Google Apologises Over Google Video Shut Down | Offers Customers Full Refunds

2 min read

Google Video LogoIt seems Google isn’t above changing their mind on the back of
criticism and negative responses from customers and the blogosphere
about decisions they make.

Just over a week ago, I wrote an article detailing the
that Google
had made when it decided to shut down its paid Google Video

Several other
technology blogs displayed similar feelings about the email message
customers received.

Essentially, Google gave customers of the service a 5-day
notice that the service was closing, announced that any videos paid for
would no longer be accessible (even those purchased-to-own).

Instead they would provide anyone who had purchased videos
with a small credit
in their Google Checkout accounts.

Google Back Track

Well, now the criticism and negative response has paid off, as
Google announced
last night
, via the Official Google Blog, that it apologizes
for how it handled the situation and would like to make nice again.

It seems that Google has been keeping up with the reaction it
received in the blogosphere, which led their explanation of the
reasoning behind the choices that were made.

“We planned to give these users a full refund or more.
And because we weren’t sure if we had all the correct addresses, latest
credit card information, and other billing challenges, we thought
offering the refund in the form of Google Checkout credits would entail
fewer steps and offer a better user experience. We should have
anticipated that some users would see a Checkout credit as nothing more
than an extra step of a different (and annoyingly self-serving) kind.
Our bad.”

Is it just me, or does this just sound like it could be an
excuse? What could possibly make you think that a Google Checkout
credit would be enough? How exactly does that give a better user

At least Google is making up for it. Users of the defunct
will now be receiving a full refund (via credit card). This includes
everyone who ever bought a video. Also, everyone will be able to keep
the Google Checkout credits as a “we’re sorry we goofed” credit, as
they put it.

Six Months Extra Support

Also, more good news is that Google will actually continue to
support playing videos for another six months. “We won’t be offering
the ability to buy additional videos, but what you’ve already
downloaded will remain playable on your computer.” 

If you were sad
about your paid videos being taken away, enjoy until February 2008,
because after that, they will be gone again.

To make sure this new task goes as smoothly as possible,
Google is
asking all customers to verify that they have provided their most
recent credit card information.

“We take pride in moving quickly, and we think this
philosophy helps to create lots of new and innovative products. But it
also leads to errors that — upon reflection and your feedback
— we need
to rectify. This was one of them. We make mistakes; we do our best not
to repeat them — and we really do try to fix the ones we
make. That
said, the very least that our users should expect from us is that our
mistakes be new and innovative, too.”

So, it looks like this story has a good ending after all.
though it took a week, it is good to see Google take the first step in
cleaning up the mess that they created with the decision to close
Google Video.

Michael Garrett is a contributing author discussing the social networking world, his work can be found on


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