I am livid with Google right now. I’m currently dealing with two massively frustrating issues with their services.
- I am somehow unable to use Google Hangouts. I am perfectly signed into Google+. I’ve never disabled the service, which I’d have zero idea how to do, by the way, and yet I get the message above when I click on the hangout icon.
I expect this problem to occur once, for about 15 minutes, on the first day of launch. But for Google this is standard operation.
Oh, but that’s probably because it just needs to be enabled for my domain.
Nope. Already “enabled”. Unbelievable.
- I am unable to pay for my Google Apps for Work account. This is my email account, for my main domain. I owe like $15.00 on the account, evidently.
Here’s the fun part: I have a valid credit card entered in, which Google is unable to charge. I’ve also entered FIVE OTHER credit cards, and they all error out.
I should also mention that the credit card interface looks precisely NOTHING like a modern credit card interface. No, it doesn’t look like Stripe, or Square, or Apple, or Amazon, or even Sears. No, it looks like a one-off high school project. That, on top of it not working.
So I currently have massively hobbled Google functionality due to a horrific presentation layer.
They are the top engineering company in the world, yet they can’t figure out how to take payments for a little service called email.
Maybe they’re about to discontinue that, too.
So their Hangouts feature is nicely disabled within Google+ with no hope of re-enabling it.
I don’t recommend you go searching for functionality in a Google admin interface. Not after dark anyway, and not without a buddy. No two Google admin interfaces look alike. Or work alike. They’re an afterthought at best.
It’s like the company is a giant R&D lab throwing ideas into the public with no sense of branding or quality control. Wait, it’s not like that; it is that. I find it hilarious that anyone thinks Google is a threat in any market where unification or standardization is a component.
Internet of Things? Sure, as long as every thing is different. Home automation? Sure, as long as it’s all third party gear that doesn’t play well together.
They do interface by not having one. They do integration by enabling divergence. They do quality control by sampling uptime.
To be clear, Google’s strategic goals and large projects are overwhelmingly respectable (self-driving cars, fighting disease, etc.), and I continue to look up to them as leaders in technology for those types of efforts.
But when it comes to their basic web services, their mobile platform, their UI/UX, their sense of design and integration, their attention to detail, and 1,000 other things about how they present themselves, they’re third-rate or worse.
So I’m currently looking for an alternative to Google Apps. I’m simply unable to continue dealing with a company that cannot put any effort into how their customers interact with their products.