Published on December 2nd, 2018 | by Chuck109
[Updates] Google Fi Scrambles to Change Offer Terms on Free $999 Phone Deal
[12/16/18: A nice FAQ from Google Support here.]
[12/2/18: A couple of useful data points on Reddit today: (1) Someone cancelled their order out of fear that Google Voice number doesn’t work for promo, Google confirmed it does, and they resubmitted the order today with the travel gift card offer attached; (2) Someone mistakenly used a new number instead of porting a number, and now, upon request, Google switched it to a Google Voice number so that they can get the promotion.]
Earlier today, we posted about what is probably the phone deal of the year with Google Fi offering a travel gift card to offset the full cost of a new Pixel, LG, or Moto phone, up to $999. Essentially, for a $80 cost (service for 4 months), you could get something like the equivalent of a free phone worth up to $999.
Surprisingly, the offer was even valid for existing Fi members. They were basically handing out free $1,000 phones without even getting a new customer.
The kicker was that there’s a $100 off $500 Amex Offer found on business cards for advertising which gets triggered by Google phone purchases since the system thinks it’s a Google ad purchase.
The offer was slated to end at 11:59 PM PT on 11/28/18, but they pulled it around 5 hours early. Note, the $200 Fi credit offer for new Fi customers porting over a line is still valid at time of this writing (slated to end at 11:59 PM PT on 11/28/18).
- Here’s a link from Way Back to how the offer looked then (and here’s how the page looks now)
- Here’s a link from Way Back to how the terms page looked
- Google support confirms the deal died early
I believe the deal died around 10:05 pm ET (see this blog comment, blog runs an hour ahead of ET). If you were doing the deal right around then, hopefully you screenshotted the checkout page where it showed clearly the gift card rebate offer. If you aren’t sure, it might be worth cancelling.
If you ported a number that was created after August 28th, I’d probably cancel since according to the terms they don’t need to pay out for such a number, and being that they pulled the promo early, I suspect they’ll be using any legitimate way out they can get.
They now have two new offers showing in place of the gift card deal.
- Get $100 or $200 or $300 Fi credit when you buy a new device from Google. There are six options available including Pixel, LG, and Moto phones. Depending on the device, your credit will be either $100, $200, or $300. No clear end-date shows currently for this promo. (Terms)
- There’s also promotions showing (see image below) whereby the cost of the phones comes way down. For example, Pixel 3 costs $599 instead of $799.
In practice, I can’t get this latter discount to reflect at checkout. (Works for the LG, as was the case earlier today as well, but the new discount they are showing for Pixel isn’t working for me.) Maybe Google is in damage control now and in middle of trying to roll out this new discount in place of the old deal, and it’s not yet implemented. The terms page does not show anything about this Pixel discount. We’ll see how this goes.
(Update: they are no longer showing some of the price discounts as shown in the image below, must have a been an error or something. The Fi credit offers are still showing.)
In any case, the new deals aren’t anywhere near as good as the old one. The Amex Offer angle can still be interesting for someone who wants to buy Google products. I wonder if there could be some clawback on those, but hopefully not, probably not enough money at stake to do that.
Ironically, I was literally in middle of doing the Google Fi deal right as the change happened. I figured a one-day deal with a company the size of Google would live through the day so I took my time.