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If you owned this faulty phone, Google may owe you $500

You may be eligible to collect up to $500 from Google if you owned the company’s first-generation Pixel or Pixel XL smartphones. It’s part of a settlement Google reached following a class-action lawsuit.

The lawsuit claimed Google knowingly sold Pixel and Pixel XL phones that had faulty microphones. The settlement is for more than $7 million.

Final approval of the settlement has just been given and we’ll let you know who is eligible to receive the money. We’ll also tell you how the settlement money is being divvied up and how to make your claim.

Phones’ microphone defect led to Google lawsuit

In May, it was announced that Google had settled a class-action lawsuit over defective microphones in its 2016 Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones for $7.25 million. The lawsuit claimed that Google sold the first-generation Pixel phones knowing they had defective microphones.

The settlement applies to Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones manufactured before January 4, 2017. Google denies the allegations but still agreed to the settlement.

According to terms of the settlement, payouts will be split into four categories:

  • A payment of $500 will be given to plaintiffs who returned their malfunctioning phones and received a defective replacement.
  • Plaintiffs who had a defective phone and did not try to replace it could get up to $350.
  • Those who had to pay an insurance deductible to repair their phones could have its value repaid.
  • People who owned Pixel phones with no defects at all will get $20.

Of course, settlement amounts may fall below $20 if there is a goldrush for claims. Equifax was offering $125 to customers affected by a massive hack on its site, but with a $31 million cash cap consumers are now looking at payouts of pennies on the dollar.

According to documents from the lawsuit, the Google settlement has set aside 25% for the $20 payout. If claims exceed the 25% mark, the settlement amount will drop. The other three categories of the settlement also have money set aside specifically for those claims.

If claims for the $350 and insurance reimbursements do not drain the funds set aside from them, the remaining money will be put into the $20 fund.

Related: Yahoo breach settlement, here’s what happens next

Are you eligible to file a claim?

To file a claim you must first meet the following requirements:

  • Live in the U.S.
  • Purchased a new Pixel or Pixel XL phone manufactured before January 4, 2017.
  • Did not receive a replacement Pixel manufactured after January 3, 2017, or a refurbished model after June 5, 2017.

To get one of the $500, $350 or insurance reimbursement options you must submit documentation to prove your claim. If you don’t file any documentation you automatically will be put in the $20 pool.

You can get more information on the settlement here.

If your claim is approved you can request that the money be sent to you by check, put directly into your bank account or other money transfer sites such as PayPal and Zelle. The deadline to file a claim is October 7.

Meanwhile, Google’s third-generation Pixel phones are faring better. It’s Pixel 3 XL is being compared favorably to the iPhone XS Max.

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