"People trust Google Nest with their lives. The fact that Google, the third largest tech company in the world (only behind Apple and Microsoft), is alerting Nest customers about replacing their life-saving products one to two years before they actually expire, is unconscionable. Especially during a pandemic, when so many working-class Americans are unemployed, trying to be prudent about what little money they might have left to spend."
Earlier today, the Nest Protect in my bedroom started flashing yellow and, when I logged into the app to see what the alert was about, I was struck by the words, “expiring soon.” The alert was telling me I would need to replace my Nest, but the alert was early. Really early. The alert was for a generation one Nest, which is about five and a half years old (about how long I’ve been living in this house). Here’s the thing; the Nest generation one has a seven year warranty.
The alert is a year and a half early. Was it a simple mistake? Had Google accidentally pushed a notification to generation one devices early? The alert persisted throughout the day, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who noticed, which led me to wonder how many other people were getting the same alert. Many of those people probably have a lot on their minds right now. They may not know the Nest generation one warranty is for seven years–not five and a half.
This matters because, with the world going through a pandemic, and so many people out of work and in one form of crisis or another, this is not the time to be worried about an expensive life saving device that doesn’t yet need replacing, from one of the largest tech companies in the world.
The app says it will notify Google Nest customers three months, one month, and seven days before the product expires. These are reasonable, laid out timeframes. But a year and a half early? Ok Google. Riddle me this; If it’s not a money-grab and an attempt to get people to needlessly upgrade their products early, what is it?
By Jennifer L. Jacobson, Seattle-Area Resident, Founder of Jacobson Communication.
Jennifer L. Jacobson is a communications strategist who helps brands advance in growing industries. Her clients have been on The View, The Today Show, in TIME Magazines’s best site of the year, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Popular Science, Scientific American, USA Today, and thousands more.