How to Avoid Equipment Return Fees from Google Fiber

Is Google Fiber wrongly charging you an equipment return fee? FairShake can help.

"What you should know about equipment return fees"

Did you close your Google Fiber account only to be hit with hundreds of dollars in unexpected fees? Maybe you upgraded your plan but now your bill is overflowing with bogus unreturned equipment fees. We explain what these fees are and how to avoid equipment return fees from Google Fiber.

Equipment from Google Fiber

When you open a Google Fiber account you recieve equipment in the mail. Again, you have to return all of the equipment that was provided to you including remote controls or power cables and it must all be in good working condition.

These items are rentals, something you pay for every month as part of your monthly plan. When your plan is upgraded, downgraded, or closed, you have to return the equipment. This can include:

  • a Network Box, 
  • Google WiFi device,
  • Google Fiber Multi-Gig Router or similar modem and router device
  • a Network+ Box or a Storage Box
  • Google Fiber Mesh Extender
  • Network Box or a Google WiFi device
  • the Phone Box
  • the NVIDIAⓇ SHIELDTM TV streaming box

Note: You should get a confirmation letter from Google Fiber detailing what you need to return based specifically on your services. 

How Long Google Fiber Gives You to Return Equipment

Google Fiber is more supportive than other large internet providers when it comes to the time frame you have for returning equipment. If you cancel your service, downgrade your service, or move to an area that isn’t supported by Google Fiber, you can return all of your devices through the mail at no additional cost, within 60 days.

Note: Once the company receives your equipment they will send you a confirmation letter but if they don’t, ask for one.

What Happens if You Don’t Return Google Fiber Equipment

Customers might receive an unexpectedly high bill after cancelling their account. Why? Because of equipment fees. Google Fiber will typically charge a replacement fee of $180 for each piece of equipment that goes unreturned.

If you don’t return the equipment, you have to pay for it. If you do return it, but it doesn’t get there by the deadline, you still likely have to pay for it (but you might get a refund within a few months). If you return it but Google Fiber claims it is damaged, you have to pay for it. 

If you don’t pay equipment return fees a company says you owe, the account could be sold to collections where they harass you until you pay and leave a bad mark on your credit report. And this all happens surprisingly fast. 

How to Return Your Equipment

So, you can avoid all this by just returning the equipment, all of the equipment, and being thorough about your documentation. For example: If you’re mailing it, choose an option with delivery confirmation and if you are delivering in person get a receipt.

By Mail

For those who are changing their plan, Google Fiber will email a prepaid, printable label after 3 business days from emaillabel@fedex.com. For those cancelling a plan, you can use USPS for free. You can print the return label and request a free USPS package pickup or you can drop it off at your local post office. 

Google Fiber makes it clear that the shipping costs if you use the label they provide are completely free but if you use any supplies for packaging from USPS or FedEx, you will have to pay extra for those. 

In Person

You can visit a Fiber space without an appointment based on your city and return it in person. You can use the Google Fiber help page to search for locations in a given city and it will list all operating hours, holidays, and locations.

Document Your Equipment

Don’t forget to take pictures of your equipment and the package before you return it. There are many cases of unhappy clients from different companies who have returned their equipment in top condition, only to be charged a damaged equipment fee because of the condition in which it arrived. With lots of pictures you can prove you were not responsible for this. 

What Happens if Google Fiber *Loses* Your Equipment

That said, you can do everything right and still get charged. Why? Frequently companies *still* lose your equipment and try to charge you a fee for it, or try to claim it was damaged. If you are on the receiving end of this, FairShake wants to know.

If you did everything you were supposed to but you were still being charged bogus equipment return fees, tell us your complaint… 

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