“There are some aspects of the experience that Google didn’t think through as carefully as they should have,” says Charles Golvin, an analyst with Forrester Research. “This has implications for the store they have launched and their future ambitions for it. Google, clearly, has a lot of work ahead of it.”
Google introduced the Nexus One as the first device to be sold by the company. Nexus One has been designed by HTC and runs on T-Mobile’s network. But contrary to initial speculation, the device isn’t free or unlocked. It will retail for $180 with a 2-year contract with T-Mobile and is also available for $530 unlocked–a price similar to most other smartphones.
The difference, though, is the Nexus One is available only through Google’s online store. Unlike with a Motorola Cliq or a HTC G1, users can’t walk into a T-Mobile store and buy the Nexus One. They can’t even count on T-Mobile’s customer service representatives in store or the company’s phone support to solve their problems.
Instead, Nexus One customers can only get e-mail support from Google. It’s a strategy that has backfired on Google. Google’s support forums is full of customer complaints around the Nexus and the company’s poor service.
“A lot of complaints and frustration that people are expressing would normally be handled by going back into the store or by calling the support help line,” says Golvin. “Having a physical
location where you can take your phone back helps customers and Google seems to have under-estimated that.”[wired]