Data Centre

Cloud

Firm fat-fingered G Suite and deleted its data, so it escalated its support ticket to a lawsuit

Google told startup its files are gone for good

By Thomas Claburn in San Francisco

135 SHARE

An interior design tools startup called Mosss on Wednesday sued Google to get it to restore its data after someone at the startup accidentally deleted the firm's G Suite account.

In a pro se lawsuit [PDF] filed in US District Court in Oakland, California, Mosss, under its previous corporate name, Musey Inc., asked Google to help it restore its data.

"Our Google G Suite account was accidentally deleted," the filing says. "Within an hour of thi [sic] happening, we contacted Google and explained our mistake and asked our G Suite Business account to be restored."

Initially, the filing says, the company believed Google would be able to help because a customer service representative said he'd deal with the issue. But the cavalry did not arrive.

"[W]hile clearly an urgent matter, to our dismay, our case was not escalated, and no action was taken for nearly three days!" the filing says. "From a business point of view, we had no access to emails and lost all contact with our clients and users."

We are Google, we are proud, English football is moving to our cloud

READ MORE

That was a month ago. The deletion occurred on the morning of Saturday, June 8th. So, the company turned to a litigation-based support request.

The complaint goes on to detail the company's inability to get a response from Google. "At this point, we contacted Google several times over the next week, increasingly desperate, creating multiple cases [support requests], in an effort to restore our data access," the filing says. "All efforts failed and at the end we received a one-line email that stated our data was lost and couldn't be returned to us."

Except perhaps not. According to the complaint, the company was informed – it's not clear whether Google or a third-party advised this – that it could seek a subpoena or file a civil lawsuit to access its data. So that's what it has done.

The Register reached co-founder Christiaan Fulton by phone to learn more about what happened but he said he was driving and wasn't immediately available to provide further details.

Mosss (Musey) said while investors have put $1.5m into the firm, it's not seeking monetary damages. "While our data has real monetary value...it is the work created by scores of employees and contractors over three years that's irreplaceable," the court filing says, citing user feedback studies, UX/UI design and testing, algorithm evaluations, demos, videos, engineering attempts and the like.

The Register asked Google for comment but we've not heard back.

The Chocolate Factory's G Suite support site says that permanently deleted may or may not mean permanently deleted. "You have a limited time from when the data was permanently deleted to restore files and messages," the company explains. "After that, the data cannot be recovered and is gone forever."

The Register understand this applies only to users deleted from G Suite accounts. There’s no recovery option for deleted accounts. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily

135 Comments

More from The Register

Devs invited to bake 'Run on Google Cloud' button into git repos... By Google, of course

An offer you can refuse?

Google: Read my lips. You cannot link up a G Suite account with Nest smart home gizmos

'Aggravating and alarming!'

Investor fires shot at 'sinking ship' Google in battle over privacy-menacing Google+ bug

Pension fund files lively lawsuit hate-letter after 500,000 people's deets put at risk

What is Google up to with Anthos? More toys dropped for Kubernetes-style hybrid cloud

Service Mesh and Cloud Run put existing features in a pretty wrapper

Google becomes third major cloud vendor to tie the knot with VMware

More cloud polygamy for Dell EMC's Virtzilla

Google engineering boss sues web giant over sex discrim: I was paid less than men, snubbed for promotion

Filing alleges less-qualified blokes given all the jobs, too

More households invite creepy smart speakers indoors: Arch-slurper Google top dog for Q1

Chocolate Factory overtakes Amazon as European sales surge 45.1% – people clearly didn't hear the cries of frustrated Google Home users

Maltese browser game biz flings €1m sueball at Google over Adsense kerfuffle

Claims to have made nearly €800k from ad clicks

Generous Google gives Chrome users Inbox Zero: Sign-in outage boots own browser out of webmail, services

Baffling bug forces folks to use Safari, IE, etc

OK, Google. Music in 2019 isn't what it was, but Play nice, will ya?

Bug appears to hate tunes released this year