A couple of months ago I tried Google Apps Premiere, and found a series of problems mainly synchronisation to mobile devices.
I posted about those problems and was contact by a Google product manager who offered to monitor my account to try and find out why those problems happened. Nothing came out of it so I decided to move my account to Microsoft BPOS.
Bob Scheier conducted an email interview for Inforworkd and I explained why/how. The article was then syndicated and wound up on PC World, NetworldWorld, Computerworld US, and obviously Computerworld NZ.
One of the things I complained was that even though I was a paying customer, wait for email support reply was more than 48 hours and here is the comment from someone else:
"There's no one to really call if you're having a problem," says Greg Arnette, who as CTO of email archiving vendor Sonian is both a Google Apps user and a competitor to Google's Postini service. While phone support is included in Google Apps Premier Edition, "They do everything they can to direct you to the online forums," he says.
And their online forums don't seem to be really monitored by their support people... This is the paragraph from my interview:
New Zealander Mauricio Freitas, a blogger at the tech publishing site Geekzone, abandoned Google Apps for Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite after it took Google 48 hours to contact him about problems with Google Sync for Mobile.
And here is the quote from a Google PR person (probably in the UK):
Google says it steers customers to its online support when the company believes that will provide a faster and better answer. It also says the 24/7 phone support it offers in its paid version is aimed at administrators, and that it relies on resellers to provide phone support for users and to help companies with especially large or complex challenges using Google apps.
But isn't the whole idea of having priority access (including a PIN you must use to authenticate yourself to get the support request looked upon) to skip the forums where there is no Google presence?
Resellers can do some good phone support, but they probably won't do free work. And the fee paid to Google is not for reseller phone support - in other words no, thanks I don't want to pay for support I already paid for.
And finally, the problem I was experiencing was at the service level, nothing to do with using the service configurations. It wasn't something a reseller could fix for me, but something that required Google developers to look at. Which they didn't.
Disclosure: I still have Google Apps (the free version) for some personal domains. I am a keen user of Google Ad Manager, Google AdSense, and Google RelatedLinks. I am very happy with those other applications and Geekzone has been used as study case for Google AdSense, and as an example for Google RelatedLinks. So don't take this piece as a "I hate Google" post. It's a critical view of some parts of their services that just don't work as they should.
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