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.
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