Although direct sales isn’t something new in most parts of the world (like in India), it remains a novel business model in the US. Most people are used to purchasing phones, at subsidized rates, from the carriers. Of course, Google is trying to change all that and is allowing people to directly order unlocked models of Nexus One.
The trouble with cutting out the carriers is that, Google will now have to be responsible for everything related to Nexus One, including after sales customer support. However, from the look of things, Google isn’t equipped to provide the level of customer support required. Google seems to be accepting only e-mail queries, which it promises to reply within one or two days. However, this isn’t fast enough for most people.
Frustrated with Google some people are turning to their mobile carriers or HTC (manufacturer), but mostly in vain. HTC as well as the mobile carriers are mostly referring customers back and forth and to Google. One customer going by the username Roland78 had to spend one and a half hour on the phone and was transferred between T-Mobile and HTC four times. “T-Mobile also said Google hasn’t provided them with any support documents for the phone. Welcome to direct sales Google!he commented.
Direct sales model has its own benefits, including more freedom and often lower total cost of ownership. However, Google needs to get its act together and fast. The online boards are getting flooded with comments about the poor quality of service. In fact there are complaints regarding other aspects including billing and order confirmation.