6 days ago, my gmail account was hacked. I don't have it back yet, and nobody at Google is listening.
Hours after someone managed to log onto the account and change the password, a post appeared on the "Official gmail blog" describing exactly what happened to my account: whoever it was who took over my account emailed everyone who I had emailed before with this "help I'm in the UK and need money" scam story. Thanks gmail blog, now how the hell do I get my account and my email address back??
Whoever logged onto my account not only changed the password, they changed the secondary email address so I could not reset the password. They also removed the security questions, and my cellphone number.
What happens in situations like this? Well, as per this post in the gmail help forums, the only other thing you can do is submit a "I think someone has taken over my account" form to Google. This isn't submitted to a person though. It's just a set of questions that are automatically compared with your actual account details, then according to some coded algorithm you either have enough accurate information to be given your account back or not.
I noticed on those help forums that there are quite a few posts like this, indicating - as the gmail blog does also - that quite a few gmail users have been hacked recently in the same way. I'm definitely not alone.
This would be all well and good (or at least salvageable), if the "someone has taken over my account" form allowed you to submit more information than just the date you joined gmail and related services. I have no idea when I joined gmail, and I had no idea I was supposed to remember this. I signed up and didn't use the account for months, then eventually it became my main account.
I have information in spades that proves that it's my gmail account, but insufficient for the narrow parameters of this form.
So what happens if this form is no help at all? You need to talk to a real person at google.
It's been SIX DAYS. That hasn't happened yet. I have sent google numerous emails and I have received NOTHING but automated responses. This is the first time I've realised that there are some things, such as customer service. where Google is sorely lacking and totally unprofessional.
I'm still waiting.
Update: I should have updated this wee blog a while ago, lol. I received an email from Google 2 weeks after I was locked out, and my gmail account was returned to me. 2 weeks was a bit long really... but I remain a google customer. Am I a fool? I don't see any better service than gmail out there, to be honest.