The other day, I wanted to try out Googles' "DFP for Small Businesses" service. The reason is simple: I want to serve my own ads (for nWire) in my own blog. I could just use a simple HTML banner and get it over with, but I wanted reports on my ads performance and the ability to test out different ads and see how they do. That's what DFP is for.
Cheerfully, I tried logging in to the service with my own Google account, the account I'm using for all the other services, including AdWords, which means I'm paying for my ads to show in searches and other sites. "No so fast", says Google, "you need to have an AdSense account first". AdSense is kind of the opposite side of AdWords, which means you are hosting Google ads on your site.
OK, so I went to the AdWords site and tried logging in. "Wait", says Google, "you need to apply for an AdSense account first". Not a problem. I entered my details. I got to a point where I had to enter my Google credentials, even though I was logged in... and... boom. "You already have an AdSense account associated with this login name", the Google grumbles.
I can't login because I need to open an account, I can't open an account because I already have an account. Sounds logical... if you're in a Joseph Heller book!
That did not break my spirit, I turned to the online help and found nothing useful. I wanted to open a support ticket, however, according to the online help, you need to login before you can open a support ticket. I felt like I was trying to make an appointment with Major Major.
Sending emails to email@example.com simply yields an automated response. Asking in the forums is a waste of time as well.
Well done, Google. IMHO, that's one of the key pitfalls of this giant. They are very good at scaling their servers, but not nearly as capable when it comes to scaling their customer care.
This may work when it comes to free services. You get something for free so don't expect somebody to pay for supporting you. But that doesn't work with paid services. Example: the unsuccessful attempt to sell the Nexus One through Google channels (yes, this is not the only reason). Another example: Google Apps. I guess not many companies are willing to pay $50 per user per year for bad service.
Lets see who comes to his senses first: Google or the crowd.