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Google Nexus: This is progress?

January 14, 2010

I think we’ve all been in this position before. You read something in the news and although you resist saying “I told you so”, you can’t help but pig-pile in the blogosphere. Today will be no different.

The issue at hand is the growing negativity surrounding the Google Nexus phone.

The issues I’ve read are:

  • No direct customer support and 3 days to answer an email request for help
  • $550 in early termination charges
  • Bouncing between T-Mobile’s 3G network and AT&T’s slower 100Kbps average EDGE network

I’ve seen other complaints posted in various places and several cnetered on phone feature questions (I sure hope Google wasn’t counting on anyone reading the manual for the phone) and not getting wireless service from a carrier after purchasing the phone due to credit issues.

Added to this is now Google seems to be competing with any handset manufacturer choosing Android. Will Google reserve key features and new developments for themselves?

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1000 times-it’s very tough to have your brand be what carries your success when you move out of your core competency and selling the phones over the internet is proving to be a stretch for Google right now. Will they get it worked out? Probably. Could they end up like Microsoft and fumble around in mobile in a very public way? Maybe.

My biggest beef with situations like this is that they keep customer satisfaction with mobile telecom low and to a certain extent everyone in the industry suffers. Instead of making things very simple for customers and more transparent, the Nexus seems to be making them more complicated and less transparent. I would ask that Google apply their hallmark simplicity from their search business to this situation ASAP.

I don’t agree with Google’s contention that the direct-to-consumer model of sales over the internet is going to be cheaper in the long run. Whatever may be saved in hard dollars on the device turns into a crushing expense in care calls later and I guess the answer so far is to not even take the customer’s call and force them into email. And here we all thought IVRs stunk.

Dale Knoop is a mobile multimedia patents holder and an industry-recognized pioneer of mobile data services. In 2005 Dale won an Emmy while serving as the GM for Sprint TV. In August 2009 he launched Ruxter which allows anyone to quickly and easily become part of the rapidly growing mobile internet with a free, fully optimized mobile website they can share with anyone. You can contact him here. Follow Ruxter on Twitter.

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