How to Get a Real Person on G Suite Support

When handling a  task on G Suite, sometimes you just need to talk to someone. Ideally, someone who knows more than you do and can direct you to the right solutions.

Anyone that’s a G Suite Administrator can contact Google and get advice and guidance on the phone, live chat, or email. If you’re a user but not an Admin, you’ll have to get an Admin to do it for you. You won’t be able access support directly.

If you find yourself using support a lot, you might benefit from using a G Suite training course instead.

Getting in Touch with G Suite Support

Start on your Google Admin dashboard and head over to Support:

Finding Support

Click it and you’ll see this:

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 13.17.31

You’ll get any alerts Google wants you to see, and at the bottom, two buttons: Search for help and Contact Support.

Search for help and you get this:

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 13.19.33

It’s a standard search bar. Being Google, the search function is excellent. If you are looking for advice on Google’s G Suite Setup Wizard, we have a guide for you here.

But if you’ve already tried Google’s knowledge base and you don’t want to hunt through their articles, click Contact Support instead to get this list of options:

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 13.31.09

Do you get different support options at each G Suite plan tier?

Most businesses offer different support options at different pricing tiers, with their top-level tiers typically offering the gold standard 24/7 phone support. And G Suite offers three pricing tiers, as well as some free options for education and nonprofits.

But everyone with an active G Suite Admin account can access Google Support on the phone, 24/7, wherever they are and regardless of pricing tier. There’s also chat and email if you prefer those.

The difference with Google isn’t pricing but whether you’re an administrator or not. Only Admins can access Google phone, chat, and email support.

Get Chat Support

Google recommends chat support, presumably because it’s less difficult and expensive to provide it. You can access it from the Support window. Select Chat from the Contact Support options, and fill in the “briefly describe what your problem is” field.

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 14.45.20

You’ll be offered some help and support documentation that matches what you’re searching for. If you still want to talk to someone on chat, select “This didn’t help, continue to support.”

You’ll be offered a choice of languages, but be aware that chat is available 24/7 only in English, with limited availability in other languages.

Here’s that availability:

Language

Chat availability

English

24/7

Spanish

9:00-6:00 (M-F) UTC+1

Portuguese

9:00-00:00 (M-F) UTC+1

French

9:00-18:00 (M-F) UTC+1

German

9:00-18:00 (M-F) UTC+1

Italian

9:00-18:00 (M-F) UTC+1

Japanese

9:00-18:00 (M-F) JST

Dutch

9:00-18:00 (M-F) UTC+1

Russian

9:00-18:00 (M-F) UTC+3

Join chat and you’re placed in a queue. Whenever I’ve done it, I’ve been #1 in the queue and gotten a response in around a minute, sometimes less.

Where to Find Telephone Support

Google’s phone support is listed in the support window. Click ‘Phone,’ and you have to fill in a quick support window telling the person on the other end what your issue is.

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 14.15.23

You can’t leave this blank. If you try to, and click the “send” arrow to move on to the next step, nothing happens.

Once you do fill it in, Google points you in the way of some of their support content in case that does the trick.

Click This didn’t help, continue to support.

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 14.25.54

They’ll ask you for your phone number, automatically detecting your location from your IP address, and set up a call from a support rep. When you enter your phone number, estimated wait time is flagged below the phone number box. In my case, it was about a minute, and my call came through less than a minute later. An automated voice asked me for permission to use my data, and I was talking to a rep before two minutes were out.

That’s the process. It’s pretty simple and straightforward.

Is there a more direct way to contact Google Support on the phone?

At first glance, there appears to be. Google does publish a list of numbers you can call directly, rather than waiting for the call to be set up at the other end by a customer service rep. These are only for Admins, again.

The numbers are country-specific and most are toll-free. You’ll find the full list here. The page that shows the list warns that you need a PIN, but if you follow Google’s own instructions to generate one, you’ll see this message:

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 16.22.21

It’s a diversion to put you in their click-to-call queue; you still need a PIN to call Google direct. Click ‘call us’ and you’ll be told that you still need a PIN to confirm you’re an Admin on the account.

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 16.23.49

Click the Get PIN button, call the toll-free number and you’re good to go.

Support PIN expires

More direct ways to get G Suite support often wind up being more complex. You can call Google’s central switchboard and make your way through their automated system, but it will definitely take you more than a minute, and you might end up not getting to talk to anyone after all.

Help Documentation When Looking for Solutions Yourself

Google’s help documentation is massive and well laid-out. It’s easily searchable from inside the Admin console, by going to support and choosing Search for help. You can also search Google’s main Help page.

Search for something right in that chat window and you can pick from the pages Google thinks are most likely to be helpful to you:

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 16.46.04

If you don’t want to read it in what feels like a cellphone simulator, you can click the ‘new window’ icon in the top right-hand corner and see it as a normal web page.

Alternatively, you can search from here:

https://support.google.com/

The results here are more comprehensive. They’re also less targeted, meaning you’re a bit more likely to see what you’re looking for, but you might have to wade through more irrelevant results to get there.

Here’s something else to be aware of: You’ll get different search results for the same query, depending on where you search.

I searched for ‘Integrating G Suite with Outlook.’

On Google’s main Help page, here are the top three search results:

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 16.53.37

In the Admin support panel, here are the top three results:

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 16.52.59

Two of the same, one different.

But, when I asked to be connected to chat in support and gave my search term as my reason for contacting support, I got these results:

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 16.53.25

Again: exactly the same search terms, different results. So it makes sense to search both the Help site and the Admin panel, and consider choosing support and getting this far along the process without connecting, just to see the recommended content.

Like a lot of the support Google offers for G Suite, this only works if you’re an Administrator. If you’re not a G Suite account Admin, you can access the Help site but obviously the Admin dashboard won’t be available.

Using Support and Google’s Resources Together

Often Google support reps will forward you some information from their knowledge base to help you do what you’re trying to do. Other times, you might be using Google’s knowledge base when you need assistance.

For instance, G Suite has great guides to doing most things you’ll need to do. But there’s a lot of information there with a little over 1.5 million pages. And much of it is about third-party businesses like hosting companies who change their offerings without necessarily alerting Google. This means that Google doesn’t always have accurate, up-to-date information.

In its guide to setting up MX records on HostGator, G Suite shows the Hostgator email panel looking like this:

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 15.41.24

When in fact, it looks more like this:

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 15.42.20

That’s not the end of the world. You can still find ‘MX Entry’ reasonably quickly. But there are plenty of other circumstances where you might see one thing in the guide, and another on your screen. Trying to call Google direct is a good example of that. The process the guidance document gives you doesn’t actually work even though it’s by Google, about Google.

There’s no direct link to contact support from knowledge base pages, so it makes sense to leave your Admin page open just in case.

Conclusion

If you’re a user but not an Admin, you have fewer options. But if you’re a G Suite administrator, you get exemplary support from Google and can easily talk to a real person. Friendly, competent staff answer any query within a minute or two and walk you through time-consuming processes. There’s also a huge knowledge base when looking for solutions yourself.