Google’s failure to provide anything close to customer service

Some may consider me a veteran of contact centers. I’d like to think so, I’ve spent 24 years in the industry. I started out as an agent in 1998 and had the honor of working with some of the best people in the world. Globally, 24/7 for some of the top clients and companies in the world. I would like to think we delivered best in class, customer experiences, that delighted customers and encouraged them to continue to buy our products, use our services and build our brand.

There are many ways to build a brand, for me it is delivering outstanding service, keeping your promises, and going over and above to ensure customers feel valued, respected, and important. They, at the end of the day, sign your check, boost your stock, and allow your company to grow. 

My point, I know what I am talking about here. I have consistently delivered. In this example, you will learn what not to do. It isn’t negative, it isn’t my soapbox, this happened, I am being objective. I have other options, material items are meaningless to me, however, having options and choices means I don’t need to use products from companies that don’t value me or respect me.

I don’t expect excellent customer service I do however expect a certain level of service. As to Google, I am not valued as a customer, nor am I respected, certainly my time isn’t. 

Recently my one-year-old Pixel 5a wouldn’t charge, so I reached out to support for a resolution. After speaking with the agent via chat I was sent to a repair location for an issue that can’t be repaired. Strike one, the C-port on the Pixel is soldered to the motherboard. It simply cannot be repaired. I’ll skip the poor design discussion, it’s not relevant. But is worth noting, the USB charging port on phones can be problematic and why you would design it this way is a mystery to me.

I then was set up incorrectly for an express replacement when it was supposed to be a standard. I mentioned this to the agent 5 times during the conversation, please make sure this is a standard replacement. I sent my phone back as instructed and it was received the next day by Google.  I waited 5 days until finally, I got an email from Google asking me to order my replacement at the Google store. 

Ownership is everything in customer service. As an agent I owned customer issues to the end. As an executive I did the same.

So back to support to get the error fixed, the error being I was set up by the support agent for the wrong type of replacement. Finally, 8 days later I was sent a replacement phone that is refurbished (no issues I knew this would be refurbished), however, the phone is not working correctly. Out of the box, the screen is too sensitive, I will skip the details, but the result is I now have another nonfunctioning phone.

Where do you go from here? Back to Google support, keeping my cool but rather frustrated. My options with agent 1 the same as when I started this journey, send your phone back and we will send you another one after we receive it (standard replacement) or buy a new phone and we will refund the money once we receive your old phone (express). I don’t want to do either of those. I have spent a lot of time and energy here, Google screwed up, I want them to own it and make it right. 

  • I drove across town to a repair facility for no reason. 
  • I had to buy a throw away phone so I had a phone while I waited for my replacement. 
  • I waited patiently for 8 days because an agent didn’t handle my first return correctly. 
  • I did all the troubleshooting they asked which included factory resetting my phone twice. 
  • I was sent a replacement phone that was refurbished but never went through QA.

So, I asked to be escalated. I next chatted with a Tier 2 agent, but his resolution was the same as Tier 1. At this point I had to step away from this. I mean after all it’s just a stupid phone, however my Nest, my Pixel 5a and anything else Google including my Google TV are all going in the trash when I get home from work tonight. 

I’m done with you Google, I’m over it, maybe back to Apple, or maybe Xiaomi. Xiaomi phones cost half as much and perform better I had a Redmi Note 6 Pro that lasted for 3 years, flawlessly.  

Google, you don’t value your customers, you do not respect your customers and your support reps are not empowered to resolve issues. They just follow a script, even when I asked to be escalated the same resolution was offered. In that case you really are wasting money on Tier 2 support. They do the same as Tier 1. Why don’t you use that money to make better hardware? I would.

I consider this a qualified summary of your poor execution to serve your customers in a manner that they deserve. I have over 24 years directly or indirectly delivering customer service excellence globally. I was loyal customer, happy with your products and services until I had an issue, and it wasn’t the issue that changed my feelings it was the fact that now I understand my value and what my loyalty means to you. Absolutely nothing. 

Take care Google,


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