G Suite for Business is an enterprise product costing $5-25/user/month with 24x7 phone support, escalation paths, contractual SLA's, etc. It competes heavily and directly with Microsoft. A company doesn't get "banned".
This smells like black PR to me... playing on Google's lack of support/transparency around free consumer accounts and trying to get people to associate it with their Enterprise division.
I mean come on, just the way it's written: "One of the girls at work was fucking bawling her eyes out since she couldn't access her e-mail either." and the final "I do not know why Google has a scorched-earth policy when it comes to this kind of stuff, but I fucked up and our boss is looking to migrate away from Google even though we just recently signed on not too long ago." It just feels too obvious.
(Also, G Suite for Business accounts don't have recovery e-mails -- your admin takes care of your account -- so the supposed personal bans sound made-up too. EDIT thanks to ballenf below -- by default users can't set recovery e-mails, but a G Suite admin can enable that option for their domain.)
Something similar happened to Josh Marshall, who wrote an article about it: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/a-serf-on-googles-farm:
> So let’s review. We are paying customers of Google. We were forwarding emails from the site’s main address to all staffers. But because we receive a lot of spam, the spam that we were forwarding to ourselves marked us as a major spammer and led to Google banning all our emails with no notice in advance or notification after the fact.
> You might imagine that once we got through to someone at Google and explained this ridiculous situation they’d fix it. Well, no. Once we got through to someone they explained what happened. They told us a few remedial actions we could take. Once we did that, over time the algorithm would cease to think we were spammers.
The article also has this really apt quote for understanding Google and many companies like it:
> Google is so big and its customers and products (people are products) are so distant from its concerns that we’ve gotten caught up in or whiplashed by rules or systems that simply don’t make any sense or are affirmatively absurd in how they affect us. One thing I’ve observed with Google over the years is that it is institutionally so used to its ‘customers’ actually being its products that when it gets into businesses where it actually has customers it really has little sense of how to deal with them.
>Many of you know that we have one company email address here at TPM. It’s the one linked at the top of the site. It’s the lifeblood of the whole operation.
I also know from personal experience they used to send newsletter/marketing/transactional email from the same address, which you should never do. They probably got a little spammy with some marketing or newsletter emails and got their domain blocked by Spamhaus or another intermediary, and like every other ESP google has automated systems to blanket ban when they see you pop up in a spamhaus list. Pretty simple.
I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the whole incident as conspiracy. It sounds relatively plausible to me, but agree that there are clear holes in the guy's knowledge or explanation.
Just click Profile in top right -> My Account -> Sign-In & Security -> Signing in to Google and scroll down just a little.
It's probably too late. If it was once there, they will keep it forever.
Grandparent gave a ton of reasons, though, why this situation is particularly implausible. Why exactly do you disagree?
Again, B2B services like this are bound by actual, legal, signed contracts and real, monentary consideration, not EULAs and "free with ads" business models. Service providers don't have the freedom to unilaterally "ban" you, and that's literally one of the things you pay for.
It didn't happen, at least not as detailed in the post.
None of grandparent's reasons are smoking guns, they're just "things that would fit the conspiracy if it was a conspiracy". The probability that it's fake given those reasons isn't high enough (like by Bayes' Rule) to deem the whole story "definitely implausible".
> "I do not know why Google has a scorched-earth policy when it comes to this kind of stuff, but I fucked up and our boss is looking to migrate away from Google even though we just recently signed on not too long ago."
That seems like something you would definitely overhear your boss talking about if you also heard that they were trying furiously to contact Google.
The best reason it's maybe a conspiracy is that Google would be hesitant to "ban a whole company", but who knows, maybe if the perceived ToS violation appears severe enough (they didn't know OP's persistent piracy was a joke) Google has zero tolerance.
The valid point, if true, is that an action of one individual caused a major disruption for a lot of other people that are connected to him only via google algorithms or some other vague means.
Banning non-violating business accounts from the business that breaks ToS is kind-of OK (but should be followed by a human interaction to check); banning personal accounts for folks because of their business ties is not. My 2c.
I thought I had it since the beginning and my Gmail account has emails to my custom domain going back to October of 2005 however Google says it launched the service in 2006.
The original Free Accounts (Back before it was gsuite) was 100 Users, then ti was reduced to 10, then phased out completely.
If you had one of those Apps for Domains accounts back when they were 100 Free Users you still have 100 Free Users but you are limited to like 15GB per user or something like that
This is a hugely weak argument. Any legitimate complaint about bad service is likely to sound similar to a false accusation of bad service - that's the whole point, right? Sure a bad actor might say a girl was bawling her eyes out, but there's no reason why a real complainant wouldn't as well.
I really hope someone for Google is listening ... I WANT you guys to be successful so that we have more competition in the market. But honestly, you just keep shooting yourselves in the feet.
If you treat Consumers like crap, then you must expect Enterprise customers to be concerned that you are going to do the same thing to them.
It's not like this is an isolated story either ... Google dropping the ban hammer on someone is a recurring theme and it makes me question whether I should be looking at alternatives.
Freedom of speech is meaningless, when you have no voice.
Do you seriously believe this?
You understand people get locked out of the cloud accounts with Amazon and Microsoft all the time. And with Amazon and Microsoft they lose much more than access to their (free!) email account, they lose access to Kindle Books and Software Licenses that they've paid for with real money. That's a much bigger deal.
The moral of this story is that US citizens and businesses have zero recourse when they run afoul of web-based services. They have no real legal rights to their digital property. If the US had some kind of GDPR-like law that allowed customers an irrevocable right to their own data then this wouldn't be such a big deal. Indeed it might even spur some competition. But today you've got absolutely nothing. Today the onus is completely on each person to protect their own digital assets.
I know that even on a pretty small spend AWS had assigned us an account rep who would have moved heaven and earth if this had happened to us. I know Amazon retail has real humans in Ireland who will take my calls and take me seriously when I have problems.
I got an email recently from Google saying they were required to inform me they’d hired another gigantic Indian outsourcing company to do ... some kind of customer support work.
Curious how you know that?
I've seen it happen as well to friends who have had previously stellar AWS reps that fall off the face of the earth when the ban hammer falls.
His was for "too many returns" when there was a huge scammer ring buying the type of items he was selling and returning bricks in the boxes. Took many weeks to get resolved, and the ban of course shut down everything including his personal accounts, AWS accounts, etc.
Amazon, Google, etc. seem to have decent "happy path" support - but if you fall into either an outlier or stuck into a "bad actor" group you may as well effectively not exist if you can't get traction on social media from the few cases of this I've seen.
I can usually get even a very hairy ticket resolved on AWS in a manner of hours, every gcloud ticket we open takes days. Sure the respond in 24 hours but it's usually just a response that says "We'll get back to you eventually". If google actually wants to compete in cloud services they need to step up their game.
If I had to rate them, I'd say Microsoft has by far the best support, followed by Amazon, and Google's is (almost?) non-existent.
-your favorite google tech support (NONE!)
>hired another gigantic Indian outsourcing company
How is this confidence inspiring?
Of course they did. All smart businesses would. Do you think they would also help you to move your mails out of Office 365, to a competitor maybe? That'd be noteworthy.
I had an issue sending an email from my personal microsoft account and I submitted a case via the support tool and I had a response from a helpful representative within 12 hours.
It wasn't a pleasant experience but I did get to talk to real people and they did eventually resolve the issue.
Sure I know some will abuse returns policies, just as some buy an outfit in the high street, go out, and return it after the weekend. With the amount of defective by design, counterfeit and plain iffy product in Amazon's co-mingled marketplace inventory I expect there's been false positives just by being unlucky in product choices.
We have since ported to Firefox Quantum to be less reliant on Google.
It is also unnecessary. While I understand the convenience, there are plenty of better solutions to use over Google, especially for a software company.
When we first launched (on HN, I should note), we checked the browsers that people used to come to our site. It was roughly 90/10 Chrome/Firefox. That’s why we built our first extension for Chrome (and later built for Firefox also). Don’t we have to meet our users where they are?
Would love to hear your ideas!
Completely off topic but do you receive feedback from some users that your color gradients actually make it harder to read? I was struggling to read your landing page, my eyes kept were involuntarily flitting all over the page. My eyes kept jumping around scanning like they would at a traffic intersection or a pool (I was a lifeguard) for activity. It was kind of weird and stressful.
That seems to be how a lot of these stories (and stories like these aren't really uncommon on reddit or HN) of getting locked out of Google stuff are resolved.
If you don't know someone, you're hosed. How many times have people without inside contacts or reddit/HN accounts gone through this? We'll never know.
Same with a small company, as long as you have control of your domains and regular backups of the emails, having a fail-over isn't that hard. In this case the real damage is personal accounts, the business accounts could probably be up within a few hours at another provider (plus some more hours until backups are restored).
Bear in mind, if someone's all in with Google, they might have their domain controlled by Google Domains.
At one point I had my domain registered through my ISP, which was run rather eccentrically by a gentleman I eventually had a dispute with. He then (probably illegally) disabled all my DNS records, leaving me without my main email account for a week at a particularly vulnerable point in my life. It was horrific.
This should apply to all cloud services. If you use them for anything critical, total migration and DR should be part of your exit strategy for if anything like this happens. Everything you have in the cloud should be backed up in neutral formats off line on your property.
I’ve had a couple of run ins with google and personal accounts a few years back. Once my sign in was broken for two weeks. I couldn’t sign in with it showing a non descript error. I couldn’t find or get anyone to help. If this was anything business critical then it would have been pack up and go home.
Google apps support is notoriously crap as well. Been there, done that, left quickly.
One was co-located at one data center that had connectivity issues and they had all traffic automatically rerouted to their development stack in the office which operated as production while their colo sorted out issues.
Any offline client will do; I use Claws Mail since ages where I migrated all my email also from past clients such as Eudora under Windows XP. http://www.claws-mail.org/
It's multiplatform, very fast and stable and can keep, index and search huge datasets of emails (mine is over 60K messages since mid 90s) in seconds. Backing up/exporting the email database needs only saving the Mail directory in the user's home; I've successfully moved mail directories between Linux and Windows installations of Claws Mail without a hitch. It made Outlook users drop their jaws when they realized how fast it is and they no longer needed to delete years of mails because the client became slow as molasses.
All you have to do is configure it to access Google servers like any other client then check the option to delete the mail on the server once it has been downloaded. IIRC this option is checked by default.
I used it for a grepping through years of emails.
Their web app is very good. (Previously, I was using Gnus.) I also use iOS Mail to access fastmail via IMAP, because the VIP “folder” feature is great for cherrypicking.
Also if you don't pay up, they might raid your office and take your computers.
No, really. even though free accounts ending. Actually not even sure if you can sign up at the moment. Has basically 'just worked' for years though, hopefully they stay in business. :/
Things went swimmingly well, until a user reported seeing an error message, and then not being able to access the document at all. Escalation was a joke, and after a whole week of not having access to the critical google spreadsheet, Google was still fumbling around. Finally we got the document back, because one of the employees had kept the email containing the URL of the document (sent out when a document is shared with a group of people).
If it wasn't for that old email kept by an employee, we'd probably never would have 'found' the document again. Google's support was at best incompetent.
Beware dancing with the Dragon that is Google! Backup your files, keep important document URLS!
Hope this helps a poor soul somewhere.
As a matter of fact, with every MSDN subscription - you get two support incidents worth $500 each and if you tell them it's an emergency, they'll stay on the phone with you until the matter is resolved.
When you pay them, they stay until it's fixed.
There are limits to what tech support can fix, but getting to the point of "wipe it and start over" can be pretty quick.
That seems like a terrible idea. How many times has someone entered a "CRITICAL URGENT" support ticket regarding not being able to change their background image, or being blocked from downloading a game or something?
The company is responsible, whether that's down to culture or management or whatever else. If they focus on getting the best engineers but don't put the same effort into setting up the best customer service, that is very telling.
Enjoyable user experience isn't a high enough priority for Google. They have the resources and they choose where to focus them.
That seems like a pretty weak criticism to make up. And the account your questioning has a history here, and is not promoting another product, so why would they make that up?
So you're saying that you couldn't view it in Google Drive, because the documents were wiped. However, you were able to access the Google Sheet directly through the URL in an email?
How does that work? If it's a critical document like you say and your organization is operating out of it then that means it shared and it is in the "Shared with me" section. How were you able to access it if it was wiped?
Now you're saying that your entire organization's files were all gone from Drive, in other words total and complete organization-wide data loss, and that Google wouldn't help you...?
And yet finding one URL fixed all that again...?
All other documents were lost, but luckily they were not critical. But we still lost them. Hope this clarifies?
"I have a friend who creates Android apps on the side. I do something similar to this, but instead my apps revolve around cloning .apk files and restoring them". Why not be clear and just admit you're pirating software off an App Store? Ok, not the smartest activity in the world BUT did you have to do it at work?
"We were all freaking out, our IT guys were trying to get a hold of Google but couldn't get in touch with anyone." - So yea, unless you're one of Google's 'poster' customers, good luck trying to get help when something goes wrong!
"Their policy is to not share any information about what caused this and they will not reverse these actions." - Yup, that's Google. Unless you're one of the customers on this list: https://gsuite.google.com/customers/ you are totally screwed when something goes wrong.
I introduce the world to the ToS-DoS Attack - only a matter of time before this now gets exploited:
- Hack into a companies GSuite account and create a new account.
- Use the new account to commit a range of ToS violations.
- Wait for Google to suspend the entire GSuite account.
This is just plain wrong. I contact Google for tiny, insignificant clients on a routine basis. This claim has no basis in reality if you're using paid G Suite.
1. Create a google account and set your recovery email to the victims.
2. Use the new account to commit a range of ToS violations.
3. Wait for Google to suspend the entire GSuite account and every linked account.
For step 1 I don't think there is (or at least wasn't) any validation, I found out a family member had me as their recovery address when they changed passwords.
No wonder Google don't want to discuss their suspension practices - just another form of '(in)security through obscurity'.
If the hearsay is correct then this appears to be a hole the size of a galaxy!
That is, you (as recovery email holder) would need click the link ONLY if you want to unlink. The URL is in the footer of the email and it is easy to miss.
> Subject: "Someone added you as their recovery email"
> Someone added <mypersonalemail>@gmail.com as their recovery email
> <myworkemail>@<myworkdomain>.com wants your email address to be their recovery email.
> If you don’t recognize this account, it’s likely your email address was added in error. You can remove your email address from that account. Disconnect email
The "Disconnect email" at the end is an opt-out link.
A red flag for me is the claim that Google also blocked accounts that were set for recovery which seems almost close to impossible (or insane).
However, blocking access of other co-workers as well as blocking access to personal accounts (which are simply set as recovery accounts, and could as well be accounts of spouses/partners) because of some other account holder's mistake is completely different. So, I would argue that the incident described in Reddit is indeed the first case.
The only thing Gmail has ever said they won't scan G Suite customers' email for is ads, and they don't do that with consumer email anymore either.
> Our automated systems analyse your content (including emails) to provide you with personally relevant product features, such as customised search results, tailored advertising and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received and when it is stored.
Why should that be impossible? They are clearly linked (you have to own to other account, to accept it beeing used as the recovery account of the first one).
And the intention of google is probably to fight scammers etc. - and I can imagine it disrupts them a bit, if all associated accounts get banned. So I can imagine that it is a real case ... of collateral damage
Edit: stating of how I see the situation from the perspective of google, does not mean I approve it, and neither collateral damage in general
If I understand correctly, that's not true for paid gsuite customers.
Kind of surprised people expect different for something that is free.
Several years ago I had my account payment features banned with no explanation. That in turn basically banned me from most of Google services because I could not pay for them or use them because payments were banned. No adwords, adsense, no google cloud services, no buying android apps, nothing... With no explanation, no support, and I tried hard just to find out what I did wrong.
After that I come to terms that I have to leave my email that I used for like 10 years and make a new one. But, this time I first bought a domain name and then started paying for google apps. This way if they ban me for whatever reason I could at least take my email address to some other email provider. Anyhow, sometime later youtube enabled Adsense on videos for my country. I enabled it out of curiosity, just to see what is the process of doing and using it. I don`t have videos on my channel except one random from the gym that I uploaded 1-2 years ago. So, I just enabled adsense poked at that for 1 day and left it unused. Sometime after that I got an email that my adsense and adword account is banned for violating policy (not saying which one). No explanation why, nothing!!! I tried to get an explanation like REALLY hard, but could not. You are just stuck in an endless loop of robot answers, or not getting answers at all. They even have google forms for complaints which point me to some URL that I am banned from viewing, lol. And there is some other form that no one answers when you fill it and I filled it 10 times.
Long story short, I slowly started migrating from Google services. This is really maddening and scary that they can just cut you off from your data without explanation. I use Google Photos heavily and even a possibility that they could cut me off from my photos at any time is sickening. That is why I bought NAS which backups my Google Photos to physical drives in my apartment. Now I just need to find something comparable to Google Photos and leave that service for good...
That way I have full control of my domain name, right up until the point where I forget to renew it, and a domain squatter takes it from me.
There really must be something better than either of these systems. Being at the whims of Google isn't good, but having your own domain name has its own set of problems.
This also highlights why companies need to ensure that their systems are platform agnostic. This is why I don't trust things like Slack for business critical applications. Once you're locked in, it's bloody hard to get out.
This is why i renew my domain for nine (9) years at the time. Currently, my passport expires earlier than my main domain. Yup, I got my priorities straight.
As much as I dislike MS, that still seems better than having your data held hostage.
If your business is in G Suite, it is possible to migrate off as you do have your own domain name, just point your DNS records to your new server, and generate new mail accounts.
I was meaning more for personal use. I don't want my personal email address to be at the whim of Google, which it would be if I used an @gmail.com email address.
Obviously my email hosting is still at the whim of the host, who, like Google, can just cut my service if they want, but that's always a risk. I could host my email on DigitalOcean, but DO could cut my service. So I could host it on my home computer, but (ignoring spam filtering problems and uptime) my ISP could cut my service.
I have no problems sending mail to people on Comcast, Yahoo, GMail, or anywhere else - just AT&T domains.
I don't send out large volumes of email, nobody else is abusing my server, and attempts to resolve this go nowhere.
It simply blows my mind that one of the most powerful tech companies in the world is still doing these mistakes. Not even the G Suite tier, which I would assume it's a more professional tier than the free one.
(Disclaimer: I'm assuming this Reddit post is true, which may or may not be the case here.)
For G Suite Basic, Business and Enterprise customers we provide 24 x 7 support via chat, phone and email.
Yes - you can create a case at https://support.google.com/a/contact/admin_no_access
Greetings. This is Alex Diacre again from Google’s G Suite Support team with a followup. In order to protect the privacy of all our customers and users, it is our policy not to disclose information relating to specific customer accounts in public forums. But given the amount of attention this post received, I’d like to offer some insight on the results of our investigation on this matter:
-The original poster on Reddit (OP) did not identify him/herself or the customer account. We have made several attempts to reach out to the OP through PM, but have yet to receive a response. (If the OP or someone from his/her company is reading this, please get in touch with me).
- We have tried to identify the customer based on the information in the original post, including an extensive review of recent support cases, but have not found any cases resembling the description.
To note, Technical Support is available to G Suite customers 24/7 via chat, phone and email. We’re happy to work with the OP to investigate this matter further; until then, we have not found any supporting evidence to corroborate these claims. Technical Support can be accessed at https://gsuite.google.com/support/
>Available to G Suite administrators only. Log in to your admin account for verification.
If an account is banned, how would they log in to their admin account?
I have nothing to do with OP, don't know who they are, etc... Just curious how this would work when you don't display their phone number until they log in, and their login credentials might not work. Same for email and chat, according to the text of the page you linked (https://gsuite.google.com/support/).
Yet you mention these as ways to get support. Am I missing something?
Assuming the story isn't simply made up, I'd rest easier knowing whatever caused the problem (both the initial mass banning and Google's unwillingness to help) has been fixed.
We're limited on what we're able to share in public forums related to specific customer situations.
If you're not already doing the following we recommend the following steps to protect your G Suite account
- have more than one super admin
- ensure an up-to-date recovery email is in the account profile
- ensure an up-to-date recovery phone is in the account profile
- ensure account profile is properly updated
- use two factor authentication for all users (ideally user security keys)
- at a minimum, ensure that your G Suite administrator users are using two factor authentication
Lots more info on G Suite security best practices can be found here:
I realize you can't comment on specific incidents, but a simple statement from Google saying "no, we definitely won't ban entire organizations including connected personal accounts because of one user's actions" would go a long way to put people at ease here.
They won't make a blanket statement like you want because there are bad actors out there that they have to respond to.
Anyways, there's 24x7 phone support and ways to get support even if you're completely locked out. What more do you want?
Umm the 24x7 phone support number is not listed on the web page.
To get the phone number, you need to log in.
How do you log in, if you're locked out?
>What more do you want?
What do you think?
It's also not true. Maybe for "free" services but paid G Suite accounts have telephone, live chat and email support. I've used it frequently.
One day, we were kicked off the allotment, out access to the crops gone in an instant.
I tried to remonstrate, but just got a waving hand in the face.
I am hoping if I publicise it enough in the local gardening forums, the allotment owner might feel a slight bit of pressure to act in this case, but apparently others who used his land didn't dare so well without someone trumpeting their case.
If only we had maintained the knowledge how to tend our own garden.
Characterising that as "zero customer support" is unfair.
It makes me really worry about things I have done that are truly against their ToS. For example after Google Cloud Platform announced a $300 credit promo for new users, I made another gmail account just to try them out. I don't think what I did is unethical or even against the spirit of their promo so I didn't bother to hide the connection back to my real gmail. Will google use this to ban my real google account one day? Probably not, but before this story I naively believed the answer was definitely no.
Yes. So insane one suspects it may not be true.
Yeah, engaging in corporate piracy, just a minor violation.
edit: my father once mentioned that when he was working at Honneywell in Minneapolis (making home automation in the 80s), some of the engineers frequented a local bar called literally "The Second Source". "Sorry boss, I'm busy this afternoon - I have a meeting at the second source!"
1) grab/download the entire mailbox from Gmail
2) delete the mailbox at Gmail
3) export all gdrive data, use the export function
4) delete the gdrive data
5) register with fastmail, yandex or protonmail
6) start mailpile on your raspberry pi or similar
7) use mailpile as frontend for yandex/protonmail/other-imap account.
8) nextcloud as good enough but shitty replacement for gdrive
Where these sorts of platforms really excel is in the realm of other features, which Nextcloud tacks onto the existing platform, but a larger app platform can allow you to use a variety of alternatives which are more tailor-made to other specific types of web apps.
But that's not an alternative anymore, just the same.
There's their side of the story.
They most likely don't have anyone to speak for the company except on bigger issues. Even their product forums are staffed with "community experts" who no one knows if they're Google, community or a 3rd party service and no one with enough authority and knowledge to properly manage things.
Internet: You're accused of not caring about any but the very largest of corporate customers, nor individual customers, and damaging companies that use your products.
Google: We don't respond to such minor issues.
It's a massive issue IMO. They know what they're doing, they just don't want to be overt with it as that will damage their rep.
The former should be a legal requirement. But I'm not sure what actually happened in this particular case. We don't even know if it concerns a G Suite account and what the company was or wasn't told about why they got banned.
Let's say that Google has developed a deep learning paradigm to identify -- and ban -- low-value users who violate their ToS. The low-value group would probably include all non-paying users, as well as small G Suite accounts. Let's also say that the paradigm was deployed as an automated solution, since it was 99% accurate during testing at picking out ToS violators, though the exact percentage doesn't really matter. I would imagine that the relevant Google execs did a cost-benefit analysis, and figured that the PR hit and revenue loss associated with a liberal and fully automated use of the banhammer against all supposed ToS violators -- including the 1% that were false positives -- was justified by the benefits to Google's bottom line.
Based on this possibility, it seems likely that Google employees would not _know_ why the banhammer fell in any particular instance -- nor would they care to know, since that would involve digging through the data to figure out which events triggered a positive hit in their machine learning implementation. It presumably wouldn't be worth Google's time and effort on behalf of users already classified as "low-value".
This might also explain why, as mentioned in another post, it took a few days for the banhammer to fall on a start-up, after a dev with a "poisoned" Google account joined the team. Presumably it took those few days worth of traffic and usage data for ToS-Hammer(tm) to figure that the dev had spawned new accounts elsewhere.
Again, I'm not an expert, so pardon any flaws in the relevant logic.
Given the oligopolistic structure of the industry, throwing an unlucky minority under the bus without recourse just because it's statistically "rational" will not hold up.
I think Google knows that and there will be some sort of more systematic fix (compared to reddit posts and friends at Google).
Some AI algorithms can explain how they came to the conclusion they came to and why not have a paid support option as well.
The great virtue of private industry over government is the ease with which you can opt out.
You generally can't opt-out from your government, you definitely don't have to opt-in Google services.
This is almost the polar opposite of Kafka-esque.
Well, sort-of, and still. If you use the web, you are constantly being tracked by Google as people mindlessly put GA code on all their websites. As for e-mail, it's more and more difficult to set up an e-mail server these days because of anti-spam measures, and Google/MS are dictating the terms here - but MS has a much more relaxed policy. Each time I set up a new mail server, I have to go through the same set of rituals, only to discover Google came up with another requirement and will not deliver my mail if I don't do it.
You can't argue both 1) companies are allowed to do anything they want and 2) they can grow unlimited monopolies.
If you do, sooner or later they will surpass national states in power and you have an even worst distopia.
These Kafka-esque arguments are way over the top when applied to a private, profit seeking organization.
TL;DR: After extensive investigation, case review and working with a variety of internal teams, we’ve have not found any supporting evidence to corroborate these claims.
To note, Technical Support is available to G Suite customers 24/7 via chat, phone and email. We’re happy to work with the OP to investigate this matter further; until then, we have not found any supporting evidence to corroborate these claims. Technical Support can be accessed at https://gsuite.google.com/support/*
Alex here from G Suite Cloud Support at Google. We're limited on what we're able to share in public forums related to specific customer situations.
Also note: this isn't me personally.
I don't understand why anyone could possibly take this sort of risk with their company. As long as Google remains the irresponsible company that it is, they simply cannot be engaged with for any business purpose whatsoever.
It's possible, of course, this guy isn't actually what triggered the lockout, but it really wouldn't change the issue: That 150 Google accounts can get banned, including both personal and work accounts, and that Google can refuse to explain why.
The OP's bosses should be looking for a good law firm, because there's money in this case.
Guys, just because something is anounced and written in an EULA , doesn't mean you're actually to blame. Sometimes rules are insane and created by people for really bad reasons (such as not wanting to spend a correct amount of money on customer support for your services, in order to be even more profitable).
I immediately started reviewing the recovery options of my corporate account and de-linked all my personal information (personal email address, personal phone number for two-factor authentication, etc). I prefer to have my corporate account hacked for not having 2FA enabled than to risk my personal Google account to be locked. I went ahead and created a non-personal account with another email provider for the recovery options and tomorrow morning I will request my employer for a corporate phone number to set-up 2FA.
So, even though I still had access to my phone and even though I was still logged in to the gmail account, and even though I had many archived emails, I could never log in to it again and had to abandon it. Automated recovery didn't work and of course they wouldn't say why.
Having a backup seems like a trap or catch-22 when it becomes the single point of failure.
I tried everything, messaged friends at Google, nothing.
In the end the only solution that worked was waiting until a new person by random chance got allocated the same phone number, calling them, and getting them to send me my reset code they got via SMS.
If the company was using consumer accounts, then this is exactly the behaviour that is expected (very easy to create a bunch of accounts that are all associated with each other). Both the company leadership and IT team/vendor should hang their heads in shame.
If the company was a paying gsuite customer then this type of action towards a corporate customer seems odd but not unusual. The OP committed TOS violations but may have no awareness of what TOS violations other customers were committing (if you allow that sort of culture, you reap the rewards... etc).
I find it hard to believe it is the latter scenario because the admins of the account would have been notified multiple times before any adverse action was taken (there have been many stories of individuals / companies getting banned after ignoring emails to change behavior / actions that violate TOS).
Fuck knows how that works with PATRIOT.