Nexus One blighted by 3G, support woes

The atmosphere of excitement that once enveloped Google’s Nexus One smartphone is turning to frustration as customers experience problems with 3G connectivity and customer support.

T-Mobile told users on its own forums that it is investigating the 3G service issues alongside Google. Customers have complained that their connections are fluctuating between 3G and the slower Edge network, and T-Mobile is asking customers to specify where they’re located and whether they can use another T-Mobile phone for comparison. Some users are having problems in all their T-Mobile phones, but most say the 3G fluctuations are mostly affecting the Nexus One.

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Compounding the problem is an overwhelming demand for customer support, not just for 3G issues, but eligibility questions and ordering problems. Google is only responding to requests by e-mail and promises to reply in one or two days, according to PC World.

Unlike other Android phones, which are sold through wireless carriers, Google is selling the Nexus One on its Web site, and so customers are turning to Google first for help, but Google may not have been adequately prepared for this level of demand.

Keep in mind that similar connectivity problems were reported with Apple’s iPhone 3G when it launched in 2008. The Nexus One is a major smartphone launch, and a few kinks aren’t surprising. But Google, T-Mobile and HTC will have to iron out a better support system than the one that’s in place. Customers need one place to go when their phones are having problems, if that’s going to be Google, they’ll need staff who can answer phones. When customers are being jerked around from one company to the next, as reported, with each company passing the blame onto the others, that’s unacceptable.