Why one shouldn't use Google's services...

Why one shouldn't use Google's services...

Why you shouldn’t trust and better not use at all a company that supposedly doesn’t want to be evil…

Recently I noticed that the Adsense ads on my websites show more and more dating ads like “Find women from Thailand” or “Find women from Russia”. Those are not the ads I want to have on my sites, so I went to the Adsense configuration and looked for a way to disable those. The helps says that in the option “block sensitive Ads” should be many categories, among others also “sex” and “dating”. Well, in my settings there was only “birth control” and “gambling”.

Because I really don’t want those kind of ads and blocking every single ad by it’s URL would be close to impossible but at least tedious, I sent a message to the Google support, asking them to make the categories, which are in the help, accessible. About 7 minutes later, my Google account and I mean my whole Google account, including Mail, Calendar and Youtube was disabled, supposedly, so said the message, because of a violation of the Terms of Use.

So I contacted the support again, asking for an explanation and that my account would be reactivated. I tried a couple of times to log in and after about 30 minutes, I didn’t get the “account disabled” notice anymore but now “please verify your account” where Google was explaining that it detected “unusual activity” on my account and was asking for my phone number to call me or send me a text for account verification.

Well, I’m not in the habit of giving out my phonenumber to the whole world and certainly not to a megacompany like Google where nobody knows what happens to your data. Also, for exactly those purposes, I configured an alternative email-address in my account settings.

Thus, I send another message to the Google support and as my account wasn’t activated after an hour, yet another one. This last message was now about an hour ago and my account is still deactivated.

So what is my bottom line? My bottom line is:

  1. Google has a sucky support!
  2. Google Adsense is an unsuitable product for normal websites because you don’t really have absolute control about what kinds of ads show up and you might end up with some sex ads or ads for mailorder-brides on your family website
  3. Google is a very unreliable service provider as they deactivate accounts without reasons and without giving any kind of explanation and additionally trying to force you to give out even more personal information, like your phone number, to get your account reactivated. In my opinion, this is very close to criminal blackmailing/extortion because if you have important data in your Google mailbox or calendar, you can’t access your data until you give Google what they want.

All in all: Google may not be evil per se but you shouldn’t trust them with anything important, like using their email service or calendar because they are just unreliable and unpredictable.

Update (20jan12,1027h)

At 0909h I received an email from the Google support, saying: We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. The issue you described should now be resolved. Plus some support information. No explanation, nothing.