Posted August 8, 2008 11:16 am by with 19 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

I love Google, you love Google, the whole world loves Google, but that love is unrequited–at least when it comes to Google’s customer service.

It seems that Google believes it can provide enterprise level services without actually offering enterprise level support. You won’t be shocked to learn that Google Apps suffered an outage AGAIN this week.

A Google official posting status updates on the Apps forum wrote that the problem affected “a small subset” of Apps users, without being more specific.

A “small subset?” Google Apps is reported to be used by more than 10 million people! If that small subset were just 0.1% of users, that left 10,000 users with no access to email, calendars, or documents for about 15 hours!

OK, so perhaps when you’re running such a large-scale operation, downtime can’t be avoided. But, what can be avoided is Google’s impotent approach to customer service. I have first-hand experience that the official channels for customer service at Google suck! You just try getting a transparent explanation of what’s going on or and ETA of when you’ll be back online. As one frustrated user put it…

“Seriously…It has been two hours. Can you provide us with another update? For a company with your reputation, I’m absolutely shocked at the apparent absence of customer service,” wrote a Google Apps administrator on the discussion forum on Wednesday. “This amount of down time is unacceptable.”

Hey Google! How about taking some of the billions of dollars in profits and applying it to some actual customer service?

  • Great points! With all that money they’ve got, it would be great to not just get a generic message anytime you try to contact them about an issue. Customer Service should be of utmost importance to an organization like that but since they’re too busy dominating the world and for the most part doing a good job at it, they’ve failed to put emphasis on that department. Hopefully they can clear that up soon..

  • Has anybody checked these downtimes against the contractual SLAs?

    Otilia Otlacan’s last blog post..It’s Google ?Put Your Child in a Kennel? Day!

  • It took me 3 days to get hold of them regarding the previous downtime. Quite poor considering its Google.

    Dr Marketing’s last blog post..Blog commenting and Akismet

  • john smith

    It’s because all the OSO CSRs are busy complaining about their cush jobs, eating free food, and pretending they’re still in college.

    And low and mid-level management? Immature and incompetent.

  • Gonzalo Valdes

    Google has been down here in the UK for a long time today, probably hours. There are no reports in the media or on TV yet.

  • I’ve heard the same thing from multiple people.

    Utah SEO Pro’s last blog post..Mobile SEO – SMX Local Mobile 2008 Presentation

  • You can’t be master of all trades. Google is best search engine but this is good for them to buy products like youtube rather going to develop their own. Or else its already started ruining their reputation.

    Money Talks’s last blog post..Making Money Online with Free Games and videos Downloads

  • Sorry, I just do not believe it; Google’s customer support could not possibly be worse than Paypal’s.

  • I am also with you guys.I have requested the refund of my adword account. After more then a month of request I am still waiting for my money.

  • @Bjewelled – I dunno, PayPal’s is bad but at least I can speak with a live person there.

  • Paypal is worse

  • I have some nice experiences with Google support. But paypal…no way…

  • MGA

    It was unfortunately down on 08/11/08 for couple hours. I didn’t even bother to contact with their customer support. Since i already know that their reply will be coming in one day, i got used to have problems with my gmail since the first day they launched it.

    But i have a more interesting point about their customer support. I usually get replies a day after i submit my complaints. And all my replies were submitted somehow in the middle of night like 1am or 2am. I guess they are outsourcing it through India.

  • i think that with a company that large with millions of users everyday… how can you truly give great customer service without as many company representatives to handle each person’s needs

    Millionaire’s last blog (Meet Rich People Online)

  • I have found that the bigger the conglomerates, the more red tape and hoops to jump through before a simple issue is resolved.

    Such companies use standard templates to deal with 90% of the situations, and company cultures are not easily changed unless the top management insist upon it.

    jeflin’s last blog post..Overhead Supply Can Trap Your Money

  • Michelle

    Regarding Google’s Customer Service: You know, yesterday I was really ticked that they had rejected a few of my ads and I didn’t feel that they had explained the problem correctly or cohesively between what I was hearing on the phone compared to the errors it read in the system. Kind of felt like I was getting a ‘pad’ response, and that she was just trying to (efficiently and very nicely) get me off of the phone so that she could talk to specialists and email me back. I have to say though that they almost ALWAYS email me back in a timely manner and they are all very nice, helpful and speak intelligently (in English too). Unfortunately, in most cases they just send me information that I ALREADY KNOW. I have taken the tests and work wit the system every day. Why can’t we ever speak to or email with these ‘specialists’ I understand that ‘specialists’ truly don’t just fall out of trees but with 1300 applications daily, you would think you could make them more accessible. Google – is this customer service simply an issue of just getting enough people trained?? Please let me know because I would completely understand that. I mean, we are all human and you are running an amazing, FAST growing, HUMAN driven, Technology Company that is used (thank you) by the entire planet every day. It is hard to be everything to everyone and although you come close you don’t really have the Google Customer Service PERFECT yet but all things considered I think you are doing a pretty good job and I know we being the company you are we can just expect it to improve.
    I am also guessing that probably the reason you are able to provide so many wonderful products is that you really haven’t let a TON of sales people and sales organizations into your company to muck it up. You let us all do that out here. (BRILLIANT) If you did, your company would inherently change. (in this case it is better for us all if you stay product and not client focused) However, you really should think about maybe providing a higher level of SUPPORT – not sales, to some of the more active clients. Not really judging an ‘active client’ only on total spend but by things like, client growth, client successes and the relevant value that they bring to Google. I don’t know, I am ranting now. Just to sum it up – I am frustrated a little but very thankful for the product.

  • Pingback: Yahoo and Google PPC Customer Service | Off Madison Ave()

  • tj

    this is a google form i found online -its not easy or maybe possible to find it from there web page/s. it takes you to a complaint form. they wont respond to you from -it. but u can make suggestions and vent if you want. 1000 charactor max. I hit that quickly -and had to cut it down.

    vent away…

  • Irrespective of the size of the organization, at times there can be customer service problems. Unfortunately, people rarely mention the good customer service interactions and just focus on the negatives.

    That being said, perhaps Google needs to look at how customer service is handled and implement better systems to handle the needs of their organization.

    Marc Norris’s last blog post..Best Customer Service Ever