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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 “support-de@google.com” 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: 4, Interesting) by maxwell demon on Saturday September 13 2014, @08:18AM

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday September 13 2014, @08:18AM (#92702) Journal

    Not very high: Instead of sending back mails saying "we don't care about your mail", instead send back a mail saying "to contact us, please make sure that your mail conforms to the following requirements. [two pages of requirements, which are easily automatically checked]". Only mails that pass all those requirements are passed on.

    This would reduce the mails to those people who have a serious enough problem to actually go through two pages of instructions, and then additionally weed out those not able to follow them. The few mails that pass this barrier can then easily be handled by a few employees.

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  • (Score: 1) by archfeld on Saturday September 13 2014, @08:06PM

    by archfeld (4650) <treboreel@live.com> on Saturday September 13 2014, @08:06PM (#92800) Journal

    Do like SOE does to its' WoW customers, give them a phone number that is NOT toll-free, is located in 'far-away land' and has a single line available. You'd have to be exceedingly desperate to wait and pay the toll charges. Net result is the same though, very few, if any will hop through that many hoops for a free service, be they customers or consumers or however you want to refer to them.

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