Breaking News- Google Thinks it Needs “Some Support” In Maps

Yesterday Marissa Mayer was quoted as saying in regards to Maps and Places at SXSW: “We do need to have some support there, and step up our customer service,”.

I must admit as a veteran of the “Google Maps support wars”, it was refreshing to hear Marissa Mayer (allegedly?) note the need for support. That being said the fact that it’s taken Google 5 years (or is it 6?) to figure this out and get to the point of publicly so noting has to be cause for concern.

Related posts:

  1. Google Places Dashboard – There’s Good News and There’s Bad News
  2. Google Maps: Good News Bad News Announcement
  3. Is Google Maps Reducing Customer Support?

Google Place/Tags Support Calls Me Back

I have been working to un-merge two listings on Google since November 5th. This is a problem that has plagued these two b & b’s forever. In an effort to speed this along, I called Google in late December and again in early January to speak with a Tags Rep to see if they could help in any way. Here is my previous account of those calls.

This last Thursday I received the following voice mail on my answering machine after hours. To prove to the world that it really happened I am posting a copy of the message. For your convenience I also have it transcribed below:

The Voice Mail Message from Joe at Google

Hi. This message is for Mike. My name is Joe and I am calling from Google.

I received an elevated concern from one of our sales representatives named James who apparently you spoke with around January 3rd. We were able to take a look at the two you listings you described to James, the Westcott House and the Bayfront Marin House, the two bed and breakfast that are located in St Augustine Fl.

And I just wanted to let you know that I was able to split those listings and during our next update of all the data on Google you should see that those listings have been split apart and if you have any further questions or problems please don’t hesitate to contact us on-line on our

Thank you very much for your business.

At the time of my reporting of the phone conversation, Ethan Russel, a Google product manager, chimed in and noted that Google would be rolling out a solution for those experiencing the merging problem sometime this quarter.

It is unclear to me if this phone call is standard procedure going forward or if I warranted special treatment because of all of my whining.

Are we seeing the genesis of customer service from Google? Did I experience the first known effort of Google servicing a merged record? Or is it just a one off fluke that proves nothing more than the fact that Google does in fact have a telephone with outbound lines and at least one person that still remembers how to dial?

I am hoping for the former.

Has anyone else received a similar call back with their problem solved?

Related posts:

  1. Microsoft’s TellMe Spams Google with Bogus Tech Support Number
  2. InfoUSA – calls to verify our basic record
  3. Is Google Maps Reducing Customer Support?

A Year of Extensions

It’s hard to believe, but it’s already been a full year since we launched the Google Chrome extensions gallery.

It’s been a busy twelve months:

  • The gallery has grown to over 8,500 extensions and 1,500 themes.
  • A third of Chrome users have at least one extension installed.
  • Over 70 million extensions and themes have been installed.

On the client side, we added features like:

Looking forward, we’re very excited about the Chrome Web Store, where developers will be able to easily sell their apps, extensions, and themes.

And we’re not going to slow down on the features, either. The next Chrome release will add API support for the omnibox and pinned tabs. Beyond that, we’re hard at work on popular requests like network interception and download management APIs, as well as new experimental APIs for sidebars and development tools.

Thanks for all your support over the last year, from bug reports to testing new APIs. It’s been a bit frantic at times, but mostly it’s been fun.

Posted by Aaron Boodman, Software Engineer