This all started innocent enough with an email from Google stating that my blog domain, SeekingBostonMarathon.com was going to expire in January but (good news) I was signed up for automatic renewal. "Should you need to update your billing," or to "ensure uninteruppted service" follow these directions; TRANSLATION go down either the "rabbit's hole" or the "black hole." I have a sense of humor, but I'm having a hard time finding the humor in this story. Trust me, this is the "short version" of the story and it was starting to feel like looking up a word you don't know how to spell in the dictionary.
Bear in mind that this dates back to 2009 when I started my blog through Blogger. Google bought Blogger in 2011 and somewhere between those two points, I "bought" my domain name and the prestigious (sarcasm) rights to SeekingBostonMarathon.com.
Fundamentally, the aforementioned email from Google tells me to simply log into my "Admin Console" to update billing on my domain. Clicking on the links sent me a message that my google email is not authorized to log into the admin console and to log in as a different user. What? I couldn't ask Google Apps to send me my password since the email account I use for Google is apparently not the "Admin" for my blog. Hmmm. After several hundred other "clicks" I find the help page for Google Apps which gives me an actual phone number to call Google.
I'm thinking great, this is like having a phone number to the White House or IRS...is anyone going to actually answer the phone, or will I get stuck in automated phone purgatory...press 1 for this, press, 4 for that. It didn't take long to get stuck in their non-human phone tree. "Please enter your PIN," the phone robot requested. If you don't have a PIN, log into your "Admin Console" to retrieve one. Perfect! Right back where I started.
After several hundred more page clicks on the Google site, I try logging in as firstname.lastname@example.org, but of course, I don't know that password, or not sure I ever got one. Another "suggestion" was to find out who hosts my site by typing my domain into WHOIS which would tell me for certain if they even hosted my site. I then discovered that GoDaddy hosts the site. I called GoDaddy and got a "live person" fairly quick.
Progress, I'm thinking until he asks me for my "PIN." He quickly realizes I don't have one, but through some other authentication, we get logged into some kind of page. "You should see a PIN at the top of the page," he tells me. "Umm, no," I reply. We both realize he has me logged into a DNS admin console of sorts, but nothing to do with the account and billing. "Back to square one." The GoDaddy dude was helpful and gave me my account number and a number to call Google where he assures me they will help with the account number I now own.
I call "Google," but it's actually GoDaddy again as they do the web-hosting for Google (or at least the Blogger orphans.) We go through several minutes of what sounds like Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First" trying to dilineate if I'm talking to Google or GoDaddy, and once again land where I started. He does however give me a new link to connect to try and retrieve my password from Google.
The link does not look promising. I finish with the GoDaddy guy and ask if I can't log into my account, could I could please talk to the GoDaddy girl. Yes, I'll patch you through...can I have your PIN number? (I made up the last part.) So, I'm once again, back at square one, but if you don't find these pages in January, you will know why.