The Head of Google UK apologizes for the epic mishandling of Nexus 4 orders

by: ŠtefanDecember 17, 2012

dan Image Credit: Twitter

Google indexes billions of websites every day without breaking a sweat. They serve an ungodly amount of video on YouTube, again, with little to no effort. But when it comes to online sales, they’re about as useful as your typical scam artist on eBay. People who ordered the company’s newest flagship smartphone, the Nexus 4, were subjected to shopping carts that mysteriously emptied themselves, web forms that were unresponsive, and for the lucky few who successfully got their orders through, they’re now facing delays. This is downright embarrassing for a company that advertises itself as being the backbone of the internet. Dan Cobley, the Managing Director of Google UK and Google Ireland, offered this statement regarding the situation:

Dear all

I know that what you are going through is unacceptable and we are all working through the nights and weekends to resolve this issue. Supplies from the manufacturer are scarce and erratic, and our communication has been flawed. I can offer an unreserved apology for our service and communication failures in this process.

For those that originally received a 3-5 days shipping estimate, your orders are now in process for fulfillment. You can expect an email notification early this week which will include tracking information. Although you will be initially charged in full, you will receive a credit for the shipping charge soon after.

For others that received pre-Christmas shipping estimates, we anticipate processing your orders for fulfillment this week.

I realise that the people who ordered the Nexus 4 so early are among our most committed and loyal users and we are doing all we can to put things right.

Sorry again.


We’re not going to roll over and accept this apology. Google should have known what to expect. It’s common knowledge in the mobile industry that there are really only three phones that matter in any given year: Apple’s newest iPhone, Samsung’s newest Galaxy S, and the latest Nexus. And forgetting about demand for a second, why was Google’s order page so fundamentally broken?

Not cool.

  • Mike Reid

    Does nobody remember what happened with the Nexus 7 launch ? I ordered within a few hours of the announcement and had to wait over 3 weeks. And local stores had them within a day or so.

    I said, “Never again” for a Google launch via Play.

    • Kevin

      I would agree if it wasn’t for all the stores selling them simfree hiking the prices up – made it a monopoly really. Been a shambles this whole thing – they should be giving them at a reduced price or giving a lot of credit never mind just refunding postage which would be a given really.

  • APai

    google sucks at customer support & sales – how many more years does google need before they can learn something so simple, small companies seem to get right ?

    “why was Google’s order page so fundamentally broken?”
    absolutely. if they can handle 1.2 trillion queries. especially!

  • Robert Caldecott

    “Supplies from the manufacturer are scarce and erratic” what? Surely they had some idea of the demand beforehand? Sounds like they are trying to blame LG for this and I’m guessing this will be the last LG Nexus device.

  • Vishal Hari

    When Will Nexus 7 Launched in India Sir!

    • aj

      A friend of mine told me that it is already available in India

  • Google are sending out this email to the people who were quoted 3-5 day delivery.

    “We are reaching out to you with an update on your Nexus device order that experienced a shipping delay.
    We can confirm that your order is now in process for fulfillment. You can expect an email notification early this week which will include tracking information.

    Please note that your order will be charged in full when it ships. As a courtesy and to thank you for your patience, you’ll then receive a credit for the shipping charge .

    Thanks again,

    The Google Play Team”

    • Kevin

      Still doesn’t give any idea of when we will actually get the shipping email though

      • Well, ‘early this week’ is an indication of when it’ll ship, wouldn’t you say?

  • Sergui

    Unbelievable they’re doing SO BAD…

  • LaVidaLoca

    If I handled my adsense, ebay or amazon sellers account the same way big G does I’d be history in 30 seconds. But being the 800 pound gorilla looks like no one gonna f*** with ya!!

  • goonerT

    and the newest samsung note.

  • cycad007

    Here’s a brilliant idea….if LG is responsible for this “epic mishandling”, then don’t contract LG to manufacture another Nexus device!

    I honestly would have preferred Google use HTC (best build quality), Samsung (best AMOLED displays) or ASUS (best device engineering/optimization) to have built this device. Exactly what is an LG Android smartphone known for? Oh…I forgot…fragile casing, bolted in battery, spring antenna connections, lack of impact zones, tape (instead of structure & shielding).

  • Disappointed

    I have sad news for anyone whose order is already late. While Google are refunding shipping costs to anyone whose order is late, in order to reduce their cost Google are holding back shipping Nexus 4 devices to those who already qualify for a shipping refund and shipping instead to those who are close to the end of their stated delivery period to avoid refunding further shipping.

    I was unlucky enough to get a 1-2 days shipping on 4 Dec and two colleagues, in the same office, who placed orders minutes afterwards both got 1-2 weeks. No surprises then that they both received their Nexus 4’s today and I am still waiting. In two separate calls to Google I was given some BS about it being with TNT and told to expect a tacking number within 24-28 hours. It is now 3 days later and the Google reps on the phone can offer no explanation and only a “We will refund shipping charges when it ships” apology.

    This is not a good way to treat your fans Google, especially big ones those who were fast off the mark in ordering shortly after the 4 Dec sale started. I think you have gotten too big to care about your customers anymore…

  • This is amazing ! The #1 Company around the web has these kinds of problems ! Its like a nightmare for me !