A recent post on Medium has brought to light the lack of customer service provided to users of Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The post was written by an administrator of a project used to monitor numerous wind turbines and solar plants across eight countries.
On June 28th, the admin received an email from Google stating that the company’s website was down and that its services had been turned off due to some “potential suspicious activity.” The services included app engine, databases and multiple Firebases.
To make matters worse, the admin then received a message stating that the account would be shut down within three business days unless the billing owner could fill out a form and provide proof of identity. The admin was able to submit the needed information and within 20 minutes, the services were back online.
While this particular issue was solved, it was not the first time that it had happened to the admin’s company. Threads on HackerNews and Reddit make it clear that these are far from isolated incidents. The problem with GCP is not its technology, many make it clear that GCP is excellent, and perhaps superior to competitors such as AWS and Azure. Instead the long standing issue is Google’s lack of actual humans to offer customer service and support. The admin notes that he tried to reach out to Google but couldn’t find anyone to speak to by phone or online chat. Google has made promises to improve in this aspect yet the same issues appear to be commonplace. It gives anyone looking for a platform upon which to run production products a serious reason to pause when considering GCP.