First reviews of the Google Nexus phone from two tech heavyweights were split, but at least they agreed the phone was groundbreaking. Now, one week after the unveiling, the euphoria is fading, and Google--generally spared from grumpy reviews--is getting some sour press, mainly for a double termination fee hidden in the fine print.
- Lagging Developer, Vendor Support Tony Bradley at PC World has the best run-down of buyer complaints. He highlights a few that other bloggers miss, including lackluster "Developer Support"--Google hasn't released a software development kit in addition to a general "lack of tools for the new Android 2.1 platform." Bradley concludes that the problems must have taken Google by surprise: "I am sure Google did not anticipate that jumping into the smartphone market would be all wine and roses, but I suspect that it thought the honeymoon might last more than a week.
- Exorbitant Termination Fees Like many tech bloggers, Stan Schroeder of Mashable is taken aback by the double fee--one to Google, one to the carrier--you'll have to pay for terminating service: "As it stands now, it seems that if you terminate your Nexus One contract within the first 120 days of service, you'll have to pay two different ETFs which is both confusing and expensive."
- No Place to Call The BBC reports that phone-buyers are frustrated by Google's decision to offer customer service via email. "Many people are unhappy with Google only responding to questions by e-mail and are calling for it to set up phone-based support."
- Slow, Complacent Customer Service John Murrell at Good Morning Silicon Valley explains that customers expect more service than Google is willing to provide, causing them to complain "about slow responses to questions; vague or partial answers; advice that sent users ping-ponging among maker, vendor and carrier; and accusations that Google was unprepared to offer proper customer care, or worse, that it was trying to make minimally assisted self-help the new normal."
- Failure to Explain an 'Unprecedented Practice' Rob Jackson of Phandroid calls attention to the fact that the double charges were hidden in fine print, and believes the double termination fee is a distressing "unprecedented practice that deserves an explanation."