Google’s email support, not so supportive

May 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

When I was alerted to the Google glitch the other day, I immediately emailed support. I didn’t figure that this was an emergency since we had figured out a workaround, and this was before I knew that it was a system wide glitch (as was evident by the number of tweets I saw about it) (and my experiencing the same issue with my personal account in addition to the accounts for our domain).

I received an email from the support team the next day, which in my book is a pretty good response time. Of course by that point the problem had already been fixed, so I thanked them for responding, gave additional details on the problem (also pointing to my blog post) and then pondered why they’d sent me an email about changing the Docs settings in the control panel.

I hadn’t mentioned anything about changing docs settings, or control panels, and in fact, I’d mentioned that this was happening both within Docs for Edu and personal accounts. Here is the original email I sent:

Whenever a new document/spreadsheet is created, it is not showing in the user’s list of documents, even if the page is force refreshed. If you do a search for the title of the document, it will display, but when the list is refreshed, it does not always stay in the list. Can reproduce this inside our Apps for Edu domain and outside (with a regular google acct), on Firefox and with IE

This was the response I got from Google:

When you change the setting of your Docs in your Control Panel, you are actually changing the default setting. In other words, this setting will not retroactively change all docs in your Doc List to public, so only docs shared publicly with the domain will appear in the Docs List using the search feature.

In your Docs list itself, there are two search buttons: a regular search  and also a ‘Search within my domain’ button. You’ll use the ‘Search within  my domain’ to find documents which have been shared freely throughout your domain.

Regarding why all your users documents do not just automatically populate  in your Docs list: The reason it works this way is a matter of scale. While  5-10 user’s documents at once may not be too difficult to navigate, some of  our customers have many, many more users. Having all of these documents  share automatically would cause performance issues and as well as a lot of unnecessary noise.

We may be looking to add a way to make these options available depending on the customer’s company size in the future; however, this will be dependent on the number of feedback we receive from users. If you’d like to log a feature request, you can do it at the bottom of your Control Panel at{} replacing {} with your domain.

If your issue is not related to this, please provide detailed information on the following question, and I’ll investigate further the issue.

This was my reply back:

Thanks for getting back to me. Actually the issue is completely unrelated to sharing withing/outside of the domain. It appears that it was a system wide glitch with Google Docs, as I conferred with people all over the country who were experiencing the same problem yesterday. I described it in more detail here:

At this point, it appears that the problem has been fixed. New documents are showing in the docs liste immediately after they are created and/or shared.

Again, thanks for getting back to me.

I received a response to this which was, essentially, the exact same email they’d sent me in the first place.

It’s obviously a canned response, but I would think that the person on the other end might read my email that said the issue is completely unrelated to the info you sent me, and not send me that exact same info again.

Honestly, I expected more from Google, but overall I still really love their product…heck we’re rolling it out instead of Live@Edu, right?

Whaddya want for nuthin’?

I guess next time I’ll be making a phone call.

Follow up: I had several emails back and forth with Teresa Wu from Google and she checked into why I had gotten the duplicate email. She said that it looks like the support rep didn’t see my reply stating that the issue had been resolved and that it wasn’t related to what they had sent in the first place. I appreciate Teresa taking time out to follow up with me, especially since some of our correspondence took place late on a Friday afternoon.


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