Sunday , December 17 2017

Dear Google, we need to talk about your customers who aren’t in the US

Dear Google, I’ve had enough.

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.

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He’s been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there’s a phone that’s run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan’s dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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66 Comments on "Dear Google, we need to talk about your customers who aren’t in the US"

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Member

pretty much all retail is now selling Google Home Mini for around 50 bucks until mid december

Leo
Valued Guest
While we are at it, can we have a talk about rural customers without 24/7/365 online connections? I get that in the magic land that is Google HQ, everyone has lots of fast connection, everywhere they go and they live a magical life in the far, far away land of Google. But the rest of us live in the real world with sometimes connections to the internet. Can you PLEASE shut off your connections for 24 hours, just once a week, to see what it is like for the rest of us? And don’t get me started on Maps. Great… Read more »
Member

Could not agree more! Freaking google home can only provide sport information for US sports. Ask it about Formula 1 and most often the respond is I can’t help you with that! You suck google! I thought it’s using machine learning and ai? Guess it’s still just some American people putting in the contents!

slither io
Valued Guest

Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here.

Member
Camerooni

I was annoyed when I got the email saying Home Mini for $29.. no USD or any other indicator that it was an email specifically for US customers. Google has SO MUCH data on me and where I live – can’t they get these emails right?

Tony
Valued Guest
Tony

I have been waiting 3 weeks for my Pixel 2 xl from the Google Store yet I could walk into JB HI Fi and walk out with the phone in my hand. I emailed Google and asked them why this is happening and got a reply back that had no explanation as to why I had to wait a month except that it was my fault for not being patient WTF Google ?

Oldmike
Valued Guest
Oldmike

You have a lot more patience that what i have mate ,
3 weeks is a joke ,
You could understand it if it was big v8 engine that had too be shipped across the planet ,
but it is a dam smart phone ..

Chris Leathley
Valued Guest
Chris Leathley

Been waiting 5+ Weeks here.. I is ‘supposed’ to be shipped today but I doubt that will happen. With all the sales over the weekend. could of gotten a Note 8 for 500$ less..

No idea when I will get my ‘coupon’ for my mini so I can start that ball rolling.. (at least I have a HOME)

Chris Leathley
Valued Guest
Chris Leathley

update: Didn’t get sent yesterday but today my CC has been pre-authed the amount.

Graeme Taylor
Valued Guest
Graeme Taylor

If only they gave a crap. (spoiler, they don’t)

Phil
Valued Guest
Phil

Updates aren’t determined by where you buy your phone… It is determined by what SIM is in the phone.

Allan Thomas
Valued Guest
Allan Thomas

Wrong!

Daniel Defstar
Valued Guest
Daniel Defstar

I can’t even buy through the webpage, not the unlocked phone, the tablet or even the Chromecast, the Dominican Republic isn’t a supported country (even though most of us use USA PO Boxes). Of course I have a Pixel XL, and 2 Chromecast 1st Gen, and a 2nd Gen, but those were bought in the US.

And don’t even get me started on the Play Store regional restrictions, every time I see the “your country is not supported” I lose it.

r r
Valued Guest

It’s hard and expensive being a geek on DR. 🙁

Wayne
Valued Guest
Wayne

“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.”

I bought my Pixel 2 through the Google Store, and have gotten and redeemed my code for the Google Home Mini. It’s due for delivery tomorrow.

Ying
Valued Guest
Ying

The best thing about this piece is that the ad it fed on my phone is for a Home mini selling at $79. No discount. Oh the irony.

OzzyCoop
Valued Guest
OzzyCoop

Ironic. I have an ad for the mini but it is for $29 USD

Member

At least you can buy the phones. Here in Denmark we get Google Wifi and Chromecast, and that’s it.

Prebsi
Valued Guest
Prebsi

I came here to say this. Here in Denmark we cannot even buy Pixel devices. Hell, we cannot even get devices like LG V30! I have been needing a replacement for my G4 for a while but other than Samsung I have little to choose from. And I gladly pay full price.

Aske Lau
Valued Guest
Aske Lau

Yeah, I’m particularly dissapointed about that V30. Sweden and Germany, our two surrounding countries are getting it, but Denmark? Nope, “there’s no market for the phone in Denmark.” -LG. This is despite my high school class being full of people wanting to buy the phone, and even paying extra by importing it.

Member

It annoys me that certain functionality gets released in the USA but takes forever to make it to Aus. Eg: changing the voice of Google assistant. I still can’t do it.

Allan Thomas
Valued Guest
Allan Thomas

My Pixel 2 XL, purchased from Google, has had Aussie English from day one

Member

I have the Aussie accent, but I can’t select a male voice like the yanks can. I like the female voice but it would be better for pranking house guests by using a male voice (TTS sent remotely)

Dztfoxz
Valued Guest
Dztfoxz

Most likely there is a licensing issue that prevents Google from offering features that have already been copyrighted.

Steven White
Valued Guest
Steven White

Curious what you meant here “Sure, JB/Telstra customers will have to wait out Telstra approving any updates you push out while I’ll get them almost instantly” pixels get their updates direct from Google so all get them at the same time?

Allan Thomas
Valued Guest
Allan Thomas

Correct. I’ve had a security upgrade already

Allan Thomas
Valued Guest
Allan Thomas
Excellent piece, Daniel. Just a quick remark re pricing. About 10 years ago, there was a controversy re the price of luxury cars in Australia compared to England / Europe, freight, taxes, duties etc considered. A journalist interviewed the CEO of Porsche Australia and, I admire this man, he straightforwardly answered “We charge what the market will bear in Australia”. A lot of Aussies are would be if they could be, keep up with the neighbours at any price, put it all on the drip, plain dumb. Even here, the ranting and raving about the price of the latest high… Read more »
Zack
Valued Guest
Zack

Part of the problem is that the middle class is relatively unattainable in the US compared to many other countries. Americans have a /lot/ less buying power than England, for example.

Allan Thomas
Valued Guest
Allan Thomas
Good point, Zack, The middle class are on their way out all over the world, including Australia, but it’s more advanced in the States. The age of middleman, the “administrator”, the commission taker is on it’s way out the door. Good, I say. These people are just a parasitic burden on the real economy. If you have the brains, dedication and ability, pursue a career in the high end STEM field. More hands on? Pursue a good trade like electronics/ electrician, plumber, fitter & turner, boilermaker, etc. Don’t want to get your hands dirty? Just want to sit in a… Read more »
Member

This is why when you can, vote with your money and support companies that put in actual effort.

Don’t show loyalty to google, they don’t give a crap about anyone outside of usa.

Dztfoxz
Valued Guest
Dztfoxz

Actually the problem is licensing. Google in America is quite free to do as they please but other countries prevent Google from offering features to you.

James
Valued Guest
James

100%. Even being a big fan, I’m starting to get frustrated with everything about this. Really makes you consider other options.

For example, the Pixel 2 preorders. I pre-ordered on the first possible day here and I was supposed to still be waiting for it to arrive on 30th November. I found that the local retailers had run out of stock and restocked before mine was even due to ship. (What’s the point of a pre-order?) Cancelled the order and walked down to JB HiFi to get it the same day around 2 weeks ago.

Allan Thomas
Valued Guest
Allan Thomas

Hi James,
Please see my reply to Chris, below. I can’t understand how I received my Pixel 2 XL so much earlier, as quoted, when you and I ordered on the same day.
Cheers

Chris
Valued Guest
Chris
Ordering from Google is just stupid. They process your card overseas to avoid tax and then we get hit with an overseas transaction fee. This should be illegal. Prices well they are way too high. The Nexus 6 was my last Google phone. OnePlus now they are awesome. An example is Hardly Normal. $77 for Chromecast Ultra. Same as the US price plus GST.. Google is the Beta company. Everything is half baked problematic and you do not know if they are going to can it or not. Google needs a change of management as they are so all over… Read more »
Allan Thomas
Valued Guest
Allan Thomas

I’ve just checked my invoice AND my bank statement, (C/wlth MasterCard). The quoted price for a Pixel 2 XL was A$1549. That’s what I paid, to the penny. I frequently purchase items from USA, England, Hong Kong, China, etc. To the utter best of my recollection, if the quoted price is in A$, there’s NEVER a transaction fee. If the quoted price is in a foreign currency, of course there’s a transaction fee. What would you expect?
I’m over this. End of subject

Chris
Valued Guest
Chris

Tosser. You again make a fool of yourself. The banks charge an overseas transaction fee. Not Google. Some banks don’t but that is rare.

Allan Thomas
Valued Guest
Allan Thomas

Hi Chris,
I purchased an XL 2 direct. I’ve checked, there was no overseas transaction fee ( MasterCard). In fairness, I ordered the ”instant” that orders opened. Delivery was predicted for 16/11- 20/11. I received it, Broken Hill, on 15/11 so they performed there.
Comparing U.S. prices is problematic due to their massively confusing sales tax system, varying by State, which is applied on top of the sale price, unlike GST. That’s not Google’s fault.
Cheers

Terry
Valued Guest
Terry

Chris is right, if you order anything from Google store you will be charged overseas transaction fee and it’s very expensive. Luckily I used my CBA Amex card which has no overseas transaction fee to buy the Pixel. But on the bank statement, there is still a record said CBA waived this fee for me.

I was charged by this last year when purchased Pixel 1. Google escaped a lot of tax by doing that.

Allan Thomas
Valued Guest
Allan Thomas

Amex! They’re the biggest ripoff artists on the face of the earth. Why would you use them? Ever noticed all the vendors and restaurants that refuse to accept Amex, even in the States? Google escaped a lot of tax? You weren’t buying it in Australia. Please explain how Google escaped tax. If you were so concerned about paying the maximum amount of, I assume, GST, why didn’t you buy from an Australian retailer? FFS!

Terry
Valued Guest
Terry

Just came back from US and I can tell you I can use Amex card almost all the time and there is only one place I can’t use is Costco in US.

Why Google escaped tax? Clearly, I bought product from Australia Google store and they didn’t invoice me and states the GST. Also, why do we have to charge overseas transaction fee if we buy a product from Australia online store?

Fred
Valued Guest
Fred

Hear Hear !

I hope the Google Home Mini drops in price once Amazon finally launch (hopefully with the Echo Dot). $30 is more like it (or even the $44 it would translate to here).

Member

Accurate AF. It’s not so much a Google issue, but more an American issue. Generally speaking, Americans think only of themselves and rarely see the world outside their bubble. It would be nice if Google lead the wayfor more open mindedness / world view where more people are not excluded, but I hate to say it, but this is typical behaviour.

Allan Thomas
Valued Guest
Allan Thomas

You’re right, Dave, but to the likes of Google, Apple, Amazon etc, Australia is just the pimple on pig’s back which, to be blunt, in commercial terms, I can understand. I’m waiting and watching with interest to see how Amazon goes out here. I wish them well, but if they don’t deliver the sort of service that they do in the States, I predict that they’ll be in trouble. They face different issues here, remoteness and the unions for starters!

Member

That makes for pretty depressing reading but it’s all true. I am still wodering when I’ll get my Home Mini voucher – even an indication would be nice. I got my Pixel 2 XL last week after ordering on launch day. I would definitely be purchasing if the Aussie Google store had a sale on. I need another Chromecast and another Wifi but I have been waiting, hoping for some ‘specials’.

Terry
Valued Guest
Terry

Me too, I remember I have seen some post on Reddit, customers in US got the discount code just a few days after they received the Pixel 2.

I contacted Google store last week, and they said the policy is you will receive the code 4 to 6 weeks after they ship Pixel 2.

I am totally frustrated by Google.

Andy Trudge
Valued Guest
Andy Trudge

I got my mini voucher last week and it shipped a day later. Tracking shows it in Melbourne as of today.

Member

I also just noticed that the heading for the Google Store page is “Shop Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals”. Ha!

Terry
Valued Guest
Terry
So far this is the best article on Ausdroid regarding Google. We all have the same feeling but we can’t express it anywhere and even on Twitter, @MadeByGoogle will simply ignore your mention. Yes, Apple is far away better than Google on how to sell their products and Google never learn a lesson since Nexus 4 release. Or maybe Google never wants to earn money through selling hardware. They just want to make the market/industry messy. Last but not least, I have to say thanks to Google that at least you give us the free Google home mini by purchasing… Read more »
Allan Thomas
Valued Guest
Allan Thomas

Mate, I remember trying to order a Nexus 4 when they were released. It took me weeks before I succeeded. Just about drove me insane. I’m not a computer nerd, sitting in front of a screen all day, hitting refresh. Bigger fish to fry!

Member
Adam J

Perhaps @sundarpichai will respond?

Member

+1… Owned a nexusone long time hardware fan. Bought a pixel2 from telstra. My house would be full of google homes if they had gone on sale, if it wasnt for the fact that i hate us -> au adaptors so goddamned much i may just shipitto from us store.

Luke Cole
Valued Guest
Luke Cole

100% I don’t bother looking at the Google Store anymore

Member
deanomalino

Amen to this!

I ended up cancelling my Google Store order for the pixel and got it from JB. The wait for the phone and the really long wait for the Google home is just pathetic.

Terry
Valued Guest
Terry

I wanted to do the same initially, however based on different hardware problems for XL I decided to wait the shipment from Google. Because as Google support said if you buy from local retailers, you can’t get the benefit of getting a replacement device and then ship back your old device. Also, JB could easily say they don’t have any stocks.

I really hope Costco could sell Google Pixel phones and other premium phones.

Andrew
Valued Guest
Andrew

I bought my pixel XL last year from JBHIFI and had a problem with the headphone socket. Google support gave me the choice to go through JBHIFI or to send it back to Google Hong Kong. I sent it back to Google and got a new replacement sent out.

Tony
Valued Guest
Tony

Completly agree I am also waiting for the same reason. I have a Nexus 6p with battery issues out of warranty and Google would of helped me if it had been purchased from their store. Unfortunatly that was not the case and I have been left up shit creek with a faulty device. Lesson learned

Member

Same. I had issues with my N5 a couple of years back and Google support was excellent. I had a new one within 2 days.

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