This Is How Bad Google Workspace Support Is
Google users beware:
Google can lock you out of your own account for an arbitrary reason (which it will refuse to share with you).
You may well also find that their support is entirely unhelpful and contradict themselves every time you contact them.
Here’s one sample interaction with the official Gsuite support team.
(Redacted to prevent private information)
***COPY of the CHAT TRANSCRIPT***
Subject: help with account access
Chat Started: Wed, 4 Aug 2021 04:43:34 -0700
Chat Subject: help with account access
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Thank you for contacting Google Workspace Support. My name is Nikita and I’ll be working with you today. While I read over your message, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Hello there. Thank you so much for patiently holding on the queue to speak with us.
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Lovely day to you. How are you doing today?
Daniel Rosehill: Not so great
Daniel Rosehill: You know that sinking feeling when a company called Google arbitrarily locks you out of your account and you can’t access your holiday photos / YouTube / calendar / email. Well, Nikita, I have that feeling.
Daniel Rosehill: So what I’m thinking about doing today Nikita is a little unusual
Daniel Rosehill: I’ve already spoken to your team multiple times over the past 24 hours to attempt to regain account access. And so far nothing has happened.
Daniel Rosehill: So as things are looking desperate I thought that you might be interested in joining me in a remote affirmation session?
Daniel Rosehill: Basically I’ll type out an affirmation (I’m going to go with “I WILL regain access to my Google account”). Then you type back something encouraging like “yes you will!”
Daniel Rosehill: I think doing this one or two times could be very therapeutic for me
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Hi Daniel. As an email client myself, I know how important this is for you to regain access with your account.
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: And I totally get that.
Daniel Rosehill: Nikita, it’s gratifying to know that you’re also an email user. It really is.
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Also, as I really wanted to have a remote session with you, my apologies, but we don’t have that option here in chat support team.
Daniel Rosehill: So you can imagine the horror when I was stuck waiting for my COVID test results yesterday but couldn’t access them because I couldn’t log in to my email!
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Still, I’ll be glad and will do my best to help you out on what we can do about this matter.
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Indeed. As a citizen myself, I completely understand the impression.
Daniel Rosehill: I’ve been through all the conventional options, Nikita. But as they say, where fear ends, faith begins.
Daniel Rosehill: Do you happen to have any sage on hand?
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Hmm. Actually, yes, I do have an issue with my personal email before, which I lost access, but thank G-d, I was able to retrieve it last year.
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: By the way, may I ask, what is the Google email account we are having a concern with?
Daniel Rosehill: I’m going to create an opportunity for you to go through the support logs and identify the issue
Daniel Rosehill: I’d like you to feel a joint sense of ownership over this issue, Nikita. Simply handing you that information would not achieve the same thing.
Daniel Rosehill: If you truly feel the pain of suddenly losing email access, then you’ll join me full-heartedly in this joint quest. If you refuse, I must question the sincerity of your commitment…
Daniel Rosehill: Nikita you have lapsed into silence. What has gone wrong? What did I say? What did I do?
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Yes, I’m with you here.
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: I just pull out my tools, and check the previous interaction you had with our team.
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: And have the details, where you need an access with your [redacted; account email]
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Also, able to get the ticket [redacted; ticket number] for your account access request.
Daniel Rosehill: Terrific
Daniel Rosehill: Now all I need is access to my account!
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: And to confirm, you have added the CNAME to verify the ownership of the domain you are trying to access, and you have replied to the Account recovery team, correct?
Daniel Rosehill: indeed i have
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Thank you for confirming that.
Daniel Rosehill: Thank you for thanking me for confirming that
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Now, kindly allow me about 3 to 5 minutes to check that status of the request.
Daniel Rosehill: Sure
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Hi Daniel Thank you for staying with me.
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: As I checked, indeed, the request is being handled of our Recovery team, and with the status, it is still in Progress — which means, they are still doing some analysis with the request.
Daniel Rosehill: This is an intriguing detail!
Daniel Rosehill: Can I ask what kind of “analysis” is being conducted on my account? Given that it’s now more than 24 hours since I added the verification CNAME and answered your knowledge test?
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: To give you a heads up, with account recovery processing time normally takes within 3–5 business days — as they will also need to contact the owner that has been detected on the system, which might need to save the files.
Daniel Rosehill: I’ve tried to do my own analysis on why I was locked out of my account but haven’t come up with an explanation yet. I’d be very grateful if this recovery team could help with that detail.
Daniel Rosehill: The owner and only user of the Gsuite is me, Nikita.
Daniel Rosehill: So let me ask you a question. You do understand that depriving users of access to their Google data for up to 5 business days is entirely unreasonable, right? What do you expect people to do while you’ve held their data hostage exactly?
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: But with depth process with how our recovery team handle this kind of cases, my apologies I am not able to discuss it with you as I primarily works with Google Workspace technical issues.
Daniel Rosehill: So the sucky part of this is that nobody from this mysterious account recovery team has contacted me either
Daniel Rosehill: So I guess nobody is able to provide any details on why you’ve locked me out of all my files that you’re processing?
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: For this, I would best recommend for you, to wait 48 hours, and when you have not receive any updates from our Recovery team, feel free to keep us updated.
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Or you can simply reply to the email (with our chat transcript) so that I can personally take chances in following up with you.
Daniel Rosehill: I’m also really curious to know why just an hour ago your colleague told me that I would be updated within 24 hours
Daniel Rosehill: Now the timeframe has mysteriously mushroomed to 5 days
Daniel Rosehill: Why is this?
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: That is the normal time frame, Daniel.
Daniel Rosehill: So I ask you again — — why are your colleagues lying?
Daniel Rosehill: I recorded a call with your colleague this morning during which I was told that I’d be updated within “one to two hours”
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: To provide you an overview, when you submit a request with our recovery team, most like you will get a reply from them within 24 hours, to provide you details on what you need to do — which you have added CNAME to verify the ownership for your domains.
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Then, you will reply on that. And they will reach you within the next 24 hours for an update as possible, but for the processing time, it normally takes withing 3 to 5 days.
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Therefore, 3–5 days, processing time, and as long as our recovery team do have an update with your request, they will update with you during the processing time.
Daniel Rosehill: So I’ll keep asking
Daniel Rosehill: Why have I been locked out?
Daniel Rosehill: Why have you failed to provide any reason for this?
Daniel Rosehill: And finally, do you intend doing anything to make up for the inconvenience of being unable to access my data for the best part of a week through your over-zealous systems?
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Oh, for that, my apologies, I cannot check that for you, as I don’t have visibility in your [redacted; Gsuite domain] account.
Daniel Rosehill: So let me get this straight
Daniel Rosehill: You represent Google Workspace support
Daniel Rosehill: I’m speaking to you from my other Gsuite because I have no means of accessing the admin panel from the domain I have been locked out from by your system
Daniel Rosehill: And yet you have “no visibility” over the account — after I have completed your verification questions?
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Yes, that is correct Daniel.
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: To provide you an overview, we can only have visibility in the account, where our clients, like you, initiated the chat from
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: And this is in accordance to Google’s strict policies towards Data and Privacy.
Daniel Rosehill: The wonderful policies that have locked me out of my own data…
Daniel Rosehill: So let me ask you something Nikita
Daniel Rosehill: If you were me and couldn’t get into your account
Daniel Rosehill: How would YOU recommend contacting Google?
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Therefore, even if you already added the CNAME for your domain verification in your other account, as much as I wanted to check that for you on why the account has been locked or what not, I am not able to that for you.
Daniel Rosehill: That’s very unfortunate
Daniel Rosehill: One more question, Nikita
Daniel Rosehill: Who CAN provide any meaningful information from Google?
Daniel Rosehill: You’ve made very clear that you’re unable to
Daniel Rosehill: And I don’t have 5 days to spare trying to figure out if I’ll get this account back
Daniel Rosehill: Nikita I should also let you know
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Of course, I would also feel the same way. But then again, as much as I wanted to help you to gain access with that account, we do have another team, who is handling it for you. And no worries, I can guarantee that they are working on it.
Daniel Rosehill: That I’m screenshotting this correspondence and will be publishing it online
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: It was just that, the status is still in progress.
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: And as a client, deserve the transparency of what our services can and cannot do.
Daniel Rosehill: You know something — we can agree about this
Daniel Rosehill: Clients do deserve transparency
Daniel Rosehill: So here’s a chance to offer some of it:
Daniel Rosehill: Why was I locked out of my account?
Daniel Rosehill: When do you guarantee recovery by?
Daniel Rosehill: Alternatively: who can I speak to who can provide this information?
Daniel Rosehill: Nikita I feel like we are going around in circles
Daniel Rosehill: Let’s talk about escalation
Daniel Rosehill: Do you have any colleagues who might be more helpful in providing information?
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: To be direct and transparent with you, as recovery team is another department, for you to direct speak with them, you can simply reply again to their email and request a callback instead.
Daniel Rosehill: So here’s the thing Nikita
Daniel Rosehill: I requested a callback this morning
Daniel Rosehill: And your colleague said the same thing
Daniel Rosehill: He wasn’t able to provide information because he wasn’t from the account recovery team
Daniel Rosehill: Which leads me to wonder
Daniel Rosehill: How DOES one contact this team?
Daniel Rosehill: By the way it would be great to have a direct point of contact at this team that is currently holding my digital life hostrage
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: Here in Google Workspace support team, the least we can do is for you to provide the status of the request.
Daniel Rosehill: But I’m presuming you can’t offfer that
Daniel Rosehill: The “in progress” status doesn’t help me at all
Daniel Rosehill: Nikita I have to run soon
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: To be honest, yes, our Recovery team, can only be contacted directly by our clients, like you, who do have an issue accessing their account.
Daniel Rosehill: I’ll be publishing this interaction on my blog
Daniel Rosehill: Do you have anything to share on behalf of Google?
Daniel Rosehill: Perhaps you’d like to reassure readers that their data can’t arbitrarily be locked down as mine was?
Daniel Rosehill: BTW really funny that you say that because I’ve been trying for days now and haven’t succeeded in finding a way to actually directly speak to somebody from that team with info
Daniel Rosehill: You can of course choose not to comment
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: I completely get the point on what you are saying, about the status which is ‘In progress’, Daniel.
Daniel Rosehill: Alright then
Daniel Rosehill: Well I don’t believe in lying
Daniel Rosehill: This hasn’t been helpful in the slightest
Daniel Rosehill: Please let me know if I can wrap up now
Daniel Rosehill: I’ll go back to saying affirmations alone in the hope that it will expedite my request to get back into my email, work calendar, etc.
Daniel Rosehill: Just let me know when you’d like me to disconnect as I want to make sure this transcript is complete
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: But that is the status that I can see from your request. And I don’t want to provide any details that will lead to false hope.
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: With this, I am asking kindly for more patience, at least 48 hours, and if you haven’t heard back any updates from our Recovery team, as we discussed, simply reply to my email (with the copy of our chat transcript) so that I can personally take chances in following up with you.
Daniel Rosehill: So you’re implying that thinking that I will be able to access my data again would be “false hope”?!
Daniel Rosehill: That’s certainly reassuring to hear!
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: I apologize for the confusion, Daniel.
Daniel Rosehill: Nikita I have to move on with my day
Daniel Rosehill: Thank you for trying to be helpful
Daniel Rosehill: I’m going to go ahead and end the chat now from my side
Google Workspace Support, Nikita: What I meant was, I am not giving more details like, giving you an exact time frame which you will be able to access your account, something like that.
1 day later
Google Workspace Support, Cherry Bell: Thank you for contacting Google Workspace Support. My name is Cherry Bell and I’ll be working with you today. While I read over your message, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Daniel Rosehill: Good morning Cherry Bell
Google Workspace Support, Cherry Bell
Hi Daniel. I hope you are doing well today
Daniel Rosehill: What an unusual name!case ID for your Account recovery will be: [redacted].Please update me. We’re now passed the 48 hours mark without access to my Google Account. What’s going on?
Google Workspace Support, Cherry Bell: I understand you have concern with recovering your account with the reference number [redacted]. Please allow me to check on this and I will do my best to assist you
Google Workspace Support, Cherry Bell
Thank you for patiently waiting. I have checked the case number you have provided and it shows that your concern has been forwarded to our support engineers. Also one of our recovery team is currently handling this case where you will be updated we got one from our Engineers
Daniel Rosehill: Yeah you’ve been saying this for 3 days already. What’s the ETA?
Google Workspace Support, Cherry Bell: We know and understand how important this is for you. As per the last email conversation sent to you
Daniel Rosehill: Why can’t I speak directly with the “engineer” dealing with the recovery of *my own* data?
Daniel Rosehill: Also, that doesn’t answer my question
Google Workspace Support, Cherry Bell: The requests usually take up to 3 business days
Daniel Rosehill: So at 18:00 tonight (my local) your 3 day window is up. So I assume you can guarantee recovery by then?
Google Workspace Support, Cherry Bell
On the other hand, the other way to regain access to your Super Administrator account is via your secondary/recovery email address. This is usually the email address that you provided when you first signed up for your Google Workspace account.
Daniel Rosehill: So I’m guessing you haven’t read the support logs. Your delightful system doesn’t provide me with any means of recovery, including via the backup email address that I have access to
Cherry, you know one word that would really make a difference that I haven’t heard from you or most of your colleagues at Google?
Google Workspace Support, Cherry Bell
I am sorry to see that Daniel. What I can do for you on this ís to notify and ask for the update from our Recovery Team that currently handles your concern.
Daniel Rosehill: Yeah your told me the same thing yesterday. Nobody from this mystical team has been in touch
Daniel Rosehill: So “Cherry Bell” this has been another useless interaction with Google support. As you clearly have no information to share and don’t even feel the need to apologize for locking me out of my account for no fault of my own, I don’t see the point in sticking around any longer.I guess I’ll keep waiting as that’s all you give your customers an option to do.