Generally, this wouldn’t be an issue for the average Android user. It’s tough to get most Android users to pay for anything and support the eco-system through purchases for premium services and paid applications that benefit the entire community by finding 3rd party developers.
However, an Android owner/Google services…’customer’ and Reddit user Chicken_Scratch had a story to tell about his own personal Google Hell:
These past weeks have been a nightmare dealing with google. I’ve been a long time Android supporter and even convinced some people to switch from iPhone after demonstrating some of the benefits, but this is ludicrous. I’ll sum up my situation quickly.
- Received an email about “potential suspicious activity” from google and that my account has been locked.
- I call a rep and they directed me to a site where I had to scan my driver’s licence and credit card in order to open my account back up. [Guru note:(WTF? Over!)] They say it takes about 24 hours to unlock.
- 2 days pass and I receive an email saying my account will stay locked and they don’t share why as part of their policy, “It is our policy to not discuss the specific reasons for an account closure.” They also give a link to the terms of service to reinforce that they absolutely can do this. A little salt in the wound.
- I call google again and try to figure out a solution, the 2 reps I spoke to told me all I can do is abandon the old account and start fresh. The best part is that I also can’t use the same credit card (my only one) on the new account, I’ll have to obtain a new one to continue using google services.
- Also, all my purchases cannot be transferred to the new account. They’re as good as gone. Years of purchases, but really I own nothing.
- I get a hold of a supervisor and he assures me that everyone there in his department absolutely cannot help me and that my only hope is to reply to the emails and try to appeal to them. He asked if I could think of a reason why they would do this and the only thing I could come up with is I recently moved to a different city. “Oh… Yeah, that could do it.” he replies. I am stunned. The explanation was if my billing information with google wasn’t current, my purchases could look fraudulent.
- The email I sent out gets only a reply of “We understand you would like your account reinstated. As previously stated, per the Google Payments Terms of Service, we reserve the right to change, suspend or discontinue any aspect of the Services at any time, including availability of the Services or any Service feature, without notice and without liability.”
So now I’m at a loss as to what to do here, I can’t afford to ditch my phone for Apple because of what I still owe on it, but I can’t continue to use google services.
I hope this serves as a warning to others not to put all your eggs in one basket, because these days, you have no rights over that basket whatsoever. And if anyone has any advice as to what I can do, please help.
This means all the purchases he had made on the old account with the credit card used could not be used on the new account. He would instead have to obtain a new credit card to continue using Google’s services. He was also told all of his earlier purchases would not be transferred to the new account – he lost everything.
He received the following reply from Google to the email he sent to Google support: “We understand you would like your account reinstated. As previously stated, per the Google Payments Terms of Service, we reserve the right to change, suspend or discontinue any aspect of the Services at any time, including availability of the Services or any Service feature, without notice and without liability.”
“Oh yeah…that could do it! “
Gee. Thanks Mr. Google Manager for performing a Googality on the customer who called you for help. Moving causes your account, account assets and data store to become zero-written? And there is nothing anyone in your whole department can do? It must have felt empowering disclosing to your customer that you have absolutely zero-power to do your job…and everyone else in that department also has…wait for it…zero power.
Mr. Chicken_Scratch has gotten a lot of attention over at Reddit. Hopefully someone at Google – someone with some power – can help him out. If you know someone over at the Goog – someone with some power – perhaps you can direct them to Chicken_scratch and his plight to pretty please let him have the stuff he paid for.