Google Finds it Lost Homework – Raises its BBB Grade to a -A

Update: Apparently over the past day or two, Google’s grade has moved up another notch to an -A since I wrote this article earlier in the week. Nothing has changed in the complaint closing statistics that I can see.

When my son hit middle school something happened. Each report card was worse than the one before and often they would show up “missing” just like his homework. The more I griped about the need for his good grades, the more he seemed to “freeze” and loose more of his homework.

We had a huge blow out fight one day, one that risked our relationship and made us both assess our position. He agreed to do his homework and I agreed that I would stop looking at his grades and insist, not that he get an A, but just that he turn in his homework. I decided that turning in his homework at least demonstrated a modicum of respect for his teachers. I realized that it wasn’t the love of learning that I had hoped he would have, but it was something.

A reader inside of Google recently has pointed me back to the Google BBB rating. It seems that Google found that homework that was lost in their locker and turned it in…. they went from their mediocre C- to a B+ -A apparently just by responding to, if not solving, every complaint. I have noted before that the BBB ranking in and of itself is of little import… more to the point is the reflection of the lack of process for Google’s handling of complaints.

I am glad, though,  that Google found their homework and turned it in. For my son it was the start of a long and successful climb to academic success. He learned that he actually enjoyed being prepared for class and after a year or so, came to the realization that he actually loved learning. Now as a junior in high school he is a wiz.

Sometimes just going through the motions starts a process that can lead to good outcomes. I am convinced that good customer service is a critical part of good marketing. I am hopeful that Google is learning that as well. We can only pray that they manage to get there before the tarnish spoils what is otherwise a great product.

BBB Screen shot from earlier in the week:

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10 thoughts on “Google Finds it Lost Homework – Raises its BBB Grade to a -A”

  1. @Jim and Justin

    It is a simple matter…. acknowledge and respond to complaints. They need to solve anything just respond. If they join (how’s that for conflict of interest) they will gain some more grade…. kind a like sucking up to the teacher.

  2. Just goes to show the power of media. Mike you should start watching your rear view mirror for Crown Vics tailing you… Google is watching and listening :).

    If only all the disgruntled users out there had a way to get Google to address their problems… oh wait they do but alas they are still ignored.

  3. Thwack – that’s the sound of me sticking a shiny gold star onto Google’s turned-in homework. Great post, Mike.

    And about your son, Mike, school makes it hard to love learning for many, many very intelligent kids. After all, this is your boy who can solve a Rubik’s Cube in a set number of moves. He is really bright, but the regimentation and social aspect of school can turn bright kids into temporary space cases. Don’t worry. He is your son and the love of learning will come to him, though perhaps not until after he graduates and gets to choose his own path.

  4. I’ve done a lot of research on the BBB, and if someone could ask someone at Google if they paid a fee to the BBB to become an accredited member, you’ll then know the main reason why Google is now an A-.

  5. @Bill I don’t think that they yet have joined. If they did, it would like go to an A or A+. Usually the BBB notes directly on their rating badge if and when they joined.

    I don’t think that they bought this, all they did was respond to the BBB about the complaints which was enough to get them out of the dog house. I doubt that they did much about the complaints themselves.

    That is the problem with the BBB that you point out. It is essentially a confidence racket where by paying you are graced with good standing rather than any real measure of customer service.

  6. Mike, that’s a good & valid point. The only thing that I wonder about is whether they are in the “application stage” of being accredited. The last BBB Standard for Trust is “Embody Integrity” which the BBB needs to follow itself, IMO. I find it interesting that in 2005 the most looked up word for the Miriam Webster online version was “Integrity”. I guess a lot of companies and people don’t know what it means.

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