The Nightmare of Google Account Recovery Failures

Let me be very clear about why I am, frankly, so angry with Google over their Account Recovery failures.

I have on numerous occasions directly proposed to Google a variety of significant improvements to their current Account Recovery processes.

While their existing procedures successfully recover many accounts daily, they tend to fail disproportionally for innocent non-techie users and other marginalized groups like seniors and more — users who still are dependent on Google for email and data storage in a world where other support options (like telephone and non-email billing and support) are being rapidly marginalized by firms as cost-cutting measures.

These are often users who barely understand how to use these systems that they’ve in many cases essentially been coerced into using. When they’re locked out, they can lose everything — email, photos, and other personal data crucial to their lives.

I have on multiple occasions proposed specific improvements to Google’s procedures that could be invoked optionally by users who desperately needed access to their accounts that were locked out without good cause, and methods by which Google would have the means for cost recovery of the additional (and typically not extensive) additional support measures required to accomplish this.

My proposals have never received serious consideration by Google. I always receive the same responses. “We recover lots of accounts and that’s good enough.” “Nobody is forced to use Google.” “People who don’t properly maintain their recovery addresses and phone numbers have nobody but themselves to blame.”

Unspoken and unwritten but clearly part of the underlying message: “We just don’t care about those categories of users. Hopefully they’ll go away and never come back.”

It’s a travesty. I’ll keep trying, because hope springs eternal, and I’m too old now to give up on even apparently hopeless causes. Silly me, I guess. Take care.


Google and Seniors