Google Transit Comes Through: Best Customer Service EVER

Best Customer Service Ever

I’ve heard the Goog take some lumps for not engaging in social media that much. Well, they just got pretty damn social with me. And I’m impressed.

While at SXSW, I tried out the new Google Transit service. I was far away from the hotel and wanted to find an efficient way to get back. Well, Google got me close, then expected me to cross an eight-lane highway on foot. Um, no. I had to explore for a long time to find a way to get across the damn thing and back to my hotel. I bitched at my blog.

Today, I got a package from Google at my workplace. At first, I saw the hand-written “Google” return address and thought “anthrax”, but figured, what the hell. I ripped it open. I was treated to the single greatest customer service experience I had ever had. Enclosed was a hand-written note from Joe Hughes at Google. The note said:

Dear Superman,

Reading your blog post about Google Transit at SXSW made us wonder if you were losing your powers—I mean, how hard could it be to leap over a simple 8-lane highway intersection, man of steel? We’ve enclosed a new cape—hopefully it will help you find your powers again.

…seriously, though, Adam, we’re sorry that Google Transit sent you on such an expedition, and we wanted to let you know that we’ve since improved our routing, so that it returns more plausible walking sections at the start & end of transit routes.

Cheers,
Joe Hughes
Google Transit

Wow. Just, wow. Google is listening. The read a blog by little old me. They addressed my problem. They found a way to make me smile about it. And the best part… Ella now has a Superman cape.

Cheers to you, Joe.

51 Comments

  1. On April 30th, 2007 at 11:37 am Micheal J. WIlson said:

    That is a great story.

    By the way you should ask how they cam across your blog.

    Wouldn’t it be funny if they were reading/filtering and aggregating every blog on earth and yours popped up because of your anti-google skreed.

    Don’t be evil my ass. :P

  2. On April 30th, 2007 at 1:03 pm Your Mom said:

    You thought “anthrax” ?? I suppose corporate media has succesfully frightened the panties off everyone. Mr. Murdoch would be pleased to hear this.

  3. On April 30th, 2007 at 1:09 pm David Saunders said:

    I was considering getting a Google tattoo somewhere and see if I get a gift from them.

    I do buy a lot of stuff from the Google Store (the black polos are NICE)

    I was hoping for a couple of lava lamps and some beanbags for my home office just so I look way cool when I get my small business clients around.

    Also some Google Coffee Mugs would be nice too.

    Dare I do it??? Can I get into trouble for getting a Google tatt??????

    David
    UK in USA

  4. On April 30th, 2007 at 4:05 pm Googlified said:

    Google is Listening……

    A while ago, Adam Darowski complained about that the Google Transit wanting him to cross an eight-lane highway on foot, which made him missed a lot of fun at this years SXSW.
    To show that they are sorry for the _____ service they offered, Google&#8217…

  5. On April 30th, 2007 at 4:20 pm Dan Walker said:

    Haha, that’s priceless =P

  6. On April 30th, 2007 at 4:33 pm j said:

    sell it on ebay and buy a car with the money from the auction!

  7. On April 30th, 2007 at 6:34 pm Un buen caso de m√°rketing: Google escucha a la blogosfera at …::: Cholulaje :::… Cholulismo Web said:

    [...] Además, la carta estaba acompañada de un regalo, tal y como nos cuenta en este otro post: un kit (capa incluida) de Superman. [...]

  8. On April 30th, 2007 at 11:28 pm Google to the Rescue (Again) | Marketing Pilgrim said:

    [...] Not only is Google Transit working to resolve this software shortcoming, but they’re trying to help Adam get over those highways. Yes, from the people who brought you acetaminophen relief for Google Adwords headaches, this time for your transit woes, it’s Superman! Or, at least his cape. Joe Hughes at Google Transit sent him a humorous and apologetic letter as well as a Superman cape‚Äîbecause, obviously, that would have been the only way Adam could have followed their directions. [...]

  9. On April 30th, 2007 at 11:35 pm The Way The Internet Should Be! » Blog Archive » Google to the Rescue (Again) said:

    [...] Not only is Google Transit working to resolve this software shortcoming, but they’re trying to help Adam get over those highways. Yes, from the people who brought you acetaminophen relief for Google Adwords headaches, this time for your transit woes, it’s Superman! Or, at least his cape. Joe Hughes at Google Transit sent him a humorous and apologetic letter as well as a Superman cape√¢¬Ä¬îbecause, obviously, that would have been the only way Adam could have followed their directions. [...]

  10. On May 1st, 2007 at 3:06 am Un buen caso de márketing: Google escucha a la blogosfera | JL Escobedo :: José Luis Escobedo´s Blog said:

    [...] Además, la carta estaba acompañada de un regalo, tal y como nos cuenta en este otro post: un kit (capa incluida) de Superman. [...]

  11. On May 1st, 2007 at 4:21 am Una capa de Supermán por ironizar con Google | Tecnología said:

    [...] El conocido blogger bostoniano Adam Darowski fue uno de los primeros en probar y comentar el servicio de itinerarios de Google -Google Transit-, que es el clásico “llévame del punto A al punto B”. El caso es que Adam quería ir en autobús desde su hotel al lugar donde se celebraba un certamen al que él iba a acudir, y sorprendentemente, Google le recomendó que fuera a una parada situada a 1 kilómetro de su hotel y para llegar a ella debía pasar por encima de una autopista y unas vías el tren. Ante este panorama, Adam publicó en su blog: “¿Se creen [en Google] que soy Supermán?”. Dicho y hecho. Joe Hughes, uno de los responsables de Google Transit le mandó una capa, haciendo gala, cuando menos, de un gran sentido del humor. [...]

  12. On May 1st, 2007 at 5:15 am ¬øAcaso soy Superman? » ZitunLog said:

    [...] Adam Darowski, es un blogger con cierta reputación procedente de Boston. En Marzo Adam fué a una conferencia en Texas. Para saber la ruta desde el lugar donde se celebraba la conferencia hasta su hotel, tal y como cuenta aquí, usó el servicio (Que todavía esta en pruebas y no es la versión definitiva) Google Transit. Lo curioso es la ruta que le recomendó el programa, pues la parada del autobús donde tenía que bajar se situaba a un quilómetro del hotel. Ese quilómetro del trayecto lo tendría que hacer a pie, cruzando una vía del tren y una autopista. Sorprendido, Adam se preguntaba si era Superman. Hasta aquí todo normal. Al fin y al cabo Google Transit esta en beta y es perdonable. La parte curiosa, es que unos días despues un paquete llega a su buzón. Dentro había una carta con disculpas escrita a mano por Joe Hughes, que es uno de los responsables de coordinar el servicio Google Transit. Y aparte, también hay un regalo; un disfraz de Superman con la capa. Aunque este último es para edades de hasta 7 años. [...]

  13. On May 1st, 2007 at 11:17 am clangnuts said:

    Cool story. Well done Google. Unlike Coke, who when I complained about their product, sent me a lousy £5 voucher.
    I was hoping for a Coca Cola Hot air balloon or something. :-(

  14. On May 1st, 2007 at 8:27 pm Víctor González said:

    Wow. I would be so grateful if that happened to me.
    I love Google, they are just so amazing. I mean, I wouldn’t expect a Google’s executive sending me a hand-written letter telling me that because of me they improoved google transit. Maybe if it was an alpha, it would sound more reasonable. They have the best user support I think.

  15. On May 1st, 2007 at 8:30 pm Víctor González said:

    Well, the thing is that here in Mexico, I could even screem in television that Google, or Microsoft, or Apple, or something else sucks, and nobody would send me anything, not a voucher, or a letter. :(

  16. On May 3rd, 2007 at 7:48 am Adam Darowski said:

    V√≠ctor… yes, that is a totally different issue altogether. It’s kind of interesting… I didn’t really check out the Spanish speaking blogs linking to this story until I eventually tried translating in Google. And there’s some really good stuff there that I also probably would have ignored had it really not been a vanity search.

    That’s the way we Americans work, unfortunately… if it is not in our language, we ignore it. I’ve got to get better about that myself.

    Thanks for commenting.

  17. On May 22nd, 2007 at 4:41 pm Search Engine News from Piedmont Design » How to Delight a Dissatisfied Customer, by Google, Inc. said:

    [...] read this today: Google Transit Comes Through: Best Customer Service EVER and was very impressed with the second coming of the evil empire, aka Google. For the price of a [...]

  18. On May 23rd, 2007 at 7:21 pm Ed Snyder said:

    At least they didn’t tell you to swim across the Atlantic.

  19. On May 25th, 2007 at 10:42 pm Anonymous said:

    What good is Google Transit, when it doesn’t work with Boston, Chicago, and NYC transit systems- the most popular systems in the country?

  20. On May 27th, 2007 at 3:38 pm Adam Darowski said:

    Ya gotta start somewhere. It’s still beta, so perhaps they were just using some more manageable areas first. I’m sure as it becomes more robust they will add more metros.

  21. On August 22nd, 2007 at 8:12 am » Google escucha a los usuarios… y a los superh√©roes - TuxI - Tecnolog√≠a en Espa√±ol said:

    [...] Al leer esto, uno de los responsables de "Google Transit" llamado Joe Hughes le escribió una carta que decia: "Estimado Superman. Lamentamos que Google Transit te enviase a esa excursión, y queríamos que supieses que tu queja nos ha hecho que mejoremos el servicio, para intentar que los recorridos a pie desde los puntos de inicio y fin de las rutas sean mucho más aceptables". Pero la carta no venia sola, sino con un Kit de Superman, con capa incluida. Así lo cuenta en este post. [...]

  22. On September 20th, 2007 at 11:36 pm Google 公交搜索 (中国版) 上线 at 猫窝 said:

    [...] 还得扯回来. Google Transit 现在在中国区支持北京, 上海, 广州, 杭州和南京五个城市, 含地铁 (杭州还没有地铁吧?). 大家可以试用一下, 看看 Google 会不会也建议你变成超人? [...]

  23. On December 6th, 2007 at 7:48 am Coen Jacobs » Google Transit laat snelwegen en oceanen oversteken said:

    [...] achtbaans snelweg liet oversteken, laat Google haar gebruikers ook 5572 kilometer zwemmen. Darowski kreeg van Google een Superman costuum om een poging te ondernemen de snelweg over te steken. Blijkbaar beschikt Google over de nodige [...]

  24. On December 21st, 2007 at 9:14 pm If you have read my rants about Yahoo, then you will understand! at 40oz Geeks said:

    [...] I have stated that Yahoo will fail sometime in the near future in previous articles (on this site). Yahoo will fail due to their apparent disregard for customer service and willingness to correct their problems or contact customers with something more than a generic replay. Well here is some proof that at least Google understand what they are trying to do. I will continue to say that Google will take over everything eventually with this kind of response. Check out the article here. [...]

  25. On September 13th, 2008 at 9:16 pm Google Maps ‘Bike There’ | TransitCamp Bay Area 2 Report said:

    [...] that he’s been heavily involved in transportation/technology issues for a while (I found this funny story after a brief search on Joe’s name.). Bottom line, he knew about our website and petition, [...]

  26. On October 28th, 2008 at 10:42 am Vote for this article at blogengage.com said:

    Google Transit Comes Through: Best Customer Service EVER…

    Wow. Just, wow. Google is listening. The read a blog by little old me. They addressed my problem. They found a way to make me smile about it. And the best part‚Ķ Ella now has a Superman cape….

  27. On October 29th, 2008 at 3:31 pm http://www.jeremydelgado.com/blog said:

    great info, is google transit going to be in MN

  28. On October 29th, 2008 at 11:39 pm ty said:

    holy crap google rocks!

  29. On October 30th, 2008 at 5:48 pm ANON 1729 (carmichael #) said:

    Amazing! They still haven’t lost their start up spirit.
    @adam: “it’s still beta” Beta doesn’t mean anything, why, Gmail’s still beta!

  30. On November 1st, 2008 at 12:05 pm DigitalMind said:

    Wow, I’m very impressed. Google is one of those few MASSIVE internet companies that I really respect.

  31. On November 3rd, 2008 at 8:36 pm Annie Moose said:

    Wow… See, I liked Google before, because you always hear good stuff about them- for a big company, I mean. But this… was amazing. Google is officially my favorite big company now. That is absolutely fantastic. Would Microsoft do that if you whined about their products? (No, or they’d need a 24/7 writing staff to handwrite all the notes.) Would EA do that if you complained about the DRM? (No, they’d ban your forum account AND lock you out of the game you paid for.) Would Google do it if you whined about it? Oh yeah. Awesome!

  32. On November 6th, 2008 at 7:06 pm Ziao said:

    I’ve always loved google for their support and personal approaches. I’ve had one myself (though not as awesome as yours)
    This just proves that big company’s don’t have to be rude like EA or whatever, i love them

  33. On November 24th, 2008 at 1:22 am Melissa said:

    i dont have the patience to read all your comments…but how did google get your address?? creeeeepy.

  34. On November 24th, 2008 at 10:02 am Adam Darowski said:

    My guess is they Googled it. ;)

    They actually sent it to my work address, though they probably could have gotten my home address, too. Sending it to the work address definitely eases the creepy factor.

  35. On January 11th, 2009 at 8:31 am OneEyedBlog » Blog Archive » De tu casa a la mía (Google Maps) said:

    [...] recuerda a la historia aquella de Adam Darowski y Google Transit, y la capa de superman. En la actualidad Google Maps da la posibilidad de “editar” la ruta propuesta con lo [...]

  36. On January 21st, 2009 at 11:48 pm celsius said:

    what a clever response!

  37. On January 31st, 2009 at 8:06 pm Bellabie said:

    Goodness! Lucky you! I do wish that more companies could be as amazing as Google…

  38. On February 1st, 2009 at 8:23 am Christopher said:

    Sounds very Google like :)
    Now they’re handing out Gmail stickers!

  39. On February 2nd, 2009 at 5:52 am Ben Clapton said:

    What’s scarier, the possibility that it could’ve been anthrax, or the fact that they were quite easily able to find your address?

  40. On February 2nd, 2009 at 10:17 am Adam Darowski said:

    It was too my work address, so that’s much better than if they sent it home.

    And if it was anthrax, luckily, it also came with a SuperMan cape. So I was all good. :)

  41. On February 6th, 2009 at 7:42 am Google: “Estimado Superman…” | Kinexy said:

    [...] tiempo después como cuenta Adam recibió un paquete de Google con una carta escrita a mano por Joe Hughes (uno de los responsables [...]

  42. On February 8th, 2009 at 5:31 am Dogs of Design SEO LA said:

    That was a cool story. It’s good to know that Google is taking an active approach in keeping up their appearances. Hopefully more companies can learn from the big guys.

  43. On February 10th, 2009 at 4:06 am cuocthiseo said:

    Google transit service is good for many people, but it quite difficult for newbies.

  44. On February 12th, 2009 at 10:39 pm tommy said:

    Interesting story. I guess people who work at big companies are human too. I wonder if Joe took it upon himself to do this or if it his job…

  45. On March 9th, 2009 at 12:21 pm Jennifer's Review said:

    This is awesome! I love this kind of stuff!!! just “tweeted” this and thumbs up’d it w/stumbleupon! thanks for sharing the “good” out there! Cheers!

  46. On September 10th, 2009 at 3:08 pm sandrar said:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  47. On September 20th, 2009 at 10:33 am Great Customer Service with some Humor | eBusinessBlog.org said:

    [...] is surely making the rounds, but I wanted to draw attention to customer service with humor as demonstrated by Google Transit’s Joe Hughes. This is such a great way to give a large company a human touch, particularly with the sense of [...]

  48. On March 24th, 2010 at 10:15 am TEDx Buenos Aires: una agencia de RRPP puede ser buena idea (a veces) | redtácora said:

    [...] Hacía ya un par de años que yo estaba trabajando en Redes Sociales y Marketing digital ocupandome, entre otras cosas, de intentar detectar potenciales crisis de Relaciones Públicas y buscando las mejores estratégias de contención cuando me crucé con el famoso caso de Google y la capa de Superman. [...]

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  50. On January 17th, 2011 at 7:46 pm Social SUNY said:

    Now thats customer service. Pretty funny how they played it off and actually responded to you.

  51. On July 6th, 2011 at 3:23 am internet marketing said:

    the growing google fanaticism is a little worrying..