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Google is trying to burn my house down!

Community Member

I have a Nest Hello doorbell that's out of warranty. Recently, it started peeling, then started rebooting whenever someone tried to ring the doorbell.

I posted to this forum and asked if anyone else had seen the peeling problem, and also how could I get it repaired out of warranty.

Brad (the one cool guy from Google) emailed me the next day asking for my address, phone number, etc. I replied to him, then, from support, crickets...

About a week later I emailed support asking about the status of the ticket. The next day, I got a reply that they couldn't work this problem via email and sent me a link to an online chat with a support rep.

OK, not the best customer service, but I'll bite. I opened the chat and had to send a picture of the doorbell with a post-it note that had the case number attached. One more hoop to jump through, but ok, not an unreasonable request. I wrote down the number on a post it note, then took a picture of it with the doorbell and uploaded it to the chat.

About a minute later I was told my doorbell was out of warranty and the person I was talking to couldn't do anything.


Umm..  Ok,  I asked about "out of warranty" repair in my first message on this forum...

So, now I had a piece of e-waste screwed to the front of my house.

Great again..

Alright, so score one for crappy Google customer support (not you Brad). Last time I'll ever buy one of their products when there is a viable alternative.

--- But there's more! ---

A bit of searching later, I found that there is a lithium battery in the "wired" doorbell that is critical to it working. We all know batteries fail and apparently Google feels that you should just spend more money and buy a whole new unit when theirs fails out of warranty.

I did say Great a few times already, right?

So, I found a replacement battery (from a reputable electronics supplier, which is a hard thing to do with odd sized lithium batteries) and ordered it.  When it came, I took apart the doorbell (not hard, but not easy either) and found that the old battery had not only failed, but was swollen just like one of those batteries which is about to catch fire.

Umm... great.. I think... again??

I immediately brought the defective battery outside to a sand-filled steel container I have for just such situations. Swollen lithium ion batteries are *nothing* to be trifled with.  I'm saving this one for further action on my part, but if anyone reading this ever has a product with a lithium ion battery like that, don't leave it in your office, or especially your house. It's extremely dangerous.

So, new battery installed, peeling front cover re-taped and done. It's "fixed," back on my house (for now,) and covered in a silicon sleeve to hide the ugly front.  Ick.

A little bit of postmortem observations:

Google, if you make a product that screws on someone's house and then glue it shut, make sure there isn't a part in it that has a limited life span. Also, make sure that part doesn't have a failure mode which involves fire. Fire is bad when it is attached to somebodies house!  I might have avoided fire this time because I don't mind taking electronics apart and fixing them myself. Designing them is actually part of my job.  Most people are not like me and just need the products they buy to work.

Second, if you sell a durable product, make sure it's actually durable. If it isn't, at least have an option to repair it, or at least send the customer a coupon to buy the product at a discount that's just slightly more expensive than they can get a new one for on sale from Best Buy.

Third, design your products better. At minimum, make it so a consumable battery can be inspected physically or via software.  A super capacitor, though it has a vastly lower energy density, could have lasted longer and cost your customers a lot less in the long run by not having to replace their expensive doorbells every few years.

Above all, don't waste time!  Taking a week to prove that none of your customer support reps read their email is awful. Claiming to be environmentally responsible, then telling someone they have to throw away and replace their expensive electronic doorbell every two years is evil.
Swollen BatterySwollen BatteryPeeling DoorbellPeeling Doorbell


Community Member

CPSC Report # 20211116-7A1A5-2147358746

Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey Folks.


At this time, I'll go ahead and lock this thread. If you're still experiencing problems, feel free to start a new thread and we'll be happy to help.


Best Regards,