For being a huge corporation, some things about Google are pretty embarrassing. I originally had a Gmail account and decided I wanted to have a custom email using my domain name. Google offers a service called Google Apps that allows you to do that. Cool.
I signed up for Google Apps. I found out quickly that you can’t transfer most of your products. I was able to transfer the pictures from my Picasa collection, but that’s about it. I had to recreate my Analytics account, my AdSense account, my YouTube account, and more. This was a pain in the ass, but I stuck in there and did it anyways.
Later, I cancelled my Google Apps service in favor of using Go Daddy’s Hosted Exchange product. I love Outlook and Exchange, a lot more than Gmail. I was able to migrate all my data over quickly. A few days after I cancelled my Google Apps service, my entire Google account was wiped clean. What the hell? I thought it would have only removed my Gmail, Calendar, and Google Docs access; apps that are provided by Google Apps.
So after all my woes, here is what I’ve discovered. There are 3 types of accounts:
1) Google account not tied to a Gmail account
2) Google account tied to a Gmail account
3) Google account tied to a Google Apps service
If you have a Gmail account and you want to change your Google Accounts email, you’re screwed; it’s not possible to change the email associated to your account. If you’re a Google Apps user and decide to cancel the service, you’ll have your Google account(s) removed, even though it doesn’t say it will do that. If you have a Google account using a custom domain and then you decide to register with Google Apps, you’ll cause a Google Accounts conflict to happen which has to be fixed by their support team.
What’s funny is that I did an interview with Google a few months ago. Not because I was pursuing a job, but because a recruiter found me on LinkedIn and had sent me a few emails. I love my job at Go Daddy, but I figured I would at least do the phone interview, just for the experience. The person who did the interview (interestingly enough) was a person who worked on the Google Accounts product. Just like I anticipated, I was asked silly academic questions which I’ll admit, I didn’t do the best job answering. The interviewer was pretty upset because I didn’t answer the questions like a full time student would answer them and basically ended the interview 30 minutes in.
Now, a few months later, I have this Google Accounts experience described above. No wonder their products have huge flaws with them. They have a bunch of employees who are more interested in Academia than delivering a product that people want and love.