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Thursday, August 18, 2022

SOS: Oh, humanity, or lack thereof at Google, meta customer ‘help’

Editor’s Note: This SOS column is a topical series that highlights companies that prove themselves to be unresponsive, unresponsive, or apathetic to explaining themselves.

Tech giants Google and Meta offer lots of online, automated support for customers who run into trouble with their products.

But good luck finding a real, designated human worker that the machines can’t (or won’t).

Chris Hornung, 70, formerly of rural Verona, emailed SOS in March to say that YouTube had been double-billing him for his single YouTube account for over a year, and his credit card company. After trying to fix the problem with YouTube, the credit card company suggested that it raise it directly with YouTube’s parent company, Google.

It was easier said than done.

“I’m wondering if the customer service department is a test bed for their AI (artificial intelligence) software because their email responses are polite but predictable and unhelpful,” he said. “They appear to be a big machine that is bulletproof except when it is not.”

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Hornung said he is filing objections to the additional bills with his credit card company, which will alert Google only to see that Google denies the objections and reinstates the charges.

“I don’t know why anyone would need two identical streaming subscriptions,” Hornung said. “Plus, Google needs to be able to see if a single account is being used. Here’s a catch: According to Google, I only have one account, so I don’t know if they’re using the first of the month.” How can you bill the day and the 17th.”

SOS began its series of failed attempts to help Hornung on April 11, when it emailed people at Google. It emailed again on April 20 and May 4, when it also posted on Google and YouTube’s Facebook pages, tweeted YouTube and stayed at Google’s California headquarters for 23 minutes without speaking to anyone.

YouTube’s anonymous tweeter responded with a link to online help. “They will receive real human assistance via Twitter or by contacting our live support,” it said. Google’s press office similarly emailed a link to online help.


Hornung dutifully tried both; They didn’t help and they didn’t report any real human contact.

“I canceled the credit card associated with duplicate billing and reinstated a subscription, but they still owed me 14 months,” Hornung said on May 24. Welcome to the world of machines.

so meta

Chris Monge, 53, of Lodi, spent eight months asking Facebook to restore his hacked account before contacting SOS on April 18.

“Someone changed the email address associated with the page,” he said. “I emailed a copy of my photo ID as well as other information for help to an email address for Facebook, but received no response.”

Similarly, SOS did not receive a response to emails from Facebook or parent company Meta on April 20 and May 4. For posts or messages on two Facebook Facebook pages – not by at least one human. In one case, it appeared that a bot responded with:

“We’re slowly learning how to better respond to all kinds of requests, but don’t know much about that right now (the sad face emoji). For additional help, visit our Help Center or our options below. Choose from.”

The SOS gave Mongay as much information as possible on 27 May, and Monge said that “if I ever contact anyone they will report back.”

Monge works at Insurance and on June 14 he said “What pains me the most about my situation is that I need to be able to personally log in to control my business pages because I’m the admin.

“Without access to my profile, my business pages are effectively dead,” he said.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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