February 5, 2006
Liz published this at 8:19 am
Dear Dr. Eric Schmidt and Larry Paige,
I realized last night that, as a Blogger blogger, I am a guest in your home or should I say a captive visitor. Darn, I thought I was a welcomed customer. What made this clear was when you locked me in my room and forbade me access to my stuff. My own parents didn’t use the word FORBIDDEN, nor have I ever used it with my child.
Yes, I realize that you at Google did not actually write the script for the 403 error code that uses the word FORBIDDEN, but you’ve been in business long enough to know how it works. You’re at the top. You get all three of the big Ps–the Big Press, the Big Paychecks, and the Big Pain when things go wrong.
Blogger has put on a show of the worst customer service and total random inefficiency I’ve seen in ages. It started about 2 days ago with outages. Then random inability to access Blogger blogs. Last night I was able to reach the dashboard of my Blogger writing blog, but not my blog itself–even from its own dashboard. I received a 403 Forbidden access error, because I was being read as a directory. It told me to contact myself and give me permission!
This was an opportunity for Google to show some care for its customer. Instead here’s the current Google Blog post still up.
Google has an informative, how-to blog for everything, except for it’s Advertising cashcow Blogger.
You might say, “What about Blogger Buzz?” The Blogger Blog is fun to read and chatty, but it offers little information about how to use Blogger. A post here too might have made me think that Google cared. It also might have made me know for sure that it was a Blogger problem and not a problem with my computer. This is the current post Blogger Buzz.
The email abyss Blogger Help offers a return reply that says go search the help database. Then write again. Of course, then it never answers. Been there. Done that many times. It’s been that way for every email I’ve ever sent.
Google makes products, such as sitemaps, that don’t work on Blogger. To use them people have written scripts on Greasemonkey that go through Firefox to rewrite your software. Blogger customers are forced to get help from other Blogger users. That’s not customer service. That’s leaving customers to fend for themselves.
When I look at your corporate structure, it’s very telling. I don’t find the word customer anywhere.
Larry, you write ten points that you call the Google Philosophy. You explain each one carefully. I bet most users (that’s what you call us isn’t it?) have never read about them and will be surprised to see them.
Let me remind you what they are.
- Focus on the user and all else will follow.
- It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
- Fast is better than slow.
- Democracy on the web works.
- You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
- You can make money without doing evil.
- There’s always more information out there.
- The need for information crosses all borders.
- You can be serious without a suit.
- Great just isn’t good enough.
My answer: Get a Blogger blog, and you’ll see that where Blogger is concerned NUMBER 10 IS REALLY NOT A WORRY.
Why not try what Technorati has done recently . . . decide that customers are people who deserve support, not users who will always be there. Hire a full time Blogger Customer Service Team. Don’t make your customers do your work for you. That’s not nice.
How could I possibly, tell a new blogger that Blogger is the platform he or she should use to be successful?
I’m the nice one.
ME “Liz” Strauss
PS. I forgot to mention. I could not get to Blogger Status. I didn’t remember the address. Why don’t you have a link to it under Blogger Help on the Dashboard? There was no notice to go there.
UPDTATE—If you came to this page because you got a 403 Forbidden Error, the URL to find out what’s going on is
That’s where you can get up-to-minute information about what is going on.
Google for some reason can’t see to get that information where people can find it. So they send you to Successful-Blog, because they know that I have it. Bookmark this page because, as we all know Blogger and Blogspot go down A LOT
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Blogspot Status Link Page