Google may be one of the world’s biggest Internet companies, but if you want to talk to a real human being when you run into an issue with the company’s products and services, you’re generally out of luck. While Google offers customer support through email for some products, the company’s online FAQs, forums and help pages are generally the only way to get official information about a product. Google’s dislike for offering phone support was prominently on display when it launched its Nexus One smartphone without offering any phone support, for example (though after loud complaints from its customers, it finally did launch a dedicated phone support like for the Nexus One). Maybe things are changing in Mountain View, however. Today, Google announced that it will offer free phone support for its AdWords advertising platform in the U.S. and Canada.
AdWords users can call 1-866-2-Google between Monday-Friday, 9am-8pm Eastern Time to get answers to their questions about their accounts and advertising campaigns.
Given that AdWords is Google’s most important source of income (together with its close relative AdSense), it would have made sense for Google to offer free phone support a long time ago. While those of us in the tech business can quickly figure out how to set up an AdWords campaign, chances are that many of the small business owners that make up the bulk of AdWords sales could really use some help.
Hopefully, this is only the beginning of a new commitment to customer service on Google’s part. While it would likely be hard for Google to offer this free service across its ever-evolving line of free services, at least paying customers and those that run businesses on top of Google’s platforms should be able to get help by phone. Paying Google Apps users, for example, can currently get support for “system critical events,” but the technicians at the end of the line won’t be able to answer more general questions about the service.