Google is a great company or as they state it: “we are not evil”. However not being evil isn’t enough in the current marketplace. You have to be more than not evil, you have to be helpful and if there is one thing Google isn’t, than it is being helpful. Of course Google offers tons of useful services that saves people hours of time a day and saves companies tons of savings on infrastructure. However the one thing Google doesn’t have, is real old-fashioned customer support.
Yes Google has quite some groups in which their employees help their customers. However there is hardly a telephone number I could call to have some support for weird Google Docs problems. Or when my Adsense account was disabled 2 or 3 years ago, I received a simple, non personal e-mail, stating that that my account was disabled because I was ‘misusing Adsense’. I could send a reply, if I wanted, but in their e-mail they already stated that they could not guarantee somebody would read of even more, answer my e-mail. Not quite a service…. On the other hand I can accept this to a certain level since these are free webservices and most free webservices don’t offer service.
However things are different when you offer an operating system or a phone. People expect that there is some kind of customer support instead of just a dodgy Google groups with somebody who is claiming to be an engineer at Google. You are used to calling a number going to a shop and talk with a real person and get your problem solved. However there is no phone number you can call when you have problems with your nice new Nexus, and there probably will be no phonenumber and callcenter you can call when you have troubles with your Chrome OS.
Lack of customer service might result in failure
If you look at the market, especially the OS one, you notice that every big operating system has a company that is providing these services. Google has it owns take on it. While Google often disrupts markets by having its own take on certain matter, this take will not bring them very var. Customer expect a certain level of service and attention and Google is not going to change this game, even not with technology solutions such as Chrome OS and the Nexus. Even worse for Google: these products can become failures due the lack of customer service.
On the other hand, maybe this is just the opportunity for an independent third party to offer paid customer service for Chrome OS and the Nexus, with a phonenumber, with shops, but most important with real people and a certain level of service attention for the customer.