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Google Apps goes loopy on booted-off Premier subs customers

Mountain View fails to cough up glitch fix

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Updated This article was updated to reflect that Google subsequently reported the error had now been fixed.

Google Apps business customers who forget to renew their subscriptions are struggling to reconnect to the Premier version of the online suite because of a system error.

However, Mountain View - which is aware of the problem - is currently offering a shrug of the shoulders to some users who want to pay up their subs and get back online with their Google Apps.

We've heard from readers whose accounts were downgraded after failing to update their Premier status in time.

"It seems to be the case that the automatic downgrade is failing at some point in the process. Furthermore, logging a support request with Google has resulted in silence. I'd try phoning them but you can only do this as a Premier customer and I'm no longer one - despite wanting to be one," Reg reader James Crawshaw told us.

And there are similar complaints about this issue on Google's forum too.

Many have received a generic email from the world’s largest ad broker that reads:

This message is to confirm that you did not renew your Google Apps Premier Edition service for [domain name].com. Your subscription has expired and your service has been downgraded to Google Apps Standard Edition.

Shortly, you will find your email account quotas reset from 25 GB to 7 GB. You will also lose access to some Premier Edition features including the 99.9% uptime SLA, integration APIs, and telephone support for critical issues.

If you wish to reorder Premier Edition for your domain, you can do so easily through the control panel: Log in to your control panel. Click ‘Upgrade to Google Apps Premier Edition’ Complete order for your desired number of accounts. Submit order and pay using Google Checkout.

If you do not wish to renew Google Apps Premier Edition, please tell us about your decision so we can learn about your experience with Google Apps.

Biz customers who missed their subs deadline might agree at this point that Google had every right to automatically downgrade their accounts until such a time that they can make good on those payments.

But here’s the rub: some faithful Google Apps customers who want their Premier status reinstated aren’t able to do so because of a fancy-pants “redirect loop error”.

Worse still, Mountain View has confirmed it is aware of the glitch.

“This redirect issue is an known issue bug and Google Apps tech is aware of this and I have no time frame when this will be fix [sic],” wrote self-styled Google Apps "Volunteer Power Poster" LMckin51 in a thread on the Google forum.

That response followed one customer reasonably asking when the error might be repaired by Google wonks. Many have been complaining about the error for nearly two weeks, with little or no feedback from the online search giant.

“How long should I expect to wait to have this resolved? Seeing as how it appears to be a routine Google glitch that I can't do anything about, this is a LOT of downtime for me to deal with. It's stupid that this happens just as my Premier contract expires, so Google technically isn't guaranteeing my uptime. Any other ideas?” asked PaulBBlair.

The Register has repeatedly requested comment from Google on this technical cockup, but at time of writing - as seems to be increasingly the norm at Mountain View Towers these days - its flacks hadn’t coughed up a statement for us. ®

Update

According to Google on this support forum thread, the issue has now been fixed. It said:

Our technical team has fixed this issue. Please log in to your control panel at https://www.google.com/a/(insert your domain name) to follow the necessary steps to renew your Google Apps Premier subscription. If you do not wish to continue using Premier, you can also opt to downgrade to the Standard Edition. As power poster LMckin51 has noted, your data was not impacted by this suspension, just login access to the Google Apps services (Gmail, Calendar, Sites, etc.).

We apologise again for any inconvenience this may have caused.

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