My Gmail account got deleted!

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This is a horror story with lots of lessons in it for you! Please heed them!!!

UPDATE: I got my gmail account back. Read this post to find out how. But first, continue reading what I learned before getting it back.

THIS IS DIRECTLY RELEVANT TO YOU!

Part 1: My Google (Gmail) account is gone

Tuesday night at 10:06pm my phone couldn’t connect to my Gmail account.

I tried the password…it didn’t work.

I came up to my computer and tried to login…no luck.

After putting my account into the “Forgot Password” system I got:

No gmail account found for that email

WHAT!!!

That’s right: “No account found with that email address. Please try again.”

I tried again. and again. and again. and again. Nothing.

So I searched:

No account found with that email address. Please try again.

Turns out lots of people have had their gmail accounts deleted (or disabled)…with very little success getting them back.

Seriously?

OH MY GOSH!!! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME!!!

I’ve had my account for 7 years. Never deleted a message. I’ve gotten 170,000 messages in that time (I’ll tell you how I know in a minute).

I can’t login to my google docs, google calendar, google voice, youtube.com, or google sites where I had LOTS of documentation for my business. They’ve all been deleted (or disabled…yet to be determined).

I can’t access anything!

What the heck was I thinking trusting so many things to a company who has a ZERO policy:

  • ZERO tolerance
  • ZERO warning
  • ZERO communication
  • ZERO acceptions
  • ZERO phone numbers

Don’t get me wrong…google provides the best services. There’s a reason I’m using all these things. But there has to be a safeguard when you’re using a company who will disable such vital information without warning or repercussion. Be warned.

In the end I found this link:

http://www.google.com/support/accounts/bin/request.py?ara=1

which is an account recovery link for if your account has been disabled.

Go through that link right now! WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING THEY ASK FOR BEFORE THIS HAPPENS TO YOU!

Fortunately for me, I had read a blog post about this a while back so I had written lots of this info down and put it in a drawer thinking I would probably lose the paper before I needed it.

I have the info. It’s not as complete as I’d like (or as complete as google would like as of right now), but I have a lot of info. Google has already said NO to my first request to get my account back. I didn’t have enough information in my first try. I’ll update this blog as things progress.

Right now all my email is just bouncing back to people who email me. My email address no longer exists.

What I *think* happened?

I think a hacker got into my account. Either

  1. they did what they wanted and then deleted the account
  2. they sent a bunch of spam, google caught it and disabled the account

It’s also possible that I did something google didn’t like (I mean…they wouldn’t tell me if I had…), but I don’t think I did anything different than I have for the past 7 years…

In any case, I’ll never know because even IF I get my account back, Google will never tell me what happened.

Part 2: What I learned from having my gmail account deleted

First: I learned (again) that with google, there is 1 chance.

If something goes wrong, there are no warnings, no communication, and very little shot at a second chance. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong.

That being said, I still believe google puts out the best products and I’m still using them as I reconstruct my life.

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