In the Studio Today... Manic Monday: Google Loses My Vote

Monday, July 29, 2013

Spent the day online, applying for jobs. I am a single-mom, looking to move out of my sons' father's home, and can't leave until I have a full-time position. I had been passing the time this summer (between applying for jobs) using Google Glass to create a series of videos, and I was really enjoying using the product for video and reference for my art.

Today is not a good day for Google in my mind. They have left a person who was really enjoying their product, so much so that she was practically an evangelist to all her friends, converting non-believers that this was a cool device. Today, they have a disappointed, former evangelist, turned quite negative. Here is what they sent me, after a 5 day wait, during which time they said they were going to try to see what they could offer me.

Hello Colleen,

Thanks so much for your patience over these past few days. I'm really sorry to hear about you losing Glass at the beach! I heard back from the team, and at this time, we will allow you to repurchase Glass, but we won't be able to honor a replacement unless you have a device to swap with. If you have any questions, I'd be glad to help you out!


--Name Hidden--
Glass Guide

Well, sadly, I am beginning to believe my friends that told me this was a bad deal in the first place. I pay $1,500. to shout to the world how great this device is, when my actual recommendations and use will determine the next device, which will be for sale at a much cheaper price point. Sounds ridiculous, right?

Well, from my end, I was excited because I love technology and in using it during the time I did so, I was able to connect with local friends, bike shops, business owners and people who love art in a way that I was not able to do so before. Basically, it provided me with more marketing power for my own art and business because it is brand new and very few have it right now. However, as Google Glass is released to more and more people, the videos produced saturate the market, and only the best videos and the best stories will be truly shared and cared about. It is one thing to "be the first", it is another to have a lasting impression on your audience.

My current impression is not good. In my heart, I know the kindest thing Google could have done for this mother of twins who had become a new evangelist of this product, with over 12 blog posts on it and 6 edited video projects... I think they could have offered me a better deal. When I picked up my Google Glass, I was employed as a contractor. The day after I got my Google Glass, the contractor let me go. My last week's pay from the part-time contract position went to pay for the Google Glass. Knowing that I was suddenly out of work, I could have returned my Google Glass, but I did not. Instead, I embarked on projects to share this new product with my community, family and friends.

Now, obviously, I can not turn in the product to Google if it fell in the water and was swept out into the Pacific/Bolinas Lagoon. However, I do have the cloth bag it came in, 2 visor shades that go with it, and the USB cable and charger that it goes with. I also have the Google+ account that all the photos and video on it were backed up to. If it ever were plugged in again, Google would see where the device was. They also have the ability to disable the account. So, why are they not able to provide another device, or a credit towards a future device, when I tested their product for a month and gave them lots of positive publicity and paid them $1,500.?

My answer: Times have changed. People really don't care about others any more, but only their product, profits, and being first.

When I read today in the NYTimes that Obama is worried about the increasing gap between the haves and the have nots, and our economy is not thriving, I wonder how a company like Google can feel good about themselves for letting a single-mom test a product at $1,500. and not help her when the product is lost by accident. This is the same thinking that came into play for me in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. I was supposed to leave on a trip to Panama to assist a company in an educational study of the rainforest.  It was to be research for an animated film I was working on in graduate school. The money I used for the trip was my student loan money. The earthquake hit and the LA airport was closed.  I was unable to go on this trip, but they kept my money anyway and would not refund it, even though it was student loan money.  They had a clause about "Acts of God and Nature" and no refunds. I feel a little bit like this today. We invest our heart and money and time into things in life, and sometimes, they don't yield positive results. They leave us with a bad taste in our mouths, and we don't want to share the experience any longer.

However, I am a positive person, and I am seeing a valuable moral to this story. There are companies that have bent over to help me and created a life-long customer. In the 80's, I was a local college student near a ski resort. I tore a ligament on the trail and was carried down at the beginning of the season. I wrote a note to the President of SugarLoaf(and sent him a drawing of the local ski town), and they gave me a free season pass for the following year.  I loved that mountain, but I loved it even more when they were kind. To this day, my family still visits there in the summers when they can. Companies like L.L.Bean, who always believe the customer is right, and take care of them are still the ones I gravitate towards. There was a sense of respect that made me feel important. I'm not having a great Monday, and let's just say that I haven't been made to feel very important in this process of Beta-testing. Now don't get me wrong, the Glass Support team has been terrific and helpful and always there, but I still don't feel like my experience has been valued for the real cost it was to me. I certainly could have charged a client $1,500. for 6 edited videos and 12 blog posts. When the cost of the product exceeds it's value, and the customer does not believe in the companies policies, the customer is temporarily lost.

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