“Customer service support was good on web chat and Twitter, but Google dropped the ball with zero phone support and unsatisfactory Facebook support.”
Google made its debut in our Tech Support Showdown investigation in 2020, but didn’t match the high standards we were expecting. The Twitter support, in particular, needed improvement, but the phone support made up for this shortfall with patient and helpful assistance.
Plus, the Pixelbook help forum is crammed with plenty of useful information and easy-to-follow, step-by-step guides. But how much of this has continued throughout the last 12 months?
I picked a base Pixelbook Go and set myself up with three questions relevant to any parent working from home through a pandemic — restricting your child’s gameplay times, altering the trackpad sensitivity, and unzipping a file. Let the 2022 investigation begin.
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Google tech support
|Overall||Web score||Mobile App Score||Social Media Score||Phone score||Warranty Score||Avg. call time||Phone number||Web support|
Web and social support
For those with a better memory than me, you may remember that Google offered good web chat and Facebook support in last year’s Tech Support Showdown, but was lacking on Twitter.
Google provided the same level of web chat service. Plus I experienced satisfactory Twitter customer support with a detailed response to my questions about increasing trackpad sensitivity and adding time limits to specific apps, all within 45 minutes of sending the initial message.
Flipping the script on last year’s showdown, the company’s tech support left me on “read” on Facebook, which is disappointing considering how many times I tried reaching out.
If you’d rather solve the problem yourself, you can head over to Google’s Pixelbook support page. It’s a straightforward page, featuring 10 popular topics such as managing apps, using the pen, and personalizing your Pixelbook. Can’t find your exact question? Use the search bar. I found my trackpad sensitivity query with ease and you should have no trouble doing the same.
But if your problem is not answered by the support page, that’s where web chat comes in, which has seen a couple of changes since last year. Now, it is accessed quickly by entering your name and a couple of details about the problem, so your customer service rep knows where to start.
It took me about 15 minutes to get to the front of the queue and receive my first message, after which the support from the agent was patient, polite and informative.
Last year, Google’s Pixelbook phone support was non-existent — leaving you only with a recorded message directing you to online support. To me, that was unforgivable. Millions of companies managed to make their contact center operations remote during the pandemic, so why did one of the richest companies on the planet just not bother?
But luckily, this was a temporary issue, as the Pixelbook phone customer service is open again and it’s pretty good. There was no pushing numbers to reach the right department, just a 2-3 minute wait on hold before you’re connected with someone.
The individual I spoke to was attentive when I asked my questions, and she was patient and helpful in directing me to the correct option screens to diagnose the problem, without overstepping and taking over your computer remotely.
However, as they were clear in mentioning in the first recorded message you hear before, the contact center team is mighty keen to take your account information. These weren’t needed to resolve the issue that I asked, and while the company says this information is used “to improve your support,” it doesn’t really add value here.
In the U.S. and Canada, Pixelbooks come with a limited one-year warranty, limited further to 90 days if you go for a refurbished model.
Google emphasizes that the warranty applies only to Pixelbooks purchased from Google or its authorized resellers. Coverage is only for manufacturer defects and not incidental damages from accidents, normal wear and tear, or mishandling.
Should any problems meet these requirements, you are in your rights to return your Pixelbook, and Google will replace or repair your laptop with a brand-new or refurbished laptop based on its discretion. That replacement or repaired Pixelbook will continue under the remainder of that warranty period.
Need a little more peace of mind? Google offers a Preferred Care package that covers accidental damage and mechanical/electrical breakdown. For this model of Pixelbook, that will set you back $99.
Google’s online support across Twitter and their own website was friendly, fast and accurate.
The lack of Facebook communication left a bad taste in my mouth, but there is no denying that Google’s agents are knowledgeable, patient and polite — highlighted especially by the phone support.
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Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.