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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Google Schmoogle

In addition to the email address I've had on my home computer for eons, I’ve also had a gmail address for a couple of years. When I first bought a Sprint Hero phone for my business, a nice Best Buy Guy set that account up for me. When I got my new iPhone, I wanted to use my gmail as the default for my email. Problem: I couldn’t remember my password. Shocking, I know. TLC suggested I contact Google. Easy Schmeasy. If only.

I promise I really tried. It wasn’t like most websites. You know—where you click on the box that says you can’t remember your password and they email it to you? Nope. I was forced to fill out, on-line, a form that had tons o’ questions. Most of which I had no clue as to what the answers were or should be. Biggest problem? The security question was my “favorite food.” Piece of cake. That should have been it. CAKE. It wasn’t. Okay. Lasagna. Not that, either. REALLY? Must be pizza. No? Burgers? SERIOUSLY? That Best Buy Guy must have put something like sushi or beets. I’m not kiddin’. It had to be cake or lasagna or pizza or burgers. In that order. Alas, it tweren’t.

I guess y’all know you can’t call someone at Google. If you’ve never read the on-line forums about this problem, you should. You wouldn’t BELIEVE how mad some people are that you can’t talk to a human being. I read the most smart-alecky response from a person on the “Google Team” to someone who had written a long complaint about this issue (not moi, BTW—truly). It was downright rude. So then the Complainer wrote another email. About the rude reply. To which the Google Team Peep apologized and feigned total confusion as to why his answer was perceived as snippish.

I did my best to fill out their cRaZy form. I realized I clearly had no other choice. Before you hit “Submit,” they make sure you understand they have twenty-four (24) hours to reply to your question.

When I heard back from them, almost exactly to-the-minute 24 hours later, they said they didn’t have enough information to help me. I suspect that’s the first response everyone gets, no matter what their question or issue. Kind of like insurance companies that automatically stamp “DENIED” on a first-time claim—knowing a lot of people won’t bother to appeal it. It’s worth a shot, right? To see if they can make you give up that fast? There was no place, on that detailed form, for me to write this:

“I am 57. I am not trying to scam information out of you about my Google account. I don’t think in terms of scamming anyone. I just need my dadgum password so I don’t have to open a new account. Which, by the way, I can do ALL DAY LONG. Right? I can open up a new account. I just wanted to keep my gmail address. I liked it. It was easy to remember. Unlike my ‘favorite food.’”

(Okay. So I’m fudging a little. I didn’t remember my gmail address. I had to ask my Hubby and he had to look it up on his phone. But, given a few weeks, I might have come up with it—or found the piece of paper I wrote all that info on—including the password.)

Not only did they re-send the same detailed form to me, this time they added a nice surprise that it would cost me .30 when returning said form. That is Thirty Cents. Cents. I should have stopped there. I don’t know why I didn’t. Instead, I tried even harder to answer their ridiculous questions and then, having complete faith and trust in their “system,” typed in my American Express number. To pay the thirty cents.

FEAR took over. Because it acted WEIRD when I hit Submit. It showed my AE number as letters and numbers—not all numbers—and said Texas was not a state. HUH? WHAT? Wow. This was news to me. For a moment, I thought perhaps I’d missed that we had, indeed, seceded.

I didn’t hit Submit. But I got another email from them—the next day. Same form. Nothing else. I hit Reply and tried this approach:

“I’ve attempted to give you more information and pay you the requisite .30. It didn’t work. You also said Texas is “not a state.” I’m fairly certain that’s not correct. But I could be wrong. You might try Googling it. I officially give up.”

They replied to this by sending me, once again… wait for it... yes, the same form.

Aaannnnddddd… done.

Hey, Google, here’s a thought:

Since you make BILLIONS of dollars every year, why don’t you put in a Customer Service Call Center—in the U.S. of A. You’d not only create some much needed jobs, but also HELP us when we have problems. You could even divide this service up into “age” groups. When someone calls with an issue, the Rep could say: “Are you under 30? Between 30 and 50? Or over 50?” Then you could direct the caller to “specialists” that know how to assist that particular age group. For example, someone over 50 might need a new password—for various reasons. You could have a kindly Senior Citizen Rep patiently walk them through the process, giving them several shots at their “favorite food.”

Consider it. I’m pretty sure I’d pay Sixty Cents.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

(For questions, comments or suggestions, please email me at Tee Hee Hee.)


Autumn said...

Hilarious. My makeup is RUINED!
Oh, and you can list Bank of America right along with Google. I had a similar experience with them, which resulted in the refinancing of our home with a different lender. Yep, they won't see us again.

The Leightons said...

And even though you'd already heard alot of this story, Ms. Autumn! You're a doll!!! Happy it gave you laughter (sorry it messed up your makeup, though!)!

We are just individuals, but expressing our frustration helps us cope, right? And maybe makes someone with a little power want to make their companies better? In theory? They have to be told, first, of course. Before they can improve. I think the ones who can do something usually never even get the message. Not until it's too late.

You Go, Girlfriend!