So much for Google’s vaunted data mining…
I recently put my name on the waiting list for a Google Voice account, and noticed that it was U.S. only. As someone who deals with web-based software, I can definitely understand limited geographical rollouts, especially with things like addresses and phone numbers. So I was exceptionally pleased to see an invite in my Gmail inbox, indicating that I had an invite to Google Voice! That is until I clicked the link to sign up.
As a side note, I have a Google Profile, have been using Gmail for years, and have been using Google Analytics for my .CA website for several months now. When I signed up to the waiting list for Google Voice, I used the account that is associated with all these things, so that it would be one unified system.
When I clicked “Sign In”, the system simply said “Google Voice is not available in your country. Thanks for visiting Google Voice. We’re not yet open for users outside the US, but are planning to expand our service to additional countries in the future.”
So, essentially, the Google Voice waiting list request, which is tied to all the rest of my Google identity that quite clearly identifies me as Canadian, is unable to know this and avoid inviting me until my country is part of the rollout. This seems like a pretty big fail on their part – heck, all they needed to do was look at my Google Profile! Considering that Google has a reputation for being pretty damn good at sifting through data, I’m extremely surprised that they couldn’t do a simple check on their internal DB (that they had to query anyway to get my account), and say “Hey, this guy’s in Canada, maybe we shouldn’t give him an invite yet.”
So, for the time being, I’ll wait until they get Canada added. I’m not annoyed with the lack of Canadian support, I just would have prefered not to have been teased with the opportunity to try out their new service, then told “nope, we didn’t check our data before, but now we checked it and you can’t have our shiny new product.”
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