November 21, 2012
Squeaky Wheel Gets Nexus 4 Grease from Google Customer Support
By Steve Anderson
Contributing TMCnet Writer
The Nexus 4 launch hasn't exactly been what anyone would call smooth. Mixed signals, crossed wires and a sellout so rapid it left some wondering just how many of the devices LG and Google had on hand in the first place, all added up to make for plenty of hurt feelings and potential disloyalty among Android (News - Alert) device buyers. But for one lone customer who decided that enough was enough, he took matters into his own hands, and this was one squeaky wheel that got some serious grease in the form of a free Nexus 4 of his own.
Like a lot of customers, this guy got an e-mail from Google (News - Alert) following the somewhat disastrous product launch that left them sold out of Nexus 4 models within about an hour of the product coming out in the United States that told him his phone was on back-order, despite the fact he thought that he'd successfully purchased a phone, though no confirmation of same was received. The e-mail filled him in on the details of how the phone he'd thought he purchased was currently unavailable, and that this phone would arrive at some point in the next several weeks.
Rather than accept his waiting fate and hope the tracking number would show up soon, seething all the while, this guy instead got on the phone to Google customer service. Naturally, not much was done for him at first, but after a series of phone calls and e-mails back and forth about the subject, his dogged determination was rewarded with a free Nexus 4 from Google by way of apology.
While Google definitely went above and beyond on this one, it may well have opened up a Pandora's (News - Alert) box of horrors with its generous response. There are still plenty of people out there who are currently sitting on, "Sorry you didn't get your Nexus 4" e-mails that have every right the first guy did to launch a massive phone offensive against the customer service department. Google may well find itself fending off a horde of "Me too!" folks wanting access to their own free Nexus 4.
Google, meanwhile, will be hard-pressed to respond in any other way--what will they tell the callers, "Yes, sir, I know he got a free Nexus 4, but he was the first one to try it, and we only reward originality with free phones here?" With a variety of competitors out there ready and waiting to seize Google's fallen market share, it's an opportunity that's as hard to pass up as it is for Google to refuse the legion of free phone seekers. In fact, it would be a coup for Windows Phone (News - Alert), who's been having plenty of trouble making headway in the market, to step in and say, for example, "Are you still waiting for your Nexus 4? Send us a copy of the Google back-order e-mail and get 50 percent off your new Windows Phone!"
This may well have the potential to seriously destabilize the market. While the full effects of this situation won't be known for quite some time, the implications are downright earth-shattering.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey