Google Screws Up Google Apps for Business

Executive Summary

Google wants me to:

  • Convert from a yearly to a monthly payment cycle for my Google Apps for Business account
  • Stop using its own Google Checkout service which is still “technically” active (but it’s not)

In order to achieve these to goals, Google suspends my Google Apps for Business account. I can not access my email, calendar, drive, and talk.

I update my account without knowing how much I’ve been billed, or what the terms are, yet my services are still deactivated. I manually reactivate them and they eventually appear to be enabled, but I still can not access them.

Full Story

I woke up this morning to discover I could not access my Google Apps for Business email account. That’s my business email, so it’s kind of a big deal. When I check from my smartphone, I get an error both from the built in email app and Google’s Gmail app that my user name or password do not match. That freaked me out a bit, I instantly worried that someone had hacked my account.

I log onto the email account I use as my admin backup address for my Google Apps for Business account. There I find an email from Google saying:

Your Google Apps for Business subscription for has been suspended due to payment failure.

What the hell! I remember getting a notice from Google a few days ago that my billing term was coming up for renewal, but it cheerfully reminded me that my account was set to “Auto-renew”. So no worries, right? I mean, they would tell me if anything was amiss with my billing info, right? Well, no, they didn’t. Instead, the just suspend my account. MY BUSINESS ACCOUNT! The account I use to communicate with PAYING clients. Holy crap, Google! What is this, Amateur Hour?

I follow the link in this email to my “subscription management page” where I’m not told that my credit card is out of date, but rather that Google is “moving your account to a new billing cycle.”



Say what? Google suspended my account so it could force me to a monthly rather than yearly billing cycle? Also note that the terms of service are not actually visible (viewed in the latest version of Chrome – 28.0.1500.95).

Also, today is August 2nd, 2013, yet Google is telling me it will apply the remaining credit for my account ending July 28th, 2013. Huh?

But hang on, what’s this, “We need you to update your billing information, because Google Checkout is no longer a payment method.” Oh gosh Google, thanks for letting me know. Maybe next time you could tell me that before you suspend my account? And didn’t Google tell us that it was “retiring” Google Checkout on November 20, 2013? That’s nearly four months from now!

OK fine, Google, you win. I’ll pay now, just give me my email back! Oh, you’re not going to tell me how much you’re billing me, or what exactly the term is, OK, fine, you win again. Can I pay now please? Hey, that was easy, I paid and Google gave me immediate access to my Google Apps for Business account! Yea! Oh wait, so why can’t I access my email? Nope, not on desktop or mobile. Hmmm….

Oh, I see, Google has deactivated all my Google Apps for Business services. OK, well I guess I can just reactivate them. I think. There’s nothing on the services configuration page to confirm that any changes were made and when I go back to the user overview page, all services still appear inactive. So I try again, and again, and again… Finally at some point the services appear to be active (all green!). Ah, but I now see the notification that it might take up to 24 hours for these changes to take effect. What the shit, Google! Who the hell runs this company?

It’s now two hours later and I still can’t access my email (or my calendar, or my documents). Guess I’ll just take an early weekend. I wonder what’s happening to emails my clients are sending me?