Google wants to sell you a phone. And a speaker. And a thermostat. Maybe a stick for your TV, too. Not convinced? The company is trying to get you to let it convince you to buy its wares with a new product consultation hotline. And if a service rep isn't breathless enough for you, customers in Southern California can even book in-home appointments.
The company has banked up a call center full of specialists — available toll-free on (855) 244-6378 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific time — to help customers set up their Google accounts, download apps, determine if their home Wi-Fi is able to deliver adequate speeds for some Google products, and fill up Google Store shopping carts for callers to check out. These products include Google Home speakers, Nest Hub smart displays, Nest alarms, cameras, doorbells, locks, and thermostats, Chromecast sticks, and Pixel phones.
Based on a splatter of ZIP codes, we were able to determine that that in-home consultations are available across the San Diego metro area up to Anaheim and over to Huntington Beach, just short of Los Angeles proper.
Specialists do not earn commission on referrals. They also do not handle technical support for customers who already own Google products. And they won't install the products that customers buy.
And speaking of what Google doesn't do and doesn't have, we should say that it doesn't have a massive retail presence to start with — all of its stores have been pop-up experiences while Best Buy, Verizon, and other chains don't have employees that can exclusively vouch for Google and Nest. Will this new hotline help? Are vacuum cleaner sales reps knocking on doors in Escondido the answer? Our guess is as good as yours.