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YouTube: Need Help? Don't Bother Us

For most users, Google doesn't provide much opportunity to interact with them directly when you're having problems with their services. Sure, paying Apps customers can get help when they need it, but Google apparently doesn't want to be bothered by the teeming masses of YouTube users who can't figure out how to work the YouTube site.
For most users, Google doesn't provide much opportunity to interact with them directly when you're having problems with their services. Sure, paying Apps customers can get help when they need it, but Google apparently doesn't want to be bothered by the teeming masses of YouTube users who can't figure out how to work the YouTube site.The Official YouTube Blog has a post up today that describes what to do if you need help with YouTube or are experiencing problems with the site. The bottom line is this: Please check every other resource possible before attempting to reach out to us.

So much for customer service.

The YouTube team claims that its "ultimate goal is to keep improving the product so you essentially won't need any help at all." Google, have you forgotten who you're dealing with here? We're talking about Joe Public. Not everyone has a doctorate, like you guys do. YouTube goes on to say, "Most often, the solution to your problem is one that you can resolve on your own rather than contacting someone at YouTube directly."

Granted, that is probably true. But Google obviously isn't considering that many people don't want -- or like -- to spend time searching the Web for the answers they need. Some people want to talk to a person when they need help.

Google lays out the steps you should take before bothering them with an e-mail. It says:


  • First, and most importantly, check out our Help Center. The handy search box lets you search for information about YouTube or look up issues across all Google products (as well as the entire Web). Click around and check out the articles. We're constantly adding more content to address site issues, big and small.
  • Our Abuse and Policy Center is a one-stop-shop for resources related to safety and abuse on YouTube. You can browse through articles covering topics like how to deal with spam or gaming, how to control your account settings to limit interactions with certain users, and how to keep yourself generally safe while using the site.
  • The YouTube Community Help Forum also is a great resource. The Forum's discussion board is the official place to share ideas, provide feedback, ask and answer questions, and offer help to your fellow YouTube community members.

Part of me can't believe that Google is recommending the Community Help Forum as the best place to find answers. While many forums are indeed informative and helpful, there are sometimes misinformed people who contribute. These people, however good their intentions may be, can actually cause more harm than good if they provide inaccurate information to those seeking help.

The YouTube team ends its blog post by saying, "If after checking out all these resources you still haven't found exactly the information you're looking for, go ahead and send us an e-mail. If the answer to your question isn't already in our Help Center, we'll do our best to get back to you as soon as we can."

Not exactly the warmest, fuzziest customer service policy I've ever heard.