We’ve been friends for a long time, but I can’t sit idly by any longer, we’re either worthy of your attention or not. I’m talking about your Google Store and the second rate nature with which you treat any customer not in the US. There’s a few issues, I’m not even talking about how you won’t sell your Pixelbook, Clips camera or some of your accessories here, that’s an argument that’s not going to go anywhere. What I’m upset about is your pricing and freebies.
Right now on the US Google Store you’re having a Black Friday sale, and while we’re not Americans, the Black Friday tradition is here in Australia – and the rest of the world in full force this year. As usual though – according to Google the rest of the world does not exist.
Let’s take a look at your Black Friday sales and what US customers can currently get from the Google Store.
- Google Home Mini for $29USD – that’s a measly $38AUD – and this price will be available to Americans until the end of the year.
- Google Home for $79 ($104AUD) – normally $129USD
- Chromecast 2 is $20USD ($26AUD) – normally $35USD
- Chromcast Audio is $25 ($32AUD) – normally $35USD
- Chromecast Ultra is $54USD ($70AUD) – normally $69USD
- Google Wifi is $99ea ($129AUD) – normally $129USD – or $249 in a 3-pack ($326AUD) – normally $299USD
- Daydream View is just $79 ($104AUD) – normally $99USD
Over on the Australian Google Store you’re offering nothing. Not a thing. And this has always been the case. Beyond the yearly runout of Pixel (formerly Nexus) phones every year before the new model arrives we don’t get diddly. Retailers in Australia are the only source of any type of deal.
Even your Pixel 2/Pixel 2XL customers got a worse deal than buying through a retailer with Telstra/JB Hifi customers getting their Google Home Mini instantly, your customers haven’t even received a code they can redeem yet. Telstra/JB Hifi customers also got a free pair of headphones for free – we got nothing.
Sure, JB/Telstra customers will have to wait out Telstra approving any updates you push out while I’ll get them almost instantly, but even they can taste the latest updates by opting into the Android Beta program until Telstra deigns to deliver the updates to handsets on their network.
Further on freebies, while your Daydream View customers in the US get a lovely discount, they also get freebies with $40USD worth of Daydream View games when they purchase a headset. Yep, they get Eclipse: Edge of Light, Wands, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, Lola and the Giant, and Virtual Rabbids for free.
It’s not even like you can hide this any more, you made it super easy earlier this year to swap country on the Google Store to see what each offers – and your customers are doing this.
There’s also the issue of launch dates. At launch on October 4th when you invited the world to tune in to see your latest and greatest you took great pleasure in telling all your US customers when they could order, and receive their new devices. The rest of the world simply checks the Google Store everyday hoping to see that ‘Buy’ button.
The reason they check the website every day? Because those who sign up to the waitlist to be notified when things are available to order are disappointed. Do you know when I received a notification that I could order my Pixel 2 XL? A day AFTER I had ordered it. Fix it Google.
I hate to say it but Apple is eating your lunch here and quite frankly laughing at you. They tell customers globally when to expect the ability to buy and they stick to it – or tell them when there’s a delay like the recent delay to the Apple Homepod – informed customers are happy customers.
Apple may not have discounted their products for Black Friday, but they did give away a bonus gift card with any iPhone, iPad and MacBook purchase on Friday – it’s not much, but it’s better than what Google offers.
It’s a rant – I know this, but you say you’re taking the next step and becoming a hardware company, but your aspirations fall far short of where your international customers expect you to be.
I’m done. I’ve got a pretty good track record as being one of your biggest hardware fans (I own a Nexus Q and Google Glass for Cthulhu’s sake). I’ll be buying from retail in future, until you take the time to treat your international customers with a bit of respect.