Google Play support agent suggests waiting a year for problem to go away. (audio)

I have been struggling with a Google Play suspension.  For some reason, google policy is not to discuss suspensions. period.  Not even to resolve them.  I have been battling with email and phone support for days, but this last communique was just too good not to share.  In this recording, the Google Play support agent admits nothing can be done and suggests i wait a year for the problem to resolve itself. (edited to remove personal details and to shorten length)

Google Play Fail - Rejected reinstatement

 

Apparently Google doesn’t trust me after a decade!

Google Play Fail - Suspicious ActivityGoogle doesn’t think my account has been hacked or that I have lost control. They seem to genuinely believe that i am not authorized to pay with this “instrument” and that my intentions is fraud. This all started with a neglected Google Play account. So neglected that i never replaced the credit card on file and the one there had been reported lost in 2013. I logged into the account to buy a $4 app for some android cameras i was playing with. I purchased the app without error or incident 2 days ago. . .

Google Play Fail - Purchase

I use the app with the cameras problem free for 2 days.  In the end, one camera was a little glitchy, so i decided to restore it to factory settings and set it up new.  This is when it all went very bad.  When i logged into the store i couldn’t find the purchased app in my account and it wouldn’t let me buy it again. It was giving me strange errors about lack of internet or an error code: OR-IEH-01.  It was at this point that i noticed the email about payment information being needed.  I never received any emails about the purchase being canceled (apparently it was).  This is when i decided to call customer service.  The support agent interrupted me repeatedly, imparted the same explanation over and over, all the while asking me to submit a credit card statement from 2013. The incompetence was staggering.  I did some reading about reports of a massive Google outage today.  The agent insisted that i had added the lost card to the account the day of the purchase, the same day that i received the request for additional documents. This claim is ridiculous at every point, but not as ridiculous as google expecting me to have the same credit card number forever. Did the outage contribute to the problem?  i don’t know, but across Google’s ecosystem there has been failure today.  I even tried to create a new google play account with all new info.  It did not work, something is broken.  I jumped though the first set of rings and submitted my current credit card and state ID card.  The rejection came swift.  23 hours under their 24 hour ETA came this email. . .

Google Play Fail - Rejected reinstatement

I feel at this point i need to provide some context.  Was this a new account?  was it active?  I have used my google account almost daily since 2009.  In fact, i used their own google pay service for years until they changed their policy to require delivery of digital content thought their platform only. I charged clients weekly, and google deposited that into my bank account.  For years without a single charge back.  I used many of their experimental products. I even used Google+ and i still don’t know how i am going to replace fusion tables.

What now?  now i gather the remaining documents and try again?  what are our options with gatekeepers like these?  I’m still locked out of the play store and my google login is behaving erratically.  (gmail delays on both incoming and outgoing)

Good Omens screening last night left me champing at the bit!

Neil Gaiman introducing good omens at screening

The first episode was a great start to what i know will be an entertaining and darkly hilarious madcap adventure.  Waiting for the remaining episodes will be the difficult part.  Neil Gaiman delivered a brief and amusing introduction. Tasty nibbles were provided. Though this work is originally from nearly 30 years ago, i only read it a few months ago.  Perfect timing (i did not know the show was coming).

Good Omens Poster Projection

New security updates overtake jailbreak advantages.

There are just so many privilege escalation fixes in the latest iOS 12.2 update. I finally removed the jailbreak from my primary device and updated.  Privilege escalation is when an unprivileged or user process (like an app from the app store or even a web page*) gets root or even kernel authority.  This is when bad turns to worse because it can do and see anything with any of the device’s data or sensors.   Since even the big trusted apps have been caught tracking or stealing data, I simply couldn’t leave myself unprotected any longer.

I’ll still of course keep a development device jailbroken on 12.1.2 for all of the reasons. It was a wonderful experience, only slightly beta. I appreciate all the hard work by everyone in the scene. I think i am going hate seeing the home bar again the most.

* web pages are often sandboxed separately from the app itself. Some might argue that a webpage would first have to escape the sandbox before it could escalate privileges. this is true, but i would respond that sandbox escape is just another form of privilege escalation, only one level down. There are also over a dozen webkit fixes in this update.