Google has surprised many by announcing the discontinuation of its Pixel Pass subscription, which was initially introduced alongside the Pixel 6 series in October 2021. The Pixel Pass provided a monthly bundle of Google services, device protection, and the opportunity to upgrade to the latest smartphone every two years. However, despite running the service for 22 months, Google has decided to terminate it just before the earliest subscribers were eligible for their upgrade. This move has left numerous subscribers feeling frustrated with the company, as they had anticipated receiving an upgrade at this time.
Google’s support page stated that “starting August 29, 2023, Pixel Pass will no longer be offered with new Pixel purchases or renewals.” It also has a set of FAQs where it answers the reasons for unsubscribing. It said: “We offer the best value for our hardware products and give users the flexibility to buy their favorite services. We continue to evaluate offers based on customer feedback and offer them different ways to get the best of Google.”
The answer is deliberately vague, as the company does not disclose the reason why it is ending the service 22 months later and just one month before subscribers were given a device update. Many believe that this part of the deal was probably not cost effective for the company.
Google killed Pixel Pass
However, the company has fulfilled the remaining two promises with Pixel Pass. This pass was only available to US users, so they can also pay the price of the original smartphone they bought from the carrier with a subscription fee. In addition, all users received a discount on Google services such as Google Play Music, YouTube Premium and others. Pixel Pass was $45 for the Pixel 6 and $55 for the Pixel 6 Pro.
And it’s not like users can’t upgrade to the new Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro. “You can still upgrade your Pixel after 24 months,” the support page says, explaining how consumers can still get 0 percent APR financing through either the Google Store or Google Fi. However, they cannot get an upgrade and maintain a passport that also enabled other benefits.
One user on Reddit’s r/GooglePixel subreddit commented on the news: “Yeah, this is bullshit. I wanted to upgrade to 8 pro and have been waiting so long. How annoying. Such bad timing.”
Another revealed an ominous consequence of ending Pixel Pass. They said: “I’m furious, they straight up ripped me off on Google Music pricing.” For the uninitiated, Google Play Music raised its prices a while ago, but gave regular subscribers the option to stay at the reduced subscription price. However, this user ditched it at the time and switched to Pixel Pass to save more on the bundled service. Now the service package is gone, along with the cheaper Google Music subscription.
Despite all the trouble, Google is offering $100 to all current Pixel Pass subscribers to use toward their next Pixel purchase, valid for two years. The coupon can also be used in connection with any active campaign.