CHICAGO (CBS) — A Morning Insiders’ story about Google customer service really touched a nerve. We told you about C.J. Dimayuga, who struggled to return a defective phone to Google, despite more than 50 emails and hours on the phone.
When CBS 2 tried to get answers for our original story, we struggled too.
In the end, Google issued a refund to Dimayuga, but what he – and we – never got was an explanation; why was it so hard?
Then our story aired, and we heard from lots of folks, including Rob Godsmark, across the pond in London.
“I had a very similar experience. I even made this deck to show how ridiculous it was!” he wrote.
More than three dozen slides detailed his struggles with a defective phone.
“I persevered and work in the legal field so knew my rights but many might not have been in the same field and ended up out of pocket,” he wrote.
Being a polite resident of the UK, he ended his email with “Cheers.”
No cheering in Plano, Texas, for Google though.
“I have a similar story — not up to 50 emails, but I’m probably at 25 emails/chat sessions/phone calls since August as well, and the delays are confounding,” Mark Jones wrote us. “This is my fifth Google phone, and their customer service used to be excellent, but it’s hard to describe how bad it is now! I felt vindicated to see them written about even though it wasn’t my story. Hopefully it will give them reason to think about what they’re putting the customers through.”
The similar stories go on and on:
Dean: “All of Google’s support is off continent. There is no one to complain to. All complaints must go through customer service. What’s the point of complaining to the entity that seems not to care?”
Elvin: “I read the article regarding Google’s customer service nightmare and it’s exactly what I’m experiencing right now. I’ve been trying to return my pixel 4 XL for a month now and there is no option to do that on my Google account, I tried several times via chat and email and their only answer that I always receive is ‘it’s been escalated to my supervisor’ and I have not received any response yet. It’s very frustrating.”
Ben sent us some his emails back and forth with Google, describing them as “…some of the absurd customer service failures from Google pixel….This is just a small subset! I have at least 30 more emails with similar information!”
Then we Googled around and stumbled across a link to our original story on Reddit.
Again, the comments mirrored our findings and the feedback we’ve received.
“This issue has been raised repeatedly…”
“The way the support handles these situation is really badly putting me off Google in general…. Currently on 5+ hours of phone support and around 10 mails, still no sign of my phone or refund. Heard yesterday that the support assistant who is assigned to my case is ‘going on leave until Sunday’. I guess I’ve got some time to go.”
“Dealing with this exact issue right now with Google.”
In fairness, one poster on Reddit came to the defense of Google: “Man this is just so weird to me…. Is it because I do all my support requests through the Google Fi app? I’ve had nothing but good experiences.”
Rick emailed us and he also made it seem like dealing with Google was a snap:
“Pixel devices have a specific feature that non-Google devices don’t have, and that’s built-in to “Settings” under “Tips and Support” where Pixel owners can write all the issues they need support for, enter their callback phone number, and Google Support will call the Pixel owner back within less than a minute, unless it’s during very busy times like after new device releases or around Black Friday/Cyber Monday and Christmas time, when it might take 5 to 10 minutes, but typically it’s within a minute or 2. Once Support does call back, they will go through all the Trouble Shooting steps, including a Factory Reset should none of the other steps work. If Reset doesn’t solve the problem, the Support agent will then process a return…. Easy peasy!”
So there you have it. Dealing with Google is either a dream or a nightmare, depending who you ask.
By the way, we asked Google to weigh in for this article, as we did for our original story. Specifically, we asked:
-Any explanation why some 50 email exchanges and phone calls were not sufficient?
-How do you plan to improve customer service? I’m assuming you agree the way he [CJ Dimayuga] was treated was not acceptable?
-Any advice for customers who find themselves in a similar situation with Google customer service?
We have yet to hear back from Google, and will update this story if we get a response.