In a strange turn of events, Google has recently announced that it is ending its Pixel Pass subscription, an offer it introduced with the Pixel 6 series in October 2021. The Pixel Pass was a monthly subscription that offered bundled Google services, device protection, and an upgrade to the latest smartphone every two years. However, after running it for 22 months, Google has decided to kill off the service, right before the earliest subscribers would be due for their upgrade. Many subscribers are now frustrated with the company as it chose to kill the subscription at a time when many were expecting to get an upgrade.
Google’s support page said, “Beginning August 29, 2023, Pixel Pass is no longer offered for new Pixel purchases or renewal”. It also has a series of FAQs, where it answers the reason behind discontinuing the subscription. It stated, “We offer the best value of our hardware products and give users the flexibility to purchase their favorite services. We continue to evaluate offers based on customer feedback and provide different ways for them to access the best of Google”.
The response is intentionally vague as the company is not revealing the reason why it is discontinuing the service 22 months later, and just a month before subscribers were to be given a device upgrade. Many believe that this part of the deal was likely not cost-effective for the company.
Pixel Pass killed by Google
The company has fulfilled the remaining two promises with the Pixel Pass, however. This pass was available only to users in the US, so they could also pay off the cost of the initial smartphone that they bought from the carriers using that subscription fee. Additionally, all users received a discounted rate for Google’s bundled services such as Google Play Music, YouTube Premium, and more. The Pixel Pass was priced at $45 for the Pixel 6 and $55 for Pixel 6 Pro.
And it is not as if users cannot upgrade to the new Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro. “You can still upgrade your Pixel device after 24 months,” said the support page, describing how consumers can still get 0 percent APR financing through either Google Store or Google Fi. However, they cannot get the upgrade and maintain the pass which also enabled other benefits.
Reacting to the news, one user on Reddit’s r/GooglePixel subreddit said, “Yeah this sucks. I wanted to upgrade to the 8 pro and have been looking forward to that for so long. How annoying. Such bad timing too”.
Another revealed a far sinister consequence of ending the Pixel Pass. They said, “I’m livid, they tricked me right out of my grandfathered rate for Google Music”. For the unaware, Google Play Music raised its prices a while back but allowed regular subscribers to stay at a discounted subscription price. However, this user left it back then and switched to Pixel Pass in order to save more on a bundled service. Now, the bundled service is gone and so is the cheaper Google Music subscription.
But for all the trouble caused, Google is offering $100 to all current Pixel Pass subscribers that will go towards their next Pixel device purchase and is valid for two years. The coupon can be used alongside any active promotion as well.