This is my first post of the new year and, honestly, it wasn't what I expected to write about. But recently I've encountered a problem which, I've discovered, is not unusual to those of us who blog and comment and make use of the internet. My problem, in essence, is with that gargantuan entity, Google. Now, don't get me wrong, this is not a blanket condemnation of the service. Google, for all intents and purposes, is a marvelous tool that, yes, has made our lives easier and more productive. I would be among the first to acknowledge that. It has changed the way we think and interact and, for the most, we are better for it. My concern is that this marvelous search engine, in all its encompassing growth, may have deviated from of its original goal to help, to assist, to "do no harm."
My problem began on December 10th, when I received a notice from Google that there was "unusual activity on my account." The notice stipulated the steps I would have to follow in order to rectify the situation. Accordingly, I followed these instructions in order to reset my account. Part of it was using a reset number during the procedure. After receiving confirmation that all was well, I went back to my usual tasks on the computer. However, I discovered I could not access my blog. Try as I might, I could not sign in. My blog information had simply disappeared. I contacted the Google help number (650 253-000). I was informed (by a recorded message) that I would have to go to www.google.com/support for assistance. Which I did. I wrote in on the line asking what the problem was by stating that my blog had disappeared and I couldn't access any of my material. The answer I received was that my problem "did not match answers in the accounts help." I kept on trying, keeping my notes as short as possible, still, nothing matched the "accounts help." In one instance I was forwarded to another site where they would take a look-see at my account, but for a fee of $35.
The end point is that Google was no help whatsoever in solving my dilemma. I had to contact my tried and true tech guy (www.hardrivedoctor.us/) who had to literally hack into Google in order for me to acquire my blog material going back two years. A twelve (12) hour job, and very expensive. Subsequently, checking on various sites I have discovered that I am not the only one who has encountered this problem; and, in all cases, no assistance was forthcoming. Truthfully, I was appalled by the lack of consideration and/or access via Google. So, I wrote them a scathing letter, stipulating that a copy would be forwarded to the Federal Communications Commission. And guess what? The following day my tech guy calls me up and states that my blog had magically re-appeared---and he couldn't figure out why or how. Had Google just gotten my blog back in a timely manner I would have been spared a lot of aggravation and expense.
Now, I know I'm not the only one who's had this kind of hassle. But, man, if this keep up, Google may suffer a black eye, at least in PR terms as it moves forward in the corporate arena.
Also, I would love to hear from anyone else who has had this kind of incident with Google. Again, my aim is not to disrupt or cast aspersions on anyone. As stated, in the first paragraph, Google does a marvelous job (most of the time). I just would like to hear and catalogue whatever comes along.
A happy new year to everyone. And thanks all for the great response to my pasteles video.
Labels: Apple, Companies, DomainKeys Identified Mail, Federal Communications Commission, Google, Google Apps, Search Engines, Searching