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Old May 17, 2013, 06:01 PM   #1
Brutalbrutus
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Google Drive ... Or, "I Don't Think I Like Your Tone"

Laszlo Bock, SVP, People Operations
Google, Inc.
Dear Mr. Bock:

My experience this afternoon dealing with Google—specifically, the support desk for Google Drive—was amazing. In one sense, the conversation made me happy for the American economy—because Google is one American corporation clearly doing so well that it can afford to make promises on which it doesn’t deliver, and to employ clerks that are blasé to the point of decadence. Read for yourself.

The most Alice In Wonderland-ish moment in my conversation with the Google employee came after some very bitter exchanges, when I finally asked: “May I have your name, sir?”
Pause. “I’m not a sir."
This statement puzzled me. Did the person mean he/she didn’t want to be referred to with that degree of formality? Or was it that the person was female? Or transgender? Or something else? I took a guess that I had the person’s gender wrong: “I’m sorry, are you saying you’re a woman? What is your name?”
“Melissa.”
“Melissa, I want to speak with your supervisor—“
Click.
Was the line dead? Had she hung up on me? Or was I on hold?
“Melissa, did you hang up on me? Hello?” Pause. Another click. Hello?”
“Hello, this is Charlie.”

Before that jaw-dropping interchange, I had asked the person I had erroneously assumed to be male if it were possible to change the account under which my Google Drive operated. There was a long pause, a sigh was heaved, and the voice then quickly said, “Well, I suppose you could share documents with your other account.”
Yes, I said, but my other account didn’t have the especially large storage that my first account had—this was my question—was there a way to transfer the large storage from Account A to Account B? “No. You’ll have to purchase storage for your other account.”
Well, what about my other question—could I purchase a premium storage account and give it as a gift? Evernote allows that. Another long pause. “You maybe could use a gift card.” I said I wanted the transaction to be entirely within Google, and that maybe Google Wallet—“If you have questions about Google Wallet, we’re not equipped to handle them here. You’ll have to call Google Wallet.”
“I just got off the phone with Google Wallet support,” I explained. “They told me to call here. Look, I’m trying to buy something from you! So if you don’t know, perhaps your supervisor might?”
“I don’t think I like your tone.”

Finally, more astonished than frustrated, I said to Melissa, “Is there a reference number for this call for me to use when I write to complain about the way you are treating me?”
Sigh. “Yeah, it’s sixeightohsixsixohohohohninesixfive,” Melissa rattled off the digits really fast. We had to go over the number twice for me to determine, for certain, that the reference number of the call was 680-660-000-965.

Mr. Bock, I hope that the transcript of the call I’ve provided lets you know, without my further explanation, why I’m writing. I’m put out that I called Google wanting to spend money and got spoken to this way. Melissa’s attitude, tone, and speech content were actually more consistent with some of the mentally ill people whom I deal with than with mere hostility. It was absolutely clear that Melissa did not have any desire to help me, and was content to allow that fact to be absolutely open and known to me.
Instead of giving my friend a subscription to Google Drive, I’m giving him—and several of my other friends with senses of humor—a copy of this letter.
There’s nothing more to say.

Last edited by Brutalbrutus; May 17, 2013 at 06:02 PM. Reason: correct punctuation
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Old May 17, 2013, 07:23 PM   #2
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Terrible gift.
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Old May 17, 2013, 08:56 PM   #3
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RE: terrible gift

He wanted to check out Google Drive's backup capabilities given that his team (of astrophysicists, no less) relied primarily on G+ to communicate.

Perhaps a subscription to the big Evernote would have been better? If not Google Drive, would you recommend another cloud storage provider?
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Old May 17, 2013, 10:56 PM   #4
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Wait...why did you post this here?
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Old May 17, 2013, 11:06 PM   #5
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Google drive works very well for me.

I did have occasion to call about the second Nexus 4 I ordered awhile back. The customer service representative was very friendly, efficient & professional.

Just like Apple & others Google hires humans. They can't all be perfect 100% of the time. I prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt.
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Old May 18, 2013, 02:12 AM   #6
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Why I Posted This Here

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrf097 View Post
Wait...why did you post this here?
1. Because I thought the information might benefit someone.
2. Because I tried, at least in places, to be funny.

and

3. Because this is a community discussion about a Mac application. Google Drive is a Mac application. It is other things, too, but it is a Mac application.

I actually gave quite a bit of thought to where to post my post. I'm sorry if you don't like it here. It seemed the most appropriate forum to me when I was posting.
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Old May 18, 2013, 09:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutalbrutus View Post
Melissa’s attitude, tone, and speech content were actually more consistent with some of the mentally ill people whom I deal with than with mere hostility.
That was unnecessary
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Old May 18, 2013, 09:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutalbrutus View Post
1. Because I thought the information might benefit someone.
2. Because I tried, at least in places, to be funny.

and

3. Because this is a community discussion about a Mac application. Google Drive is a Mac application. It is other things, too, but it is a Mac application.

I actually gave quite a bit of thought to where to post my post. I'm sorry if you don't like it here. It seemed the most appropriate forum to me when I was posting.
1. I'm not sure how you having one bad experience with a google employee causing you to write a really arrogant and unnecessary letter is going to help anyone but maybe I'm wrong.

2. I could tell.

3. Well if you want to get that fundamental about it

Also based off the way you wrote the letter, I have a feeling you weren't a heavenly saint yourself on the phone.
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Old May 18, 2013, 10:08 AM   #9
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I find Google's support to be pretty terrible, mostly because it's non-existant, even for paying customers.

I use Skydrive and think it's great, and it integrates quite well across all of my devices. At work we use evernote, and it works pretty well too.
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Old May 18, 2013, 04:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thejadedmonkey View Post
I find Google's support to be pretty terrible, mostly because it's non-existant, even for paying customers.

I use Skydrive and think it's great, and it integrates quite well across all of my devices. At work we use evernote, and it works pretty well too.
Skydrive is great if you're cool with Microsoft looking through all your files.

Personally I think if you're going to use a cloud service you should use one that focuses on being a cloud service rather than a jack of all trades like Google. They will have better support for what they offer.

Dropbox is obviously the most example here, but personally I prefer Spideroak.
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Old Nov 14, 2013, 12:13 AM   #11
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I'm glad we were able to turn that around . . .

I'm very glad we were able to turn that around and end on a positive note. I'm *still* scratching my head at some of the things Google Drive does. I think that part of the problem is that the online (published) information and instructions are intended to be so approachable, so readable, that they end up saying things in unclear ways in unclear places.

Also, I don't know why I threw in that gratuitous comment putting down the mentally ill. For Lord's sake, I have depression and bipolar disorder! I think that, at the time, I was having some interpersonal problems and engaging in Dr. Freud's old defense of projecting.

In any case, thank you for the validation of my problem with Google's support.
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Old Nov 14, 2013, 01:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrf097 View Post
Also based off the way you wrote the letter, I have a feeling you weren't a heavenly saint yourself on the phone.
The OP has no obligation to be a saint. He is a paying customer, and he was intent on paying/buying for additional Google services. The onus is on Google to do its best to appease or accommodate its customer. Not the other way around.
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Last edited by Solomani; Nov 14, 2013 at 02:22 AM.
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Old Nov 14, 2013, 07:56 AM   #13
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I think Google needs to sort out their priorities.

Some products they put a lot of care into, other products they just leave out in the cold and don't spend enough money making them good.

The support site is one of them. I forgot what I was looking at, but I was trying to click a link to the answer...and it just said "This page doesn't exist" or something.

Everything Google does has to have a really reliable side to it, and then a very very unreliable side to it. It's never in between.
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Old Nov 14, 2013, 09:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solomani View Post
The OP has no obligation to be a saint. He is a paying customer, and he was intent on paying/buying for additional Google services. The onus is on Google to do its best to appease or accommodate its customer. Not the other way around.
Having money does not entitle one to be rude.
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Old Nov 14, 2013, 09:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mobilehaathi View Post
Having money does not entitle one to be rude.
That's not what Solomani is saying
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Old Nov 14, 2013, 09:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siderz View Post
That's not what Solomani is saying
Well it came in a context that implied it to me, apologies if that's not what was meant.

I'll refine my point though: having money doesn't absolve one from (IMO) the duty to be kind and patient with others. Those other people are humans too. We each have a responsibility to be reasonable with each other. Economics is irrelevant in this regard.
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Old Nov 14, 2013, 10:06 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by mobilehaathi View Post
Having money does not entitle one to be rude.
I'm actually failing to see where the OP was rude to be honest. That is if his story is accurate.
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Old Nov 14, 2013, 10:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobilehaathi View Post
having money doesn't absolve one from (IMO) the duty to be kind and patient with others. Those other people are humans too. We each have a responsibility to be reasonable with each other. Economics is irrelevant in this regard.
But OP doesn't "just have money", he actually gave Google some money, it's not about him planning to pay Google, it's about him already having paid Google and thinking about paying some more.
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Old Nov 14, 2013, 11:24 AM   #19
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I'm actually failing to see where the OP was rude to be honest. That is if his story is accurate.
Quite a lot of condescension in the letter, I find that rude. It isn't unreasonable to consider whether the OP was rude on the phone. Although my comment was really in reaction to the idea communicated in the post I replied to not necessarily to the specific situation of the OP.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siderz View Post
But OP doesn't "just have money", he actually gave Google some money, it's not about him planning to pay Google, it's about him already having paid Google and thinking about paying some more.
Not in dispute. Still doesn't entitle one to behave badly. It is understandable that someone might get angry and frustrated in that situation, but the presence of an economic transaction is irrelevant. Incidentally the phone operator is held to the same standard in my mind. Everyone has bad days, customers and support staff alike.
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