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The Pixel's secret weapon: 24/7 support

The Pixel and Pixel XL aren't designed just for the hardcore Android enthusiast. Google has been moving that direction since the release of the Galaxy Nexus, and last year's Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X were developer phones in name only. Besides a brand change, Google's new phones are no longer built for the people who know how to flash them or like to tinker with things that go beep. They'll still be able to flash all the things for those of us who want to go there, but the design and features are aimed squarely at the consumer market. That means customer support is an area where Google has to improve. A lot.

Enter 24/7 live support.

If you have a Pixel, you'll find a tab in the phone settings that has only one function — a way to get help when you need help. Available all the time through a phone call or a chat, someone from Google is there to answer your questions when things go wrong or you need help figuring out something. Android can be a bit daunting for folks used to something much simpler. It doesn't stop there, either.

Support is one of the areas Google has to improve if they want to sell a phone to everyone.

A Google support agent will be able to walk you through most any issue and get you on the right track. But if they can't, you'll be able to share your screen with them so they can see exactly what you're seeing and be better able to help you. You have to agree to share some data with Google to use the support features, and you have to accept any request to share your screen — nothing is automatic here. We all have been in a situation where seeing was the best way to be doing.

As mentioned, support is one of the areas Google has to improve if they want to sell a phone to everyone. Ask around and talk to people who have had to contact support for problems with their Nexus phone, and you'll soon find more than a handful of horror stories mixed in with the satisfied customers. Sending your mom to a Python-powered web page and having her go through a long list of questions to get help with the Hangouts app is as bad of an idea as it sounds. Most folks don't want to be bothered and just want their phone to work.

Having a live person to answer all of your questions is a great way to garner brand loyalty.

Google's not the first company to offer something like this. Amazon does it for their Fire HD tablet and the now-defunct Fire phone, and it was one of the highlights of the product line. Giving your customers a real live person to talk to anytime they need some help is a great selling point for a large segment of the people looking to buy a new phone. How you treat your customers after the sale is a big part of any decision to buy from you again. Google's 24/7 support method looks great, and if the support they offer through it is good they'll gain plenty of repeat customers.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

42 Comments
  • The pixel's fatal blow: verizon exclusive.
    I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy
  • At least US residents can get their Pixel financed through the google store. Canadians don't have that option.
  • While I agree that carrier exclusives are stupid... If they're going to do, they're better off doing it with the largest carrier.
  • Then pay the full price of the device upfront. I don't see any problems with that route.
  • you can finance it through google too.
  • May just be doing Verizon to start with to manage a new product release better. Apple did this with the iPhone on AT&T. Next year or so could see the product expand if it is succussful.
  • You can still buy it in the play store for all carriers at FP, when in stock again
  • you can buy it through the play store.
  • So what I'm hearing is that if I get my family to get Pixel Phones I won't need to be the 24/7 tech support anymore. That's worth the high price right there.
  • +10000 this!
  • A-freakin-men!
  • Just bought 4 will save thousands in time saved. ;-)
  • Good luck. I suspect you'll need it...
  • +$100000 if you want to accomplish that you'll need it.
  • Not needed for me. Nvr needed support for any phone.
  • The article makes no attempt to claim that it's for you. It says it's for users who find Android daunting.
  • If you find Android daunting, how are you to find the link to the 24/7 support?
  • It's right in the Settings.
  • Google's Projectfi support has been fantastic. No reason to think this will be any less well done.
  • To make up for the big bezel on the front and the lack of ois, wireless charging, waterproofing and micro sd, still..at least it's cheap.
  • Hahah. Epic
  • So much this. I bought a Galaxy S7 after seeing how much this phone was missing. My only regret is I didn't do it sooner. Has everything you listed, plus I got a new one for $450. I wanted to avoid TouchWiz but after installing Google Launcher and keyboard I barely notice it.
  • You can totally avoid TouchWiz. I would also recommend using Nova Launcher and a icon pack. You really can't go wrong with the S7. You made a good purchase.
  • Indeed. I do have Nova Pro so I will probably use that after a while. If anyone else out there is like me who loved Vanilla Android and avoided Samsung because of that, you need to let that go. Buy the unlocked version and you can avoid the carrier bloat as well. Oh, and Samsung Pay...AMAZING. Love Android Pay but SP works so many more places.
  • Lol! This things a piece of garbage. Galaxy + Nova rocks.
  • So 2 secret weapons? Neither of which I find a need for. I do hope it succeeds though. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ matte black iPhone 7/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • Two secret weapons that aren't secret...
  • This puts me off the pixel if anything. Probably accounts for a decent chunk of the price, and it's very poor value if you're not going to use it.
  • Couldn't agree more
  • My first thought was "that's why it's so expensive" when I saw the pixel advertisements and heard about the 24 hr phone support.
  • Pixel pricing is ridiculous here in Canada, I just ordered a Blackberry Priv for Free under my plan...and guess what? It comes with one year free support.....hmmmm....
  • I'm excited to get my pixel. As a recent convert to Android after years on Symbian and then Windows I'll appreciate the 24/7 customer support. I've been using an Xperia XA for three months, Android is awesome but Sony has not impressed me with their hardware. I think this phone will be my favorite device since the Nokia 808 Preview I bought in 2011. I'm quite hopeful despite some of the negative comments I've been reading online about pricing, big bezels etc..
  • Don't see the real value here unless you are new to Android. You can download the Drippler app for free tech support and Android Allo for Google Assistant (also Google now works just fine). I would prefer to have a waterproof phone and stereo speakers instead.
  • 24/7 support for people that can't afford the phone and won't buy it anyway. Great job Google! This phone is to late to the game. On a separate note it's sad that Windows phone didn't go anywhere and Mozilla gave up. Google isn't looking so great anymore I wish there were more options.
  • L o l. Unlimited calls telling you to factory reset. Fantastic value!
  • Can't wait to find out what the 4th secret weapon is! This phone is jam packed with exclusives. No phone on the market comes close to the grace beauty and feature packed glory that is the Google Pixel. Can't believe it's so cheap
  • Got my fingers crossed that when they see sell numbers, maybe, just maybe, some other carriers will say hey, let's carry it. Like John ledger hopefully. He hated nexus 6 sales and there didn't carry the 6p.
  • Don't miss the next exciting article in the series.
    Pixel's secret weapon: A battery.
    Pixel's secret weapon: No SD card.
    Pixel's secret weapon: Some other basically useless crap nobody will care about 1 month from now. More to come in the near future. stay tuned.
  • information is useful
  • Now if only Google would MARKET the killer features of this phone, such as its 24/7 tech support and best-in-class camera and assistant, maybe these could go mainstream and compete with iPhone and Galaxy in the minds of the average consumer? No you're probably right, a poodle and some crappy music is definitely the way to go.
  • My issue with phone support is it always sucks. The thing Apple has going for them is b&m stores where you can take your phone to get it fixed or replaced the same day; same with buying a carrier phone. Unfortunately you can't do that with unlocked unbranded (non-carrier) phones. I'll change my opinion about this if Google overnights a replacement and doesn't make you wait until they receive your phone. Otherwise you're stuck for days or weeks without a phone unless you have a backup.
  • How's that gonna be useful if you have an issue keeping the pixel from working properly.