(Migrated weblog post from LSR)
I wonder if the folks at Google ever realise about this whenever they release a new product or offering. I mean, yesterday they introduced personalised home pages and while playing around with them I lasted for about 5 minutes before realising that some of the options do not work outside of the US. Driving Directions, Weather, Movies just don’t seem to be working unless you are using instructions from within the US. So what is the point of releasing a worldwide offering if you then find out that it does not work outside of the US? It seems as if they are doing it on purpose, since this is certainly not the first time this happens. And don’t worry the UK is not the rest of the world either.
The only thing that they may be doing at the moment, apart from developing some great tools, is to raise the frustration from non-US residents because we see some really superb tools out there we could take advantage of but just because they appear to be crippled with all sorts of restrictions we cannot just go ahead and use them effectively. That is certainly what I would call good customer service … not !
If you plan to offer something for a worldwide audience make sure that it does apply to a worldwide audience. And if not, state that up front so that we can move into something else without getting even more frustrated. I suspect that Google launched this personalised home pages in order to compete with Yahoo! and while I think it is a good idea, so far Yahoo! is winning the race because they do seem to care about a worldwide audience and not just a US one. So rather Google catches up implementing true worldwide offerings (and fix those that are still very much US centric) or it will only get more frustrated users and as such will start loosing some market share. It better starts listening to its end-users, otherwise it will not be too long before we would walk away. It will be up to them but let’s hope they make the right choice, because after all the world is not just the US, right? Even though some may say so.