The Better Business Bureau doesn't quite believe Google's “Don't be evil” mantra. In a recent report, the BBB gave Google a C- reliability grade. While it's not the worst grade in the class, Google's classmates Yahoo!, Microsoft and HP all got A's and higher, it makes you wonder what Google did that was so heinous. Ok, once in a while there's a privacy leak, or an outage here and there, but I wouldn't say that they're performing worse than Microsoft or Yahoo! in that regard. According to the BBB, a C- rating means the following.
Acceptable rating. We know of no reason not to do business with this company. If the level of this rating relates to anything specific that we know might be of concern to consumers, it is stated in this report. Read our full report to determine if you have questions or concerns.
If you look down in the full report, you'll see that there have been a lot of formal complaints against Google. This is altogether unsurprising, and is expected from a company the size of Google. The catch is that you have to respond to those pesky complaints to keep the BBB happy. According to the report, Google received a total of 648 complaints. Here's a chart breaking down the type of response Google gave.
As you can see, 49 of the complaints went unanswered and 46 were “uncategorized.” Since the BBB gets upset over one unanswered complaint, you can clearly see where the problem is. This isn't new for Google, either. They are infamous for their lack of a proper customer support infrastructure, and this was partially the cause for the financial failure of the Nexus One. Google is also infamous for strictly enforcing the terms of their contracts, especially with Adsense customers, and many feel that it's too strict. Five years ago, Google didn't have to worry about customer service. They were primarily a search engine, and their ad model was a relatively new phenomenon. As the model constantly matures, and viable competition pops up all around you, customer satisfaction starts becoming very important, and it would be a good idea to start responding to those pesky complaints.