Google support offers free Nexus 4 to one lucky customer stuck in limbo [UPDATE]


Well, not a direct statement statement from Google HQ, it’s by no means less official. Take a look at this email a limbo’d Nexus 4 customer received after engaging in countless emails, and phone calls to Google’s customer support over the status of his order. Keep in mind this guy’s Nexus 4 order was processed a mere 1 minute after mine (which I received last Friday).

Hello [redacted],
Thank you for contacting Google Play! It was my pleasure assisting you today with your question in regards to the status of your order. I definitely understand how important it is to know when you’ll receive your device.

If you ordered on 11/13, your order is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. If you haven’t already received a shipping confirmation email that contains the tracking number, you should receive one by end of day today.

We apologize for all the problems that this delay that this has caused you and rest assure that you will receive all your orders at no cost to you.. However, please note that it can take up to 1 business day for the tracking number to be activated. Rest assured that once you receive your ship confirmation email with your tracking number, it is in the process of shipping for an estimated arrival of Tuesday, Nov. 20

Thank You,


The Google Play Support Team

How’s that for customer service? While this isn’t by any means guaranteed to everyone — we’re currently on the phone with Google customer service looking for voice confirmation — it looks like Google gone above and beyond your typical 10% discount or free overnight shipping in this particular situation. At the very least, it seems you guys should be getting some shipping dates sent to your email, so don’t give up hope if  you’re still stuck in limbo. That is, if you haven’t already cancelled and moved on to greener pastures.

UPDATE: Just got off the phone with Google and they have confirmed that this customer is, in fact…. receiving a free Nexus 4. Due more to the fuzzy wording in the email than anything, in any case, he will be receiving a free Nexus 4 for the mix up. Nice.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. i don’t believe. CSRs are liars!

  2. Hangin in Limbo :D

  3. Pretty sure that just means free shipping dude.

  4. I feel like that CSR said something he can’t guarantee..

    1. If you read it, it may be confusing but it reads as ‘FREE SHIPPING’ , not a free phone

      1. Actually, it reads free everything, including phone, it would just make more sense that it meant free shipping.

  5. “you will receive all your orders at no cost to you” Doesn’t mean the device will be free. Simply means shipping is free. I think you reading into things a bit much there Chrissy pooh.

    1. I just got voice confirmation. Homeboy got a free Nexus 4 O.o

      1. stop lying to us

      2. I just wrote a scathing email to Google Support… “Chris Chavez told me you were giving out free phones for being awful. I want my free one!”

        1. I am Chris Chavez, and I do not approve this message! >:O

      3. It’s just really hard to believe because CSRs have been giving out so much misinformation, we seriously can’t trust anything they say at all. It sounds like he got free shipping. I highly doubt Google would give away a $350 phone just because of this though.

        Also find it odd that customer service would even tell you what they are doing for another customer.

        1. I was on a Hangout with the person while they were on the call with Google. It escalated quickly but they honored the vague language in the email. Very nice of them.

          1. Hell I would have settled for a free bumper. I guess it doesnt take much to buy me out.

          2. Did you have to tell them your name and job for them to acknowledge the “misleadingness” of their e-mail?
            Or do you think they’d have done the same for anyone? (which would truly be nice of them)

    2. “Chrissy pooh”

  6. They sending this email to everyone even if who got BO. And wtf mean by “if you ordered on 11/13. Everyone ordered on 11/13 so I guess we are all going to get it tomorrow huh. or just another trolling has just begun 0_o

  7. I would be satisfied with free one day shipping and a “sorry for keeping you in the dark”

    1. That’s essentially. What I got along with a Google play gift card. They didn’t send me either a backorder email nor a tracking number. After about 5 days and at least 6 support calls

  8. This headline almost made me call to see if I could get myself a free one but I agree with everyone else. I think it’s just free shipping. Thanks for getting my hopes up! ;P

  9. I think that means, as I’m sure Google already said in a prior statement, that the shipping will not be charged for because it was not delivered on time. I don’t think they mean he will get the device uncharged but I may be wrong.

  10. Hi This is Steve, former CEO of Apple, now working with google in their heaven offices.

    Im taking a dump on each one of your nexus so you can have it with extra processing power !

    the new processor will be called Crapdragon s4 PRO Quad+poop Core

    We will also send free bumpers for orders over 2000 dollars !!!


    Steve J

  11. I would just be happy if I got the phone I already paid for.

    1. I would happy if Google hadn’t f’d it all up and only had 500,000 units for a worldwide launch, and a website full of problems, and the fact that I couldn’t check out each of the 20 times I tried to. I really wanted this phone. Now I’ll be happy if they go F themselves.

  12. Wow, because the rest of us haven’t been through hell…. This is very comical. In any event, I don’t want a free one, I just want the phone.

    P.S. On second thought just in case someone from Google reads this, I actually would gladly accept a free one. =)

    1. I think more than anything it shows what a 4 ring circus this customer support thing has turned into. =/

      1. I don’t think I could’ve have put it better myself. I have NEVER seen a more amateur job done by such a huge company.

  13. Meanwhile the rest of us remain in limbo with our uncancelable orders referred to “specialists” that can’t be bothered to even say “hi”. Worst online purchase in the past decade.

  14. As a fan of Android I need a free 40″ Screen Google TV made by LG asap, preferably LCD?

    1. 40′ (feet) screen?

    2. no lcd..ask for the OLED one!

    3. 40′? Opening a Drive-in?

      1. Go big or go home :p

  15. So Chris Chavez is able to get a hold of someone to verify that unknown is actually getting a free device….and not being lied to like all the of us..Why would you use your call to verify this guy is getting a free device (not shipping which is what was intended) and ask the senior rep you spoke to WTH is going on?

    1. He did say they’re being swamped with back to back calls every. single. day. He sounded very tense and tired.

      1. “Tense and tired”… yeah, that’s how I’d describe the guy I spoke to as well. These poor bastards are going to be like Vietnam vets, waking up in a cold sweat hearing the phones go off all around them. Asked by their friends how their job is going, “YOU CAN’T UNDERSTAND, YOU WEREN’T THERE!”

  16. I am more than happy to pay for the phone. I’d just like to have it soon like I was promised when ordering. Ordered at 8:35:51 AM PST and haven’t received anything from them since the conformation/receipt. Seriously, if my phone is on backorder just tell me. Don’t leave me in the dark. And don’t lie to me. Thursday I called CS and was told it would ship later that day and I’d receive an email with the tracking info. Friday came and I didn’t receive anything. Called Friday and was told the same crap. Nothing. Saturday I was told I’d receive something between then and early Monday morning. Nothing. Called them and they told me UPS emails the tracking number to me, not Google. Called UPS and was told it was Google that sends them. Checked online and sure enough, it is Google that sends them. Called again, pissed off at this point, and asked them to tell me what was up with my order. Guy said it was ready to be shipped and I would receive a tracking number later tonight from them. Honestly, I don’t expect to see one any time soon.

  17. Good for him. Still bummed out because I didn’t get the Back-order email until Fri evening and I had already spent the money on a full body skin for the phone which was $15. It was to late to cancel the order for the skin by the time I get the backorder email. I think they should throw in a free bumper case for all those that got the backorder email. I’m still tempted to cancel and wait it out a few month and if it looks like the N4 is buggy crap then I would just eat the $15 for the full phone skin

  18. I am in the same situation… no backorder, no tracking number. I just called and they said I should get a tracking number today and receive the phone tomorrow… no mention of free :( but yay for phone!

  19. I just called, no back order no tracking… the lady told me my phone is shipping tonight, shipping was bumped up to overnight… we’ll see. Been told this before.

  20. publicity stunt

  21. In contrast to that happy ending, my Nexus 4 pre-ordering experience was the polar opposite in every way. They dropped the ball on everything. They mis-read my shipping address and cancelled my successful pre-order, made me wait on the phone for an hour and a half, on and off hold, finally saying they would do nothing for me, hung up on me, said they would escalate to customer service specialists but never did, had several different level-1 support folk email me, stating how it was my fault and that they would do nothing further to help me, and just generally proving that customer service was at the bottom of their priority list. Up until this point I’ve been a huge fan of everything Google, Android and Nexus… but now I’m not sure I want to buy anything more from them.

    1. I had a pretty terrible ordering experience as well. I was one of the first preorders as I set a page watcher addon to alarm me when they went on sale. By Thursday I started emailing them to let them know I was leaving the country on Tuesday. Emailed again on Friday, Saturday, and twice on Sunday. I received no response from any of those emails

      I received a tracking number on Monday and called them to ask them why none of my emails had been addressed, and to find out if my order was shipped overnight or 2 day. The rep had no idea, even though a member of SlickDeals explained how to figure it out from the tracking number. It was sent overnight, yet somehow it didn’t actually get sent out until afterhours on Monday, meaning the phone would arrive Wednesday. He had no record of my 5 emails and pretty much had a “shrug” attitude about the severity of the problem. He ended the phone call saying, “Call UPS, that’s what we’re telling everyone to do.” How helpful.

      Over the course of the day, I’ve received responses to two of my original 5 emails. The first response said my order would arrive “later on today” (Tuesday, which is wrong as my order is arriving on Wednesday). The other response ignored my warnings that I would be out of the country and proudly explained: “I’ve reviewed your order status and have verified that your package is out for delivery. I apologize for our delayed response.”

      Every day that goes by I am just baffled on how amateur this entire process has gone. You would think after the first few days someone would step in and say, “OK, we have a serious problem, let’s fix it.” Instead, things seem to get worse and worse. How is there no public apology, yet?

  22. I just called them they said those who ordered on the 13th and got backordered should be getting their devices tomorrow. Be on the lookout if you did and even if you haven’t received any tracking information!

  23. I’m not quite sure what this means, but the pre-authorization on my credit card has disappeared…

  24. Oh that’s nice.
    Now, if only they did that to every customer in limbo….

  25. Finally received my Nexus 4. I do understand how all those in limbo feel because before yesterday I was one of y’all. Just stick with it and hope your one of the lucky ones who gets their device.

  26. Isn’t everyone have the same limbo situation right now?
    Why does he has free device while I still have no email tracking nothing..

  27. Just called Google Play support and confirmed my order will be arriving tmrw. Keep in mind I never received any emails regarding tracking information or backordered devices. The only email I received was the one right after I placed the order. There’s a good chance that that yours might arrive tmrw as well.

  28. I got an order confirmation 30 minutes and Twitter is telling me I’ll get it in 24 hours even though the UPS tracker ID Google gave me doesn’t work. My bank account still hasn’t bee charged. Very intersting.

  29. Geeze everyone..

    What happened, almost 100% positive here, is someone wrote this response and accidentally worded it poorly (probably because they are in a hurry to get back to fixing what ever is causing the problem in the first place).

    They probably meant shipping, but since it is worded to sound like it means the whole ORDER and not just shipping and it was written by a Google Rep, Google is doing the smart and safe thing of honoring it.

    The cost of ONE phone going out for free is much less costly than bad press over an accidentally poorly worded way of saying free shipping.

    I would not expect anyone else in the same situation to get the same offer from Google. I highly suspect it was just a one time mistake in wording and a one time overly-generous offer to make amends.

  30. Please don’t use Roboto on your website, it looks terrible on regular displays. H looks stupid, the bottom of the 4 isn’t even drawn, etc.

  31. Seems like the email meant that the shipping would be free, but they honored their email as the device would be free since Google is just that great.

  32. It is obvious the customer service rep meant free shipping.

    It is also obvious the customer service rep did not proof read the e-mail before sending it out.

    It is lastly obvious that, as first world consumers, we feel entitled to receive a free cellphone as a result of such botched communications.

    And if we aren’t given a free cell phone? We will whine and complain and raise hell until we are. After all, that is the price Google must pay for challenging our entitlement.

    Now excuse me while I go stuff my face with first world hamburgers.

  33. I remember Microsoft doing this for me a few years back with their 32gig Zune. They didn’t make the ship date so I got it free of charge. Think it was the Zune HD if I’m not mistaken with a laser etched graphic on the back.

  34. Google: “oh, you didn’t get a tracking number? we’re sorry, have it for free!”

    Google: “oh, we over sold the phone and promised you a nexus 4? you’re gonna have to wait 3 weeks. sorry, Here’s your $15 back.”

  35. How lucky! I called yesterday as well to ask about my order status (and to complaint about the mess), but I only got the overnight shipping upgrade, not even free shipping!

    I know, I’m just being whiny… It would have been nice to get a free phone, but at least I have what I ordered in hand now…

  36. So i FINALLY received an update on my order… better than nothing I guess…

    Your Nexus 4 order is scheduled to ship this week. We’ll send you a notification, including tracking information, when it’s on the way.

    Please note that your order will be charged in full when it ships. As a courtesy and to thank you for your patience, you’ll then receive a credit for the shipping charge within 7 business days.

    Thanks again,

    The Google Play Team

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