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Aussie ISV buys ads to wake up Google support (crn.com.au)
288 points by vlasky 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 126 comments

I helped my mother reformat her computer remotely. We successfully ported her mail client but managed to lose her gmail password - meaning we had enough access to send/receive emails but not create new sessions. The account was created some time in 2006. A week prior to the reformat she had changed jobs, and lost the mobile phone number associated with her account.

The second factor email was associated with my account, I could see reset codes come through which were relayed to her but would result in an 'oops, something went wrong'. My guess is a bug due to account age / whatever.

I figured we had enough evidence to obtain a password reset, so I googled for gmail support contact details. There are none.

I then tried repeatedly to contact Google via twitter, all my tweets were ignored - probably because I only have like 20 followers.

In the end, my mother ended up porting her old mobile number to a prepaid sim, as $previouscompany had disconnected the number entirely, and used that as the second factor to reset the account.

Pretty damn frustrating that Google doesn't have any unpaid inbound support _AT ALL_.

Next time I'll consider paying a twitter influencer to impersonate me (or my mother), or paying for adspace, or using a mail service that exposes at least some form of support.

> Pretty damn frustrating that Google doesn't have any unpaid inbound support _AT ALL_.

Frustrating? Yes. Surprising? No.

Afaik, there isn't even any paid support for individual customers unless you have some sort of business account. I find this a bit unreasonable, but I wouldn't expect any free service that involves a paid employee from any service I don't pay for (with money, not privacy).

They can't be making many dollars per year per user. A single support call answered by a human would take years' worth of income from said user. I'm amazed at how many people do not realize this, and still rely on these "free" services even for their jobs.

To give an example: recently, a popular blogger lost their Instagram account and it was sold to a 3rd party (because they had lots of followers, I suppose). Blogging is their day job and Instagram is a major source of readers for them, so they depend on it for their living. The account was probably stolen by using a reused password from some password dump and they didn't have 2FA enabled.

In the end, the blogger got back their account because they were a part of a traditional media publishing organization which had a business account with Facebook, Inc and were able to escalate it that way. Had they not had this account, it would have been lost.

There are lots and lots of professions where social media presence is required to bring in the customers (e.g. woodworkers these days depend on Instagram!) or even monetization from their account directly.

If you depend on Google, Facebook, Youtube, etc to earn a living, you should consider a business account or at least do your best to secure the account (2FA, no password reuse, etc).

They way I look at it, Google treats support in the same way that Amazon treats APIs.

In that they know they're making a choice with consequences and pain. But they see the strategic value of that choice (never running a support org) as outweighing the tactical pain.

Additionally, I'd guess the internal opinion is "If users need support, then something is broken and we should just fix it."

Where I think this falls down, which Microsoft learned 30 years ago, is that:

(a) Unless you're asking, you're not going to surface visibility of broken things. Users will just find a way to deal, while being pissed off. And then some product team finds out there's been a major issue for the last 5 years.

(b) Unless you're actively soliciting feedback from your customers and users, you're at high risk of building the wrong thing. We see this with enterprise GCP frequently. "Oh, you need Y feature? We never thought about that, because {insert internal way that Google does things, but no one else does}."

If Google knows they're not legally compelled to provide support they just don't. That's why their support can scale to Play Store's 2 billion users but not Gmails.

If the EU ever gets around to forcing Google to support their users regardless of how they are enriching Google the moral of the story will be they saved billions by waiting until litigation. Just like taxes.

What support do you get for free apps in Play Store?

Phone and email - the apps might be free but they still had to purchase a Google-powered device to get free apps.



That is why seeing them loose the cloud war feels so good! Yeah, apparently there are developers outside of Google having opinions and making decisions!

> I wouldn't expect any free service that involves a paid employee from any service I don't pay for (with money, not privacy).

I expected at least one response suggesting this. I, and many others would consider email access my absolute most critical asset, it's also extremely difficult to switch providers. It's not like your real estate goes 'nope sorry you can't prove yourself, we can't replace your lost keys without validation, sorry, go buy new stuff and live somewhere else' - I imagine that would be illegal in many countries even if the place was rent free.

I understand that Google support, if it existed, would be inundated with bad tickets. However, I don't imagine having a skeleton set of support staff and a support workflow that requires users to climb mountains to communicate with a human would really impact on googles bottom line. It would have stopped me venting in various places about the issue, and might end up losing potential sales when I/others push our employers to use $not_google because their support sucks.

> I, and many others would consider email access my absolute most critical asset

So why not pay for it?

I did. I paid $240/year for Google One, which claimed to have support for consumer accounts. It was nice to have that peace of mind.

But then when I actually needed supoort, they couldn't do anything but read forum posts to me. They were not empowered to escalate to actually resolve anything more complicated than "where's the button for X".

Even if you pay, Google still treats their users like shit.

This isn't even a service request, it's a bug report.

Are you able to name a reputable email provider which isn't >$60/year or self-managed? My 65 year old mother probably wouldn't be interested in either of those two, but would be willing to pay for per-use support lines for the one time in 13 years which rendered her account inaccessible.

And lets not forget my father, who couldn't access his _paid_ Telstra/O365 standard-user work email. When I called the Telstra support line they gave me administrative access to the entire instance, no proof of ID necessary (I literally said I'm not associated with the company and calling on behalf of my father).

To be honest, I'm not sure which is worse now that I think about it.

$60/year doesn't seem terrible for your absolute most critical asset.

It isn't, but $60 per year for a service you've been getting for years is perfectly fine, until it isn't. And then you realise the value of the dollars spent, but not before.

But yeah, I mostly agree with you. Paid single-use support would be an absolutely transformational addition to the likes of the free Google services, I think. Why doesn't it exist?

Most likely because the cost of a single complicated support call (of the sort that can't be answered from a knowledge base) that may need to be escalated to 2nd level support or beyond would appear exorbitant ($100 perhaps, or more?).

Paying per incident is a terrible moral hazard.

Dotster was similar for DNS hosting, several years ago.

Called them to get access to our account after a problem, and they gave me admin with no verification at all. Just provided the account name, was asked for new password. Like... WTF?

Tried telling their security people, who then denied it happened, let alone it being a problem.

Our DNS hosting was moved away from Dotster shortly afterwards.

My dog license costs $35/yr and the only benefit is the county might help me recover my dog if I lose her, which happened once in 13 years.

My laptop has a warranty that costs $60 year and I get nothing, nothing!, unless I break it. And don't even get me started on my car insurance!

Wasn't it Mark Twain who said insurance is "Betting the other man that your house will burn down, and hoping he wins"


> So why not pay for it?

Let's turn this around. Why is Google offering a free service that doesn't meet reasonable expectations for how that service works?

My repeated experience is that Google is good at things like search, where people get what they get and individual humans don't matter to the company. But they're bad at things that require treating people like people.

After being a happy Google hardware customer for years, I just had a purchasing experience that was so bad that I'll never buy from Google again. Their hardware and software won me as a customer; their customer service not only lost me, but was so bad it has made me more wary of doing business at all with any part of Google.

For me, this is in the "do or do not, there is no try" bucket. They don't really want to deal with humans, so they half-ass it. I wish they'd just stay out of those kinds of businesses, as their dominance and indifference to profit can mean crushing competitors and preventing the emergence of a real marketplace.

What company offers white glove support for nonpaying customers?

You seem to be missing the point. I'm saying that if Google can't deliver a service well, maybe they should not offer the service. Which is what most companies do.

You get pretty decent support if you have Google One. My wife had an issue, clicked the support thing and was talking to somebody in a few minutes.

You get decent response.

There is someone on the line and follow-up emails too.

But actually fixing things is a crap-shoot.

I've had an issue with Google One family accounts for a month now.

I can not invite anyone into my family, so far no solution. Instead they keep throwing free storage at various family members because they can not escalate very much.

$20 / yr?

Even if I'm not using any of the other features, that seems like the cheapest support plan ever.

They say "Google experts"... so who staffed the phones? Are we talking actual customer support who are empowered to run playbooks and cut tickets, or what?

In my experience, they are able to connect you with people who should be able to resolve your problem. Sort of like sending you directly to an operator. I was able to solve a problem with my YouTube Premium/Google Music subscription using it in about 20 minutes. My problem was I have an account from beta Google Music that has been grandfathered for years and I lost YouTube ad free when they recently restricted it. They forwarded me to someone at YouTube who actually was able to resolve it.

"but I wouldn't expect any free service that involves a paid employee from any service I don't pay for (with money, not privacy)."

It's not a free service. It's a surveillance company that spies on, profiles, and sells out its users for a profit in exchange for the services it offers. Most surveillance companies with email offerings have support. If Google doesn't, then it's taking something in exchange for nothing on top of doing less than the standard most of its competitors set in this area. It will also probably keep making revenue on the locked account for a little while despite its owner having no access.

Way different ethically or professionally than a situation where the user was getting free email with the other party getting absolutely nothing in return. Something truly free.

People bash Yahoo Mail a lot(with good reasons), but last month I had some problems with my (free) email account and after trying all the options I had to contact the support for help. Almost instantly I was talking on chat with a real human who helped me with my problem. I know their service have problems, but I was impressed with how easy it was to reach a person for help, I thought it would be harder.

This post and other top-level post in this thread have issues with account recovery.

Google tends to follow a playbook when it comes to account recovery, and if you can't check one of the boxes to get through, they won't let you back in. This is to stop account takeovers via support (which are known attack vectors people use against other companies, like cell phone providers).

While it's frustrating to lose access to you account, it is the tradeoff Google has made to try to keep your account safe.

And as far as Google employees being able to help, that channel has mainly been closed. Even if you know a Googler and have lost access to your account, the Googler will likely just tell you to follow the account recovery help page[0].

(I'm a googler, opinions are my own)

[0] https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/7682439?hl=en

You're an apologist who is spouting nonsense.

Other companies solve this problem, Google hasn't and they should do better. Perhaps by involving a real support person.

Which other companies? How did they solve the problem?

If you involve a human, you're going to get socially engineered. It's not a question of "if", but "when" - especially if you're a high-value target where user accounts are valuable.

>Pretty damn frustrating that Google doesn't have any unpaid inbound support _AT ALL_.

They actually do have basic customer support for free accounts, it just isn't very easy to find. I forget exactly how it works, but I was able to help someone in a similar situation recover their account by following the 'steps to recover your account' listed here:


After failing the automated recovery, it came up with an option to request a manual reset, with a free-entry text field asking what was wrong. It sent messages to the account and all of its recovery options with links to cancel the request, then after a few days someone took a look and was able to help.

It's very frustrating. I've run my own mail server since before Google existed. Sometimes I have deliverability problem with Google Mail. Only there as far as I know, and not all the time. But sometimes it'll just put custom-written, non-bulk email in spam.

Even though I have friends at Google, I can't find out what's going on. Apparently that team won't even talk to other Googlers. It's maddening. Now if I need something to really go through (e.g., contacting somebody about a job) I have to send the mail from my gmail account. That feels like rewarding them, but I don't seem to have a choice.

Did you change your ip-address after gmail started?

You're asking if my IP address has been the same since 2004? No, we've changed providers a couple of times. But it's been stable for the last 5 years at least.

The idea of trusting a giant corporate entity with my email with whom I don't even have a commercial relationship has always been anathema to me, and that reaction just seems smarter the older I get.

>> Next time I'll consider paying a twitter influencer to impersonate me

That seems like a great idea in general :)

Do you recommend Google things to other people?

Personally, having experienced a similar thing but not regained access to the account, I never will.

Actively encouraging the exact opposite frankly.

sadly i guess it worked fine from their end. you sorted out the problem on your own without them helping.

Back when there were telegrams, I once sent a telegram to Kentucky Fried Chicken corporate HQ to complain about a franchisee that was leaving unsold food under the heat lamps for so long it tasted awful. KFC happened to be one of the few nearby eateries open late. Cost about $20 to send a telegram, which was delivered by a Western Union messenger.

I was contacted by KFC corporate HQ and given lots of coupons. Then I was contacted by regional HQ and given more coupons. Then by the franchisee. More coupons and an apology. The food quality improved markedly. For a while.

> The food quality improved markedly. For a while.

Until you ran out of coupons?

Free food always tastes better, right?

Not necessarily. Not always.

Out of curiosity, do you remember why you didn't just call or send a letter? I have zero familiarity with what it was like to send a telegram, but I imagine even 40 years ago it would be more difficult to send a telegram then a letter or phone call.

40 years ago telegrams were as obsolete for most communication as they are today, sending them was (as it is now [0]) largely a way of saying “this message is important enough for me to pay an exorbitant fee to have physical media remotely produced and hand delivered”.

[0] you can still send telegrams: https://www.itelegram.com/

Not quite so dramatic but the shake machine at Jack in the Box was back in service after weeks of being out post-complaint via their service.

Someone on reddit explained the machines are a pita to clean so people just refuse to load it in the first place and then tell everyone it's out.

Wow!! My company made HackerNews! Yeah, what an arseache it's been - and just checked and nothing has been actioned still despite the negative coverage. Google truly don't give a shit I'm afraid.

It’s a clever strategy, and I think anyone who’s touched a computer in the last decade sympathizes. It’s terribly maddening how impervious these tech megaliths are as individuals or small business.

What’s funny is that interactions between large tech companies can be very fluid in my experience. I guess there’s not a big power discontinuity in the big to big case...

They are probably salty that you used LinkedIn ads instead of their own.

Had to use their adwords API before too. Can confirm: Made us jump through hoops on automated systems there too. Their contempt towards developers is breathtaking. I'd be happy to pay for support but duck that if I can't get a simple API rate increase PLUS a load of negative press can't even budge them into this simple action.

Looks like you're going to get a response from GTM team. Can you post a follow up and let us know why they ignored your initial requests?

We have literally the exact same issue. I'd contribute to your spend if they open our account as well :)

I've reached out to some folks on the gtm team to look into this.

Hi mate. I just checked now and they've raised the 25 queries per second limit to 100, but the Queries Per 100 Seconds Per User is still at 25, sooo... They've done half the job which I'm super stoked about - can't thank you enough mate! If I can be a bit of a cheeky prick, is there any chance you could please ping them to get the queries per user lifted too, to 100 per second? I did ask for both in their form. If you could do this mate, I'd be over the moon - and deffo happy to drop some dough on a charity of your choice as way of thanks too, to pay it forward :) thanks heaps man. Really appreciate the help

Great work! Out of interest why does an Aussie company charge in GBP?

We're a GDPR solution smooshed in with the questionnaire builder mate. Primarily aimed at the UK market, but with the California GDPR equivalent kicking off Jan 1st..

Possibly their main target market or could be a British company that was acquired.

I decided to escalate support with a major multi billion dollar tech company in a unique way... I took a one-way plane ticket to the city of their HQ, went to the front desk, then when I was rebuffed, i escalated my issues to a major news outlet. .. I also considered Facebook live right in front of their headquarters on public property, but fortunately didn't need to... I was very polite about everything... Never demanding or angry- always expressing gratitude for the incredible opportunity I had with this company! Amazingly, my unorthodox escalation procedure worked-- I wasn't sure if it would.

My point in writing this is to say- great job thinking outside the box! Even if you can't fly to Google HQ, continue to think outside the box. Some ideas include Hire someone at taskrabbit or Craigslist, or a FB jobs page, to go to their front desk, or if unsuccessful, to hold a sign on public property in front of Google's HQ, you can get a banner or sign professionally made (online process are pretty reasonably priced). You could Skype with your stand-in. It would be really fun to get a Skype video call on a big iPad... or try something else.

Everybody thought I was crazy. I was. Crazy people get noticed, and often get results. Whatever the outcome, being able to tell an awesome story is always fun! Good luck, mate!

It seems that the situation is pretty bad when cloud providers are so big they don't care about individual customers.

We're all joking about how creative you and the person mentioned in the article were.

It seems to have solved your issue and I'm happy for you.

However as we're all praising the irony and derision, really we're all sad of how broken the system is. Happy to finally be noticed as a customer is not the way a customer service should be.

It's not actually been resolved. Cunts.

Source: am the bloke who this story is about.

This response is gold and informative.

Lots of Google employees on HN who jump in defending everything Google does - so maybe your issue will get attention soon.

Sorry though, that you are going through this.

This is one of many reasons why whenever a recruiter from Google/Amazon/Facebook tries to connect with me I tell them to never contact me again, because I don't want to work at some place that's so unethical.

That’s a major issue, though. They know these issues happen but they’re happy to let them slide unless they they gain sufficient attention on places like HN or reddit.

It's helpful to have a chance to see hard it is to obtain an increase in Google API rate limits. The documentations suggests one only needs to ask, so this clarification is very much appreciated.

It's fucking shit. Despite the negative publicity, and I just checked as their API rate resets midnight PST, annnd.... Still at 25 per second. Google are fucking shit and their contempt is palpable. I'm seething.

This guy is definitely Australian.

Did your problem get resolved now?

Nope. All this effort and they give not one single flying fuck. I'm still at 25 calls per second which is their standard.

Nothing. Has. Changed.

Fuck you Google. Fuck. You.


You're too small for them to care, yet.

Are you working a full-time job and doing this as a side hustle?

I was replying to repairisntcheap, language please

Just FYI, assuming you aren’t Australian: That particular word is far less offensive than in other English speaking countries.

So much so in fact, that it is often used endearingly among friends or when praising someone's skill at something.

Source: am Australian, live in the US, had to stop saying it except when on discord with friends back home.

Good to know. As a non-native English speaker, I was very surprised to see that word on HN. Thanks for my first Australian English class!

I had a PM who's support strategy was to complain directly to the company's twitter handle. Apparently the people who run the social media accounts sit higher in the org chart than support staff because it almost always got us a faster response.

Also because companies are absolutely terrified of something negative going viral. It's why they instantly ask you to DM them to take all discussion out of public view. It's amazing what a simple tweet can get you when all else fails (unless it's frontier com., then they straight up block you).

Didn’t work at all with Air NZ for me.

They had promotion on flights on their aussie website, but you can’t spend airpoints on aussie site. Same flight on NZ website was nearly 2x.

Didn’t work with Wizzair when they changed my flight time, notified I don’t need to do anything and then charged 30€ for check in.

Didn’t work with Air India - they don’t even have Twitter (just wanted to change my flight date and you can just imagine how bad their call center is).

I’ve never had any success either, presumably because I have no followers on Twitter...

Probably the first legitimate use case for those "buy a follower" services I've heard of. $20 worth of followers and you'll suddenly get priority support by their social media team.

If only those services weren't seeded with compromised accounts, I wouldn't even feel bad about it.

Never use Air India.

Got tricked into their biz class for EU > Oceania flight. About half price. Don't care about fancy, just want to lay down when flying for such long periods.

Flight is in couple of days, will see...

I dislike Twitter but last few years but I'm really tempted to register there just for such "support" functionality. Because so far exactly no company has ever replied to me from their support emails. It's like they lead directly to /dev/null.

100% yes. Works with almost everything. Trash guys missed your bin? Blow em up on Twitter. Cable company shrinking your bandwidth? Blow em up. Instant results

Nice... I think this is often good a good strategy, but super big companies like Google have a lot of noise on Twitter. Opening up your own, unique, support channel, like this company has done can sometimes be more successful because everyone loves a great story.

Trying this with PayPal right now. Did not work so far.

Worked for me, someone there called me up pretty quickly. Make sure you're messaging @askpaypal

Yeah, I tried @askpaypal, will try again.

A company I know has the problem that one of their Google accounts cannot be reset - no one knows when the account was created or which phone was used for 2nd factor, and email only is "not sufficient". They're resorting to a lawyer now and if the harshly worded letter is not enough they're gonna file for a court injunction ("einstweilige Verfügung") against Google, this should probably work.

It's a pity that one cannot get paid support from Google and has to resort to expensive lawyers instead.

Of course, if you can just get great press from targeted ads to Google, hopefully you don't have to be more creative to get someone's attention.

> I took a one-way plane ticket to the city of their HQ

So you live there now?

I dismantled a business a couple of years ago. I let the domain lapse, dismantled everything. Forgot to cancel Google Apps. I noticed the charge still coming out of my bank account a while later, and tried to get it canceled. Couldn't log in, wasn't given the option to use the backup account, couldn't receive an email. Contacted google support. A few emails later they accept that I'm the person who is paying the bill, but refuse to cancel the account. Their last support message is "you'll have to dispute the charge with your bank".

On to bank support, who don't have a category for "service is being provided but refusing to cancel" sigh

Needless to say, never using a Google service again.

At the point you inform the service provider you no longer want the service, the next time they charge your account is simple fraud or theft, and that is something your bank better damned well act on.

Just say it like that. "X is stealing from this account. This is a fraudulent transaction." That frames it in a way they understand and they have a box for that.

It's also just like a former employee using passwords they are no longer authorized to use. It doesn't matter that they once had that access legitimately.

>Needless to say, never using a Google service again.

The only Google services I bother with are search, maps, youtube (in a non-logged-in viewing-only capacity, not a posting-my-own-videos capacity) and the android play store (paying for apps via gift cards). I don't trust google not to cancel new services on a metaphorical moment's notice, and I don't have any faith in reaching a human being if I have a billing problem. So I make sure not to tie my life in any way to my Google account.

It feels strange to say, as an old school Linux fanboy who vividly remembers the Halloween document release, but I tend to point "I want to move my business to the cloud" friends/acquaintances to Office 365 instead. Say what one will about Microsoft's scummy behaviour over the years, but no-one can claim they aren't into Office 365 for the long haul. And while it's not exactly easy to get a human being at Microsoft to fix a problem, it's certainly easier than Google.

I’m a Gsuite, maps and YouTube user. I want to move away from Gsuite and maps but don’t think there are good alternatives.

CityMapper comes close but isn’t there.

FastMail support is worse than Google and has fewer features.

>FastMail support is worse than Google and has fewer features.

Actually I use Fastmail, and am a big fan. I've never had an issue reaching support. Of course I've rarely had to, the service is pretty reliable.

As for features, I could flip that around on Gmail. Does Google rigidly adhere to imap/carddav/caldav standards so that standards-compliant clients have no problems whatsoever in connecting, or are there still cheerful little "quirks" when trying to use non-official clients with Gmail?

I am weeks into trying to resolve a carddav issue with fastmail. Email support from them is lousy at best.

I use Fastmail and their support has been excellent. I use them now for every new startup attempt.

Yes very responsive.

I've pointed out a number of errors in their FAQs, some technical and some spelling and grammar related.

They have always acknowledged the issue.

3 months later, the issues still remain. Oh well.

Yeah. Some companies seem to think this stuff isn't important.

It really is, when first looking through a website to see if they have their stuff together.

Gotta post on Hacker News if you want some Google support!

Maybe OP is Google Support and he's found this is the best 'internal' escalation point for the forms he's seen come in and not been actioned. ;-)

That made me wonder if internal communication is just as bad and this went through my head.

Google Boss: Hey employee 254199, I’m pleased to tell you that your request for maternally leave has been granted.

Google Employee 254199: Gee thanks, but little Tommy is now 2 fucking years old....

Or OP is a Google shareholder and wants you to buy ads to solve all of your Googly problems.

It's not a great idea, but it's also not the worst idea - an adwords like bid system for google to respond to your support ticket.

That's brilliant. I'm not even mad.

As you can see above, Google aren't that easily fooled! https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20712209

At least AWS are actually quite good at providing support to paying customers, such as raising API limits ...

I feel lucky to personally know Google employees. The times when I've had an issue and gone via the public channels there has been radio silence. Directly report it via a google employee and it generally gets dealt with. It should not be this way.

Mate, if you could possibly help me with this, is give a decent chunk to a charity of your choice.

Knew a google employee as well but they never managed to get anything arranged outside their own department.

These days I avoid putting myself in a position where I need Google support.

As far as I know, Google Tag Manger is a tool to inject scripts into websites via an interface. So you add the Tag Manager script to your page and then you can tell Tag Manager via Google's interface to load additional scripts.

Why does anybody need Google's solution here so badly? It sounds pretty easy to develop such a thing.

GTM is something which shouldn't exist in the first place. Adding a script to your website is something that should be going through your usual release process.

But avoiding that release process is also the reason why some deparments usually want GTM. It allows them to give GTM access to other people who can then inject stuff into your site. Once you have GTM you can let marketing / ad agencies add their own tracking points and other fun stuff to your site quickly. This unfortunately sounds like a great idea to marketing people.

Let's hope they are in touch with the GDPR compliance department.

Apparently they are actually a company that provides GDPR solutions. I would hope they themselves are careful to be GDPR compliant.

I'll tell you why, because I often wonder why projects that claim to replace Google Analytics regularly make the top of HN front page.

Google Analytics isn't about logging in when someone is on your website.

It's about how it connects that data point to Google's huge dataset about everyone. Google Analytics tells you what kind of people are visiting your site (aka, segments): age, location, etc.

Also, more often than not, these tools aren't as capable as GA to design and watch conversion tunnels and behaviours.

And then there's the whole binding with Google Ads.

Replacing GA with only an Apache or php/node URL logger is missing the whole point of GA.

The article is about Tag Manager, not about Analytics.

The tag manager is only a cog in the Analytics stack.

I'm also curious what it does or why it is so vital. I've never needed to unblock it in NoScript, and as best I can tell nothing suffers. Does it do something useful server side instead?

I think it's generally used to load the nine or ten different analytics, segmenting, crash reporting, user mouse movement tracking, A/B testing, etc frameworks that every site seems to have nowadays. Using Tag Manager means that when the marketing department decides they need to add another framework they can just click some buttons instead of having to ask a developer.

Since none of that stuff is necessary for the site to work, leaving it blocked basically never breaks the website.

Really? In my experience, blocking GTM almost always breaks some core functionality of the website I'm browsing.

Yes, completely serious. I've enabled it once or twice to see if a site was acting wonky because it was blocked, but it was never the culprit.

Not all companies can afford in-house solutions.

I meant not only "easy to develop" for the user but also "easy to develop" for competitors to offer an alternative to Google's Tag Manager.



Media release and some of you here helped bigly yuge with the getting of Google to sort out.

Thanks to you all.


If you want to put stuff on your own sites, what do you need Google Tag Manager for? That's a thing for injecting semi-hostile code into other sites.

Because "your own site" might mean "email your freelance dev and wait 3 days", "open a ticket with IT and wait a week" or "remind oneself how that js deploy is meant to work even though working in js isn't my day job".

Not everyone is allowed, wants or is comfortable with direct access to their website code.

Google stinks at customer service. Compare this to Slack, which answers everyone of their customer's /feedback's.

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