Google’s growing pains with the Nexus One

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It appears that even monolithic companies fail when they start dipping their hands into unknown territory.  According to PCWorld, Google’s new phone, the Nexus One, is falling subject to bad reviews for Customer Service – and the fact that it basically doesn’t exist.  Users having problems with the phone are either being tossed back and forth between their carrier and HTC (the hardware vendor), both of which don’t know the answers to the problem, or being forced to write Google’s support by email, which leaves them waiting for an answer for one or two days.  There’s no direct support line they can call to get help with their new phone.

In case you weren’t aware, Google’s new phone has been marketed and built by HTC, sold directly by Google as “Google’s phone”, and then of course serviced by a wireless company of your choice – sort of an interesting chain of events which makes it difficult to make the call on who should be supporting the phone.  I think Google should have gone the route of supporting the phone themselves, just as Apple urged its wireless partners to direct customer support to themselves.  I think all eyes are on Google at this point to come up with answers – not HTC or the wireless carriers.

The user experience of the phone boils down into a couple high level categories – those that can use it, and those that can’t.  To those that can use the phone, customer service is probably about 15% of the experience – they call when they need it.  To those that can’t use the phone, customer service is probably about 50% of the experience – if you can’t use the phone AT ALL then customer service is about your last hope, and if customer service doesn’t work… well… you can’t use your phone.

Get it together Google.

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