Monday, June 27, 2011

Re-opening a Deleted Google Account

Yesterday, I finally decided to work on my Google Apps' infrastructure transition. For those of you who don't know what that is, here is what happened:

1. Back in the day, Google Apps only supports a few Google products, e.g. Gmail, Google Docs.
2. The domain admin (should) have full access to its user's data, e.g. their emails.
3. If the user sign-up for a Google product with their organizational email, and that Google product is not yet supported by Google Apps (e.g. Google Calendar), then those data are considered as personal data (private).
4. Google Apps add support to Google Calendar, and now the question is, whether the admin can access its user's calendar or not.

So for those "troubled" users, Google offers 2 options:

1. Move your "personal" data to your "organizational" account, you get to keep the same username, but you give up privacy (your domain admin will have full access to your data).
2. Come up with a new user name (a new Google account), and keep your data private.

But what I wanted was to move my data into an existing account that I have instead of a new one. Since I don't care about the existing data in my account, what if I delete my account, then create a new one with the same username? Sounds logical right?

So I went ahead and deleted my account. But when I tried to create a new one with the same username, it was telling me the username is not available. Okay, maybe it just takes time to process, and eventually it will become available again. Not until I found this help article saying "You'll also be unable to reuse your Gmail username." Oh man, I wish they warn you about it when you try to delete your account instead of stating that in a hard-to-find article. Not to mention there are number of users like me who try to re-create their accounts as well.

luckily, that article also has a link to a form which you can attempt to restore your account within a limited window of time after deletion. Great! I was glad I saw that as I was about to close the page. So I filled out the form, answered a bunch of time-related questions (e.g. which exact date did you create your account?) Unfortunately they didn't trust me and wouldn't restore my account. In their reply, they included a link which I can re-open the investigation, only if I'm willing to pay a $0.30 fee (for reducing illegitimate requests), and an agent will manually look at my case. Fair enough. But after seeing Google Checkout is the only payment method available, I basically just give up.

luckily that account wasn't important to me, so it wasn't a big deal. But for those of you who accidentally deleted your beloved Google account, you may wanna give it a try. There are still hopes, especially if you're willing to pay the fee via Google Checkout! Good luck!

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