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posted by n1 on Saturday September 13 2014, @05:41AM   Printer-friendly
from the too-big-to-email-customers dept.

Normally Google users who email the address “” receive an automatic reply notifying the emailer that Google will neither read nor reply to customer support emails due to the large number of requests sent to the address. After that sentence, the automatic reply directs Google users to various online self-help guides and contact forms. Now PC World reports that a German court has has ruled that Google must stop ignoring customer emails and start offering a way to communicate with the company. According to the German Telemedia Act says, companies must provide a way to ensure fast electronic communications with them. The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZBV) argued that Google’s support address is a black box in which messages disappear into a void.

This doesn’t mean that every incoming email should now be checked and processed individually by a Google employee, the court said. But the company has to provide the possibility for users to contact it via email, it said. It was left up to Google how to deal with future incoming email. If Google does not change its conduct, it could be fined up to €250,000 (about US$323,000) (PDF in German), the court said.

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  • (Score: 1) by juggs on Saturday September 13 2014, @06:22AM

    by juggs (63) on Saturday September 13 2014, @06:22AM (#92690) Journal

    For sure it qualifies. My nit-pick was with the title / summary using the two words interchangeably. Call me a pedant :D

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  • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Saturday September 13 2014, @06:38AM

    by q.kontinuum (532) on Saturday September 13 2014, @06:38AM (#92694) Journal

    I call you worse: a pedant who's wrong!

    As you know, Google Search users are paying with their data, and through cookies and tracking mechanism they do so even if they are not logged in or even registered. So they might not be registered customers, but customers they remain.

    Now you call me a worse pedant!

    (As someone else pointed out, if the verdict is 200k once, Google will probably ignore it. Btw: If you want to challenge my definition of "customer", keep in mind that even the registered customers are usually not paying in money...)

    Registered IRC nick on qkontinuum
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 13 2014, @09:00AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 13 2014, @09:00AM (#92704)

      > Now you call me a worse pedant!

      No. A pedant is someone who is all about the trees, not the forest - minutiae over meaning. Your analysis was 100% forest.

      Payment with non-traditional currency is absolutely still payment.