You may recall my tale of woe from last year when I recounted how I was locked out of my Google account for a month. It was a tough time, made all the more frustrating because there wasn’t any customer support to contact. That is changing for Google One users though, and it’s about time.
I received an email this week from Google informing me that my paid Google storage had been upgraded to Google One, Google’s freshly designed storage options announced last May. It comes with twice the storage, giving me two terabytes for the same $9.99 per month I was paying for one. It allows me to share my generous storage allotment with my family members, but the thing that really caught my eye was actual customer support.
With Google One, which is available for as little as $1.99 per month for 100 gigs of storage, everyone has access to actual customer support where they can talk to someone, who can (presumably) help them with issues like password recovery.
Brandon Badger, who is Google One product manager, says this is a critical component of the new storage package. “Support is important to us, we want people using our products to have a great experience and get questions or issues addressed in a timely manner,” Badger told TechCrunch. He added that users with paid storage plans often use many other Google products and services and this provides a way for customers to get answers to problems they have across the Google cloud ecosystem.
Obviously, this is long overdue and something that G Suite customers, the business side of Google’s tools, have had for some time. This ability to contact a customer service organization shows a maturation of consumer cloud products that had been missing previously.
As a journalist, when I got locked out I was forced to use my contacts at Google PR to give me that help. After many attempts I was able to get my account credentials back, but since I wrote that article I have received dozens of emails from other unfortunate souls who faced the same predicament, but lacked the connections I had. Unfortunately, as much as I could empathize with their plight (how could I not?), there wasn’t much I could do other than refer them to Google. I wrote about my level of frustration in my post:
Once you have gone through the recovery protocol, what is a person supposed to do to get Google’s attention? They don’t have customer service, yet I’m paying for storage. They don’t have a reasonable system for navigating this kind of problem and they don’t have a sensible appeals process.
While I hope I never get locked out of my Google account again, I’m happy to know that if I do, I and so many others like me at least have someone to contact about it. That’s no guarantee our problems will be resolved, of course, but it’s at least a path to getting something done that hadn’t previously existed.