Dear Lifehacker, I just tried to find a contact email address for Google support (Australia or USA). There was none provided: what arrogance! And what gives? Thanks, Unsupported
Google is hardly alone in not offering a simple email address for support across all its products; very few companies do. In practical terms, email doesn’t scale well for support — it’s hard to track who has replied to what when you’re dealing with thousands (or millions) of customers and a large support team. Even companies that do offer email support often end up asking you to click on a link or make a phone call.
In Google’s case, the support contact options vary depending on which product you’re talking about. The requirements vary quite a lot between AdWords, Android and Maps, for instance.
However, there are two constant themes: Google advises searching its help centre for resolutions to common problems, and the options that are offered tend to be more elaborate depending on how much you’ve paid. Using a free Google+ account? Your options are essentially limited to complaining on forums. Paying for Google Apps? You can contact phone support or use email. A heavy user of Google Cloud Platform? You can get unlimited support, but the cost is much higher. Charging for support is hardly a new development in IT, and Google has certainly embraced it.
Don’t like those choices? The simple response does tend to end up being “don’t use the products”. If you’re running a business using Google infrastructure but the level of support doesn’t work for you, paying more (if you can) or switching (if you can’t) is likely to be the best choice.
Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our contact tab on the right.