Google may have got more than it bargained for when it
decided on the distribution methods for its first branded phone, the Nexus One.
Granted, the handset looks pretty flash, and according
to those who have seen it, the Snapdragon processor means it’s the fastest
phone around. But that’s where it ends for Google.
Google’s move to distribute the handset through its
own site only, bundled with airtime (it is not available to buy in the UK until spring, when it can be bought Sim-free or with Vodafone airtime) leaves it with
no customer service team.
In the US,
where the phone is already available, customers have already started to file
complaints on Google’s support forums. The biggest criticism, quite rightly, is
its email-only policy and lack of phone support.
Furthermore, some complaints related to software
glitches – something not so easy to sort out via email.
And it makes sense to have phone support. Normally,
the customer would go through the operator – but Google is determined to remain
free of this. If it wants to take on the responsibility of the operator, as
well as to maintain that of the manufacturer, it needs to make sure it can
offer the support that is needed.
Especially if the phone isn’t the perfect ‘super
phone’ that has been touted and, as with any new technology, there are glitches to
be ironed out.