The Google SNAFU and I

I don’t like to bitch, but I’m sorta-kinda becoming desperate. I’ve been locked out of my Gmail account and YouTube account for 13 days because I cannot convince Google that I am ME. Please read below:

I had two-step verification on my gmail account because every now and then a random person would try to log into Britt5091[at]  (Anyone can at least attempt to log in your account when they know your gmail addy!) When you sign up for two-step verification you are required to enter an auto-generated number immediately after entering your password. I had a Google Authenticator app on my phone which auto generated a random number every 15 seconds.

And then I purchased a new cell phone.

Unfortunately when I purchased the new phone I didn’t install Google Authenticator right away, seeing as once you enter an auto-generated number Google will remember your IP address and you won’t be required to enter a random number again for 30 days (I had JUST entered a new number a few days prior to losing access).  I also didn’t write down my backup keys when I first set up two-step verification a year ago, which is another way to recover your account. I also gave Google a backup cell phone to contact in case something ever went awry, but that cell phone — my mom’s old phone number —  is now out of service.

On July 4th, 2012, due to a security breach, I was asked by Google to provide a verification code before logging into my account. Seeing as I can’t do that due to the lack of Google Authenticator, the backup keys and the unavailability of the backup cell phone, you can see how I’m screwed. The ONLY way to get a verification code via Google Authenticator is to sign into my email address, Britt5091[at], which I’m clearly unable to do. It’s a vicious circle.

From what I can tell, Google does not have a live customer service team. I’ve sent them all the information I have three times and have spoken with two customer service agents and they are still unable to confirm the account belongs to me. I’ve given them all of my personal information, links to my YouTube, temporary YouTube, Twitter, old IGN blogs, this website, etc — I’ve even given them my bank information, as well as a copy of every single email I sent between 7/1-7/3, which was RIGHT before I lost access to my account.

Apparently that’s not good enough.

I don’t know who to turn to or where to go. I can’t access my YouTube account, which I’ve been building up for years, and I can’t access my Britt5091[at] account which is tied to some very important emails. If you know ANYONE who may be able to help me, can you please let me know? I’ll try anything at this point. I even tried calling phone companies to see if I could get the phone number of my backup cell phone restored, but they’re unable to give me that number back.


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  • This sucks. I hope to heck they can get it recovered for ya. I find that this is a problem across all online providers as well…I’ve been asked by a few friends if I can recover thier gamertags/live ID’s, and I know a few users on Yahoo’s system. You’d think that SOMEONE would figure out a way to help us keep secure, but to also save us from ourselves, and the crap life throws at us. Good luck on this!

    • britt5091

      Thanks Joe!!! 🙂

  • Wow that’s crazy. Google must think they are protecting some Umbrella secrets in your email. I would badger customer service non stop and see if that helps

    • britt5091

      I’m trying! 🙂

  • That really sucks. I have had this issue before with other accounts and without your back up keys or the original phone the only option is going to be Google taking their time to restore your account. (up to a week). We could always set up a siege on the local Seattle and Kirkland offices until they give your account back.

    • britt5091

      It’s been two weeks :/ YEAH! I think I’ll do just that… ;D But for serious, I’m probably gonna go to the Seattle location this weekend.

      • It wouldn’t hurt to try for sure they might be able to help you or expedite this insanely slow process they are putting you through. The only other ways in after looking around is:
        A. Having your old phone that had the authenticator on it.
        B. Having the back up printout.
        C. Having the initial code to know hat series you are on and at least three used codes and their time-stamps to figure out your next code.