Transition leaves frustrated corporates locked out of Google Groups
Users are becoming increasingly frustrated that Google has been locking out users from Google Groups as the result of changes it made when it separated Google Apps accounts from Gmail and other consumer accounts around six months ago.
Revising account structures to separate Google Apps accounts and Gmail accounts by itself makes good sense, as well providing benefits to corporate Google users who have gained access to more applications as a result of the move. Snags have occurred, however, in cases where users linked their Apps email address with a consumer gmail/googlemail account.
The move used to make sense because it allowed users to log into different products with the same email address. Following the apps account transition, however, users with this set-up get shunted into what the IT director who told us about the problem described as an "endless loop".
"A page 'Update email address' gets shown, intended to allow you to say which account should be used," our tipster explained. "Unfortunately it doesn't matter which options are chosen, you get dumped into the same page again, effectively locking you out of Google Groups. And to add insult to injury, it locks you out of the groups help pages."
Google Group administrators would be able to resolve the problem by updating the affected user's email address. However if admin users were among those with an affected account then that route to resolving the problem gets blocked because in those cases even the administrator of a Google Group is locked out of the service.
Our source, an experienced IT director in a financial services firm, just the sort of person you'd have thought Google would want to court, said that Google has done little to resolve the problem since it was first reported to the search engine giant a full six months ago.
This is a far from isolated problem as a log of complaints over the issue on Google's support forum (here and here) illustrate. Google employees, responding to the thread, said they were investigating reports that some users were still been affected by the problem, without giving any indication of when the problem might get resolved.
We passed on a query to Google over the issue around a week ago but have yet to hear back. We'll update this story as and when we hear more.
Google's handling of the issue raises legitimate concerns about the competence of its customer support operation in this particular area. Our source concludes: "I think this is cock-up rather than conspiracy, but it certainly raises serious questions to me whether any organisation can dare to trust its data to Google if serious issues like this get ignored." ®
Definition of an oxymoron = Google support
Sorry, but in which universe is Google's 'support' anything other than fucking abysmal? Resonse times range from several days to fucking months. Google DOESN'T SUPPORT A FUCKING THING. You pay them your money and they fucking abandon you. Do NOT use Google for your business.
It does suck somewhat
We use GApps for work, and the service is quite crappy. It's taken three months to fix what seemed like quite a fundamental bug - once you create a form from the spreadsheet, it didn't save any changes. Well, it's not like users are going to want to change anything or save documents is it?
The forums are good because there are a number of quite outstanding individuals who spend ages helping people (Ahab I'm looking at you!) and their input, helpfulness and speed of response.
Google employees, on the other hand, have roughly the same input, helpfulness and speed of response as the Sahara desert when asked to comment upon the role that Toussaint Ouverture played in ending slavery.
Google 'enterprise' apps
Google's enterprise apps have a litany of issues that non hosted apps simply do not have.
Replace Notes/Exchange with gmail?
- no administrator option to allow one user to read another users mailbox.
- no shared mailboxes
Replace Office with Google Docs?
- can't open most large spreadsheets or presentations
Worst of all, is that there is no support. Google allegedly have hired the best and brightest, but not seemingly in their support department. We have an open bug against them that they refuse to look at, refuse to acknowledge that there is an issue, and keep insisting that this is our fault, when we show clearly it never touches our systems.
As part of this lovely transition, my Android Developer account is stuck on a firstname.lastname@example.org account - sure I can create a new google account (with a gmail address) for it, but there is no way to transfer it back to my email@example.com apps account.
To clarify, "real" Usenetters will hate you if you "Preview the new Google Groups experience".
I assume that "the new Google Groups experience" isn't intended to be the default yet. It did have these drawbacks - which I reported to them after looking at it a few weeks ago - of sending posts to Usenet without line-wrapping and without a "References" header line. You do get an "In-reply-to" line but most other newsreader programs don't use that to connect messages.