One of the biggest tiffs that I’ve had with Google is that their customer support is well…lacking.  If you have any problems with Google Apps other than the most rudimentary “How do I?” question, you are going to run into some problems.  And good luck and Godspeed if you want to talk to a live person on the phone.  I’ve gotten so confounded in automated responses that I have lost all track of time, space, and self.

One of the biggest problems facing Google is their own popularity.  To meet the needs of its ever-growing client base, they would need thousands of technical support personnel.  That’s why I find the news about Website Optimizer service plans so fascinating.

The costs of the service plan is still rather high, but it’s better than having no service at all.  Below are the hourly details:

  • $250/hour: Designed for specific questions and quick answers. Maximum 1 call per hour. No commitment, no obligation.
  • $600/3 hours (in increments of 30 min): Designed for more complex issues at discounted hourly rates. Must be used within 6 months after first hour of service is used.
  • $1,200/8 hours (in increments of 30 min): Purchase this plan and use for an entire year. Must be used within 12 months after first hour of service is used.

Garett Rogers at had some interesting thoughts about this development.  He thought it would be interesting if Google made support free, but took advantage of “partner network” resources.

“Google could set up a universal 800 number for technical support, and they would take care of routing and load balancing incoming calls to certified partners based on many factors including language preference, country, etc. Google would then pay these partners for the time they spent on the phone with clients.”

Google could require certified partners to “bid” on their minutely rate which helps Google route calls in the most cost effective manner.  Overall, this would save Google a ton of money.  Just think of how low the minute rate might become just so that a partner can wrangle a partnership with the omnipresent Google.

Rogers continues be saying that this partner would have technically knowledgeable people manning the phones, able to solve the easier problems.  For problems that required immediate assistance from an actual employee of Google, the partner could forward the phone call to Google HQ (GoogQ?).

It’s an interesting idea, and one that Google should probably take into consideration.  Of course, at this point, anything is better than my 45 minute wait in order to answer my question.