What to do when you get locked out of gmail?
That's a damn good question. I have yet to find the answer to it. I've been locked out of my firstname.lastname@example.org for two years. I have a recover email, but overnight the security settings were changed and the only way back in is a phone number I haven't had for four years. Granted, I did not update my phone number when it changed but it wasn't important. I was able to reset my password through email... until I wasn't.
But it's a free account so should I expect any kind of resolution? Perhaps not. But what if you have paid services? Ron Miller describes what he did. But unlike most people, he had a contact at Google.
"If I hadn’t been a journalist with such contacts, I’m not sure what I would have done..."
But what about the rest of us? There is little recourse even if we're paying for services like data storage. You're locked out, then you are locked out.
Lifedestroy commented: I see this article was written 3 years ago. Well now, my friends if you are locked out of your account Google will NOT send you any reset link and cannot verify anything. If the online recovery tool does not work, as it did not for me, you are totally S O L. I was locked out of my account that i had for about 15 years and this totally destroyed my life and am having to start over from scratch. Even a paid account w tech support refused to assist contact me to verify. Advice: be sure you have your recovery codes printed out and also do not keep your main professional email under Google, use Microsoft!
Google is an interesting ... while trying to find a way to gain access to my email I stumbled upon a non-answer to a user's question. I didn't copy it so this is my best flawed retelling.... user asks how to recover the account. Responder says go to Google recovery and follow the instructions.... "We are volunteers." The volunteer was rightly disgruntled buy the the questions but this begs a larger question:
Why do big tech companies rely on volunteers to answer questions from users?
Companies such as Google were able to grow rapidly, thanks in large part to volunteer users who answered questions of other users. However, this also set the expectation that these large companies should not have to pay for customer service representatives. Why would you pay for something you can get for free?
But as these companies start to offer paid for services should they be required to offer resolution? Some countries have passed legislation requiring customer service. In South Korea, for example, not only must phone and tech companies provide services, but it is illegal to outsource call centers to another country, for any company managing sensitive data.
Customer service options should be a consideration for any business paying for online data storage and other business essential functions.
Online data storage is an ever expanding landscape. I've had my data in the cloud for years. My cloud comes with my office subscription and I can't say how much of a deal I think it is. I know many complain that Microsoft Office is so expensive compared to free Google docs. But as they say, you get what you pay for. Yet, Google and Microsoft are just the tip of the iceberg. When looking into data storage, email and all the things you want, it's a good idea to also consider what happens when you forget your password. Or you don't update the password in your password management. Or that gets hacked.