Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

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.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 13 2014, @09:04AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 13 2014, @09:04AM (#92706)

    Failing that, the best solution is to apologize via to each customer that you can't help them, and a German court says that they can not continue to serve "customers" they can't help, and therefore Google has no choice but to close the customer's Google accounts.

    That would be an excellent result. We need more variety in internet services. Consolidation into a handful of behemoths is not healthy in the long run because it discourages innovation -- no need to innovate when you are 10x larger than the next closest competitor.

    Starting Score:    0  points
    Moderation   +1  
       Interesting=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Interesting' Modifier   0  

    Total Score:   1  
  • (Score: 2) by khallow on Saturday September 13 2014, @07:47PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 13 2014, @07:47PM (#92794) Journal

    An "excellent result" would more variety of services that can't have German customers because of this ruling? Small businesses would have the same customer support problem as well. And somehow I think this ruling is less of a problem for the behemoths due to economies of scale than for the small would-be competitor.