I confess that when Google acquired Nik Software, I was concerned it was the beginning of the end for some great tools. The first surprise came when Google bundled all the disparate offerings together into a single package that cost about 25% of what the individual products had sold for. Yes, I was saddened that I had been a loyal customer and paid more than 4x what a new client could pay, but that's how the ball bounces sometimes. I also received an email from Google saying my investment was protected and I would get all the updates without charge. Cool!
I use a variety of plugins and add-ons. All have regular updates and fixes. Nik had as well but once Google took over, I saw nothing at all. I didn't think about it because the stuff that was installed was working. Then this past weekend, I learned about a new plugin called Analog. It's another film look plugin and I already have several and don't use them so not really a big deal to me. But I became a bit annoyed that I hadn't been getting any updates so went the the Nik Google page and filled out the contact form, actually anticipating no reply due to past experience with Google support.
I stand happily corrected! This morning I received an email from Andre in Google / Nik support apologizing that I had not received the first update back in March that made updates automatic, along with some potential ideas on why I had not. He also provided me the direct link to my own licensed downloads that will autoupdate. Various software companies approach support differently. All use forums where users help each other. Some charge per incident, some could not care less. I can now put Google / Nik in the same category as I place DxO. Excellent personal response in a very timely manner.
It would be easy for an organization the size of Google to ignore customers. I much prefer working on Macintosh platforms, but if you aren't paying for AppleCare, you're pretty much out of luck. Apple could learn about support from Google in this case. Kudos to Andre specifically. One person changed my mind about Google Nik. One person is all it takes.