Lost In Mobile

Shaun McGill

07412 655899

Lost In Mobile is the continuation of PDA-247 which, under various names, provided news, reviews and commentary on the mobile world for 10 years.

I have been writing about the mobile industry, mobile products, apps and everything else in between and beyond for more than 10 years, and currently write freelance for Imagine Publishing and also undertake one-off projects upon request.

I welcome your comments and thoughts and if you want to get in touch, please do so via the email address or phone number above.

Thanks for stopping by.

Shaun McGill

Apple is best. Get over it.

Will patent wars between Apple and Google decide the future of technology. No. Google will screw it up and here's why.

Google announces the Nexus 7 available to pre order on Google Play. So I pre ordered expecting to get it on first day of release. Actually I got it over a week later. Several calls to Google support, each taking nearly 90 minutes to be answered didn't help reveal any information on delivery or the reasons for the delays. The staff kept giving false timescales and explanations which never got met. So rejoice, the Nexus 7 finally arrives. It's a lovely device. However, mine had screen lift and the speaker crackled. So I called Google support over a month ago to sort situation. All seemed good. Was told new device will be sent, along with return labels for posting back faulty device. Google take a pre authorisation charge on replacement Nexus 7 and give you 21 days to return faulty unit. If you don't they charge the price of a new one. The new device arrived 4 days later, with no tracking provided. So far everything seemed ok. But from now on its all downhill. Remember this is about a month ago.

I chased over the next few weeks by telephone and email for the return postage labels for the faulty item. These never arrived. Every time I spoke to Google the story changed. Anyway, I decided I couldn't live with this poor service, and was going to return the new device. Not a problem I was told by Google. The return labels for both devices would be sent out. As of today's date nothing has been received. I have 2 tablets boxed up waiting to be returned. I haven't been refunded. And the time ticks on. I have called Google many times and emailed them. The method of returning the item keeps changing, in fact it changed 3 times over a month. One person said the reason I hadn't got my return postage labels was because I needed both items on a single RMA. A week later when nothing has been received, Google explained I needed a RMA per device. A week later again, my call to Google explained that they had processed an email to the higher support level specialist to urgently look into my non receipt of return postage labels. So the supposed process is one device goes to Computer 2000 in the UK and the other to an address in the Netherlands. Then the refund can be processed. The courier is TNT. But until I receive the magic non existent labels, I can't call TNT to collect, the tablets can't be posted back, and the refund and removal of the pre authorisation charge cannot be sorted. So this is a global company who have lied, totally screwed every part of the transaction and have left me in a position whereby I would never want to buy another piece of hardware from them. Nor have I got my refund.

As I said who needs patent wars, when you have service this poor. No wonder Apple is doing so well! Gavin



If there is one thing that makes my blood boil it is poor customer service. Those endless waits on the phone while listening to the 'your call is important to use' message. Finally getting through to someone who has either been poorly trained or who could not care less because the company they work for has made them that way and the constant being passed around between departments because no-one knows who deals with what.

That is Google, Argos, Vodafone, O2, PC World (Dixons, Currys) and almost every large organisation I have had the displeasure of dealing with over the past few years.

And then there is Apple. When I buy an Apple product I know that the price includes a service level that ensures the product will keep running or be replaced almost straight away should problems occur. I can email them, phone them or walk into a store and I 'always' receive excellent customer service.

You can criticise Apple for the aggressive legal approach it has, for the controlling walled garden it has built and for so many other reasons, but not for customer service. Once you experience Apple customer service, the rest look decidedly shabby in comparison. When I purchase a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop these are objects that I 'need' to rely on, particularly the phone and desktop. They are incredibly important for my freelance work, for communicating and so many other tasks so why would I buy a product when there is no guarantee of a positive outcome if it breaks? There is no excuse for taking your money and then not looking after you as a customer. Gavin's experience is not far from my own with the Nexus and it really has put me off Google hardware products. Feel free to defend it all you like, but there is little doubt in my mind that Apple's customer service is vitally important to the customer and ultimately to its long-term success. It is what keeps me coming back to Apple and is as important as any specification or design innovation.