There’s nothing quite as harrowing as having anything Google go toes up — because there is no clear path to getting a hassle-free technical support experience even if you pay your way as a Google Apps Premier Customer and even if you write the first Google Apps Administrator Guide book to market.  I have a long history of writing technical books and providing online technical support and, without question, Google are the absolute worst problem solvers when it comes to the individual incident and fixing the outlier and resolving the uncommon anomaly.  We won’t get into how generally awful Blogger tech support is today — we’ll just stay focused on Google Apps Premier for now.

Over the past week or so, users have been reporting a dreadful slowdown of all Google Apps services.  We were loathe to officially report the trouble to Google because they are famous for running you around in circles as they try to turn you away from actually getting a solid solution to your problem.  It’s a madding experience with the new Evil Empire.

Yesterday morning, Gmail was taking 30 seconds to load in browser view.  Calendar was slow to save and update appointments.  Google Docs were slower than running through molasses.  I hoped everything would just “get better” on its own and we wouldn’t have to dare Google Support.  We were getting several error messages in Gmail and so I bit my finger and painfully typed in a support request from Google Apps Premier:

Hi there —

For the past week or so we have noticed a massive responsiveness slowdown in Email, Calendar and Docs for all users of

I know other tech sites like TechCrunch have also noticed this slowdown:

It takes forever to refresh a Gmail page.  It takes forever for a Calendar entry to update.  It takes forever to open a new Doc.

My local connectivity is a cable modem with 25MB down and 5MB up — so I know this slowdown isn’t on my end because every other site on the internet — except our Google Apps — are lightning fast.

I also write technical books for a living, so I would never bother you unless this problem was verified, repeatable, and caustic:

The problem today is especially onerous — we can’t live with the speed decay of services any longer.

Thank you.


After I sent that email, Gmail basically blew up.  I took screenshots of error messages and sent them to Google as well.  We had a few more error messages over the arc of our day.  About two hours later, Gmail became much more responsive as its old self — two hours later we were back in the tar pit abyss.

Today, we’re back to being super slow across all Google Apps services and we even changed our DNS to Google to see if that would make a difference in speed and connectivity.  It did not.

At the end of the workday yesterday, Google Support responded with this laughable melange of fruitiness that no ordinary customer would ever want to troubleshoot alone.  I told them I was on a Mac — and this response demonstrates the evil of blind, robotic, cutting and pasting as a generic response to a specific set of problems:

If you could provide me with the following information, I’ll request that they look into this as soon as possible. It’s a hefty list since multiple actions could be causing this slowness, but we’d appreciate it if you could provide us with as much information as you can so that we can look into this as thoroughly as possible. You’re welcome to respond via an alternate email address, if that’s more convenient at the moment.

– Is this issue reproducible in different web browsers?
– Does clearing cache and cookies in your browser resolve the issue?
– Is the issue reproducible in the HTTP version of Gmail, the HTTPS version, and the version without labs? To access these versions, please use the following links:

[internal URLs redacted]

– Please describe the slowness you are seeing in detail, being as specific as possible about the errors and hangups you’re receiving, as well as what actions you were performing at the time.
– Which Google services are affected?
– Is the issue consistent or intermittent?
– Please include screen shots of any other error messages you have received, aside from those you have already provided.
– Do you experience this issue on different networks?
– Are you using Norton security software? Does the issue get resolved when deactivating this software?
– Please collect ping and traceroute data:

1. Go to “Start” > “Programs” > “Accessories” > “cmd”
2. Type “tracert” (without the quotes) and hit Enter.
3. Next, type “ping -n 50” (again, without the quotes) and hit Enter.
4. Include the output in your reply to this message.

If you could also go to the HttpWatch website and download that software to capture packet data when accessing your webmail, that would be very helpful.

1. Go to
2. Download and install HttpWatch, Version 6.
3. Open your browser and press Shift+F2 to bring up the HttpWatch window.
4. Press ‘Record’ and navigate to your Google Apps email.
5. Reproduce the issues with latency that you are experiencing in Google Apps email.
6. Press ‘Stop’.
7. Click ‘Save’ and save the log as an .hwl file.
8. Attach the resulting .hwl file to a reply to this email.

Lastly, please run a Wireshark capture while reproducing the issue. Here are the instructions:

1. Visit and click ‘Get Wireshark now.’
2. Save the setup file. Once the file has finished downloading, open the file to begin the setup wizard.
3. Follow the steps in the setup wizard to download Wireshark. Make sure to also install WinPcap when given the option.

After installing Wireshark, which will be used to send us some network information, please follow these steps to gather the information:

1. Close all web browsers and any other programs that generate network traffic (for example, IM programs).
2. Open Wireshark.
3. From the ‘Capture’ menu, select ‘Options.’
4. Under ‘Interface,’ select the network card you have.
5. Select ‘Start.’

Once the program has started running, please open your browser and visit

[internal URL redacted]

(please copy and paste this exact URL into your browser window) and log into your account. Once there, attempt to reproduce the latency issue and allow the program to run for three minutes. If the program is running successfully, you should see the numbers under ‘Captured Packets’ increasing.

Finally, click ‘Stop,’ then select ‘Save As’ from the ‘File.’ Please attach the file to your response.

Thanks for your assistance with this. I hope that we can get this slowness resolved for you as soon as possible. Please let me know if you have any further questions and I’d be happy to help.

Who has time to do any of that garbage tracking that, even if you dutifully do everything on that list, Google will always, in my experience, turn around and find a way to blame the slowdown on you, your machine, your setup, your browser, your location, the day of the week or some other imbecilic excuse that other companies would never dare to suggest to any serious user reporting a verifiable and repeatable problem.

I believe the reason Google spins you around like that is to make you go away.  They don’t want to hear it.  They want to drown you in their day, not yours, and they do that by sending you laundry lists of tasks for you to perform on their behalf.

I don’t believe Google doesn’t know they have a problem with the performance of Google Apps — they just don’t want to take the time and the expense to drill down to find out the why of it specifically for you — and so they bounce it all back on you, the humble end user, who, they hope, will tire of the game and just slink away to Live or Yahoo or Fastmail for their email needs.

Speaking of Microsoft and Yahoo, I noticed something interesting in the preparation of this article.  Many blog posts across the 13 Blog strong Boles Blogs Network are missing from Google.  We are not alone in that sad fact.

I knew I’d written an article a while ago about the trouble I’d had in the past with Google Apps Premier Technical Support, but when I searched Google, I couldn’t find a link.  I knew I’d seen it there in the past.  I publish 13 blogs and one of the wrecks of that deed is tending to forget exactly in which blog you posted an article.  Using Google to help root out the remains of your memory is usually a Godsend.  Not anymore.  The Godhead is dead.

Here’s why.

I checked my documents backup of the article I was trying to remember for hotlinking and found the exact title of the article:  “Google Video Tech Support Trouble for Google Apps Premier” and when I then did a Google search for “Google Video Tech Support Trouble for Google Apps Premier david boles” — I was presented with the following non-advertising, search returns:

Isn’t that remarkable!

Not a single Google entry for that exact article title?  I give Google total access to all my blogs and websites.  I’m a big user of Google’s Webmaster Tools and Analytics.  I’ve purchased advertising slots with Google.  There is no want for access to my information that I don’t willingly provide Google — and yet Google won’t provide an accurate indexing of all my sites in return for my obedience to the empire?

I decided to head over to and do that same search — “Google Video Tech Support Trouble for Google Apps Premier david boles” — and here are the cogent, clear, and 100% on-point search returns that I expected to get from Google:

I then tempted a search and was presented with these precise, and superb search returns for the same search done on Google and Bing: “Google Video Tech Support Trouble for Google Apps Premier david boles”

There is no such thing as a coincidence — and I wonder if Google are, in some not-so-subtle-way, punishing my blogs by refusing to return them in a search result because of some perceived anti-Google angle — because no other reason makes as much sense.  I haven’t bothered to link all my pro-Google articles in this post because there are too many to hunt down.

I quickly did a blog-by-blog comparison for all my network blogs to test search returns on Google and Bing and Yahoo and Bing and Yahoo averaged about a third more raw index article numbers than Google while also providing 100% better intuitive search returns based on specific queries.

Because of the results of my quantitative and qualitative search results testing, I have now made Bing my default search engine instead of Google in Firefox.

If any of the issues in this article ring familiar, or sound a bell, please share your thoughts and comments and wishes in the comments flow below. I’d love to know what’s really going on at Google and how to try to get them to properly index all my blogs again.

If you did a search and found this article — did you land here via Google or Bing or Yahoo or something else?

Thank you!


    1. That’s what I would do, Gordon, use Bing instead. It seems to have much more of our stuff indexed and routinely returns relevant blog articles as Google used to do. Test it out and let us know.

      I will be removing all the Google Search engines I had setup on my websites. They don’t work as expected.

  1. Oh, gosh, I sure hope Google isn’t turning into something bad. Nobody needs that. I have noticed doing Google searches for your articles has been frustrating lately. Can’t find what I know is there. I can’t imagine they would punish you for writing the occasional bad review. Did you answer all those questions from the support or not?

    1. Yes, the articles missing from Google across 13 blogs is definitely strange and disappointing. There isn’t any rational reason for it — the articles were once there and now they are not — except that the removal is being cogently performed by someone somewhere somehow.

      Bing is proving that I am not going insane! I always remember bits of an article — historically enough for Google to provide a return from the bytes — but lately I’m not getting back what I put into the Google search box and that has been frustrating. Now, with Bing, I can at least again find what I’m looking for using the same memory bits and I can get on with the business of my day.

      No, I didn’t do the Google Hoops Jumping. I’ve earnestly played that game with them before several times in the past only to get burned in the end. It’s a waste of time responding to them really, because they really don’t want, or expect, you’re going to go through all that garbage. I get it now. So you just sit and hope and wait that things will eventually get better.

  2. Hmmmmm, see the email below I got from Google apps and note ” our technical team will be in touch shortly.”
    8 days and still waiting for any contact whatsoever
    Also, I am a paid up enterprise subscriber, who knows why I have been reverted to a free trial???
    —–Original Message—–
    From: Jonathan []
    Sent: 12 March 2012 22:39
    To: Bruce Skinner
    Subject: [#~~~~~~~~] Domain is on 30-day trial, but account appears to be suspended [ ref:_00D00VNwG._50060HwR4C:ref ]

    Hello Bruce,

    Thank you for continuing to work with us on this issue. I’ve routed this case to a specialized technical team for further analysis. A member of that team will take ownership of your case and will contact you directly after they’ve reviewed the information you’ve provided in this case. Here’s what to expect:

    1) In-depth questions: To aid in the troubleshooting process, we may need to ask for additional or more current information about your issue.

    2) Further troubleshooting steps: We may ask you to perform some troubleshooting steps to help us pinpoint the source of your issue.

    3) Workaround steps: If we cannot provide an immediate resolution to your issue, we will try to provide directions for implementing a temporary workaround.

    4) Resolution steps: If we identify a resolution for this issue that requires action on your end, we will describe steps you should take and provide support as you implement this solution.

    5) Resolution descriptions: If we identify and resolve the issue affecting you, a brief description including the root cause will be provided.

    We appreciate your continued assistance in this process, and a member of our technical team will be in touch shortly.


    Enterprise Support

    Check out ‘’ for up-to-date launches and product improvements.

    Learn more about the life of a support case at

    Get timely updates on new features in Google Apps by subscribing to our feed at or email alerts at

      1. yes I have access to the domain, I have moved it to Microsoft office 365 now as I don’t have time to wait about.
        The one issue I have is with one user that has an Android phone, he has created 500+ contacts using his Google apps ID on the phone, they have not synchronized with Google contacts or Outlook and I cant see any other way to get them transfered, other that synchronizing with his Google account (Android > Google apps > export .csv > import to Outlook).
        I am sure Google could resolve it, if only they would respond 🙁

        1. Fascinating. The MSFT offering looks pretty good. I’ll be anxious to know how it works out for you. Can you migrate all your email from Google or are you stuck? Can you associate other domains with your main account so you can have multiple email addresses? Any idea if your new solution is “Mac Friendly?” Which service level did you choose and why?

          1. I went for Exchange Online Plan 1 (£2.60 per month per user).
            email migration was simple because I use outlook. I exported to PST then imported to my new O365 OST.
            Mac Friendly? I use a Mac with OSX Lion and Outlook 2011, it seems pretty seamless to me.
            For the benefit of non-Outlook users I have just configured Mac Mail in about 2 minutes and it has fully synchronised my exchange mailbox!!
            RE multiple domains, Yes you can associate as many alternative domains as you want.

          2. I have to admit that sounds like an exciting setup. I use Outlook on the web for my email account and I find it is an incredibly robust and fast email system.

            I love it that you’re on a Mac!

            With the extra domains — can you send mail “From” them or do they only pour into and out of your default domain

            I notice one of the advanced plans has some sort of voice mail auto attendant. Do you port a number into the service like Google Voice or is that something different?

            Can you FTP an existing website for hosting? If not, how do you upload files and images for the default website?

  3. extra domains can have a mailbox each (send from no problem), be a free shared mailbox you can send and receive from (requires a paid mailbox to tag to), a distribution list or a mailbox alias.

    no idea about the VM option but will investigate

    Websites are .aspx (SharePoint), I am not big into Web so have not fully investigated yet?
    site builder for websites seems ok though, here is a link to one I migrated from Office Live small Business last week