Saturday, June 05, 2010

Google Voice: Support? What’s that?

As with several of Google’s free ad-supported services, Google Voice doesn’t have a support staff. Well, they say they do – but there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that said support staff does any support. They may do a wonderful job of keeping on top of the servers and various components that make up the service (as I haven’t personally experienced the service itself being down when I wanted to use it), but they don’t respond to any help requests from users as far as I can tell.

My Google Voice account works perfectly. My wife’s, not so much. Hers won’t route calls and won’t store messages. For example, if you call her you immediately get the “the Google Voice subscriber is not available” message that you should get only when the subscriber didn’t pick up one of their forwarding phones or when the person is set to “do not disturb”. The call goes straight to what sounds like Voice Mail – it even prompts you to leave a message. Said message never shows up in her inbox though. Her account is, to use a technical term, “borked”. We’ve looked through the help and found the support request form that emails the supposed support staff. We’ve filled that form out with the relevant info four times now over four months. Not once has anyone ever gotten back to us or fixed the problem. I’m forced to conclude that if they do have anyone, that person is either four months behind on support requests or perhaps has been on sabbatical. The unlikelihood of that leads me to believe that Google Voice doesn’t actually have any user support.

It really sucks that my wife can’t use her Google Voice. I’d like to be able to call that number and ring her cell phone and work phone at certain hours and cell and home phone during other hours. That works well for me. But nope, can’t use hers.

BTW, we do know how to use the service and it is configured properly to forward to two phones currently. We deleted all the phones, then added them back and went through the whole “service calls the potential forwarding phone and asks you to put in the security code” stuff for each. There is no schedule currently set and she is not set to “do not disturb”. She doesn’t have a block list and call presentation and screening are set to off. It is as simple a setup as it gets, yet it only worked for one month and has been “borked” since.

I’d imagine other users have had problems getting support from Google too. Perhaps it is time they started charging us a small fee and hired some support staff?

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