Google Says Whatever It Takes To Get You Off the Phone | Gripevine

Google Says Whatever It Takes To Get You Off the Phone

I ordered the new Google / LG Nexus 4 from Google Play on November 13, 2012, the day the brand new flagship Android device was launched promising the most pure Google Android experience available.

Google Play had indicated that the device would be available starting at 9:00am PST, but it actually appeared approximately 30 minutes earlier. I was one of the lucky ones because my order was accepted at 8:35am PST with out any issues, many other people found that the device was added to their cart but were unable to process an order due to payment processing errors. It sold out in approximately 20 minutes. I received an order receipt approximately 20 minutes later that indicated "Delivered in 3-5 business days". A link in the order receipt directed me to my Google Wallet account to find status updates for my phone. I was extremely excited and really hoped to see the device delivered before the weekend.

The Google Wallet help page shows the following information about delivery:

All packages are delivered via UPS two-day shipping. However, please note that it may take up to 2 business days for us to process your order for shipment. Once your order has been shipped, you will receive an email notification with a UPS tracking number. Your estimated time of delivery will be determined at the point that your order has been processed and shipped. It may take 24 hours for the UPS package tracking to return any information for your tracking number.

If you have not received a package tracking number after 2 business days have passed, please contact our support team via phone or via email.

Discounting the fact that business days usually run from 9am to 5pm, and my order was placed before 9am, on Friday November 16th (technically 3 business days later) I called to find out why I had not received a tracking number or any other information about the status of my order. This is when Google started to show their real colors. On this call, and my daily follow up calls, Google's customer service representatives promised each day to ship by the end of the day. This continued until the November 19th and I still had not received a tracking number or any update on the status of my order, so I was informed that my order would be forwarded to a specialist and that my shipping charges would be refunded for the inconvenience and to compensate me for the amount of time that I had spent seeking information from Google.

On Tuesday November 20, 5 business days had passed and I still didn't even have a tracking number despite the fact that it was due to be delivered by the end of the day. I called the device support line again and was told that devices were expected to ship that day. They reaffirmed their previous promise to refund my shipping charges after the device had shipped. I finally got a tracking number Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM and the device was delivered on Wednesday November 21 without the tracking number being updated for delivery status.

It seems that Google must have upgraded the delivery method because it was delivered from Kentucky, USA to my home in Canada the next day, but regardless it was late and Google had promised me a refund of the $17 shipping charges. I waited a couple of days to see if the refund would be credited to my credit card, but nothing was done by the following Monday. I called customer support again and the service rep had changed from promising the world to making excuses. I asked if they were going to honor their commitment to me, and I was placed on a brief hold. When the rep returned he told me that he had submitted my case to the shipping department to have the refund processed and he sent me a follow up email so that I could reply to him directly if I have further concerns. On November 28th I replied to his email to find out why I had still not received a refund, or a notice that the refund was being promised and the rep replied with:

"I do apologize for the inconvenience. I have submitted your case to the shipping department as i promised you. I will consult again for you."

To their credit, the customer service representatives are all very friendly and seem empathetic towards the customers they are assisting but also very limited in their ability to help. One representative even told me that she too was waiting for shipping confirmation for her own Nexus 4 order. My gripe is not with these employees. My gripe is with Google and their lack of customer service. It seems that they train their support employees to tell the customer what they want to hear, and they don't seem willing to stand behind their word.

The $17 refund is not going to make or break me, but this experience has certainly tarnished my opinion of Google. I love the company for their innovations, and the fact that they don't just sit still while trying to control the mobile market through litigation. I want to believe in them, I want to trust them, but it seems that they are too big to care about customer satisfaction.


10 Dundas Street East, Suite 600
Toronto, ON M5B 2G9, CAN

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Monday, December 3, 2012 - 12:48
Google (Headquarters)
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA
Misrepresentation, Poor Service, Shipping, Unethical Behavior