Communications has always been an important issue for me. Over my career, I’ve had to fix more problems caused by poor communications than anything else. These problems can be caused by someone assuming that their audience is in possession of more information than their actions suggest or by not responding to the question.

If I ask my long suffering wife “When will the hay arrive?” (It’s that time of year again and making sure you have enough hay for the year is always important in Texas). Reasonable responses would be “Tomorrow”, “They haven’t gotten back with me to set a time” or even “I don’t know”.  A response of “I ordered it yesterday” tells me nothing and forces me to ask several more questions just to get to “They haven’t gotten back with me to set a time”.

Looking at the exchange, my wife tried to substitute her answer with information she had. To her this was just as important as the original question. To me, I still have to ask more questions  to get an answer to my original question. To those of you reading this, yes, my wife does deserve your sympathy.  I think like an engineer and even efficiency in the number of questions I ask is important to me. Don’t bother asking me why, I have no idea.

Fast subject break. It was a foregone conclusion that I would be buying a 7″ Android tablet. I like my iPad but between technolust and Apple that  tablet would be mine. When Google announced the Nexus tablet would be made by ASUS and sold by Google, I was hooked. Google has a vested interest in seeing this work and I really like the quality of ASUS.

The day it was announced I ordered one. Just as soon, my bank decided that this might be a fraudulent charge and froze my credit card. I don’t know why my bank did this and I really don’t care. They’ve gone out of their way to protect and notify me.  Within less than 30 minutes the issue was resolved.

Now back to the communications issue. This is what my Google wallet (the only way you can buy a Nexus 7 at the moment) looks like:

  • Jun 27 Google Inc, received your order
  • Jun 27 You successfully updated your payment for this order
  • Jun 27 An attempt to charge xxx to xxx failed. You must update your payment information within 7 days or your order will be cancelled
  • Jun 27 You successfully updated your payment for this order
  • Jun 27 An attempt to charge xxx to xxx failed. You must update your payment information within 7 days or your order will be cancelled
  • Jun 27 You successfully updated your payment for this order
  • Jun 27 An attempt to charge xxx to xxx failed. You must update your payment information within 7 days or your order will be cancelled
  • Jun 27 You placed an order with Google, Inc on Jun 27. Google Wallet sent a copy of this receipt to xxx

As you read through this, you’ll notice that it never says that they were able to charge my card. They tell me that they were unable to charge it three times. They tell me that I updated my card three times. Talking to my bank wasn’t good enough, I had to re-enter my card to “update” it.

I appreciate a lot of what Google does. I used their webapps and their python training for the Udacity classes I took. I’m starting to use my Google + account and I’m impressed at how much traffic comes to my website from Google +.

Like everyone else though, they sometimes need feedback to get it right. Google, this is my feedback to you. Please modify your Wallet transactions to show actual status. Nowhere have you told me my order is good to go and I really want my Nexus 7.

Update: July 12: After just over two weeks of no word, Google just notified me that my Nexus order was cancelled because they can’t deliver to a PO Box. This is a communication company? They couldn’t tell me that when I tried to place the order? I thought I was dealing with Google, not Microsoft.

 

 

© Copyright 2012 Byron Seastrunk, All rights Reserved. Written For: Opinion by pen