Google is a “Fine” company. For the geeks, it is the ultimate destination of a dreaming place to wok in; For most internet user, it is the starting point of “getting-on-the-web”; for online business owners and marketers, it is the “God”. Superior products and services is the key for Google’s success. Jeff Jarvis even wrote a book about Google’s customer service, titled “What would Google do“. Google is the model for other companies who want to succeed in this information era. For me, since I read the John Battelle’s “The Search“, The “Do no evil” Google is my personal admiration. However, a week ago, my previous account was compromised. I must admit that this kind thing rarely happened to me; I didn’t even considered this could happen so there was a part of my own responsibilities for I didn’t prepare any records for the incidents. This is the first time I tried the Google’s customer service. And, there are some factors really surprised me.
As I stated in this post, the hacker changed my alternative email address and the security question. So, the only way I can do is through the account support form or the Adsense Account Recovery. I totally understood that “how can Google know ?…Well, by asking you some trivial questions. If you can’t answer them, how do you expect someone to fix the problem?”!
Well, first, there are no indications when I ( or anyone of us I believe ) signed up gmail ( three years ago ), Analytics, Adsense, Google docs, Google Picasa, iGoogle…etc say that please keep a records of the date on which you subscribe this product in case of the use of requesting account recovery in the future. I think, Google may at least put this information in a highlight section of the page. I knew, users suppose to keep their accounts secure. But, this is a tough internet world, bad things can happen.
Second, Google’s contact form is not up-to-date. As I spent much time to find ways dig out my last Adsense payment information required by the Adsense Account Recovery Form, the series of the date form input controller don’t have year 2009 in the drop down! That’s means, if the last payment date the Recovery Form asked you about is in 2009; on the Recovery Form, you can’t really input this date. Despite of this, I put some details information in the comment field of the form. I knew Google is very busy. They probably have thousands of thousands customers service inquires every day. After I submitted the form, it greed me saying that the responding time may take up to 48 hours. However, today is the forth day after I submitted the form, and I still got nothing from Google.
I knew, the center question is that Google just don’t know if I am the person who I claimed to be; and they want a simple straight forward way to identify the user without too much human intervention. I totally agree, even appreciate the Google way to handle things. But above trouble points I encountered shown that Google, too, has space to improve!
For me, I exhausted all other options to trying to get my account back. While I am waiting Google’s response to my Adsense Account Recovery request, I thought put another piece of “evidence” that I am the owner of the Google Account:
google_account_proof.flv is a video I recorded in the past, shows that: I can log in to my new Google account, which shown I am the man who posted in the forum at the Webmaster Central. The video also show that my Profile on the eZ Publish official web site, ez.no; on the profile, you can see that the last updated date is in the June of 2009, and the profile page shows my email address is my previous Gmail account which I can’t gain control after I convinced it was compromised on 4th, January 2010.
I still wish there are some hope that I can get my account back if it is not too late! So, Google, what would you do?