If anybody has tried calling Google recently they will have discovered that it takes a very long time for somebody to answer. A very long time.
While there is a free phone 0800 number for people in the UK which is listed on on Google Play, the original email invoices include a number in Ireland which does not seem to work. Great start.
In my case I needed to speak to somebody regarding cancelling my Nexus 7 order. In hindsight I’m glad I didn’t get a conclusive answer out of the Google representative as my parallel order with HMV looked like it would never get sent anyway. But it took me 53 minutes of waiting on hold before somebody answered. Even then they could not cancel my order and informed me that I would need to refuse delivery if I did not want the Nexus.
At this point I really need to stress my confusion surrounding how one of the world’s largest technology companies does not have the facility to provide an online cancellation process. It just does not make any sense what so ever. None. Furthermore why did it take 53 minutes for me to find out that there was actually nothing to be done over the phone?
But my problems pale to insignificance compared with some people who have unfortunately received faulty Nexus 7 devices. These people genuinely want to get these devices exchanged as soon as possible and should not have to wait such a long time to get an answer.
Google have as of yet not made a statement as to the scale of the faulty device problems, but they could remedy the situation by being a little more transparent and posting information on the returns process online. For example, when there is no stock for sale, do they have a reserve stock for replacement items? From Google’s Device Terms of Sale (found here):
I have read reports from people who feel panicked into ordering an additional device so that they are not without it for any extended period of time. This is not the way the Google returns process works as replacement items are being dispatched at the point the Returns process is initiated. Essentially you should get the replacement item before you send the faulty on back which is excellent. But Google needs to make this clear in advance and not bury it within the bowels of the overly US centric Play support system. And it is not as if you can give them a quick call to get this information either. Even though it may seem clear when you know where to look, the combination of conflicting information from email order invoices and the website itself does lead to confusion. And do we even have a UPS store in the UK?
It goes without saying that this level of customer service is very poor in comparison with the way Apple process similar claims. Google need to rescue it’s reputation for poor customer service and quickly. I would suggest that they give a few jobs to people to just answer the damned phone a bit quicker so they can set customers minds at ease.
This post was amended on 26/07/12 to reflect the Google RMA process as found here.