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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.

    • by dimeglio (456244) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:12PM (#30703048)

      Can't they just Google their questions?

      • 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 gandhi_2 (1108023) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:17PM (#30703112) Homepage

      correcto.

      Google is many things, but a customer-service-oriented company they are not.
      Ask anyone with adwords campaign sitting in "under review" for 3 weeks.
      Besides, HTC actually makes the device.

      • 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 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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by maxume (22995)

        Ya know, a whole bunch of people do pay them to place advertising, and they have been doing so for a few years now.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pclminion (145572)
        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.
      • Hello? Microsoft? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pydev (1683904)

        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.

      • by rantingkitten (938138) <kitten@mirrors[ ]es.org ['had' in gap]> 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.
    • by Entropy98 (1340659) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:19PM (#30703128) Homepage

      I've had to contact Google customer service in the past, as a paying advertiser and as a adsense publisher, and in my experience you wait 2-3 days to get a form letter that doesn't even apply to your question/problem.

      I've heard, and experienced somewhat, that this improves once you start making them decent money.

      In their defense they must receive an unbelievable amount of stupid questions.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Chees0rz (1194661)
        I reported a fraudulent charge on my Credit Card from Adwords. Did everything Google said to do (followed links, submitted e-form to customer service). I waited a week, replied to the "We got your message email please wait" email and finally got a person to respond.

        "Please work this out with your credit card institute."

        Not the best experience.
      • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:41PM (#30703326)

        In their defense they must receive an unbelievable amount of stupid questions.

        Of course, to look at it another way - they make a lot of their money from people asking stupid questions.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by timmarhy (659436)
        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.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hitmark (640295)

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

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      TFS:

      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.

      Just installed Linux on my laptop. Oh crap, borked my sound...get on Google and look for a fix...hum-tee-tum...no, that one didn't work...either did that one....now this is getting annoying, I can't listen to music...nothing on Google. Call Toshiba, maybe they can help me...no, they can't because it worked before...n

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Use windows.

        -Slackware.

      • 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.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by nametaken (610866) *

          What you've just said is, "Google pulled a Microsoft". You don't call Microsoft with your Windows problems. ;)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by trenien (974611)
          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.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Damnshock (1293558)

          "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

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by moosesocks (264553)

      Shouldn't HTC be providing support?

      From what I understand, Google is aiming to be a reseller, and will eventually be selling all Android-based devices from their website. The Nexus one is simply the first to be offered through the program.

      I quite like Google's concerted attempts to divorce hardware devices from mobile carriers. It should spur considerable innovation in the industry. Of course, some things such as the burden of technical support still need to be sorted out -- turning to the European model

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130)

      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

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by digitalunity (19107)

        As a long time worker in a call center, I can vouch for this. The official business plan for customer support is to find the least effort solution that will make them happy enough to not need to call you again. You couldn't get an engineer on the line unless you knew exactly the right questions to ask or were a top 20 client.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      Or you can, you know, make a product that hardly needs customer service...

    • by rAiNsT0rm (877553) on Friday January 08, 2010 @10:25PM (#30703680) Homepage

      Umm, no. Google offers quite a few services through acquisitions and business/pay services. Postini for example, however, that service has some of the worst support ever. Gmail... oh, wait, that has terrible support too. Adsense... yep, constant fiascos and problems. Basically this company has NO track record of good service but everyone simply gives them a pass.

      I do use some of their services, personally and in my company, but I know their service is trash. When I can replace them with another product/company I do. Gmail for Zimbra as an example.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kalriath (849904)

        Google Checkout has pretty universally bad service too.

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

        Go figure.

  • 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.

    • 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*.

  • 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
  • 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)

    • 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 nxtw (866177)

      639,000 for i hate "t-mobile"
      716,000 for i hate tmobile
      Also it would make sense to adjust the numbers for the number of customers each has. But T-Mobile offers service in other English speaking countries, and Verizon, AT&T and Sprint brands are/were used for more than wireless service.

    • 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.

      • Love:Hate

        T-Mobile:
        49,800:145,000 (1:2.9)
        25.6% love
        74.4% hate

        Verizon:
        259,000:469,000 (1:1.8)
        35.6% love
        64.4% hate

        AT&T:
        103,000:447,000 (1:4.3)
        18.7% love
        81.3% hate

        Sprint:
        45,500:287,000 (1:6.3)
        13.7% love
        86.3% hate

        Most Loved: Verizon
        Most Hated: Sprint
        • But that is also flawed because AT&T does more than mobile phones, T-Mobile is offered in many different English speaking countries, Sprint until 2006 had landlines, and Verizon has an ISP service.

          There is no fair way to do this with Google because you don't know what context that is in. Does someone love their TV from AT&T or their mobile phone service from AT&T? Does someone hate T-Mobile in the US or T-Mobile in the UK? Does someone really love their fiber service by Verizon or their phon
        •   Net10:
            1840:2

            Tracfone:
            26000:1850

            Ouch :)

          SB

      • by barzok (26681)

        Add Nextel into any Sprint numbers. 49,500 hits for "i hate nextel"

      • by Peregr1n (904456)

        Also bear in mind that T-Mobile and Vodafone are also extensive brands in Europe, but as far as I know Verizon and AT&T are only used in America. I don't know about other parts of the world, but you see what I mean.

      • by msimm (580077)
        T-Mobile is a multinational provider. Wikipedia says [wikipedia.org]:

        Globally, T-Mobile has some 150 million subscribers, making it the world's seventh largest mobile phone service provider by subscribers and the third largest multinational after the United Kingdom's Vodafone and Spain's Telefónica.

        The other carriers serve considerably smaller markets [wikipedia.org].

    • by neokushan (932374)

      T-mobile is worldwide, Verizon, sprint and AT&T are not.
      Although Vodafone is worldwide as well, so Kudos to them for not being utterly terrible.

      Random amusing trivia: I get 361,000 results for "I hate vodafone" but 371,000 results for "I hate vodaphone".

    • by Hadlock (143607) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:28PM (#30703206) Homepage Journal

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

      Because people don't gripe about sprint, they just drop them and move onto a carrier that supports modern phones. I love t-mobile by the way. Everytime I call (0 wait, either!) the tmobile rep usually says "we can add/adjust this feature for free!". When I called about how to use google voice as a voicemail transcription service [nearlydeaf.com], the guy not only gave me the code to key in, but also offered to set it up on my end, put me on hold and then call my cell and test the transcription service to confirm it worked. Compared to sprint, where I usually got in screaming matches with the CS reps there over some new $4 charge per month they needed to charge me to make/recieve international calls or some other BS. Fuck sprint. I'll never go back. I love tmobile.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2010 @10:29PM (#30703704)

        I just wanted to say I love T-Mobile as well. When I moved back to the US, I had T-Mobile for a couple yrs, moved to Verizon for 2 yrs to take advantage of the Unlimited-In, couldn't wait for my Verizon contract to be over before switching back to T-Mobile (in fact, I had T-Mobile data service like 4 months before my Verizon contract was over, and T-Mobile voice service like a month before my Verizon contract was over to give them plenty of time in case of any possible issues w/ switching my number over).

        T-Mobile I was able to get a new contract 21 months into my existing contract to take advantage of the full upgrade option.

        Up until recently all options/add-ons were prorated to the day the add-on was added or removed.

        T-Mobile's written policy flat out says they don't support tethering. When I told that to one of the Blackberry reps, he started laughing.

        In my experience T-Mobile not only supports tethering, but when I was having issues w/ a Vista laptop (At the time, I couldn't even get full use of the audio, much less the wireless w/o using Vista drivers) and getting tethering to work on my Blackberry, after spending a while on the the phone w/ T-Mobile support-They offered to open a support ticket w/ RIM for me.

        Another thing I like about T-Mobile data services, most other US cell phone companies have a written policy of unlimited data services for smartphones (to include devices like Blackberries and iPhones), I've talked to reps for a couple retailers and cell phone companies (Such as AT&T) who said "It is unlimited within reason" and generally reasonable usage is around 5 gigs and then you get hit w/ overage charges or data services are cut off.

        T-Mobile has admitted a 10 gig limit for 3G (Unlimited for EDGE) and by their policy if you hit the 10 gig limit, you are reduced to EDGE until the next billing cycle (So lose of streaming video, but everything else continues to work) and at the time, they rep I spoke to said they were having issues w/ the cap system and people were able to exceed 10 gigs before getting reduced to EDGE.

        T-Mobile has a smaller 3G area then most other providers, but their EDGE service is almost everyplace I've been and I've had a lot few dropped calls then most other people I know.

        A note for Google Voice (and other voicemail service) users, T-Mobile has in addition to your normal bucket of minutes, an additional 500 min bucket that is used if you set your voice to forward another voicemail provider.

        And let me add, I could get a 20% discount w/ AT&T by getting my phone under someone else's name (whose offered) and I still won't touch them.

        Just remember, cell phone carriers are like sexual positions, everyone has a favorite (=
        -ITG

    • by Mornedhel (961946)
      And over 63,000,000 for i hate google !
    • by chill (34294)

      Heh. Looks like every last Sprint customer, then.

  • 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...

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

      by Paradigm_Complex (968558) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:11PM (#30703036)
      It's version 2.1 of the software, which is the part Google did. HTC did the hardware, and not only have they released phones before but a number of Android-based phones.

      It's really not all that much of reach to expect that, by now, they'd have it pretty close to bug-free, especially considering the (relatively) quiet front with regards to previous problems on Android-based HTC phones.

      I agree with your point about avoiding the bleeding-edge, I just don't think it applies here.
      • It's version 2.1 of the software

        Probably because google, like the authors of dbase are aware of this exact problem.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by JorDan Clock (664877)
      Except the phone runs Android 2.1, so according to your rule-of-thumb, it should be safe.
    • 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 vikstar (615372)

      All that does is put pressure on marketing to release new products as 2.0, or even 2010.

  • by MediaStreams (1461187) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:03PM (#30702950)

    Notice a pattern about her Android articles?

    http://labs.daylife.com/journalist/nancy_gohring [daylife.com]

    One guess, which type of phone does Nancy own? i...

  • Beta (Score:5, Funny)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:07PM (#30702994)
    Give 'em a break... the phone's still in beta!
  • by dnaumov (453672) on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:07PM (#30702998)
    Disclaimer: I work for the biggest mobile provider in a nordic country. This is completely normal behaviour for a mobile provider. We are the bit/call/sms delivery pipe. 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. If your problem is directly relevant to our network (for example, bad coverage that is consistent across multiple phone models) or our actual services (ringbacktone, mms delivery, answering machine, push email, etc), you call us. If your problem is phonemodel-specific, we can't help, you call the phone manufacturer, even if you happened to purchase the phone at our store. There are literally thousands of phone models out there. To be expecting your operator to help you with with your random phone model and it's specific issues is naive at best.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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...
    • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by todrules (882424)
      Wow, really? I used to work tech support for T-Mobile USA. We were expected to try our best to help troubleshoot any T-Mobile customer using any T-Mobile phone. I helped setup iPhones on our network, troubleshoot a ton of European and Asian devices that I had never heard of, and helped customers who couldn't receive text messages while they were visiting Zimbabwe. I was extremely surprised that T-Mobile was not doing the tech support for the Nexus, since they support every other device out there anyways no
  • This sounds just like the support I'd get if I bought an iPhone from eBay and had T-Mobile service...except I would actually have a choice on the plan configuration I want. Not having nice and responsive customer support over the phone blows, especially for an expensive phone that you can't try until the cash is dropped and the item is shipped.

    plus, was Google EVER known to have good support? Changing one's password without the forms can take a while...and is email only. I hope they're working on rectifying

  • Getting your act together when launching a new product takes time.

    -jcr

    • 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 hduff (570443) <hoytduff@gmTWAINail.com minus author> on Friday January 08, 2010 @09:17PM (#30703106) Homepage Journal
    Here's all the help you need: http://www.google.com/ [google.com]
  • 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.

  • Really? Its just a phone. Its not particularly impressive. The only thing it has that you can't find on a hundred other phones is probably the silkscreened 'Google' on it, otherwise there is nothing unique about this phone.

    Its not particularly impressive from a CPU power standpoint. Nothing special about the display. Not a lot of storage space. The OS isn't really all that impressive. I'm not really sure what this is supposed to have over other smart phones. There better be something far more impres

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sphantom (795286)

      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 majo

  • 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!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bgarcia (33222)

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

      I used my G1 for an entire year without a data plan. It worked wonderfully whenever wifi was available, and I would get upsell messages in my browser whenever wifi was not available. I could send & receive text messages too, but I had to pay 10 cents for each one.

      Read those support forum posts with a grain of salt. There's a lot of mis-information in there. During initial ph

  • 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.
  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jo_ham (604554)

      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.

  • Real Problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by ukemike (956477) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @01:38AM (#30704978) Homepage
    This is the google support forum discussion that has earned all this bad press.

    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/thread?tid=0bd8ccd4799040c2&hl=en&fid=0bd8ccd4799040c200047c99c44ddfe6 [google.com]

    By 6pm today I read most of these posts. There are several squeaky wheels that are posting over and over but there are also dozens of individuals that are all telling the same story. These people are in areas with good 3g reception (as confirmed by the coverage map or by another 3g t-mobile phone in the same place at the same time. They report that their N1 continually switches between edge and g3. Their data download rates are about 1/10th what they should be. Many have reported that the constant switching between networks is draining their battery within a few hours. When they call HTC for support, HTC blames T-mobile's network. T-mobile blames HTC and claims that they have not been given any support documentation on the N1 from Google or HTC. The complainers are in a wide variety of locations throughout the country.

    Gizmodo reports on the story and claims that their phones have poor 3g reception as well:

    http://gizmodo.com/5443123/does-the-nexus-one-have-3g-problems [gizmodo.com]

    The same problem crops up in the comments after this story at tmonews

    http://www.tmonews.com/2010/01/nexus-one-incurring-3g-problems/ [tmonews.com]

    Lots of people are reporting the same problems here on the androidforums

    http://androidforums.com/nexus-one/34321-nexus-one-3g-problems.html [androidforums.com]

    So I really don't think this is due to ignorant customers. There is a real problem with at least some of these phones. It may be there is a batch out there with bad antennas, or there could be a software glitch. If it's software then one would hope a patch is coming from Google asap. Regardless of what the problem is, Google has made a terrible mistake in ignoring this for almost 2 days now. Even if they had replied in their own support forums just once saying "sorry we're on it get back to you soon." They might not look so bad. Personally I think Google's experience with leaving their "products" in beta for years on end has finally bitten them on the ass.

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