A Nightmarish Never-Ending Circular Interaction With Google Fi’s Support Supervisors

Google employs over 120,000 people and has many more on contracts. They are renowned for only hiring the very best and very brightest. So why such a colossal fail when it comes to asking them for help with a simple problem?

What could be simpler?  My present Google Fi phone failed last week.  It is out of warranty, and the quoted repair cost was almost as much as a new phone, so I ordered a new phone, also from Google Fi.  It was promised to be delivered on 2 or 3 October.

When it finally shipped, four days later, the Fedex tracking showed it would not be delivered until 5 October.  The phone was going to arrive two or three days later than the 2/3 October delivery originally promised.

I was unsurprisingly keen to get my new phone asap, and so called Google on Tuesday 29 September, as soon as I received the shipping/delivery advice, to find a way to solve this problem and still get a phone in the promised timeframe.

Achieving this seemed simple.  I hoped my Tuesday call would result in Google shipping a second phone using three day ground service on Wednesday so it would arrive on Saturday.  Alternatively, they could contact Fedex and get them to change the shipping on the already shipped phone and upgrade its speed.  As for the original phone, they could simply get Fedex to not deliver it to me and return it directly back to Google.

Little did I guess how impossible this would prove to be.

I was already regretting not ordering a phone from Amazon instead of Google.  Amazon had been promising same day delivery for free, rather than the 7-8 days originally quoted by Google and the apparently now 10 days it would actually take.

Tuesday’s Chat and Correspondence

Encouragingly, a Google Fi support rep – Nagarani – said they’d escalate the matter if the phone was delayed, but only after the phone failed to turn up by the end of 3 October.  He refused to look at or acknowledge the Fedex tracking data showing a 5 October delivery date, and refused to consider the several timely solutions open to him on 29 September to ensure I still got a phone by the end of 3 October.

After a frustrating 21 minutes of getting nowhere, I finally persuaded Nagarani to reluctantly pass me on to a supervisor.  Nagarani said a supervisor would send me an email.  Apparently no supervisors were available right then, and perplexingly the supervisors refuse to speak to people directly on the phone.

I was frustrated by all of this, but at least I was pleased that I’d hopefully get a sensible supervisor who could make the mental leap to comprehend that a promised delivery on 5 October was later than the promised delivery of 2/3 October and do something about the problem now, rather than four days later, on Saturday.

 

After a three and a half hour wait, I received this email (Google email #1)

Hi David,
Thanks for contacting Google Fi Support. My name is Santosh, one of the floor Supervisors. I will be assisting you today.
I have checked the details and see that you are concerned about the recent order that is placed from your Google Fi account, sorry to hear about that.
As per records, order is processing and is expected to be delivered by 5th of Oct’20. I am positive that it will be delivered within the estimated delivery date without any further delay.
We are sorry, it will not be possible for us to expedite the order. However, rest assured if the order is not delivered to us within the estimated delivery dates, we will look into all further options and help you with this.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to reply on this Email, contact us via Chat.

It seemed Santosh was pretending there had never been an original 2/3 October promised delivery date and wanted me to believe that 5 October was the proper delivery date.  I quickly replied (my reply #1)

When I ordered, I was promised delivery on 2 or 3 October.  Now you are saying 5 October.  That is two or three days delayed already.

So the order is not going to be delivered within the estimated delivery dates as quoted to me and which I am relying on.  What are all the further options and help you can now offer me?

 

Two and a half hours later (ie 11pm), I got another message, but this time from Charan (Google email #2).

Hi David,
Thank you for writing in.
I´m Charan one of the supervisors on the floor and I’ll be assisting you today.
I totally understand your concern regarding the order status, as our shipping partners will not be working during weekends, your order is scheduled to deliver on 5th of Oct’20(End of the day)
If the order is not delivered by 5th, Oct´2020, please get back to us to assist you further.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to reply on this Email, contact us via Chat.We are here 24/7 if anything else comes up.

There was no acknowledgement of my earlier email and my point that 5 October was not the date I had been promised.  I quickly replied (my reply #2)

Charan :

You don’t understand.

When I ordered this phone, you promised delivery on 2 or 3 October.  You are now telling me that the phone will be delivered on 5 October.

Can you understand that this is two or three days late??????  The target and promised date was never 5 October.  It was 2/3 October.

What are you going to do about this?

 

An hour later (midnight) I got a further note (Google email #3)

Hi David,

Thanks for writing in!

My sincere apologies to you in this matter. I have rechecked with my resources, as the estimated delivery date is reflecting as 5th Oct 2020 The package would be delivered by the end of the day as per the estimated date.

Please be informed that our shipping partners will not be working during weekends, that is the reason your order is scheduled on 5th October.

Your understanding in this matter is highly appreciated!

If you have any further concerns and questions, please reply to this email or contact us over Chat

We’re 24/7 at your convenience!

Wednesday’s Correspondence

Aaagh.  Still no acknowledgement that 5 October was not the promised date.  Sure, it might be the actual date, but it was not the date I had been promised.  It was like my last two emails had been totally ignored.  I replied to this (my reply #3)

Charan :

I know when Fedex say it will be delivered.  5 October.

But your company promised delivery on 2 or 3 October.

Your understanding in this matter is highly appreciated.

Please solve this problem.  Please tell me how.

David.

At 2am I got another message from Charan (Google email #4)

Hi David,

Thank you for writing in!

I see that you have placed the order on 26th September. Device is shipped on September 29th. Please be informed, Ground shipping (3-5 business days) is selected by default and has no charge.

Google loves to receive feedback from its users, and you are the driving force in improving Google Fi. You can use the following steps to provide feedback here:

  • In the Google Fi app on your phone, scroll to the bottom and tap Send feedback.
  • Or on the web, log in to fi.google.com and click the grey circled question mark. Scroll down the menu and click Send feedback.

We appreciate all the suggestions that we receive and will certainly take yours into consideration.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to reply on this Email, contact us via Chat.

 

Why was he telling me about order and ship dates (and in any case, he is wrong – my order date was midday on 25 not 26 September)?  I’ve never mentioned them, they are irrelevant.  But the huge big problem I was trying to get him to acknowledge – that a phone promised on 2/3 October, as per Google’s order confirmation, was not now arriving until 5 October, remained totally ignored.  I was still up and quickly replied (my reply #4)

Do you not see you promised delivery on 2/3 October?  I will send you a copy of your promise if you can’t see it yourself.

Again, I ask.  How are you going to fix this?  How do I get my phone on Friday or Saturday?

Google’s 24 hour service goes offline for ten hours…..

It seems that Google’s support also went to bed at that point, even though they promise 24/7 response.  When nothing was heard by 11am (8 1/2 hours later), I sent a tweet to their Twitter support and another email (my reply #5)

It is almost nine hours since I replied to this note.

Are you going to reply and resolve the problem?  If not, please cancel my order.

 

My tweet to their Twitter support was never acknowledged.

The email evoked a reply an hour and a half later, this time from Sai Ganga (Google email #5)

Hi David,

Thanks for writing in!

I understand your concern regarding the issue. As informed earlier, the estimated delivery date of your order is on Oct 2, 2020 – Oct 3, 2020. 

I’d also like to inform you that we are not able to see anything in the picture as it is blank. Rest assured, you’ll receive your order as per the delivery date.

If the order is not delivered on the estimated delivery date, please contact us so that we can help you accordingly.

Hope you understand!

If you have any further questions, please feel free to reply to this Email or contact us via Chat.

We are available 24/7

It seemed we were back to the very beginning.  I was puzzled by the phrase “as informed earlier” because this was the first acknowledgement of the originally promised delivery date.  However, on the positive side, at least I’d found someone who acknowledged the original promise of 2/3 October.  But, having done that, Sai Ganga was unable to also see the reality of the actual delivery, scheduled for 5 October.

What part of this is confusing?  How can they possibly promise me that the phone will be delivered on/by 2/3 October, when Fedex is showing on their tracking site that it will not be delivered until 5 October?  I quickly replied (my reply #6)

I’m glad we agree that the delivery was promised on 2/3 October.

Please look at the Fedex site.  They are saying delivery is now scheduled for 5 October.

Please suggest a solution, or simply cancel my order.

Let me know

David.

 

Two and a half hours later, I received a new reply from a new supervisor, Sahil.  His reply was eerily familiar to the one I’d received immediately prior.  Progress?  Nope, none at all (Google email #6)

Thanks for contacting Google Fi support. 

My name is Sahil and I am one of the available supervisors in Google Fi.

Upon checking your previous case interaction I have checked and see that you have a concern in regards to your order.

I have checked your order details and see that the estimated delivery date for your order is in between Oct 2, 2020 – Oct 3, 2020.

I’d also like to inform you that we are not able to see anything in the picture as it is blank.Rest assured, you’ll receive your order as per the delivery date.

If the order is not delivered on the estimated delivery date, please contact us so that we can help you accordingly. 

Apart from that if you do have any other concerns or need any information, you can reply over this email. Alternatively, you chat with us, so that we will help you further with the best possibilities.

We are here 24/7 if anything else comes up.

Was my simple request to either get me a phone on time as promised, or cancel the order, too complicated for the finest minds at Google?  This was the sixth email from a supervisor, and after I had first spent 21 minutes with a front line staff member.  Surely, somewhere, someone could actually address my problem?  The problem had also swapped from no-one acknowledging the original promised delivery date to now no-one acknowledging the actual delivery date.

I tried one more time (my reply #7)

Sahil

Your email reads very much like the email Sai Ganga sent me, over 2½ hours ago, and ignores the reply I quickly sent to that email.

Did I make the short 41 word reply/request too complicated for you????  Why did you totally ignore my response and just repeat in almost the exact same words the unsatisfactory response from Sai Ganga?

Please respond to advise either :

(a)  How you will get a phone to me no later than end of business on Saturday 3 October as was promised by your company
(b)  A compensation offer for the delays and the extraordinary series of unhelpful responses from your colleagues
(c)  My order has been cancelled.  If you can’t get Fedex to return the phone to you, advise how I can send it back to you at no cost.

Please reply soonest.  This matter has now been unresolved for close to 24 hours.

David.

 

The next Google email came quickly, 30 minutes later.  But perhaps the writer (now yet another person, Vishnu) should have spent another minute or two before replying.  His reply (Google email #7)

Hi David,

Thanks for writing in!

I understand your concern regarding the order status. I see that your device has been shipped. You will receive an email with the tracking number once the order is shipped, you can also check the order status at store.google.com/orderhistory.

However, as informed earlier, from our end the estimated deliver date of the device is  between Oct 2, 2020 – Oct 3, 2020. 

Appreciate your understanding!

If you have any further questions, please feel free to reply to this email, contact us using this link

We are here 24/7 if anything else comes up.

He thanks me for writing in, and says he understands my concern, but clearly didn’t read a word of what I’d written and doesn’t understand anything.

As for his telling me I will receive an email once the order has been shipped, receiving that email was the start of everything, yesterday.  I was tempted to just cancel the order at this point, but was also keen to salvage the situation if at all possible.  So I replied within a few minutes of receiving the email (my reply #8)

Vishnu

Did you not read a single one of my many previous emails to your company?  And, most of all, did you not read the email I most recently sent?

Do you also not see replies from your colleagues confirming the Fedex advice that the phone will be delivered late on 5 October?

So, noting that Fedex is not getting the phone to me by the promised date, which of the three possible responses will you take?  Please advise :

(a)  How you will get a phone to me no later than end of business on Saturday 3 October as was promised by your company
(b)  A compensation offer for the delays and the extraordinary series of unhelpful responses from your colleagues
(c)  My order has been cancelled.  If you can’t get Fedex to return the phone to you, advise how I can send it back to you at no cost to me.

David.

 

Vishnu wrote back an hour and a half later (it now being 5.30pm).  I eagerly opened it to see which of the three options he had selected to solve the problem.  But his reply ignored my last email entirely and most of the entire 15 emails already swapped plus the earlier initial support contact.  He said (Google email #8)

Thank you for contacting Google Fi support!

I’m Vishnu, one of the supervisors of Google Fi.

I understand that you’re inquiring regarding the status of your order. I’ll certainly help you with the required information.

Upon checking your order and account details, I see that the order is in processing state and the estimated delivery date of the order is: October 2, 2020 – Oct 3, 2020

In this case, I’d request you to wait till October 3, 2020 (end of the day). If the device is not delivered to you within the time-frame and then reply to this email so that we can check the details and help you accordingly!

At this point, I’m starting to think I’ve spent more than enough to convince even the most ardent Google supporter of this stunning and virtuosic display of ineptness, and just wanted to finish things.  I sent a fairly sharp note back to him (my reply #9)

Vishnu

Your email is the eighth email I’ve received so far from you and your colleagues on what should be a very simple request.  You have again totally ignored (and/or totally misunderstood) not only the underlying issue and all the emails in our correspondence chain so far, but specifically my request in my most recent email to you to choose one of three options to resolve this problem.

Why do you keep insisting the phone will be delivered on 2/3 October, when your colleagues have repeatedly acknowledged in their emails that it won’t be delivered until 5 October.  Go look at the tracking information from Fedex if you don’t believe them and me.

As I have suggested before in my mail numbers 5, 6, 7 and 8, if you can’t get a phone to me as promised by 3 Oct, please simply CANCEL THIS ORDER.

Please confirm.

David.

 

After 45 minutes, I got a reply.  This time it was from Charan, who may possibly be the same Charan who sent me several of the emails yesterday.  He says he understands my concern, but who only knows if he actually truly does.  The Charan person yesterday never did.  And rather as expected, he takes the easy way out.  (Google email #9)

I´m Charan one of the supervisors on the floor and I´ll be assisting you today.

I understand your concern regarding the order status. I have rechecked with my resources, as the estimated delivery date is reflecting as 5th Oct 2020 The package would be delivered by the end of the day as per the estimated date.

As the order is already shipped, I´m sorry we do not have the option to cancel it and if you don’t want the order, you can simply reject the package and the once the device is delivered to our warehouse, you will receive the refund within 3-14 business days.

Appreciate your understanding!

If you have any further questions, please feel free to reply to this email, contact us using this link

Rather than trying to actually provide any customer service, he simply agrees that I should cancel the order and return the phone.  While that one tiny decision won’t be noticed in Google’s enormous annual turnover, if that becomes an ongoing policy – give up and lose business rather than try to keep it – sooner or later, one expects it will start to impact on things.

I replied (my reply #10)

Hi, Charan

I think you might have been involved in this case yesterday, too.

Thank you for your note.  It is sad that Google’s only response to an unhappy customer is to agree that they cancel their order, and that it took over 24 hours of aggravation and wasted time on both your side and mine to get to that point.  I’ve also already spent money to buy a case for this new phone, so this has never been my desired outcome, but it seems the only way to resolve things.

I’m sure you also realize I’ll be cancelling my Fi service completely just as soon as I get a new phone elsewhere and new service with a better provider. 

In the likely event the package is delivered while I am not at home to receive it on Monday, how do I arrange for its return to you, and at no cost to me?

David.

 

Two hours later I heard from Charan again.  This time he repeated what is almost surely an inaccuracy that was offered up in the first few minutes of my original customer service chat – “due to large volume of orders the shipments are delayed” (there’s no indication that Google Fi is experiencing an unusual growth spurt at present, and if it is/was, they should have adjusted their delivery promise dates to reflect that), but refused to acknowledge that by his own words, it was all their fault that they did not honor their delivery date promise.  Instead, he trotted out a slightly rephrased version of the ultimate customer service lie – “there is nothing we can do”, this time in the form “I hope you understand our limitations”.  (Google email #10)

Hi David,
Thank you for writing in.
I´m sorry if you feel that way, however the order is scheduled to deliver on 5th October and due to large volume of orders the shipments are delayed.
If the device is delivered and if you are unavailable at that time, you can return the the device within 15 days from the device shipment date for full refund.
I hope you understand our limitations.

Needless to say, I can not even start to understand how mega-corp Google has any limitations at all.  Plus, he did not directly answer my simple single direct question – “how do I arrange for its return to you, and at no cost to me”.  So, back to him (my reply #11)

Hi, Charan

No, I totally do not understand your limitations.  Need I remind you that Google is an enormous company with unthinkably powerful resources and making a profit of around $10 billion, every quarter.  That’s $4.5 million of net profit, every minute of every day.

Amazon, a much less profitable company, can ship a phone and get it delivered to me, for free, the same day.  I don’t understand why it takes you ten days to do what Amazon can do in less than one day, and why it takes ten emails from you and your colleagues to finally get to the ugly point of uttering the ridiculous untruth that there is nothing you can do.  There is nothing you will do, but there is everything that you could do.

What about all your colleagues, earlier today, who kept insisting that the phone would arrive on 2/3 October.  We know that is impossible.  Why did they lie to me?

If your company really cared, my first contact yesterday would have said “I’m sorry about the delay, I’ll send you another phone right now to arrive for sure by 2/3 October and you can simply return the other phone when it arrives.”

What would have been so hard about that?  Isn’t that what customer service is all about?  Or do you think customer service is all about losing customers while saying there is nothing you can do.

I also don’t understand why you can’t get Fedex to cancel the delivery and simply change the address back to your place now.  Please directly answer the question I raised in my last email :  How do I arrange the phone’s return to you and at no cost to me?

 

Half an hour later, I got a new reply, this time from Dinesh.  I didn’t really expect an acknowledgement or direct response to my rhetoric about Google’s profitability and enormous resources and ability to do anything and everything they wanted.  But I was hoping for a direct answer to the “how do I return the phone back to you” question.

But, and even after ten emails already that took some surprising turns, there was still another enormous surprise waiting for me.  (Google email #11)

Hi David,

Thank you for replying to the email.

I understand your concern regarding the order status. I have rechecked with my resources, as the estimated delivery date is reflecting as  Oct 2, 2020 – Oct 3, 2020. The package would be delivered by the end of the day as per the estimated date.

As the order is already shipped, I´m sorry we do not have the option to cancel it and if you don’t want the order, you can simply reject the package and the once the device is delivered to our warehouse, you will receive the refund within 3-14 business days.

In this case, I’d request you to wait till October 3, 2020 (end of the day). If the device is not delivered to you within the time-frame and then reply to this email so that we can check the details and help you accordingly!

Appreciate your understanding.

OMG, we are back to the “the delivery is on time” canard!  I went and rechecked the Fedex site just to be sure, in case a miracle had occurred and Google had asked Fedex to adjust the package shipping speed.  Unsurprisingly, Fedex contradicted Dinesh, and continued to claim it won’t arrive until 5 October.  So, more for amusement than out of any well-formed belief I’ll get any meaningful reply back, I send (my reply #12)

Hi, Dinesh

This is great news!  Thank you for correcting the problem.  When will the revised delivery date appear in the Fedex tracking, which sadly is still showing the 5 October date?

David.

 

Forty minutes later, I got a reply from Charan.  Was this, I wonder, the same Charan as I’d been swapping emails with just a few hours earlier?  Because the Charan a couple of hours ago was telling me that my phone was going to be delivered on 5 October, come hell or high water.  But the new Charan was telling me something very different.

His reply also did not consider or respond to the question I directly raised in my last email.  Instead, he said (Google email #12)

Hi David,
Thank you for writing in!
In this case, I’d request you to wait till October 3, 2020 (end of the day). If the device is not delivered to you within the time-frame and then reply to this email so that we can check the details and help you accordingly!
Appreciate your understanding.

Yet again, I was struck between the eyes with a belting blow of deja vu.  Obviously, I had questions that needed answering.  So I quickly replied (my reply #13)

Hi, Charan

Are you the same Charan who wrote to me 4 ½ hours ago telling me the phone was scheduled to arrive on 5 October?  The same Charan who repeated that same statement 2 ½ hours ago as well?

If so, thank you very much for fixing this problem!  How were you or Dinesh able to solve this and get the phone to me as originally promised?

I don’t really need to know the answer to that, but I do need to know the answer to the question I wrote and which you are replying to now (but ignoring).  When will the Fedex tracking information be updated to reflect the truth of your claim that the phone is now going to arrive on/by 3 October?  It is still saying 5 October.

I don’t want to wait until the end of 3 October and still be without a phone.  I need certainty now so I know what to do now.

David.

Thursday 1 October

Ugh.  I started this on Tuesday, just before 5pm.  Who in their right mind can equate fair customer service with a process that can only be done by email, and which is now stretching over 25 emails so far and reaching into Thursday?  That’s not only a dreadful customer service experience for any customer, but it is woefully inefficient on the part of Google, too.

Truly this is a simple problem that could have been solved in two or three minutes.  “Yes, I see that the delivery is delayed.  I’ll send you another one via three day expedited delivery, and you’ll get that on Saturday as originally promised.  When the later shipment arrives, simply send it back to us, unopened.”

My last email was sent to them on Wednesday evening at 11.30pm.  To my surprise, for a second night in a row, they stopped replying overnight, even though they promise 24/7 support.  So I sent them a follow up again this morning at almost 9.30am, forwarding my latest email from last night (my reply #14)

Hi

It is almost ten hours since I sent this message to you.  You promise 24/7 support, but two nights in a row, you stop answering my emails.

Please reply.

 

Three and a half hours later I got a reply, from a familiar name, Sai Ganga.  Yesterday Sai Ganga was promising me that delivery would happen on 2/3 October (see Google’s email #5) and – guess what.  Today, he/she is doing exactly the same (Google email #13)

Hi David,

Thanks for writing in.

I’m one of the supervisors at Google Fi. My sincere apologies for the delay in response.

I have gone through the complete interactions and understand your concern about the order delivery date. As informed in the previous emails the estimated delivery date is reflecting as  Oct 2, 2020 – Oct 3, 2020. The package would be delivered by the end of the day as per the estimated date.

I’m positive that you’ll receive your order within the estimated time frame.

Please be informed that, if you have not received the order in an estimated time frame, please contact us back, so that we can check the details and escalate the case to a specialist team.

Your understanding is highly appreciated.

The repeated comments about my understanding being highly appreciated are starting to really annoy me.  The problem doesn’t appear to be my understanding.  It is their understanding – or spectacular lack thereof.  What is so difficult about looking at the Fedex tracking for the package?  And why does it seem none of the supervisors bother to read through any of the past correspondence?  I’m no further forward now than I was on Tuesday.

However, there was one new thing in Sai Ganga’s note.  A hint about a specialist team that can help.  I sent a reply quickly back (my reply #15)

Hi

Thank you for your reply, which is almost exactly the same as the reply you sent me over a day ago.  Back then I sent you a reply that you never answered, and I will repeat it to you again now.

The Fedex tracking site tells me delivery will not happen until 5 October.  Delivery is not going to happen on 2/3 October.  Please look at the Fedex site yourself to confirm this.

After you have confirmed this, can you please put me in touch with your specialist team, now, today, to help resolve this problem.

Your speedy assistance and their response is requested.

David.

 

An hour later, I get another email, this time from Vishnu – possibly the same Vishnu who sent Google replies #7 and #8.  Again, my specific request in the email he was replying to – to be put in touch with the specialist team – goes unacknowledged.  And he has a surprising problem himself that he is now asking for my help with.  (Google email #14)

Hi David,

Thank you for contacting Google Fi support!

I am Vishnu, one of the supervisors from Google Fi.

I understand that you’re concerned regarding the order status. I’ll certainly look into this for you and assist you accordingly.

I’ve gone through your interactions, I’d also inform you the same as mentioned in the previous email that you will need to wait until the time-frame gets completed after then if you have not received the order in an estimated time frame. Please let us know so that we can check the details and help you accordingly.

As you’ve stated that delivery will not happen until 5 October, please help us with the screenshot of the details so that we could look into this and help you accordingly.

Trust me, if this was something that could have been done within my support boundaries, I would have helped you. I hope you understand my support limitations in this case. 

How is it that Vishnu can not go to the Fedex site and see the delivery status of my phone, himself?  How is it that he can not look back in the email chain and see where his colleagues have confirmed the reality that my phone is not going to be delivered prior to 5 October?

But if sending him a screen shot will break us out of what has become an endless loop of go-nowhere replies, I’m all for it.  So, a fast reply back to him (my reply #16)

Hi, Vishnu

Your email surprises me.  How is it possible you can not also track my package?  And do you not see in the interactions that you say you’ve gone through where your colleagues confirm the delay in delivery?

But I’m happy to provide you a screen shot of the Fedex status, herewith.

Will you please now put me in touch with the specialist team that can help me.

Thank you

David.

 

Two and a half hours later, Vishnu replied again.  He now conceded – without acknowledgement or apology – that delivery would not occur until Monday but continued to ignore my request to be connected to the “specialist team” who were promised as being available to help once my phone was deemed delayed.  (Google email #14)

Hi David,
Thank you for writing in!
I completely understand your concern.
Please be informed that our shipping partners will not be working during weekends, your order is scheduled to deliver on 05/10/2020 by end of the day
If the order is not delivered by 05/10/2020, then please get back to us to assist you further.

As you see, he chose to blame Fedex for my late delivery.  This is wrong on so many levels (although for sure the Fedex service is slow – six days from IL to WA – it would be faster to just drop it in the mail), and most of all, it is factually incorrect.  These days, Fedex deliver seven days a week, and don’t even charge extra for weekend delivery.

And we’re back at the “wait until your phone is 2/3 days delayed before getting back to us” position that has been one of their statements all the way along (alternating with pretending the phone will be delivered on time, even though Fedex makes it clear that is impossible.

So, another email back to Google, with it now being over 48 hours since this sorry mess first started. (my reply #17)

Hi, Vishnu
1. You are wrong. Fedex offers service every day of the week, including both Saturday and Sunday, and at no additional cost.  Please see https://www.fedex.com/en-us/shipping/7-day-delivery.html
2.  Your colleague Sai Ganga indicated earlier today that if my phone was not delivered on 3 October, there was a specialist team that would be able to help. Now that you have finally agreed that the phone will not be delivered on 3 October, I am asking you, for the third time, to put me in touch with those people, right now, today.

David.

 

Just over two hours later (it is now 7.14pm) a new person replied, Saketh.  A small moral victory was scored – he conceded that indeed Fedex will deliver orders seven days a week. (Google email #15)

Hi David, 

Thanks for contacting Google Fi support. 

I am Saketh, one of the available supervisor here

I completely understand your concern, as rightly said Fedex will deliver the orders on most of the locations for 7 days in a week. In case if there is any delay you’ll surely get delivered by 05/10/2020.

If you’ve anything else for me, please reply to this email and I’ll be glad to help you.

Thanks,

Saketh

Alas, the word “sorry” (as in “sorry for misleading you”) is not in his vocabulary, any more than it is in any of his colleague’s vocabularies either.  Instead, he seems to think that this concession on his part solves my problem.

Of course, it doesn’t.  As for my three requests, most recently italicized and bolded, to be put in touch with the “specialists”, there is no response at all.  What part of that request is unclear?  So, sadly, (my reply #18)

Hi, Saketh

It seems we’re making progress, although it has taken an exchange of 32 emails to get to this point.  We all now seem to agree that my phone won’t be delivered prior to 5 October, and that this late delivery is not the fault of Fedex.  Clearly it is entirely and completely Google’s fault.

You did not reply, however, to my three times repeated request to be put in touch with the specialists that Sai Ganga said would help with late deliveries.

So, for the fourth time :

Please put me in touch with these specialists now.

Many thanks

David.

 

Just over an hour and a half later, I realized my terrible mistake when the next Google reply came in.

What was my terrible mistake?  It was daring to say to Saketh “It seems we are making progress”.  You won’t believe the email I received.  Here it is, however, courtesy of Vishnu, and I promise I haven’t changed a single word. (Google email #16)

Hi David,

Thank you for contacting Google Fi support! 

My name is Vishnu, one of the supervisor. 

Upo checking your order details I see that the Moto GStylus order is shipped and the Est. delivery date: Oct 2, 2020 – Oct 3, 2020.

As the case is already being handled by specialist we can not escalate this further. 

We’re back to the nonsense claim of 2/3 October delivery.  Clearly Vishnu did not read a single word of any of the previous 32 emails (including some from either him or another person of the same name).  As for his claim that the case is already being handled by a specialist, I wonder who exactly that is.  If they can’t do anything now, what more could they (will they) do on 3 October?

I expect you are laughing, and have been for some time.  But, seriously, this is starting to get beyond a joke.  I’m really not sure what to say in reply.  Let’s try this – no more “Mr Nice Guy”, perhaps. (my reply #18)

Vishnu :

You say you checked my order details, but you have clearly not read any of the previous 32 emails between your colleagues and me, nor have you checked the Fedex tracking data for when my order will be delivered.

How is it possible you are so stunningly incompetent, and hold a job as a supervisor at Google?

Please do your job, and stop dazzling me with the collective incompetence of you and all your peers.  It shouldn’t take now 34 emails (on top of an initial wasted 21 minutes chatting with Naragani two days ago) to try and get you to understand my phone will arrive late and to get you to either make alternate arrangements to ship another phone to me or to cancel the order completely.

Who is the specialist who is handling this case?  Why is he or she not replying directly to me?

If this mysterious specialist can’t do anything to help me now, what can they do to help me on 3 October?

Please answer soonest.

 

An hour and a half later (10.46pm) I hear from a Vishnu, but this person gives no hint they are the same Vishnu as in the last exchange of emails.  He also doesn’t answer my three questions. (Google email #17)

My name is Vishnu, one of the supervisor. 

As the order is in shipped status you won’t be able to cancel the order. 

Google loves to receive feedback from its users, and you are the driving force in improving Google Fi. You can use the following steps to provide feedback here:

In the Google Fi app on your phone, scroll to the bottom and tap Send feedback.

Or on the web, log in to fi.google.com and click the grey circled question mark. Scroll down the menu and click Send feedback.

We appreciate all the suggestions that we receive and will certainly take yours into consideration.

If you have any further issues/questions, please feel free to reply or contact us over chat. We’re here to support 24/7.

This really isn’t fun any more.  I’ve gone way too far in an attempt to get a Google Fi phone on Friday or Saturday as was originally promised.  Now I just want out of this nightmare, and a replacement phone from anyone (ie Amazon).  So (my reply #19)

Hi

Are you the same Vishnu as the one I was swapping emails with immediately before?  And whether you are or not, why did you ignore all three questions I posed in that email?

Why can’t I cancel this order?  Other supervisors told me I could.  In truth, I don’t want to, but I do want/must have a phone no later than Saturday.  I can buy a phone from Amazon on Friday and have them deliver it to me that same day.  You and your colleagues seem unwilling to do anything at all, after over two days of steady email exchanges.

So please give me your mailing address and I’ll simply change the Fedex delivery to send the phone directly back to you.

David.

 

A relatively quick 50 minutes later, I get an email from Dinesh.  It starts off very positively, but then he proceeds to negate his claim of having “read the complete interaction and understand your concern regarding the device deliver”.  Unbelievably, we’re back to the claim of the device being delivered on 2/3 October.  (Google email #18)

Hi David,

Thanks for writing in!

My name is Dinesh, I am one of the supervisors in Google Fi. I have read the complete interaction and understand your concern regarding the device deliver.

Firstly, we apologize for the hassle that you are going through in dealing with this. This is definitely not something that we would want our customers to experience with Fi.

I have checked the details and see that you have ordered the device on 26th September and expected delivery date of your order is  Oct 2, 2020 – Oct 3, 2020

As we have informed you earlier, since the device is already shipped you may not be able to cancel the order at this moment. As there is only one day left for the delivery, I would request you to wait for some more time. The order will be delivered with the expected delivery time.

Appreciate your understanding!

If you have any further questions, please feel free to reply to this email, contact us via Chat. We are available 24 X 7.

How is it possible that he read the complete interaction, but still maintains the phone will be delivered on time?  And as for the “it is too late to cancel” line, that was something I’ve been anticipating all along, and a reason why I’ve been so keen for a fast resolution (and possibly a reason why they’ve been delaying me at every turn).

So, and truly no longer enjoying this at all…. (my reply #20)

Hi Dinesh

I loved your first paragraph about reading everything and understanding my concern, and totally agree with your second paragraph about this not being representative of Google policy or best practices.

But.

If you did indeed truly read even a small portion of the entire 37 emails, and if you do understand my concern, why are you telling me the phone will be delivered as promised on 2 or 3 October?  Do you not see the Fedex tracking data showing its delivery on 5 October?  Do you not see other supervisors also volunteering that same information?  How can you possibly try and claim the phone will arrive 2/3 October when all the data clearly shows it will not?

Also please note that as per the datestamp of your company’s order confirmation to me, the phone was ordered at approximately midday, Pacific time, on 25 September, not 26 September as you claim.

Please do not now tell me “because there is only one day left for delivery”……  When I first started this, at 5pm on Tuesday, there were four days remaining.  I’ve asked for the chance to talk to someone directly on the phone, but apparently you only send emails, and slowly.  I’ve answered all your emails much more promptly than your replies to me.  I’ve done all I can to speedily resolve this matter.

Your new claim is exactly my fear.  That after delaying and obfuscating, you now will switch tactics and say “it is only a little time until the phone arrives”.  But even that claim is wrong.  The phone will not arrive before 5 October.  Four days from now.

You can contact Fedex and cancel the delivery, or I can amend the delivery address to have it just go back to your office.  I do not want the phone on 5 October.  I will not accept the phone on 5 October.  I will arrange to get a phone, immediately delivered to me the same day by Amazon, tomorrow.

Please either make an appropriate arrangement to guarantee me a phone on 2/3 October, or cancel this order.

David.

…… to be continued, no doubt.  (Yes, I’ll post a part two if anything interesting happens on Friday and subsequently.)

This is not the end of my problems, but it is now past the end of Thursday, and time to end what has become perhaps my largest ever blog post.

We can of course all marvel at the stunning incompetence of the supervisors at Google’s Fi Customer Support Center – these are not raw fresh front line reps, they are the supervisors.  We can even laugh at the circular nature of these emails that never go anywhere other than back to the beginning again and again, each time more improbably than the time before.

But there’s a more appropriate target for my ire (which I hope you share).  Google is a company of enormous and virtually limitless resources.  It employs over 120,000 people, and can (and do) pick out only the very best of their many applicants to hire.  They seem to pay an average of about $135k a year to their staff, and make about $40 billion a year in profit (that’s $4.5 million for every minute of every day).

Judging by the names, I’m going to guess that none of these supervisors are Americans living in Mountain View, CA.  And rather than earning an average $135k a year, it seems the average Google salary in India is almost exactly one tenth that, about $13,500 a year.  That’s about $6.75/hour.  Google can obviously afford to employ Americans, and pay American salaries, but chooses not to.

But even at such a low wage, you’d think Google could at least train its people well, and oversee them.  Surely at some point in the totality of my first 21 minute chat, the 38 emails exchanged, and the (ignored) Twitter request for help, some alarm should have sounded and some true escalation occurred.  Obviously, it didn’t, and that redounds to Google’s discredit.  Don’t they care?  Is there no oversight, neither of their front line staff nor of their supervisors?

Google insults us all by providing such abysmal and unbelievably bad “customer service”.  In case you lost track, the original problem was simple.  My ordered phone was going to be delivered two or three days late, so I wanted a second phone sent that would arrive on time, or, failing that, wanted to cancel my order entirely.  I gave them plenty of time to solve the problem, contacting them the instant I saw the delivery advice from Fedex.

But now, some 55 hours after my first contact, there has been no resolution whatsoever, and even though, as you can see, there are repeated examples where supervisors have acknowledged the late delivery of the phone, we keep coming back to the pretense it will arrive on 2 or 3 October, now augmented with the excuse that I’d been anticipating for some time that it is now too late to do anything to change or fix the problem.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading all of this.  In the past, I’ve been a strong advocate of the Google Fi service.  But now?  How can I recommend a company and service that inflicts this on its customers?  Think twice before choosing Google Fi.

1 thought on “A Nightmarish Never-Ending Circular Interaction With Google Fi’s Support Supervisors”

  1. I have a very similar set of circular emails from HP form several years ago. I asked a simple question, what is the volume of ink in the cartridges sold as part of the bundle of ink and photo paper. the answer came xx number of average pictures. Continued escalations were responded to by better and better titles (supervisor, escalation manager, executive escalation support). No one would ever acknowledge that ink is a liquid and how many ounces or ML you are selling since be an easy question to answer. [Sidebar: I think there is a jar of titles that everyone picks from at the start of the shift in the support center. Today Joe is the escalation manager]

    I finally copied the NJ Department of Consumer affairs complaint email indicating that HP was in violation of consumer labeling policy that liquid items include the volume. HP responded that ink wasn’t liquid and sent me about $100 (retail) in ink for the ‘inconvenience’.

    There is karma beyond the free ink. Last year I got a check which was the settlement of several states with HP over misrepresenting ink levels and failure to properly label packages.

    It is amazing how large companies can fail at simple support. I see it in my own employer sometimes, how quickly tickets are closed is tracked much more than how many tickets get reopened (and, I’m sure many places, reopened get categorized as a new issue way too often).

    End of story, if I print anything today, it will not be on an HP printer

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David.