awhile for that information to propagate and for the tracking website to show it.

November 2

I'm hoping the replacement arrives today. Fingers crossed it doesn't have any high-pitched whining or clicking noises some people are experiencing and have to contact Google support.

Around 11:00 am I received the package. Finally!

What a mess the whole thing was.