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None of this makes any sense, I simply don't believe it.

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.)




> None of this makes any sense, I simply don't believe it.

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.


I don't disagree with most of the takeaways here, but to be clear that email ban was entirely TPM's fault. They even admit to the cardinal sin of email sending: using one address for everything:

>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.


G Suite Business accounts absolutely do have recovery emails that can be, and often are, personal accounts. I'm in my gsuite account looking at the setting right now. And wondering if I should change it.

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.


Can also confirm. Here is a screenshot (with personal details removed): https://i.imgur.com/cn7yiet.png

Just click Profile in top right -> My Account -> Sign-In & Security -> Signing in to Google and scroll down just a little.


Yep, I edited my comment, TIL, thanks. It's not available by default, but an admin can turn it on:

https://support.google.com/a/answer/33382?hl=en


> And wondering if I should change it.

It's probably too late. If it was once there, they will keep it forever.


> It sounds relatively plausible to me

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.


> Grandparent gave a ton of reasons, though, why this situation is particularly implausible. Why exactly do you disagree?

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.


And the contract (Not signed, just a checkbox at least when I last signed a company up for GSuite) probably gives them the right to terminate the service in case of violation. Not that strange really. And for a ~100 people company going up against Google, you're in a pretty rough spot even if you're in the right.


I think it's real, though much of the story involves the "optimal Reddit protagonist": https://www.reddit.com/r/TheoryOfReddit/comments/2hbwoh/the_...


I suspect the company was using the free consumer version. That comes with little escalation, etc. They probably should have used something different for business email for a company with 100+ people, but this is not the point.

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.


The free edition was discontinued in 12/6/2012 and only supported 10 users. The new lowest tier, G Suite Basic, has 24/7 phone support.


When Google bans your account, you no longer have 24/7 phone support.


Small correction, the free edition used to support 50 users. I know this because a company that I work for still has it (we only need about 15 users). Still not enough for the size of OPs company.


The free edition started with 50, then they switched it to 10, then I think they got rid of it. I'm grandfathered into the 50 even though I've only used 2.


Is there a way to view your user limit or how long you have had G Suite?

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.


Admin Center, under billing.


> and only supported 10 users.

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


From some of people that had to use the phone support, they just enter your complaint into an internal ticketing system and wait for someone to answer back (eventually)


> I mean come on, just the way it's written ... It just feels too obvious.

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 doubt its black PR, the possibility of blowback seems to high relative to the gain. Rather, people making up tall tails on the internet to entertain people is entirely banal. And because lies and distortions can be much more interesting or outrageous than the truth they have a sad tendency to spread.


Eh. I doubt it's a PR move. More likely just some redditor making shit up.


This comment sounds like pro Google PR if anything.




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