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Warning – Google suspended GCP services for 'verification', lost my business

I operate multiple apps which were providing my entire livelihood, and I wake up one day to realize it's all gone.

Long story short, Google froze my Google Pay account which is used to pay for anything related to Google services, including GCP. This was done as they need to temporarily suspend me to 'verify' me. The GCP team couldn't help me since it was an issue with Google Pay. Not to mention their chat support is useless and doesn't have any power to look into cases.

Now I login to find out my Google Pay account is 'temporarily suspended' since I need to verify my account. I go ahead and add my drivers license and fill out their form, but while they verify details they suspend your ability to pay for any Google services.

So now I can't pay for GCP usage (firebase) and all my authentication, database, cloud functions, are all not usable since the service is suspended. Unlike Amazon who offers phone lines for resolving billing issues, Google does no such thing. I wish I chose AWS.

The end result is that I have apps I spent years of my life building and which currently feed me to only be rendered unusable because some AI at google thought my Google Pay needed additional verification.

My whole life has done a 180 in the past week. I feel like I'm a man with literally nothing to lose and I can't live with myself anymore. This hurts much more than losing a job for me.

Please stay far, far away from Google services of any kind. They are by far the worst of the big tech companies when it comes to developer support.

alirsgp
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Technology

Comments

throwaway892238 4d
Google locked our company out of using our own domain on Google Workspaces because a former employee had signed up for a Workspace account using our domain, and we had no way to recover it. We literally manage our domain in GCP but they wouldn't accept that we own our own domain and thus won't let us use our domain with Workspaces, which screws you out of a lot of Google functionality. Never seen a company that was too incompetent to allow users to use its own product and make zero attempt to solve the customer's problem.

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said "We need scale to be profitable." No, you need to stop treating your customers like crap to be profitable. We don't trust you, you are a pain in our asses, and we have alternatives, so there is really no need for us to spend our money on you. It's now a matter of when we all move to AWS and Azure, not if.

f0e4c2f7 4d
Wow I'm really sorry this happened to you. I do believe your conclusions are correct about AWS. Azure generally seems fine too.

Google's aversion to customer service makes them extremely dangerous as a cloud provider in my mind. This also goes for other critical business services, like Gsuite (I know! It's convenient).

If you have GCP or Gsuite now and you're trying to evaluate how big of a deal it is my suggestion would be to pick up a phone and attempt to talk with someone at Google about your account. This experience can act as a preview of what that process might look like when services are turned off.

If you try to call Amazon on the other hand it feels like Jeff Bezos might hop on the call if things aren't going well.

fnordpiglet 4d
I’m sorry. Are you able to work with your customers to keep their business while you sort this?

I would port your stuff to aws. Most services have close equivalents and it is probably worth while to try. As another poster noted it might be useful to have cross provider redundancy.

I’ll be honest I have refused to work at gcp and have steered the mega corps I’ve advised on cloud choices explicitly away from gcp. Azure is better, but less technically sophisticated. It’s still a one shop cloud. And any company whose core business is surveillance and advertising won’t care about their customers - you’re just meat for their machine. Amazon was built around a customer centric business (retail) and aws inherited the ethos of that retail business. It’s technology is marginally less sophisticated than googles, but googles technology comes with an embarrassingly large amount of smugness and clever solutions that fail in clever ways. Amazon basically just wraps up common technologies in a managed control plane (aside from a few primitives like kinesis, SQS, sns, and DynamoDB) and doesn’t infect everything with their smartness.

Good luck.

nonrandomstring 4d
This is really sad. I feel bad for you and hope you manage to rebuild your base somewhere else safe - hopefully with technology that you control.

You won't be the last person to get screwed over by the callous machinery of dehumanised big-tech (AWS or Microsoft would be no better, sadly I think you are rationalising loss). We must all wake up to just how horribly precarious the lives of ordinary people are against the arbitrary whim of opaque, unassailable power centres that masquerade as "Free services".

ryandrake 4d
Sigh. It's now been [0] days since the last "My [business | e-mail | critical thing] depended entirely on a single service with no backup, I got suspended, and now I can't do my [business | e-mail | critical thing]!" story. I do sympathize, and the right fix is for these services to have better support, but come on... These stories happen so often and get ample press. They should not be surprising. Please stop doing this, people! If something you rely on for your livelihood depends on a single company as a single point of failure, that is a flaming, burning emergency that needs to be solved right now!
twawaaay 4d
> I wish I chose AWS.

Well... AWS has better support IMO (like actual people you can talk to).

But I still chose to not tie myself to any of these platforms for anything critical. It requires additional upfront effort, but I can migrate all my applications off of AWS in a moment.

There is no easy way around Google and Apple when it comes to your app staying available, but I am trying to minimise any chances I could be flagged for anything (basically not linking those accounts to any other services).

stevage 4d
That sucks.

I don't like Amazon as a company, but AWS support is great. A couple of times in the past I've made some complaint about them on Twitter, and a rep has actually reached out and helped resolve the issue. And I'm a tiny fish, with monthly bills under $10.

justinwp 4d
Based upon some of the submitter's previous submissions. It appears that they have some 18+ "dating" apps...

Disclaimer: Googler, not in this area.

de6u99er 4d
I had this once with Google Drive, when I forgot to enter my new credit card because the existing one had expired. Took weeks to get my files back. It's like people at Google just wait for shit to happen instead of trying to think of the obvious things that could go wrong beforehand.

That being said, if Google is looking for people to lay off there's some obvious candidates. I would include their mangaers too.

Aeolun 4d
Yeah, that sounds about par for the course for Google.

I don’t understand why anyone would ever choose them for anything critical.

Free support for AWS is better than anything Google has (at least based on my reading, for obvious reasons I have no first-hand experience).

speedgoose 4d
In the beginning of the year, I was recommended by a friend working at Google to test GCP using the tutorials on https://www.cloudskillsboost.google/

Google banned my account while I was doing one tutorial. One step failed, the provisioning of something, and I had to redo a few things again. It succeeded but I had used more egress bandwidth than allowed to run the tutorial correctly so they banned me automatically a few minutes later.

The support unbanned me after some time but I thought it was a sign to not use GCP yet.

grog454 4d
My first experience with AWS was around 2013 when I accidentally left a (cheap) ec2 instance running for months after I was done experimenting with it. Support refunded me no questions asked. Fast forward 2 years and that experience was an important factor in my decision to run servers costing 6 figures annually with AWS over their competition.
ilyt 4d
It's sad none (I think?) of the big cloud providers doesn't allow for prepaid account, it would solve both "our idiots thought that blocking long-term paying customers with no human intervention is a good idea" and "I woke up this morning with $20k AWS bill" problems
rufius 4d
Google - “What kind of cloud would a clown make?”

I just can’t fathom Google’s inability to sort this out. They’ve been the laughing stock of serious cloud business for years.

splix 3d
Same happened to me too. They suspended the payment account. Two accounts actually, because different cards. Sent the driver license picture a dozen times, for one account someone eventually took a look and unlocked it (which took about a week). But another one is in review for several months already. And it's impossible to do anything with that.
gmbsuspended 4d
Sadly we hear so much of this on a daily basis as we are often sought out to support suspended Google Business Profile (GBP) accounts.

It's not uncommon to have these same small to medium sized business owners ask for help with other suspended accounts in other Google apps like GoogleAds or Google Merchant Center.

The support across all platforms is a growing eyesore for Google, and at this point I hope becomes the catalyst for real change in this space.

It was bad enough when Yelp would act like the Mafia in regards to how they approached and treated businesses, but this level of negligence (from such a tech giant) is something to really see.

We've been advocating on behalf of all these small businesses for years and truely hope that the outcry grows to a fever pitch where no more band aid solutions are used anymore.

rygar 4d
Hi, I am sorry that this is happening to you. Please send me your info to my corp email - rygar@google.com - I'll do my best to help.
dmitrygr 4d
Same thing happened to me: “suspended, need extra verification” after YEARS of the account existing just fine. Nothing helped. Not doing what they asked (multiple photos of photo id), not emailing, nor calling support.

I ended up calling an ex-coworker who still worked at google. He sent an internal email. It was resolved the same day. I never found out what the issue was.

Don’t use google for anything you care about, unless you maintain close friendships with googlers.