We hear stories all the time about people adopting Google Apps. Major school systems are adopting Google Apps. The city of Los Angeles adopted Google Apps. This kind of new gets our attention but our curiosity is perhaps even more piqued when we get news of why people drop the popular app platform.
It's one thing when Microsoft talks about Google Apps inadequacies. It's an entirely different story when it's an individual who has experienced enough frustration to move to a different service.
You may argue that this is the story of just one person. We agree that cases of . Google Apps has had phenomenal growth. But the account by "Shep," on the blog "Pieces of Shep," tells the story of someone who typifies the Google Apps user. It's affordable and easy to use - perfect for the small business or individual proprietor.
Shep still thinks GMail is the best webmail interface compared to any of the major providers. It is this loyalty that led him to set up Google Apps on some of his domains.
But after experiencing multiple issues, he decided that it was time to call it quits. He attributes the problem, ironically, to Google's fast growth, which in his view is slowing down how the company responds to customer issues. Exacerbating the issue is Google's lack of traditional customer support. Google depends on its community of users and Google professonals to answer customer issues. The problem - most of the people he found were having issues getting the same issues resolved. He felt as if there was nothing he could do.
Here's a summary of the problems that Shep said made his accounts unusable:
Permanent redirects when logging in. On one account I put in user credentials and the browser redirects over and over until the browser realizes it will never end and stops trying. This issue goes back a couple months with no one finding a solution that works. This makes logging into the control panel or the mailbox completely impossible. The only way to get email on this account is via IMAP.
Unable to edit groups. On a domain where I am actually able to log in I can't edit groups. I click on the group name and I'm redirected to a Google 404 page. Again, I found people having this issue dating back to the beginning of summer. No fix.
Unable to delete groups. Another group issue comes when I go to delete a group. I select the group and click delete. The page refreshes and it tells me group is deleted. But it isn't. It is still listed in my account.
Shep has decided to try the Rackspace email service on one of his domains. He mostly used IMAP to access his domains-based email. He will continue to do that with Rackpace.
Other reasons he chose Rackpace included the spam and virus protection as well as its reputation for excellent support.
Google's self-service platform is what makes it such a bargain. Even the smallest of business can afford the subscription fee of $50 per year. But the small business faces a problem when unanswered issues make the service difficult to use. For Shep, the experience has been poor enough to move on.
Have you had technical support issues with Google Apps? Did the issues get resolved in a timely manner or was it a prolonged problem? We're curious to hear your story.