There are many things in life for which to be embarrassed. Like Steve Ballmer’s first Windows OS commercial. Or Christina Aguilera forgetting the words to the National Anthem. Or Apple’s latest Maps release. Embarrassment comes to those who deserve it, and after yesterday’s debacle, I think Google deserves to feel awfully embarrassed. In my eyes, yesterday’s product launch of the company’s new Nexus line-up was a complete and utter failure, if not for the company itself, then at least for its reputation in the eyes of loyal customers. Would-be buyers were plagued with non-stop server errors, buggy shopping carts, flawed payment methods, and jammed phone support lines. What should have been an exciting and fulfilling moment ultimately left thousands of would-be buyers frustrated, angry and worst of all, empty handed.
Almost immediately after the launch of Google’s new Nexus line, reports began pouring in from all across the globe. Would-be buyers were experiencing major technical difficulties while trying to purchase their shiny new Nexus devices. The list of issues is long and troubling, starting with the fact that most users did not even receive their email notification from Google letting them know that the products were now available to purchase. Thankfully, trusty blogs like Talk Android were there to let users know that Google had flipped the switch and that the products were now live.
Once users headed over to the Play Store they were greeted by difficulties adding items to their cart. Many reported having items in their cart mysteriously disappear several times. After adding them back, they would disappear yet again. If the items did stay in the cart, then users were not able to check out. Server-error after server-error kept users staring at the devices in their cart, but with no way to actually purchase them. On the seemingly rare occasion that a buyer was able to get from the cart to the purchase window, many users had issues with Google Wallet declining the charges (both my brother and I experienced this first hand).
On top of all of this, Google’s supply was extremely limited and sold out almost immediately. Because of all the bugs, many users actually ended up purchasing two or three more phones than they intended, depleting precious stock that could have been sold to other anxious buyers. Needless to say, Google’s Nexus phone support lines were jammed and were actually rejecting callers from even being allowed to talk with anyone. All of these things add up to one of the most botched and embarrassing product launches in recent memory.
It seems that everything that could have possibly gone wrong during a product launch did go wrong. One would think that the biggest and best technology company in the world would have handled the entire situation better, making sure transactions were painless and that supply matched demand. I for one am extremely disappointed with Google and I know that there are several thousand (if not hundreds of thousands) of others who had a similar experience and share my sentiment.
Yesterday was supposed to be an exciting and joyful day, but Google turned it into a massive let down. Google, you should be embarrassed of yourself.
What about you? Did you experience a similar situation while trying to buy a new Nexus product? Do you think I’m overreacting? How should Google make it up to its users?