Google’s Nexus One has been launched with a LOT of interest by just about everyone.
Many people have been using Google’s operating system for months, on Motorola Droid (Verizon Wireless) and T-Mobile (HTC) phones, however, this is the first Google offered phone and one option for purchase is direct from Google.
David Pogue of the NY Times feels that Google’s initial phone is lack luster, but confident that the phone will get better.
Having said all of this, let’s turn to Google’s lack of support for the Nexus One.
The New York Times writes New owners of the Nexus One, the latest touch-screen smartphone to run on Android, Google’s mobile operating system, have found themselves at a loss when it comes to resolving problems with the handset. They cannot call Google for help, and the company warns that it may take up to 48 hours to respond to e-mail messages.
Google, as several executives have said is first and foremost a great engineering company. They do well at creating “tech” products that require lots of lines of code – like Microsoft. The difference is that the bulk of Google’s products are not for sale, but freely given to consumers. Of course their big money maker, search, is the bed rock of their bread making and they earn billions of dollars of advertising revenue per year.
Google’s most main stream product, the Nexus one, is their first product sold directly to consumers, that would require traditional support. However, the support is not available.
The New York times writes Despite its central role in the process, Google does not appear to have built a significant infrastructure to provide customer support. There is no phone number for support, for example, and customers who send an e-mail message may wait for days to hear back.
What does this mean to your business?
This means that before buying a product, especially one as important as a cell phone, you must consider how much support you’ll need. If you’re buying from a company like Google that does not provide “1800” / 24/7 support, you need to consider if this is acceptable to you. For some of you, who are gear heads and can find all of your support in user forums, limited support might be just fine.
However, if you want a hand to hold when something goes wrong, or you want to call 1800-Nexus-One and hear “Thanks for calling Google Nexus One, my name is Maria, how can I help you” – buying from Google might not be a great option.
Keep in mind Google is not the only company offering limited support Many smaller companies (especially start ups) don’t have the infrastructure to offer a full suite of support.