How to contact Google directly
If you have a computer/device and the internet, you’re most likely using a Google product right this very second, and there is a chance you’ve had a challenge at some point that you wished you could talk to someone at Google about. Whether you’re a phone person or an email person, there are ways to actually get in touch with the perfect person to get your questions answered, and while most of these are not a secret at all, it isn’t overly evident on most of Google’s pages and takes digging. No longer.
Google is infamous for ignoring contact forms and for messages going into a giant black hole, but you can get around that.
Step one: general contact
The first place to start is Google.com/contact where you can search by Google product. You might just find exactly what you need right off the bat, but if you don’t, you can always try Support.Google.com which can help you direct to general answers about Google products.
Also in your first round of trying to contact Google, try the Product Forums which Google employees are known to monitor and respond. Many people have great success in finding answers just by searching, but when you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always ask questions about any of these Google products: AdSense, Blogger, Chrome, Gmail, Google Affiliate Network, Google Analytics, Google Books, Google Apps, Google Calendar, Google Chat, Google Checkout Merchant, Google Commerce, Google Custom Search, Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Earth, Google Fusion Tables, Google Maps, Google News, Google Voice, Google Wallet, Google+ Hangouts, Orkut, Picasa, YouTube, and more.
Step two: get on the phone
The general contact page and the forums didn’t yield results. So you want to get on the phone. Calling 1-650-253-0000 for general inquiries from technical support to customer service. But this is general and you have to go through an automated system to system (hint: press 5 for customer service). If you already know who you want to talk to, dial that person’s extension by pressing 8 to dial by name.
Google has offices around the world, each having a different function, and if you know which local office you need to reach, there is a full list available of phone numbers and addresses for the local Google offices.
Step three: get real, you want specifics
There is a huge chance that step one and step two will leave some people still in the dark or maybe you need an answer sooner than later, so here are the other ways you can contact Google at the exact level you’re looking for.
Get help with Gmail:
- Gmail Community Forums is a good place to start – connect with other users
- Report problems with a Gmail message and find other support for email problems.
- Report Gmail abuse when someone else is violating the Terms of Service.
- Address a compromised Gmail account if someone has hacked your account – this is a great place to start (after changing your password immediately, of course).
- If you have an idea of what you want added to Gmail, hit up the Feature Suggestions Page.
How to contact Google when you need Chrome help:
- Check out the Google Chrome Community Forums to report problems, connect with other users (and possibly Google employees or experts), learn tricks, and offer feedback.
- Report Chrome installation problems to either accomplish an installation or help developers learn so future releases address your issues.
- Chrome Device Support is technical support online for fast help.
Google+ can be tricky, here’s how to get help:
- Report problems and submit feedback for various features of Google+.
- Dig through FAQs and be sure to rate the helpfulness of answers at the bottom of the page.
- You can report a lot of information to Google+ from an inappropriate profile to inappropriate content and abuses during Hangouts On Air.
- Google also makes it easy to report a video or photo for abuse or general abuse in Public Hangouts or abuse of terms of service on Events.
- The Google+ Community Forums offers troubleshooting and feedback options for all Google+ related features.
How to contact Google about Google Analytics:
- You can get technical support for Google Analytics to address problems or questions.
- The fastest way to get help, however, is probably the Google Analytics Community Forums where other users (and possibly Google employees) are discussing not only technical issues but how to better use the product or answer simple questions for beginners as well as experts.
Google+ Local: getting support for your business listing:
- The Listing Verification Problems – Once you go through the step-by-step troubleshooting, you will be given a short form to fill out to contact Google.
- If your , this is the step by step method for fixing it, ending with a direct contact form if that doesn’t work.
- You can get help getting your map fixed if it is incorrect or not working.
- If you still haven’t gotten your question answered, hit up the Google and Your Business Community Forums.
Contact Google about AdWords:
- Since money is involved, you can actually get someone on the phone – call 1-866-2GOOGLE.
- Check out the various contact options ranging from email to live chat.
- As with other issues, you can get your questions answered in the Google AdWords Community.
Get help with Google Webmaster Tools:
Contact Google for YouTube problems:
- Tell Google if you have trouble watching a video or are having playback issues.
- If you want to get content removed for harassment, cyberbullying, threats, hateful content, phishing, spam, or other reasons, contact Google to report content for removal.
- You can contact Google to file a YouTube trademark complaint or a counterfeit complaint, and you can even file a defamation claim if a video contains personal information about you without your consent (your image, address, license number, and so forth).
- Report any other legal issues directly to Google.
- Check out the YouTube Community Forums to ask questions or find answers on anything YouTube related, and connect with other users and possibly even Google/YouTube employees.
Google is a huge company and is not well known for responding to issues or questions, especially for site owners, so these direct routes might get you one step closer to connecting with the conglomerate to get the answers you’re seeking. They don’t hide this information, but it isn’t always obvious how to get in touch, so bookmark this list and visit it whenever you’re in need of contacting Google.
Too connected: FTC eyes Facebook antitrust lawsuit
(BUSINESS NEWS) Following other antitrust hearings, we’re expecting to hear more about the FTC’s antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, soon.
Facebook might be wishing it had kept the “dislike” button.
On September 15, the Wall Street Journal announced that the Federal Trade Commission was preparing a possible antitrust lawsuit against the social media titan. Although the FTC has not made an official decision on whether to pursue the case, sources familiar with the situation expect a determination will be made on the matter sometime before the end of 2020. Facebook and the FTC both declined to comment when asked about the story.
The news comes following a year-long investigation by the FTC that has looked into anti-competitive practices by the Menlo Park-based company. This past July, the United States House of Representatives held hearings in which they grilled the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook regarding their business practices. In August, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also testified in front of the FTC as part of the department’s antitrust probe into the organization.
The FTC seems to be especially interested in Facebook’s past acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram, which they believe may have been done to stifle competition. In internal emails sent between Zuckerberg and Facebook’s former CFO David Ebersman back in 2012, the 36-year-old seemed worried that the apps could eventually pose a threat to the social media conglomerate.
“These businesses are nascent but the networks established, the brands are already meaningful, and if they grow to a large scale the could be very disruptive to us,” Zuckerberg wrote to Ebersman, “Given that we think our own valuation is fairly aggressive and that we’re vulnerable in mobile, I’m curious if we should consider going after one or two of them.”
When Ebersman asked him to clarify the benefits of the acquisitions, Zuckerberg stated the purchases would neutralize a competitor while improving Facebook.
“One way of looking at this is that what we’re really buying is time. Even if some new competitors springs up, buying Instagram, Path, Foursquare, etc. now will give us a year or more to integrate their dynamics before anyone can get close to their scale again.” Zuckerberg said.
This isn’t the first time the FTC has investigated Facebook either. Last year the agency fined the company $5 billion for the mishandling of user’s personal information, the biggest penalty imposed by the federal government against a technology company. As a part of the settlement with the FTC in that case, Facebook also promised more comprehensive oversight of user data.
If the FTC does pursue an antitrust suit against Facebook, it could end up forcing the social media giant to spin off some of the companies it has acquired or place restrictions on how it does business. Considering how long it will take to file the litigation and prove the case in a courtroom, however, it seems that Zuckerberg will once again be “buying time.”
What you need to know about the historic TikTok deal (for now)
(BUSINESS NEWS) No one really knows what’s happening, but the TikTok deal’s impact on business, US-China relations, and the open internet could be huge.
So, maybe you’ve heard that Oracle and Walmart are buying TikTok for national security!
Um, not exactly.
Also, Trump banned TikTok!
Sort of? Maybe?
The terms of the proposal seem to shift daily, if not hourly. The sheer number of contradictory statements from every player suggests no one really knows what’s going on.
Just one example: Trump said the deal included a $5 billion donation to a fund for education for American youth. TikTok parent ByteDance, said, “Say what now?”
Here’s what we think we know (as of this writing):
Oracle and Walmart would get a combined 20 percent stake in a new U.S.-based company called TikTok Global. Combine that with current US investors in China’s ByteDance, TikTok’s parent, that would give American interests 53 percent. European and other investors would have 11 percent. China would retain 36 percent. (On Saturday Trump said China would have no interests at all. But that does not jibe with the reporting on the deal.)
Oracle would host all user data on its cloud, where it is promising “security will be 100 percent” to keep data safe from China’s prying eyes. But reporting has differed on whether Oracle will get full access to TikTok’s code and AI algorithms. Without full control, skeptics say, Oracle could be little more than a hosting service, and potential security issues would remain unaddressed.
Walmart says they’re excited about their “potential investment and commercial agreements,” suggesting they may be exploring e-commerce opportunities in the app.
The US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which is overseen by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, still has to approve any deal.
As for the TikTok “ban” – which isn’t really a ban because current users can keep it – the Commerce Department postponed the deadline for kicking TikTok off U.S. app stores to September 27, to give time for the deal to be hammered out. Never mind that it’s still not clear whether the U.S. government has authority to do that. Unsurprisingly, ByteDance says it doesn’t in a lawsuit filed September 18.
Whatever happens with the whiplash of the deal’s particulars, there are bigger issues in play.
According to business news site Quartz, moving data storage to Oracle mirrors what companies like Apple have done in China: Appease the Chinese government by allowing all data hosting to be inside China. A similar move could “mark the US, too, shifting from a more laissez-faire approach to user data, to a more sovereign one,” says China tech reporter Jane Li.
In the meantime, TikTokkers keep TikTokking. White suburban moms continue to lip sync to rap songs in their kitchens. Gen Z continues to make fun of the president – and pretty much everything else.
And downloads of the app have skyrocketed.
Hobby Lobby increases minimum wage, but how much is just to save face?
(BUSINESS NEWS) Are their efforts to raise their minimum wage to $17/hour sincere, or more about saving face after bungling pandemic concerns?
The arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby announced this week that they will be raising their minimum full-time wage to $17/hour starting October 1st. This decision makes them the latest big retailer to raise wages during the pandemic (Target raised their minimum wage to $15/hour about three months ago, and Walmart and Amazon have temporarily raised wages). The current minimum wage for Hobby Lobby employees is $15/hour, which was implemented in 2014.
While a $17 minimum wage is a big statement for the company (even a $15 minimum wage cannot be agreed upon on the federal level) – and it is no doubt a coveted wage for the majority of the working class – it’s difficult to not see this move as an attempt to regain public support of the company.
When the pandemic first began, Hobby Lobby – with more than 900 stores and 43,000 employees nationwide – refused to close their stores despite being deemed a nonessential business (subsequently, a Dallas judge accused the company of endangering public health).
In April, Hobby Lobby furloughed almost all store employees and the majority of corporate and distribution employees without notice. They also ended emergency leave pay and suspended the use of company-provided paid time off benefits for employees during the furloughs – a decision that was widely criticized by the public, although the company claims the reason for this was so that employees would be able to take full advantage of government handouts during their furlough.
However, the furloughs are not Hobby Lobby’s first moment under fire. The Oklahoma-based Christian company won a 2014 Supreme Court case – the same year they initially raised their minimum wage – that granted them the right to deny their female employees insurance coverage for contraceptives.
Also, Hobby Lobby settled a federal complaint in 2017 that accused them of purchasing upwards of 5,000 looted ancient Iraqi artifacts, smuggled through the United Arab Emirates and Israel – which is simultaneously strange, exploitative, and highly controversial.
Why does this all matter? While raising their minimum wage to $17 should be regarded as a step in the right direction regarding the overall treatment of employees (and, hopefully, $17 becomes the new standard), Hobby Lobby is not without reason to seek favorable public opinion, especially during a pandemic. Yes, we should be quick to condone the action of increasing minimum wage, but perhaps be a little skeptical when deeming a company “good” or “bad”.
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