Google’s “customer service”…

You know, I have really become spoiled with those in the business world that work with each day. In general,everyone I deal with does what they say, they value my business, and I value our relationship.
Google is simply one of the greatest technology companies around, I don’t think anyone would disagree. HOWEVER, in my opinion they have a LOT to learn when it comes to service and customer relationships. I will spend over $100,000 on google adwords this month. You would think that I could get some prompt service out of them. No no no… I get some kid on the other end (Of an email, yeah, no phone # for me blah…) with a canned answer. This has happened time and time again with them. They simply don’t learn their lesson. Right now they don’t have to learn their lesson because they are the big bully on the block. Every bully gets his clocked cleaned sooner or later and google is laying the groundwork for that now.

Google has become so powerful that in literally every aspect of their business it is 100% their way or the highway. I know a lot of people that are choosing the highway. Do I predict googles downfall anytime soon? Of course not, but I do predict that it WILL FOR SURE happen eventually if you don’t take care of your customers. For a company so big, they still have a LOT of problems. Maybe it stems from Eric Schmidt as their CEO. He used to work at Novell (Here in my hometime) and they had the same attitude. Their stock is in the toilet (Novells). Who know what will happen, but I tell you what I am doing. I will do EVERYTHING in my power to spend that money effectively somewhere else, and when someone from google actually calls to see why we are spending anymore, THEN I will let them have it.

Enough of my blagging on about google. I am just asking them to treat WELL PAYING customers with a little respect. Get them the help they need in a timely professional manner PERIOD!

Matt Heaton / Bluehost.com

44 Responses to “Google’s “customer service”…”

  1. Customer service and Google currently don’t go hand in hand. I expect you’ll see nothing more from Google than I did when I decided my money was better spent on something other than adwords.

    In around 30 days of pausing your ads you will probably receive an email with the typical canned Google response as shown below.

    “We noticed that you haven’t shown your AdWords ads in a while. As a result, we’ve identified your account as dormant. The Google AdWords Team wants to help you make the most of your advertising dollars, so we thought we’d check in and offer help if you need it. Here are some resources to help keep your ads running efficiently:”

    The rest of the canned response goes on about things that I am doing wrong with my adwords account and link to the usual canned FAQs, not anything that I may be interested in hearing.

    Till I hear that Google has smartened up its act and sorted out problems with click fraud and their lack of support I will continue without Google since there are plenty of alternatives.

  2. PenDriveDoc says:

    Matt,
    You could always invite your customers to do your advertising for you.

    Heck what better way to promote your service than to use the existing customer base you already have.

    For example: You could recommend your satisfied customers place a link on their links page referring your company for their hosting services.

    Better yet, maybe make a small banner of which they can upload for placement anywhere on their site.

    Given your track history and credentials, I wouldn’t think you would need to use paid advertisments?

  3. Bijan says:

    google. i’m growing dislike for them more and more. so much that entering ‘g’ and then my search query in my opera address bar now actually searchs msn! If i didn’t have my email@gmail.com printed on my 5000 business cards, i wouldn’t use thier e-mail either. They’re actively giving people who don’t use Firefox hell, especially us Opera users. If only there was a mail company that had half the simplicity and ease of use that google has… hint hint…

  4. perg says:

    hi matt heaton,

    Once you mentioned google service issue, I’d like to mention that if your website has live chat it will be great. Since I live in different time zone calling your company is hopeless. I know you don’t have to employ guys to sit beside customer relation phones during night hours. I too run a company and am extremely careful of any new hire or extended hour pay cost, friend.

    But having one or 2 staff during work hours and showing your region local time live on your site can help a lot guys like me. I can stay late or wake up very early and start chatting on certain issues and get my answer in 5 to 9 minutes. Bang! it is what I wanted. Just having live chat during work hours is great, I think. I or any other customer can expect that during certain hours we can contact bluehost.com live. I called bluehost 3 different times and each time i was held on the phone when the automatic responder said the “next available agent would respond to you”. I waited , waited, when my money was running, running on expensive long distance call.

    I’m in the process of choosing a webhost and contacted many others: powweb.com, siteground.com, etc. etc. Many of them had live chat which made issues clear in minutes. I feel these companies have people who are not dead. They had chats whenever I loggod on.

    How the hell are they doing this? Do they have trained staff in India, China, etc.? I wondered and was impressed. Don’t they sleep and go to their fiancees? I felt tconfident that if I have hosting problem with them, they are there any moment to support. I’m in Asia, by the way. Being a non software or computer guy I needed some support with my existing host. You want more business from Asia? Live chat would be a great support.

    When a hosting site has no live chat, the message it is sending is like “like it or lump it”. It is like an earless head who doesn’t want to hear.

    Matt, I’m a christian and want u excell too. who knows there’s divine touch on your company. I certainly get specific ideas from the One above us, and it helps a lot. sometimes I am shocked with the enormous result.

  5. chrys says:

    I purposely use YAHOO instead of Google for MANY reasons. You’ve given me another one. AND – other people are catching on and some day it will show. Nice to know Blue Host understands the value of customers. Thanks for being there. OH YEAH – Thanks for “Fabio?!” – such names! There was a military “thing” going on for a day or two due to their system of decorating their ICON for various holidays. They’ve never acknowledged any military holidays (at least I can’t find one). While they decorate for all types of occasions. Check my POST. At the bottom of the post is my “27 Search Engine” tool link for “Google Avoidance!” Be Well.

  6. perg says:

    hi matt heaton,

    since you mentioned google service, I’d like to mention that if u have live chat it would be great. I’m in the process of selecting a hosting company, and contacted siteground.com, powweb.com, etc, etc. Most of them had live chat function which made things clear for me in minutes.

    I wondered how these other compnaies have live chat when they should be sleeping. Do they hire trained people in India, China, so that 24 hrs chat is possible? I run a business too and would hate if I had to hire someone to work during nights for me.

    I think it will be great if u have it. I tried to contact bluehost on the phone 2 different times but because of regions time difference perhaps i called in wrong time. Then chatless way seems like an earless head who doesn’t want to hear.

    If there are more guys from Asia who want to do business with you like me, chat can help a lot. It doesn’t have to be 24hrs. Just certain hrs. People can conform to that. I can stay late into night or get up at dawn hrs to chat if there’s problem with my website – if I start using bluehost service.

    Your package is already strong and chat would boost it even to higher level. Multiple sites on one account at good price, great.

  7. perg says:

    hi matt heaton,

    since you mentioned google service, I’d like to mention that if u have live chat it would be great. I’m in the process of selecting a hosting company, and contacted siteground.com, powweb.com, etc, etc. Most of them had live chat function which made things clear for me in minutes.

    I wondered how these other compnaies have live chat when they should be sleeping. Do they hire trained people in India, China, so that 24 hrs chat is possible? I run a business too and would hate if I had to hire someone to work during nights for me.

    I think it will be great if u have it. I tried to contact bluehost on the phone 2 different times but because of regions time difference perhaps i called in wrong time. Then chatless way seems like an earless head who doesn’t want to hear.

    If there are more guys from Asia who want to do business with you like me, chat can help a lot. It doesn’t have to be 24hrs. Just certain hrs. People can conform to that. I can stay late into night or get up at dawn hrs to chat if there’s problem with my website – if I start using bluehost service.

    Your package is already strong and chat would boost it even to higher level. Multiple sites on one account at good price, great. You are #1 on my shortlist.

  8. juangdiaz says:

    hey matt,

    i noticed that some People also are having problems with google, they even got sued for not returning money to the advertisers for illegal clicks.

    anyway, you should try to use other companies like adbrite, its the same thing and its really popular, you can use my link so i can refer you =).

    http://www.adbrite.com/mb/?spid=7671&afb=110×32-2

    hey matt it would be cool if you also tell us your experience not only from google but also from Commision junction, and if you have others….

    One last thing, put some pics of the instalation(servers, offices, People, ETc…) so we can see where we have our websites

  9. Matt,

    Good post, completely agree, Google needs to watch their customers! On a side note, I am a new customer of Bluehost, signed up the end of 2005. Let me first start out by saying, excellent company! I do have 2 issues I would like to bring up.

    1) Has Bluehost considered offering dedicated hosting options?

    2) Please find a way to remove the e-mail per hour limitations. I realize the reasoning behind it, but would like some kind of option to buy more e-mails or as I said in #1, have a dedicated server.

    Thanks! Keep up the good work!

  10. shravan says:

    I agree Google does have its quirks. On the other hand, Yahoo! Tech support was amazingly friendly and good natured. Again, I guess I spoke to a geeky kid on the ther side of the line. He was very courteous. Infact he’d had me engaged in a conversation for 15 minutes after clearing my doubt, regarding domain transfers!!! The wait time was zero. I guess Yahoo! hardly gets tech support, or has asked it tech support to be friendly, either way, I left yahoo! happy and wondering that this was why they are respected in their business – google is aggressive, but Yahoo! seems mature.

  11. elipse says:

    I really don’t like to give any strong opinions or point fingers, but all I will say is this: People have become very dependent on PPC advertising and Adwords, but there are a few things to ponder:
    1). What if your product doesn’t fit into that spirit? (e.g sponsored links) What if you don’t wabnt to give a heavily commercial feel?
    2). Oganic listing takes too long if you want a good ranking, and SEO can be costly.
    3). What happened to traditional advertising? E.g Free advertising: magazine articles, word of mouth…. or magazine print advertising, or newspapers…… telivision ads… radio…

  12. Hercules says:

    Hi Matt,

    Does Bluehost really have to spend that much $ a month (with just 1 advertisement agency)?
    Happy customers will bring in a lot more new customers than webadvertising I think.
    People are getting really banner blind nowadays.
    Since Bluehost is the best shared hosting provider by far you’ll be growing anyway.

  13. [...] A little funny that it happens right as Matt Heaton, BlueHost’s CEO, posts on his own blog about troubles with service. His complaints surround the shortcomings of Google, but we both seem to think we’re not exactly getting what we paid for. [...]

  14. [...] As my friend Ben mentions today, we’ve both been having problems with our BlueHost-hosted web pages (and the irony of Matt Heaton’s post is not lost on me). [...]

  15. Matt,

    I appreciate what you are saying here… and on another note, I’m sorry to hear about the DOS attack issues you’ve been dealing with. Our experience with Google has been very good in terms of customer service, possibly because they see us as an agency who is serving multiple clients. Our total ad-spend with all of our clients is not equal to yours each month, yet we still get premium service. We have some ideas regarding how you could get improved service and better results with your PPC in general. Feel free to contact me if you are interested.

  16. WOW! This is exactly the kind of comment I wanted to hear! I have experienced the exact same thing with Google and thought that this had only happened to me! By the way, in reply to some of the comments about the costomer service at BlueHost, I think it is exceptional, and people at Google should learn a thing or two from Bluehost! Google is definitly building a wall between itself and its consumers, and people have started to hate Google for that. I have even stoped using Google all together, I use AlltheWeb.com for all my searching and it gives the same, if not better results.

  17. Constantine says:

    I love Bluehost.
    There I said it, I love it, and if there was a physical manifestation of it, I would marry it.

    I know this is off topic, but I had to tell someone.

  18. Austin says:

    I agree — Google’s approach to customer service is disgraceful. I hope that their competitors teach them a lesson!

  19. Minh Nguyen says:

    All of my problems at BlueHost have been solved (except it seems like box36 is actually a dual-cpu system and not quad-cpu).

    What I would like to see… is that the people who have had problems posted on this blog and in the forums would be addressed. I would like to see Matt directly respond to these customers. That would be the definition of excellent customer support.

  20. John Doe Reader says:

    Where has integrity gone? Your belief that spending more funds than the next guy warrants different Service Level Agreements speaks volumes. If you want a different SLA, pay for a different SLA. Google is one of the companies that treats everyone the same, even if it is not what you or I want, it’s equal treatment which makes it a fair playing ground for the little to compete with the large. Taking a look at your posts, I would recommend you read your comments before submitting, they’re full of grammatical errors, hardly the communicative service expected from a CEO of any company.

  21. M. Johnson says:

    Thanks George and Constantine for saying so, and…Speaking of service, Bluehost is the 4th host I’ve used since the inception of the web. I want to say that your technical service is the best I’ve received. REAL people on the phone… don’t ever stop doing that. I just took 6 sites off Hostroute and will continue to take off more as they come up for renewal. It takes 24-48 hours to get an answer via their support-ticket-only system and nothing I ever said or did to the Sales dept got me more than an email that finally read, “It sounds like you don’t have any aptitude for this kind of work”. Nice!! Thanks you BlueHost for being there and always able to answer my questions immediately by phone.

  22. Daniel James says:

    Matt,

    Sometime, check out http://www.compareyourclicks.com
    Saves dough sometimes on PPC.

    Cheers,

  23. Bob says:

    You should qualify for a premium service relationship, just contact them:
    http://www.google.com/ads/overview.html

  24. andy says:

    Two things:

    1) John Doe Reader sounds like a communist who never lived under a cummist regime, hense the limited mental reasoning.

    2) I’m surprised that google hasn’t responded here in the comments, I think Scoble would probably have said something already if it was MS.

  25. Toby Drake says:

    I’m not sure what methods Google uses to respond to user queries, other than the form-letter email response. However, I have made a couple of suggestions about usability in their Groups area that have gone with absolutely not response whatsoever, autogenerated or otherwise. I use Google daily and think they’ve done a marvelous job of creating a space where information is more readily available, but, I will be joyous on the day the bully gets his clock cleaned.

  26. Matt, you’re not alone. This is a very common problem.

    We hear this all the time from new clients: “We just spent $150,000 over the last four months on Google and they won’t even return our calls. They only say “Spend more money!”"

    We’re a Google-Certified Agency. We have solid connections to people at Google. Whatever is broken in your PPC acct, we fix, and everything else, we talk with Google and get it fixed. No “five day review” cycle. It’s up 15 minutes later.

    That’s the main reason our clients hire us to manage their PPC: we can manage it as good as Google, and we have contacts at all levels of Google. And Microsoft AdCenter and Yahoo Overture and Ask.com.

    yrs,
    andreas
    http://www.Position2.com

  27. Chase says:

    Amen to your blogs here about customer service. I’m not a Google fan either. Mostly I’m just writing bc I wanted to let you know how great the bluehost customer service really is. I’m happy to see at least a few people and their companies put in the extra effort to provide good service. Thanks a lot.

  28. Alex Sanchez says:

    I need info or some body to talk abouth advertisment on my web site thank you.
    Alex Sanchez 909-9916385

  29. Mike Warlick says:

    I have tryed everthing I know to get a simple yes or no answer about saving a created path in google earth with not even a hint of customer service. I even dialed google in Calif. and got a robotic gal that she had been told by her bose to only tell us to go to the no service web site. The short answer is there is no such thing as customer service at Google. I believe you get more customer service at the dice tables at any casnio in Los Vegas.

  30. tiger x says:

    Google’s gmail has got a very serious network issues.I have been trying to sign in to my gmail account for an ages but I couldn’t succeeded yet.
    Because our big massive Google gmail’s mail server is DOWN and they couldn’t recover the error for nearly a day(24 hour maybe more than that)!!!!!!

    This is ridiculous…being a BIG search engine company is nothin’ if you cant recover the simple mail server ERROR!!!!

    I have very important work to do in mygmail account but I still couldn’t login yet !!!

    Well done Google…I think ,I should start to use HOTMAIL instead of mygmail!!!!

    They are taking respond quicker than Gmail anyway !!!!

  31. cdbarlow says:

    I’m having the same problem. They have terrible customer service! My old email address, cdbarlow@gmail.com, was recently compromised so I no longer have access to the account. I’ve tried and tried but I still cannot get them to reset the password or at least disable the account so that it cannot be accessed by anyone until I can get it resolved.

    I can’t even imagine the level of frustration that you must be experiencing if you pay such a considerable amount of money to just be treated like any other customer. I don’t even pay them anything yet I’m pretty upset.

    Christopher Barlow
    Former BlueHost Software Programmer

  32. [...] An example of this is posted by Matt Heaton, CEO of web hosting company Bluehost: [...]

  33. Jack Bitzer says:

    There is no Google service for Google Earth! I had it running for a month or so and one day had corrupted controls and text. Bought Google Earth plus to try to eliminate the problem……nope! Cancelled my payment of $20 for lack of support, from the google earth community but mainly because of no online chat or live support for Google Earth. It’s a great program if it works and I wonder if I’d get some help with the ‘pro’ version. NOT GOING TO TAKE THAT CHANCE!

  34. Steve says:

    Careful, good customer service cuts both ways. Your customer service rep just told me to F off and then hung up on me on the chat while I was asking for help.

    I also got an automated email from you guys that said to respond and when I did it said it was no longer a supported address.

    Granted a years hosting isn’t $100,000 but I had pre-paid my account for a year in good faith and was a new customer and got horrible customer service from BlueHost. I wonder how you would have felt in my shoes.

    The Customer Service Chat

    steve [8:05:52 PM]: I’m just bulk uploading at the moment and will then go through the files once uploaded. I’m on the road at the moment and not at the local computer that has been uploading for a couple of weeks now. I won’t be back home for three more weeks. What will happen to my files in the meantime?

    [8:08:33 PM]: Another question. How do I delete the file if I can’t login?

    Brandon S. [8:13:56 PM]: We can only give you access to delete it if you promise to delete all copyright files.

    [8:14:05 PM]: Then, once you do so, we can turn back on your account.
    steve rhode [8:15:07 PM]: I’m not real impressed with the way this has been handled. So what happens with the upload that I planned while I was away.

    [8:15:39 PM]: I promise I will delete copyrighted files when I get back

    Brandon S. [8:16:13 PM]: not good enough

    steve [8:16:29 PM]: If you are going to turn off my account without notice, while I’m away, how does that help me?

    Brandon S. [8:16:36 PM]: When you get back, you can contact us to gain access, so you can delete the files.

    [8:16:58 PM]: If you are going to break our Terms of Service (ToS) while our backs are turned, how does that help us?

    steve [8:17:57 PM]: Do you really want to insult me while proving me with customer service? Really? “backs are turned” Dude.

    Brandon S. [8:19:33 PM]: We don’t need you as a customer if you’re not going to agree to the ToS that you promised to agree to upon signing up.

    [8:19:48 PM]: We are giving you a chance to rectify what you have done wrong.

    [8:20:07 PM]: If you are wanting to wait to rectify that, then we’re fine with that.

    steve [8:20:21 PM]: OK. Then I assume you are canceling my account and will issue me a refund for the balance of the year term that I paid for.

    Brandon S. [8:20:27 PM]: We can wait to turn back on your account. And we will wait to give you access to delete you files as well.

    [8:20:55 PM]: If you want to cancel your account, you can visit http://helpdesk.bluehost.com/kb/index.php?x=&mod_id=4&q=94

    [8:21:04 PM]: which will send a ticket to our cancellations dept.

    steve [8:21:10 PM]: Why would I want to be your customer when you’ve insulted me and then said that “we don’t need you as a customer”

    Brandon S. [8:21:27 PM]: If you have questions about the content which can be hosted, you can email abuse@bluehost.com

    [8:22:11 PM]: Do you have any further questions, steve?

    steve [8:22:40 PM]: Only one, what is the email address of your customer service manager so I can send a copy of this chat?

    Brandon S. [8:23:53 PM]: My customer service manager doesn’t handle ToS violations. I have given you the email address of our abuse dept. Any questions regarding your account being suspended, you can take up with them

    Brandon S. [8:24:01 PM]: Thank you for trying BlueHost.com Live Chat. If you have additional questions, many answers can be found through our Knowledgebase. If you have other issues arise please let us know over live chat or give our Ticket Center a try.

    Remember our World Class Support is just a click away!

  35. [...] makes this even more ironic is that when I went to the blog of Matt Heaton from BlueHost he was bitching about Google customer service. LOL I posted a comment on that thread about my experience but haven’t heard anything back [...]

  36. hostmonster customer says:

    I know this is an old post, but I feel compelled to comment. Tonight hostmonster.com support told me that my repeated site timeouts had to do with the fact that my site hosted TWO one-minute FLV videos, that they didn’t and wouldn’t support me because of that, and that I should move my sites off of hostmonster to another hosting facility.

    Wow. Matt, you’re absolutely right about customer service. I don’t know if you are aware of other happenings like this but just wanted to let you know it’s happening in your own backyard.

  37. [...] cost you nothing. Matt’s blog talks about his trouble with Google and his frustration with Google’s customer service. After resending the email to him on 1 March, I am feeling his “Google” [...]

  38. [...] example of this is posted by Matt Heaton, CEO of web hosting company [...]

  39. madmike says:

    I just recently spoke to a google operator on the phone trying to figure out why my order was cancelled. I tried to get to a customer service rep on the phone, but the automated voice says the customer service reps don’t work at “these” hours, even though I called in the afternoon. So, I chose to speak with the operator hoping they could direct me to someone that can help. He asked me what was my problem, I told him and he was very condescending. His answers were very vague and he eventually told me to google my question! I asked for his first name, he wouldn’t give it to me, which is fine; but when I asked him if I could speak someone else that could help me, he told me no and hung up on me. This is the worse experience I ever had. I have this pending charge, and the item I ordered (via google checkout) was cancelled for some reason. I just want someone to explain to me why it was cancelled. I think I deserve to know as a consumer, especially if they are holding my money.

  40. joe green says:

    What the hell is wrong with google? I go through the whole trip of setting up an account, send a test email, log out, then back in and can’t get access. I’ve tried to cancel my account and get run around in circles. I’m starting to get pissed off. I’m not stupid and generally don’t have any problems setting up software, but google/gmail has been a total pain in the butt. Please cancell anything involving Google or Gmail for me Your system won’t even recognise my email address that I have had for several years, or the secondary address that Google has sent me rejections at….What’s wrong????

  41. [...] contacted me. This disregard and disinterest is experienced by small customers as well as large customers of Google who spend six figures a [...]

  42. A really pissed off Bluehost customer says:

    Um.. People in glass houses should not throw stones.
    Bluehost is on the verge of losing a customer. Bad customer support being one of the main issues.

  43. Blake Rogers says:

    I use both Adsense and Adbrite and i can say that adbrite is also a good source of income but not as good as adsense.*’`

  44. James says:

    Don’t waste your time trying to get a real person at Google to help you. We spend $900/month with Google AdWords. After patiently trying “online help” I couldn’t get a question answered. I called the number they publish for help from a real person. That person told me he could only help set up a new account and nobody at Google could answer my question. This even though I was calling the published customer assistance number. HE THEN HUNG UP ON ME. I’m angry and hurt and seriously considering whether rewarding Google with over $10,000/year of our hard earned money is a wise business practice. Wow.

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