There are things that we experience in life that we never forget. When I was a senior in high school our history teacher mentioned something that I never forgot. As a youngster he recalled newspaper articles that covered the Korean war, which stated that only [fill in the blank] American troops were killed. He went on to state that the number didn’t really matter, especially if you were one of the ones that was killed.
Google Gmail suffered an outage for some 39,000 Gmail account holders, which was, the company was quick to point out, less than 0.02% of its entire account base of some 150 million users. The company also was quick to point out that its Gmail services were spread over multiple data centers and that the Gmail accounts were not lost, just misplaced. Google also stated that all of the information would be restored and every user would have their information returned.
I couldn’t even imagine waking up yesterday morning to have your Google Gmail stuff gone. My first thought would be, who do I call? Google has been criticized for a lack of phone technical support services and I recalled the problem I had when my own personal account was disabled several years ago. It took me four days of emails to get my account restored fully, which was a giant pain in the butt.
Many of you know that I have been beta testing Google’s Chrome OS Cr-48. When I had issues not being able to connect to the Verizon 3G, I posted a bug report and I was contacted by a Google representative. The problem was resolved and I felt like I had received special treatment from the Google Chrome OS team. But others who have had issues with their Gmail accounts have expressed the lack of support as a real concern.
Though I realize that the services Google offers are free, it needs to address the lack of technical support and the concerns users have. Since Google is trying to convince users to store their personal files online in its Cloud, what happens if your stuff is unavailable one day? What are we users supposed to do? Who do we call?
If Google is to convince us to buy its Chrome OS computers and trust all of our important documents to it and it alone, Google will need to change its current support system. I want someone to call and I want to speak to a real person. I would also prefer to speak to someone who speaks English as their primary language.
Is this asking too much? What do you think?