My friend Steve Shankland asked today for feedback from Gmail users because he's thinking about switching...I wrote the following...and then in re-reading realized that this is really bothering me and maybe I should blog about it. So, mostly I'm just pasting what I wrote to Shankland here.
If you read my blog and you work for Google, I would *love* some help on this. I gather its not easily apparent to figure out how to render this sort of help to a non-Google friend (or Chris DiBona would have helped me out already by now). I'm the first one to admit that forgetting my password was stupid on my part, but I'm also betting that it's happened before to most of you. What's up with the 5-day mandatory waiting period before you can go through the protocol to recover a Gmail password?
I'm a pretty loyal Gmail user...lets see so far this year I have 23730
messages in my Gmail inbox (multiply by 2 for yearly average load and
then multiply that by 5 and you'll get an idea of how much mail).
I don't have many problems or complaints...except about what happens if
you forget your password (which I have now done). Of course my "backup
account" is pre-set to the account I used most when I signed up for
Gmail in 2003...and that would be danese dot cooper at sun dot com (my bad for not
changing it when I left, I know...but I never used it before this). So
what happens when I tell Gmail that I've forgotten my password is it
sends a reset notice to my now non-existant danese dot cooper at sun dot com.
If I then tell Gmail that I no longer have access to that mail account, they ask
me to answer a "secret question", ask me to type a captcha to make sure I'm
not a bot and then inform me that I can't use the account for 5 days!!! at which
point some magical second secret question event will supposedly occur.
But I get 500 emails a day at my gmail address (which is
danese at gmail , btw...and I'm not about to give up and start a new one
because its just too easy to remember and everybody knows this one,
And of course my browser has a cookie for my forgotten password, so its
still successfully polling for mail. One day soon its gonna expire and
I'm gonna be up shit creek without a paddle for at least 5 days. What
do you want to bet its gonna be an important 5 days?
You'd think...since we're so well connected and all...that I'd be able
to get one of my Google pals to fix this for me? So far, no love.
Apparently there's no obvious way for a Google employee to vouch for the
identity of a Gmail user and request a reset. Nor have I had any luck
charming Sun into reactivating danese dot cooper at sun.com for a nanosecond so
I can catch the reset email.
What's a Diva to do?
...and of course if you have a Gmail account...Google wants you to use
that login for 100% of your interactions with Google...
So I can't log in to YouTube, I can't work on Google Docs, I can't
change my vacation settings (done only through the Gmail web
I've been trying to fix this for 2 months now because I know that cookie
expiration is about to happen...
Sure wish somebody would help out with this...
(thanks for listening)