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Google Faces Deluge of Nexus One Complaints 329

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-the-flood-of-customer-rage dept.
wkurzius writes "It seems Google is going through some growing pains as far as customer service is concerned. Since their new phone, the Nexus One, can be bought unlocked, many people are turning to Google themselves for help, but not getting what they're used to from traditional mobile carriers. T-Mobile and HTC are also getting hammered, with many customers being bounced back and forth between the two companies' service lines." It seems they're also taking flak from Android developers who are unhappy that no SDK has yet been released for Android 2.1, which runs on the Nexus One.
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Google Faces Deluge of Nexus One Complaints

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  • by timmarhy (659436) on Friday January 08, 2010 @08:51PM (#30702830)
    google doesn't have any experience fielding public customer service - all their products are free to the public with some commercial products that i guess would generate some limited helpdesk demands.

    it's little wonder this is biting them in the arse.

  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mewshi_nya (1394329) on Friday January 08, 2010 @08:54PM (#30702866)

    That *is* what you get for being an early adopter...

    They haven't even worked out how to work out problems yet, it seems like.

  • Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karganeth (1017580) on Friday January 08, 2010 @08:56PM (#30702884)
    How does PC World have any idea of the volume of traffic Google is getting from disgruntled N1 customers? By stories from random people? Yeah, thought so. A
  • by clinko (232501) on Friday January 08, 2010 @08:57PM (#30702904) Homepage Journal

    48,000,000 for i hate t-mobile
      1,660,000 for i hate verizon
      1,330,000 for i hate at&t
        361,000 for i hate vodafone

    Looks like they picked a winner to start with...

    (Bonus: 1,590,000 for i hate sprint)

  • Avoid 1.0 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gonoff (88518) on Friday January 08, 2010 @08:58PM (#30702912)

    A good idea is to avoid version 1.0 of any commercial offering. It's not a bad idea to avoid .0 versions in general.
    If you have to get one, wait a month. They don't call it the Bleeding Edge of technology for nothing. I prefer it to be someone else's blood...

  • by Stan Vassilev (939229) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:07PM (#30702984)

    48,000,000 for i hate t-mobile
        1,660,000 for i hate verizon
        1,330,000 for i hate at&t
            361,000 for i hate vodafone

    403,000,000 for i love t-mobile
      15,900,000 for i love verizon
      15,300,000 for i love at&t ...

    I guess you clearly see what I'm trying to say here :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:16PM (#30703096)

    The butthurt iPhone fans in the media are out in force. One of the idiotic iPhone fanboys at Engadget was caught falsifying his review to try to make the Nexus One look slower than his precious "OMG!!! the iPhone!!!"

  • by herksc (1447137) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:16PM (#30703098)
    Try it in quotes:

    144,000 for "i hate t-mobile"
    468,000 for "i hate verizon"
    444,000 for "i hate at&t"
    286,000 for "i hate sprint"

    Searching 'I hate t-mobile' on google (no quotes) comes up with results that include "i", "hate", "t", and "mobile" separately. Your research method is highly flawed.

  • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:18PM (#30703116)

    That really hits the nail on the head. If you give your stuff away for free, you can tell complainers to get bent. But if you charge so much as $0.15, your customers own your sorry ass.

    Google's going to have to learn that little fact of life sooner or later.

  • Re:Avoid 1.0 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neokushan (932374) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:23PM (#30703164)

    However, there isn't anything actually wrong with the phone itself (or at least, nothing I've seen), the problem is Google's (supposed) lack of Customer support, that's all. No matter how perfect a device or service is, you'll always need customer support for those that simply don't "get" it.
    As someone who works in this field, myself, I can assure you that thousands of people calling for help doesn't always mean there's a problem.

  • by Threni (635302) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:24PM (#30703166)

    Can't they answer questions - 10 month old questions at that - about whether developers are supposed to be locked out of their own apps, or if this is a bug they'll be fixing over the next 2 years?

    What about the droid/milestone - are google interested in selling this in the uk? What about the nexus one?

    Google seem a little clueless at the moment. I want a droid/milestone, but not from this shitty UK website which has nothing but complaints from customers about an inability to deliver/missing cables etc which are being removed from boxes and then sold as extra/faulty units magically turning up 'broken' when they're returned etc etc.

    Why can't I walk into a phone shop in the UK and just buy one of the latest Android 2 phones? I really want to avoid Apple because they suck far harder than Google but it looks like Google is fast catching up.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:25PM (#30703180)

    Considering she wrote 3 nexus one articles in one day I would assume a nexus one, but either way, its unlikely she has any idea what she's talking about as she probably spent more time talking about the phone than using or talking on the phone.

    Obviously she isn't anyone you'd want to listen to for any advice on anything.

    So was your point that she does or doesn't own a nexus one? I don't see any articles on that page about other phones so I must presume thats what she has,

  • by at_slashdot (674436) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:28PM (#30703202)

    You should use quotes, for example:

    447,000 for "I hate AT&T"
    145,000 for "I hate T-Mobile".

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:32PM (#30703250)

    As an Apple fanboy I can assure you that this is unacceptable.

    When I bought my iPhones on release days everything worked flawlessly!

    I didn't have any problems with them not being able to activate it, or not being able to determine that my account was eligible, or not being able to process my fucking perfectly valid credit card, or not allowing me to use a different card because it didn't have my middle initial on it ...

    Nope ... never had any iPhone problems, so why should Google get any slack?!?!!

    In all seriousness however, its even harder to do things right one your very first try. I'd cut them some slack as well. Of course, this is what, the 3rd or 4th Android phone thats been released, and they've been involved directly with all of them so they probably should know what they are doing.

    Whats most likely however is that this launch really went just fine and that what we're seeing is just an example of how the Internet can blow things out of proportion because the product was far too over hyped to start with.

  • by the_unknown_soldier (675161) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:32PM (#30703252)
    Where I come from telcos support the phones they sell... I can't see how that's 'naive' since that's how it works in most of the world...
  • phone is great (Score:4, Insightful)

    by farble1670 (803356) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:34PM (#30703276)

    i bought an unlocked N1 the second it was released. it's been working great i'm very happy with it. zero bugs and zero crashes so far. note that no review of the many that i read before i purchased the phone had anything significant to complain about let alone bugs or stability problems.

    i'm fairly certain google and t-mo are not releasing the number and details of their support calls. i have no doubt that *some* support calls are being fielded, and some users are unhappy. here's the "proof" from the PCWorld article,

    More than 425 comments [google.com] are listed on a thread about service eligibility issues. Some of them are from people who say that they ought to be eligible for the subsidized price of the phone but the Google sales site says they aren't. Many others are simply complaining of a policy that requires even longtime T-Mobile customers to pay more for the phone than new customers.

    translation: people are complaining that the phone costs too much.

    it's not a beta phone. it's a 2.1 release, a minor update to 2.0 which has been shipping for some time on the motorola droid, on a mobile OS that first released 2 years ago. HTC is the first and most experienced android phone manufacturer.

  • by dave562 (969951) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:37PM (#30703298) Journal

    If their customer support is anything like Google Apps, good luck with that one. My experience is that Google isn't geared toward customer service and it seems like they could care less. They seem to be coming from the position that everyone should be able to just figure out their products without any help.

    My prediction for the year is that we see Google's stock price starting to decline as more and more people realize that beyond search, Google doesn't do anything very well. They have a lot of neat ideas, but their execution blows.

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:40PM (#30703320) Homepage

    google doesn't have any experience fielding public customer service - all their products are free to the public with some commercial products that i guess would generate some limited helpdesk demands.

    I'm sure their commercial helpdesk is extensive. But the nature of commercial support is a little different, and you're absolutely right their lack of experience bit them. I know several people who have worked on commercial tech support lines, like my mom*, and apparently you still get the same famous idiocy you've heard about in every other kind of help desk. It's not like "commercial" necessarily means "big company with their stuff together" in the first place (think of everyone who advertises through them).

    I think the difference though is that in business-client support it's more incident-based, because you're fulfilling specific support contract terms that they payed for. In that context, "have someone in your employ (even if that means you) e-mail our help desk" is pretty reasonable, and if it's a technical problem you're a lot more likely to be able to talk to a technical person on the other side. On a consumer line it's all about maximizing the ratio of customer happiness to time wasted on them.

    It's kinda funny, googling for "google nexus help" does show they have an online help center but it seems rudimentary (and asks you to email them for most problems). Most of the time, googling for help on something is a good way to find out how to fix it. But not when googling for Google, because Google isn't used to creating the content that googling for something provides.

    * Before anyone asks, I know your mom too, obviously in a different context though a desk was involved.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:43PM (#30703340)

    We don't really care at all what device you use on our network as long as its approved by the relevant authorities to be used on the appropriate radio frequencies.

    To be honest, this sounds like the sort of arrangement many of us here can only dream of here in the US. All of our carriers here want to "help us" by locking-out phone features and plying us with terrible value-added services, and structuring rate plans so that the carrier is essentially charging rent instead of providing a compensated service.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:47PM (#30703376)

    Why can't Google offer a cell phone that provides browsing, etc via WiFi, WITHOUT REQUIRING ME TO HAVE A CARRIER DATA PLAN?

    I filed a complaint with the FCC (and I encourage you to do the same) that Verizon had no such phones offered. Verizon reps then called me and confirmed this, saying that this is a decision of the phone manufacturers as to how they design their phone devices (they also confirmed that some older smartphones they used to sell and you can still get on ebay don't have this "feature").

    I of course doubt this is purely a disinterested phone manufacturer decision.

    The Nexus One boards do seem to confirm this is one of the drawbacks of the NexusOne device for those of us who spend 90% of their time in WiFi enabled spots but don't want to pony up another $25/month.
    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google%20Mobile/thread?tid=5a6199119e618525&hl=en#all
    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/thread?tid=2a191af88d779975&hl=en#all
    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/thread?tid=4bc273c38698835c&hl=en
    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/thread?tid=7a0b65cae4aa6b88&hl=en
    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/thread?tid=3d253758857e6f67&hl=en
    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/thread?tid=07bbaac95aef0a15&hl=en

    Why does the design of these devices force me to activate a carrier data plan to access the internet when the hardware has WiFi?

    Can this "feature" (of Android?) be modified in software since this is open source, and since WiFi hardware is so clearly present?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

  • by bhagwad (1426855) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:48PM (#30703380) Homepage

    Really? You don't even support phones you sell?

    I think you misunderstand. The carriers don't sell phones at all. They just provide service. Other companies sell the phone. Like one company selling you a computer and the another providing the Internet connection. Savvy?

  • Growing pains... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:58PM (#30703482)
    ... of the 1.0 version. So what else is new? Anyone here remember Windows 1.0 (a.k.a Interface Manager) announced at the Plaza Hotel in NYC overlooking Central Park? Well, we're up to Windows 7 and Microsoft is still trying to get it right.
  • by zill (1690130) on Friday January 08, 2010 @10:02PM (#30703510)
    Exactly.

    Warranties; Disclaimer of Warranties

    You agree that Google is not the manufacturer, but the seller, of the Device. You acknowledge that HTC is the manufacturer of the Device and provides the Limited Warranty for repairs and service of the Device. Please refer to http://www.google.com/support/android/bin/answer.py?answer=166519 [google.com] or the warranty card in the Device package for details on the HTC Limited Warranty terms and how to make a claim under the HTC Limited Warranty. If you are a purchaser of the Device in the EU, you are entitled to a two-year warranty for parts, labor, and service. If you are a purchaser of the Device outside of the EU, you are entitled to a one-year warranty for parts, labor, and service. These warranties are in addition to and do not affect your legal rights as a consumer.

    OTHER THAN THE ABOVE AND TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, GOOGLE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, REGARDING ANY DEVICES, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT.

    Unlike traditional electronics companies, Google is delegating all warranty and customer service support to the ODM. And people do not understand this, since it's completely different from what they're used to. Since no one bothers reading the fine prints, they go and seek help in the wrong place.

    Legally speaking, Google is not at fault here. With the above disclaimer, they have successfully disclaimed all their responsibility of providing service and customer care.

    To the average folk who received customer support on their electronics for their entire life however, Google's stance is completely unacceptable.

    Those smart people who actually read the fine print will not have this problem, because they'll head to HTC to confirm the level of support they'll be getting (that is to say, exactly 0), and will hold off on purchasing the device until better support is introduced. It's not that hard really, just go to http://www.htc.com/us/support [htc.com] where the Nexus One is obviously missing from the drop down menu. To make matters worst, HTC decided it would be funny to make a link titled "Google Nexus One Support Information" which links to a functionally useless page on Google.

    Of course HTC is smart for not providing support since it's Google's reputation getting damaged here (see /. article title for example), not HTC's. This is the perfect method for silently eliminating an potential competitor in the mobiles market.

    Obligatory car analogy: Bob sells me a used car and claims that Alice can repair it if anything goes wrong within a year. The car breaks down within a week but Alice is charging an outrageous amount for the repair fee. I get mad at Bob because he deceived me.

    In the end:I get stuck with a broken car.
    Bob's reputation is damaged.
    But Alice lost nothing.

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday January 08, 2010 @10:13PM (#30703592) Homepage Journal

    Really? You don't even support phones you sell? I can understand not supporting phones that others sell, but you won't even service what you sell?

    Its normal outside the US for users to casually change networks by changing SIM cards in phones. Here in Australia I would say that at least 50% of the time phones are not used on networks they were bought for, and many phones are bought outright, without contracts.

    When my wife was in Malaysia recently she bought a SIM to use for local calls during her stay.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sphantom (795286) on Friday January 08, 2010 @10:32PM (#30703726)

    I have a distinct feeling that Android and OpenMoko are going to be kissing cousins that only a few people have ever seen in the wild.

    Care to place a friendly (or unfriendly) wager on that? Though I don't own a google phone, I'd say it's safe to say my distinct feeling is quite the opposite.

    Motorola alone sold a million Droids in only a few months, and the growth (in sales and mind share) that Android has seen in the year or so it's been out it's actually quite surprising. I hate to say it, but I'd almost compare it to Windows on the Desktop. Almost certainly there are a fair share of fanboys and anti-fan boys out there, but the vast majority of users don't give a rats ass and just use what they know.

    My distinct feeling is that Android becomes heavily commoditized and ubiquitous (because any phone manufacturer can use it for free, and customize it to their liking rather than pay some huge amount to develop and maintain their own operating system). Because of that, it becomes wildly available and consumers just end up using Android by default because it's what their shiny phone that they picked out in the store came with. Granted, I don't see ubiquity happening in the short term, but I'd expect it to become more prevalent as smartphone market share nears and eventually passes "dumb" phone market share.

    Now before the Apple fan boys chime in here and wave their smartphone majority flag, I'll clarify that I see the Apple shooting themselves in the foot by limiting themselves to one basic model (the iPhone) while being the sole provider of it (and limiting what network you can choose). Let's face it, most people holding iPhones right now (myself included) are likely geekier than the general population and tend to be early adopters of consumer electronics. That's a LIMITED market compared to the much larger market of cell phone users in general

    The iPhone really is the Model T of cell phones. There's very little customization, and as soon as everyone gets over the shock of something new (i.e. a mass produced combustion vehicle, or a snazzy smartphone), The competition is gonna eat you for breakfast by catering to consumer demand.

    But hey, that's just one man's opinion, about as equally valid as your own.

  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Friday January 08, 2010 @10:45PM (#30703800)

    This isn't an issue with early adopters. It's an issue with Google selling a product and then being shocked and amazed that people have questions and problems. It's an issue with Google having a culture from the search engine world of holding the customer off not at arm's length, but at continent's length.

    Before they could hide behind the carrier, which had the infrastructure for this sort of thing. With their online products, nobody was really paying for anything, or if they were, they were B2B-type customers.

    This is a consumer product, and the cardinal rule of consumer products is that you stand behind what you sell, or you won't be selling it for long. There's another cardinal rule, which I read off a sign posted above the door of an industrial supply company: "For every customer that walks out this door angry, ten never walk in it."

    Unfortunately, Google is failing to remember something critical: screwing over people with the "Google Phone" they just bought means devaluing their brand name, which is their biggest asset- those people are more receptive to switching to different alternative products (mail, search, etc.) and also, they're going to post about their problems on Facebook, Twitter, etc. One negative status message kills thousands of dollars in advertising.

    To me, the API stuff is just further proof that Google has committed the Apple Of The 90's Sin: they're now into everything, and doing nothing well. This is a problem that should sound familiar for other reasons *cough*Microsoft*cough*.

  • Suspicious.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday January 08, 2010 @10:51PM (#30703836) Homepage Journal

    Anybody else get the feeling that this story was cooked up in the marketing department of one or more telco or well-known manufacturer of fashionable consumer electronics?

    I mean, if people can start buying cool unlocked smartphones, that's going to cut into a big profit center for them. People might actually start looking for the best calling and data plan instead of "whatever plan the company that carries the phone I want insists that I sign up for before I can get my hands on the phone".

    I mean, didn't they just announce the Nexus One a few days ago? I'm surprised many buyers had a chance to even charge up their batteries and sign up for service by now, much less have had enough contact with Google customer service to make a complaint.

    I'm not saying there mightn't be problems, but the speed at which this story arrives is just a little fishy.

  • by BOFslime (178524) on Friday January 08, 2010 @11:29PM (#30704130) Homepage
    One customer going by the name Roland78 said he was transferred between T-Mobile and HTC four times, spending a total of one-and-a-half hours on the phone with customer service. "T-Mobile also said Google hasn't provided them with any support documents for the phone. Welcome to direct sales Google!" he wrote.

    This guy is just being asinine, someone sitting there with a stop watch, and writing the things the reps say down just so he can contact some news organization with it or works for them already. Honestly, if you have plan questions T-Mobile won't be referring you to HTC, and if you have phone questions HTC won't be referring you to T-Mobile. You'll notice how the article never refers to the information their quoted 'users' were seeking.

    Honestly the phone's step by step walk through setup is so easy that if you don't understand it, then see this flowchart [xkcd.com].
  • by bhagwad (1426855) on Friday January 08, 2010 @11:31PM (#30704154) Homepage
    Read the first post of the thread. He was talking about nordic countries.
  • by Kalriath (849904) on Friday January 08, 2010 @11:32PM (#30704166)

    Google Checkout has pretty universally bad service too.

    In fact, Google doesn't run a single division with decent customer service.

    Go figure.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2010 @11:35PM (#30704196)

    If their customer support is anything like Google Apps, good luck with that one. My experience is that Google isn't geared toward customer service and it seems like they could care less. They seem to be coming from the position that everyone should be able to just figure out their products without any help.

    Ahahahahaha! You are so right! I worked up there. They really do not want to be in the service business. The place is one giant nerd cage match. Anyone who can't keep up is pitied at best, more often despised. Of course that's pretty much all customers.

    My prediction for the year is that we see Google's stock price starting to decline as more and more people realize that beyond search, Google doesn't do anything very well. They have a lot of neat ideas, but their execution blows.

    Ahahahahaha! Don't bet your retirement on that. Those guys are smart and on a roll. Sooner or later, hubris will bring them down, but it might take a while. Consider Microsoft.

  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Friday January 08, 2010 @11:40PM (#30704224)

    You've never worked in field support have you?

    I spent a few years of the software vender blaming hardware vender A (server) who blamed hardware vender B (networking equipment) and it could take hours to get the right people on the phone with each other.

  • by pclminion (145572) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @12:14AM (#30704434)
    If only Google had the ability to grant access to the most extensive library of information on Earth. Some kind of powerful system where users could easily find answers, not only to the question they are asking, but the questions they haven't even thought to ask yet. If only Google had that, then they wouldn't have a problem answering their customers' questions.
  • by jone1941 (516270) <(jone1941) (at) (gmail.com)> on Saturday January 09, 2010 @12:35AM (#30704554) Homepage

    Now I'm certainly not calling for blood, and normally I'm not one to flame bait....but if the question is...
    "Why are so many people using it if the service isn't 'good enough'?"

    The answer could certainly be...
    "Because they are a monopoly."

    Of course the other answer could be...
    "Because no one else has anything better."

  • by symbolset (646467) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @12:45AM (#30704610) Journal

    Google Ignoring Criticism Of Nexus One Distribution [crn.com].

    Then read the first comment:

    You have really bashed Google pretty well the last few days.Some of it is deserved although harsh. One thing I would like you to keep in mind is that your articles have consistantly been featured highly on the Google News web page. That is why I like Google and trust Google.

    Priceless! (No, it wasn't me.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09, 2010 @01:10AM (#30704814)

    Anyone remember the Wright Brothers unveiling Airplane 1.0 in Kittyhawk North Carolina? Well we're up to the 787 and A320 now, and we're still trying to get it right.

  • by zill (1690130) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @01:50AM (#30705038)
    Sorry, been reading too many cryptography books.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_and_bob [wikipedia.org]

    http://xkcd.com/177/ [xkcd.com]
  • by symbolset (646467) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @02:30AM (#30705212) Journal

    I don't care about these problems. They'll work it out.

    Google is selling this phone because it advances the technology and their phone partners wouldn't sell it. Expect them to sell an Android + Snapdragon slate for the same reasons. The top 5 OEMs have had that for a year and still no products - ASUS even pulled their Snapdragon netbook in the middle of last year's Computex, some say because Microsoft told them to, and now they "see no future in it [pcworld.com]":

    But the company quickly put the project on the back burner, refusing to discuss it days later at a press event that featured Asustek's chairman alongside executives from microprocessor maker Intel and OS giant Microsoft.

    All the major vendors have had this platform for a long time and they wouldn't sell it for strategic reasons. Google isn't submarining them - they declined their first refusal options. Dell had 3" and 5" models ready in September, and didn't launch for the pivotal Christmas season - there's a video of a guy with three thumbs playing with it but I can't find it right now.

    Dell, HP, and other top-tier OEMs have announced Snapdragon + Android smartbooks, netbooks, phones and slates, but they will never ever come to market branded by a top tier OEM because of the leverage that Intel and Microsoft are applying to prevent it.

    If the incumbents won't give us progress, Google will: even if they have to enter new lines of business to do so. I doubt Google can avoid selling enough units to encourage adoption of modern open technologies in phones, considering they've got the best online ad placement [google.com] there is.

    I doubt Google even wants to sell phones - I think they just want to get the new good technologies adopted so that people can get used to Internet everywhere quicker. This serves their bottom line because when most people use the Internet they use Google services, which Google sells ads on. You can't very well sell Internet ads to be viewed by people who aren't close to a browser. I'm in favor of this because open platforms with internet access everywhere always on let me do things I couldn't do before. I'm also in favor because less power burned is good for CO2 emissions. It also lets me afford to put some high tech shiny stuff under the tree to impress the youngsters.

    Intel and Microsoft are scared to death of Snapdragon and Android, and they should be - they don't have offerings like this, and the buzz about cheap, go-everywhere always on low-power application rich platforms that don't use their products is evidence that if they won't innovate in the way that we want, they're done. We want progress, and progress isn't about the widget - it's about the people and what they can do with it. If they try and leverage their market position to kill this progress the truth will out and they will be beset with lawsuits and it will do them no good because there are manufacturers and vendors like HTC and Google who are not afraid of them.

    Their best bet: surf the wave. Get their products in line with current demand. Or go away.

  • by timmarhy (659436) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @02:33AM (#30705222)
    the fact that you know what adsense is and that you want to advertise places you a million miles ahed of your average phone consumer. google has never had to stand up to the rigors of low intelligence PAYING customers before.
  • by cjeze (596987) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @03:35AM (#30705510)
    Shouldn't it be Nexus One Beta?
  • by trenien (974611) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @06:06AM (#30706090)
    Well, I don't know how it is in the US, but here, no matter what fine print are written inside the box, the seller is responsible and has to cover the warranty. At most, they can redirect you (at their charge) toward some subcontractor they may have to deal with problems.
  • by t0p (1154575) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @06:42AM (#30706190) Homepage

    Unlike traditional electronics companies, Google is delegating all warranty and customer service support to the ODM. And people do not understand this, since it's completely different from what they're used to. Since no one bothers reading the fine prints, they go and seek help in the wrong place.

    Legally speaking, Google is not at fault here. With the above disclaimer, they have successfully disclaimed all their responsibility of providing service and customer care.

    [...]

    Obligatory car analogy: Bob sells me a used car and claims that Alice can repair it if anything goes wrong within a year. The car breaks down within a week but Alice is charging an outrageous amount for the repair fee. I get mad at Bob because he deceived me. In the end:I get stuck with a broken car. Bob's reputation is damaged. But Alice lost nothing.

    I don't think that's right. In the UK (probably in the EU too) the supplier has responsibilities that it cannot simply transfer to someone else with a disclaimer. To use your analogy: You've bought your car from Bob, therefore it's Bob's responsibility to get it fixed. Bob can use Alice's repair service if he wants to; but if there's a problem with Alice's service, Bob will have to find another mechanic or do the repairs himself. Your contract is with Bob, and the crappy disclaimer makes no difference to that.

  • by Damnshock (1293558) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @07:48AM (#30706460) Homepage

    "Legally speaking, Google is not at fault here. With the above disclaimer, they have successfully disclaimed all their responsibility of providing service and customer care."

    That is simply nonsense. That is obviously an abusive clause and should be illegal on a contract/eula/whatever. What happens if HTC does not provide the support they should? Exactly what is happening now. People should complain to the company they bought the product from, they should not care what is behind: that is the seller's problem!

    A little of consumer protection please...

    PS:This does not happens in Spain, the responsibility is from the one that's selling the problem.

  • by hitmark (640295) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @08:56AM (#30706692) Journal

    especially a US customer thats used to contact one company for both device issues and network issues, thanks to operator branding and exclusivity...

  • Hello? Microsoft? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pydev (1683904) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @10:50AM (#30707222)

    I have paid for Microsoft's shitty products for two decades and never received any kind of meaningful customer service. I really doubt Google can do any worse than that.

  • Re:Suspicious.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jo_ham (604554) <joham999&gmail,com> on Saturday January 09, 2010 @11:07AM (#30707328)

    If you mean the well-known manufacturer that I think you mean, they already sell phones that can be unlocked for any carrier.

    Perhaps not in the US though. But blame the carriers for that one.

  • by rantingkitten (938138) <.kitten. .at. .mirrorshades.org.> on Saturday January 09, 2010 @03:37PM (#30709082) Homepage
    That's not always true. In certain situations a customer becomes far more trouble than he is worth; a liability rather than an asset. In my job I have had to tell many customers that their options were to cancel the service, or stop complaining. Most of them opted for the latter.

    All this depends on the product you're offering, the price point, the customer, and the nature of the complaint, but at a certain price, a customer who is just a chronic complainer is no longer worth it.

    This is not just my own attitude, either; it is a business decision. At some point an endlessly griping customer is taking up a disproportionate amount of your or your employee's time, often for total BS non-issues, and it makes no business sense to keep humoring them for the sake of their next month's invoice when that time could be better spent dealing with other customers who have legitimate problems. A company is totally justified in telling the customer to cancel or shut up.

    As a side note, in my industry, it's been my experience that the customers who will take their business elsewhere are the ones from whom you never hear. They'll quietly deal with the situation on their own. On the other hand, the chronic complainers are the ones who have absolutely no intention of going to a competitor. It's also easy to call customer bluffs: When they threaten to cancel if you don't do XYZ impossible thing, you say "Okay, sir, since I can't accomodate you, I'll cancel your service right now. Hang on a moment and I'll get your confirmation number." It is truely remarkably how quickly they backpedal.

    In short, just because you're charging for something doesn't mean the customer gets to stomp all over you. Companies need to grow spines sometimes.

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