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Monday, August 21, 2017

How I was Mistreated by a G+ Community Manager





9th August - I was approached by G+ Community Manager (Renu Jinturkur, she is a Google employee.) She wanted to feature me on G+ and asked me to organize my stuff into Collections. On 14th August, while I was updating cover photos of G+ Collections, I got '404 Error' multiple times. I kept refreshing thinking it was some internet issue. But within minutes, my Gmail was disabled. For those who don't know the severity of Gmail disabled - you lose access to Gmail, Blogger, Youtube, Google Drive and every service attached to it. To me, a blogger who has spent last 6 years building up her presence, it came as a shock. I lost both personal and professional data. My life came to a standstill! I work as a content writer, social media influencer, and ghostwriter -  my Gmail is the only way all agencies and brands contact me. Even for a normal person losing access to your email can disrupt your life as our email addresses are registered everywhere - from government issued identities to electricity bill. I was in a panic state. I filed the appeal with Google to get my account re-enabled. But it takes 5-7 working days for any reply. Still figuring what went wrong, I thought of contacting that G+ Community Manager as I was working on G+ when the problem occurred. I called and she asked me to send her an email. I did right away using my husband's gmail. As she was on leave that day, she said she would look into the matter the next day.
15th August - After several calls and emails, the Community Manager emailed - 'They are working on the issue (can't disclose details).' By that time, she had stopped answering my calls or replying to my voice messages. My condition worsened as people starting pinging me on social media as their emails to my id were bouncing back. My work was getting affected. I missed two deadlines. A day went by and nothing happened. Without divulging details, losing Gmail means I have to start my life from scratch.


On 16th - I emailed her again. Still no reply. By that time, I started looking for alternatives - asked friends for Google contact, contacted Google employees on Linkedin. Everyone replied but they had no solution to my problem. That G+ Community Manager was my best shot - I was told. It was a stressful time for me. I ransacked my brain to think of one reason why my Gmail was disabled. I didn't violate any Google policy. I read the policies again and again to find my mistake. I found none. I don't spam; I credit all the pictures I upload on my blog; I don't plagiarize; I don't misuse Adsense - check my earnings history. I don't indulge in any prohibited activities - porn, drugs, violence, or hate crime. Imagine someone going through all this - losing what she has diligently built over the years, and she doesn't even know what is wrong? I never felt that helpless and miserable my entire life.


17th August - I got my Gmail back. My husband was trying to check my blog and miraculously it opened. He emailed me on my disabled Gmail id and it didn't bounce back. He called and I logged in. But I lost all of my G+ followers - from 3,607 they came down to 15. I don't have the courage to click on the G+ icon to see whether my content is still there. My Blogspot dashboard is acting weird - it is no longer showing me as the author of my blog - posted by 'Unknown' is what the credit looks like. All the corresponding stats are gone. I have no clue what is happening. I can download my blog but it's not uploading. So, I can't take a backup. There was still no response from her. Had it not for my husband who kept checking my blog, I would've never known that my Gmail was re-enabled. I’ve got no response to my Gmail Appeal either. By looking at what all I've lost, I am sure it's a technical issue at their end.



18th August - I was still waiting for a reply for her side. I thought she must be busy or had some personal emergency. How else would you explain such a behavior? Someone who was talking to me on the phone is suddenly not answering at all. But then, around noon, I got an email notification that she was updating G+ group. That moment I felt very bad. Here I was waiting for a reply and going through a mess, and she was not even bothered to reply to my desperately-in-need emails. I'm sorry to say, I was angry that time. I wrote to her again and as we can all expect - there is still no reply.



I am not worried about stats or losing followers. But it pains me to see how this G+ Community Manager behaved. It is unprofessional and unethical. If you are reaching out to bloggers to build your community, show them respect, treat them well. Help them when they are reaching out to you - you are in a position to help. Don't misuse that position. Just because it requires some of your time, doesn't mean you treat normal people at your whims and fancies. Call them as you like and drop them when you feel they are no good. Do your job with some integrity (if not more) and a lot of humanity!
I'm not a celebrated writer. But I am one of those lucky few who get appreciation from so many people out there. And I treasure it. Comments and messages are my rewards for writing every Monday for the last 6 years. All those good people spend their time in reading and commenting on my work. I value it immensely. And now when someone new reads my work, they don't even know my name. I'm 'Unknown' to them.


Please share and tag anyone who can raise this issue at Google. And please share this post, so no blogger who is approached by Google + Community Manager goes through the same ordeal.

BTW, if you are one of those working with her, I have come to know that G+ is not a stable platform. If you run into any issue, she won’t help in any way! And you would lose whatever you have!

And my blogger issue is still unresolved.

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47 comments:

  1. Thats scary!!! I am worried now. I have loads of things on my google accounts, which I expect to get accessed from anywhere, anytime. It was an eyeopener post!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was like you. As I travel a lot, I keep every document on Gmail. It makes it easy to access. But now I have created 3 backups. Once bitten, twice shy!

      Delete
  2. This is horrible, just a reminder of how our lives are held hostage by them.

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    Replies
    1. Sadly, it is true. Our online presence affects our lives to that degree!

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  3. Oh gosh...can feel the pain that you are going through.God bless.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your support, ma'am.

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  4. This is real scary! I hope your problems are solved Asap. And thanks for sharing...Will keep my eyes and ears open.

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    Replies
    1. Most of the issues are resolved. One is pending. Hopefully, it will be resolved soon.

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  5. This is horrifying. How can they be so unprofessional? Thanks for sharing this Saru..will spread the word.

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    Replies
    1. I wonder the same, Upasna. Some people are beyond my understanding.

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  6. This is unbelievably painful and worst still we don't know the reason. I wait to read written by Saru Singhal and not unknown.

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    1. The reason was system created a false abuse and I was blocked. I, too, hope to see my name on my blog soon.

      Much love, Roma.

      Delete
  7. This is terrible! Hope your issues are solved soon and damages are reverted, if possible. Thanks for spreading the alert.

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    1. I'm getting my stuff back. Thanks for your concern.

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  8. It is best to move to self hosted platforms like Wordpress etc and not be dependable on one particular organizations.

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  9. This is one the scariest technology dependency i have seen so far. We have to learn on with this episode... and yes spread it as far as possible. People associated with such big brands cannot take others for ride.

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    Replies
    1. I concur! Every thing you said makes so much sense.

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  10. A scary scenario! Hope you are able to restore your creative works!

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  11. Ye to aapke sath bahut bura hua, aaj G+ sabke liye identity hai, hope ki aapki problem jaldi hi 100% solve ho jaye , good luck 👍

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  12. This sounds like a terrible terrible nightmare. I can understand what you might have gone through. I hope and pray the blogger issue gets resolved soon. I still can't believe how they can be so unprofessional :\

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  13. I cannot even begin to imagine what you must have gone through. I do hope the blogger issue gets sorted soon. Such irresponsible behaviour from the employee of such a huge platform is unbelievable.

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  14. Thanks for sharing this and must say all of us need to be careful about it. Shared this to spread the awareness

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  15. Hi Saru, I cannot even imagine what you have gone through in the near past. I would just ask you to stay strong and we, your active readers will always be there to support you and will always celebrate your writings.

    Just know that you will not loose out on us.
    Stay strong and lets hope for the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your heart warming words, RV! <3

      Delete
  16. This is seriously painful and agonizing. It feels bad to know that we are also susceptible to creative vulnerabilities. I too had a bad experience with Google.

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  17. It shows the unprofessional and unethical manner in which the community manager conducted herself. I never knew that G community can be so horrible and wonder what you've been through losing followers and content. High time for you to take them to task. Hope things will be sorted out.

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    Replies
    1. Things are getting better. Only Blogger issue is unresolved. Thanks for standing by my side, Vishal. You are a true friend.

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  18. Do you think there's a connection between this community manager and your G account getting disabled? You haven't mentioned so, just my question. And why and how can a community manager deal with a technical difficulty? She must have ideally directed you to the technical team. Isn't there some mystery here?

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    1. As I mentioned in the post, there was a connection and her email clearly states it. We are working on the issue - exact words in the email.

      Community Manager can't deal with a technical issue. She was my point of contact. She directed the issue to the team and then, stopped replying. Looks like she was chasing numbers and by her standard, I was not good enough for her as my profile had many issues. My problem was - she abandoned me. I was expecting a reply from her and a little help. That was all. As she knew what went wrong, she could have communicated it in plain words, rather than ignoring my calls and emails. It was only after I raised this issue in social media and in Google, she replied. And sadly, she couldn't even get my name right. Her attitude was unprofessional, to say the least.

      Delete
  19. that's a nightmarish experience, hope they contact you soon and resolve your problem

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    Replies
    1. I hope so, too. Thanks for your support.

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  20. Oh, this is so irresponsible and unprofessional! It angers me when people behave like This! Our writing/blog is precious (no matter how many comments we get or not. I don't get comments on my blog but thinkibg about this scares me). I hope this problem gets resolved soon. My best wishes, always.

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    Replies
    1. Same here, Tarang. I don't get angry often but such situations evoke those morbid emotions. Thanks for always standing by my side.

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  21. That's very discouraging from Google+. I have shared it forward tagging google, I am not sure how much it can help but hopes so that it does.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Chittaranjan. The matter is nearly resolved except for Blogger issue. Appreciate your help.

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  22. She too had approached me.But I had my doubts as other services of google are either not good or have been called off by them. After seeing this post, I will pass her offer. Thanks for sharing this

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    Replies
    1. Take caution is all I can say, Aparna.

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  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  24. Looks like I accidentally deleted my comment! Sigh.

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  25. I was approached by this same G+manager.But remembering this post stopped just in time.Whats the update?What was the problem?Did she apologize ?

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