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On Google Apps Support  (View post)

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, September 5, 2007
13 years ago3,973 views

Hmmm... This is not the way to go for google. Bad Google! Go to your room!

binarypower [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

That is one thing I've noticed, from Grand Central to YouTube, Google's biggest problem is lack of a good live central support system. I've blogged about my nightmare Grand Central issue: ...

That issue was never fully addressed... it kind of half works now. This seems to be Google's biggest growing problem.

Avrohom Eliezer Friedman (AEF) [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Google defines a critical issue (as they told me on the phone) as a problem that is not allowing E-mail acess to more than 50 percent of your clients.

Hashim [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I agree that Google's big problem is customer service. If the Google service you use is not called Adwords, you can forget about getting proper customer service.

J. McNair [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

This is not a defense of Google. This is a serious question. Are there any companies with either
1. Truly innovative customer service, as in finding better ways to help people find out what their problems are and solve them?


2. Extremely good "old fashioned" customer service, wherein a knowledgeable person tries their honest best to determine and solve your problem with you.

I mean, I love much of what has come of the Web in the 20xx, but does anyone know if customer service has left the 1990's? (Live chat tech support has been around since 1200 baud modems and BBS'es).

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

J., when I was using (that service to self-publish a book) they had online help files, online forum and online live chat. As you'd expect the help files are often hard to find something in, and the forum had a sort of slow response time. But once I found the live chat option on the website, I only used that one then, though it occasionally crashed Firefox. The usefulness of their answers then depended a lot on which support person you'd be assigned to, once I found a helpful one I tried to get connected to them at all times. Nothing truly innovative here, but it was working OK.

For my servers, I have good old fashioned but excellent phone support (1&1, former Schlund). They can be reached very quickly, and always take in your request and help you out. There's the occasional "I don't believe you" stance (where you need to convince them you emptied your cache etc.) but I guess that comes with the job, and is the right stance in most circumstances too. Again, nothing innovative here.

Something that is slightly more innovative are companies who track feedback through e.g. blog search engines or automated news alerts. Some companies get involved in the comments to a blog post like this one to try to help out.

Google on the other hand makes it extremely hard for you to talk to any human at all; most of their blogs closed comments, their help files make it harder to find a way to contact them, and even their security email often does little more than handing out an auto-reply... and it should definitely be in Google's interest to keep people sending in bug reports. What you often do get are form replies that sometimes don't address your problem (but another problem that happened to fit that category or something – not helpful). No wonder many people would just like to talk to Matt Cutts for some issues... it's personal, you get to know Matt through his blog, and that gives you a human contact in the system. Google press support on the other does a good job I think, especially when compared to Yahoo. While they won't hand out scoops to a blog like this like they would do with the big ones, like Reuters, they treat bloggers like press people who will get the same answers (unlike what I experienced with Yahoo, though admittedly I only have a single sample case yet, it's not representative...).

Tellinit Likeitis [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Google has NEVER been good at support (speaking at the macro level). Just try getting someone over at Enterprise sometime. When they first launched the GEP almost two years ago, the support mechanism was "send email and maybe, just maybe, we'll get to it in 24hrs. longer if we are busy eating free food".

The sad state is that the mystique of Google has caused many a person to give them a pass when issues arise. No other company trying to play in the enterprise space (or consumer) would be able to get away with such abuse for long.

So the new motto for Google should be "Customer Service is #1" instead of "Don't be evil".

Join Satisfaction ( and start listening to your customers.

[Signature URL removed – Tony]

Ludwik Trammer [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

The school I work for as a teacher and an IT guy also uses Google Apps for Education and we still have our customer ID and support PIN, along with support phone numbers in our Dashboard. Nothing changed.
Maybe Avrohom phoned to often and hit some limit?

MarWi [PersonRank 3]

13 years ago #

I never really had a problem with Google's poor costumer support. In the end, most of their applications are free and beta (though this is why beta somewhat lost its meaning :o). Although Google is a profit oriented company, there was always the kind of Open Source / Community feeling to it, where you would ask other users for help in a forum rather than a company rep. This all changed a little as I am now paying for my Google Apps Premium Account. Now, I think that I deserve some sort of professional customer support even if I am not paying all that much. And if Google wants to attract business customers, oh boy, they better buy some new phones and hire some help desk personal, because business don't want to dig through hundreds of web pages to get to a phone number only to find there is no one answering their call.

Avrohom Eliezer Friedman (AEF) [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #


I still have the customer ID and support PIN along with the phone numbers in the dashboard. Nothing changed there. When I called the menu was different then it used to be. It was very hard to get through to someone.

Hong Xiaowan [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Google really great. It is the teacher for China Telecom. Even China Telecom, did not dare to say:


Hong Xiaowan [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

In China, China Telecom is the worst company for their evils. Including bad customer service.

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