Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It's Called Blogger Support - Not Blogger Mindreaders

Here's an interesting thread in Google Blogger Help. (Paraphrased to protect the guilty).

  • Blogger 1: My Blog isn't working.
  • Blogger 2: My Blog isn't working.
  • Blogger 3: My Blog isn't working. What could the problem be?

The one noticeable item there? No mention of having reported the problem to Blogger Support.

I've said over and over - don't expect a personal response from them, except in rare cases. But you still should let them know when there's a problem. But when you report your problem, don't waste time looking for an email address.

I've seen this before in the forums. Somebody reads the discussions, and figures
No sense in reporting this problem, everybody else has it.

Well, consider this:

  • Problems that aren't reported don't get worked on.
  • Problems that affect more people get worked on by the more experienced staff. If you know about the problem, and don't report it, it won't rise in the queue as much as it could. So if it isn't seen immediately, it's your fault.
  • Computers are unique. Maybe your problem report will provide the necessary clue, and help the problem get solved.


And next, report the problem, following current Blogger Support problem reporting needs.

  1. Look on the Blogger Status page. If you don't see an acknowledgement of the problem, annotated with
    We're working on this problem - please be patient and do not send any more trouble reports!

    then report the problem. Let the Blogger Support trouble reporting database deal with the duplicate requests, following current Blogger Support problem reporting needs.
  2. Fill in the Blogger Help form, as possible. Make sure that your email address is correct!
  3. Wait for the botmail.
  4. Note the Subject in the botmail. Here's an example, which I filed.

    Re: [#391824] Need Status Of Problems


    • The ticket number, in my example, is 391824. NOTE: The availability of a number is not certain.
    • The ticket description, in my example, is Need Status Of Problems.

  5. Reply to the botmail. Explain that there is no solution to your problem offered in either:

    1. Blogger Knowledge database.
    2. Blogger Help database.
    3. Google Blogger Help forum.

  6. When you write a problem complaint in Blogger Help or in Blogger Forum, include the ticket number (if available), and the description.


Maybe the next person to report their problem, from reading your complaint in Blogger Help or Blogger Forum, can include your ticket number and description in their problem report. That might light a tiny fire in the BS staff. Might.

But without a ticket, no fire at all. They aren't mind readers, after all.

Now, before you continue, take a look at the Blogger Support form. See the selections that you have an opportunity to fill in?
  1. Email address
  2. What are you having trouble with?
  3. Which blog does this affect?
  4. Enter a brief but descriptive summary:
  5. Finally, tell us all about it:

When you fill out the form, all of those entries go into a database, your problem ticket is generated, and your ticket number is assigned.

If you follow the advice of some folks, and send email directly to supportATbloggerDOTcom, your problem report is now a bit of email. You have no ticket number yet. The email must be entered into the database by a paid Blogger staff person, who has no understanding of your problem.
  • The contents of your email become item #5.
  • Your email address (what you sent from) MIGHT become item #1.
  • All of the other fields have to be guessed at by some low level clerk who does nothing but read the email that has no ticket number in it, and copy the body of each email into just another form that goes into the ticketing database.
    • Item #1 MIGHT be taken as the email address for the clerk (ticketing systems are designed by people, and sometimes the person filling out a form becomes the contact).
    • Item #2 has to be guessed at by the clerk.
    • Item #3 has to be guessed at by the clerk.
    • Item #4 has to be guessed at by the clerk.
    • Item #5 has to be copied from your email body.
  • This is NOT the favourite task of any help desk person. Generally the lowest ranking personnel get this duty, and they do this when they are not otherwise occupied.
  • Do you want YOUR problem report filled out by the most junior member of Blogger Support, when they are finally available (the coffeepot is full, and the copier has paper)?
Do yourself a favour, and fill in the Blogger Support form, and get your ticket directly entered into the database, with your details (Items # 1 - 5). Wait for the botmail. Now, if you wish to email BS with more detail, or to gripe at them in general, you have a ticket number, and your details are already in the database, under your ticket number.

Start with a ticket, and with a ticket number (if available).


(Edit 11/3): Note that the Blogger Help procedure is dynamic, and Blogger Support tunes it periodically. Right now, you can start with the Contact Us page, which has specific selections which refer to common problem types. Some of those selections will lead to the above described form, others to various help articles of varying relevance.

Some selections will lead to instructions that direct you to post in Blogger Help Group: Publishing Trouble, or Blogger Help Group: Something Is Broken, for group assistance. When you post there, try and provide some detail about your problem, and be patient. Many problems affect a lot of Bloggers concurrently.


(Edit 9/27): Having said all of that, I will state, for the record, that all of us would feel far encouraged to report the problems, if Blogger Support would provide more feedback when they fix the problems.


(Edit 9/24): Having gotten this far in my advice, please if any of my advice ever helps you, please read and observe How Peer Help Works. Become part of The Solution.

OK, What's The URL To Contact Blogger?
Here is the situation as of 15 March 2008. Blogger is starting to use the Google Blogger Help Forums for more direct support of some issues; some of the selections enumerated below may or may not exist, as the migration to the Google Blogger Help forums continues.

Start from Blogger Contact:
http://www.blogger.com/problem.g. If necessary, you'll have a link there http://www.blogger.com/problem.g?skiplogin=yes, to use if you can't login. You currently have 4 choices, on the next page.

As you navigate through the complaint tree, try and make the appropriate choice which helps Blogger to help you better. Remember that Blogger is not legally obligated to support you in any way; many of these selections are simply available so they can protect themselves from any claims of wrong doing. The more specific that you can be, relevant to your claim, the more likely you can persuade Blogger to act on your behalf. You want Blogger Support on your side, so be objective, in your complaints here, and in Google Blogger Help.


  1. Get detailed instructions on ...

  2. Report a bug or problem.

    1. Select "Report a bug". If your problem is listed, select that. If not, then "I found a bug".

    2. That gives you a small, fixed list. Select one. Any one, preferably one that describes your problem.

    3. Read the next page of troubleshooting. Keep an open mind - maybe the answer is there.

    4. If you do not see an answer in the troubleshooting list, look at the very bottom of the troubleshooting detail page. In blue highlighting, you should see
      Not what you're looking for? Choose another option on the left, or visit our Blogger Help Group. To report a bug, click here

    5. And click on "click here".

    6. If you are asked to login, there should be a link for "Skip Login". Click there if necessary.

    7. Now, you have the old familiar contact form, which may or may not be still hosted at http://help.blogger.com/?page=troubleshooter.cs
      &problem=&contact_type=other&Submit=Submit
      .

    8. The form will require an email address. If the problem is that you have forgotten the email address for your Google account, indicate that in the "Tell us about it" window. Enter a current and valid email address, in the "Email address" window. Make sure that it's one that can receive incoming email, without requiring verification or whitelisting.

    9. Don't forget to to reply to the botmail, if any comes your way.
      • If you reported from the link without login, you may not get botmail.
      • If you used the link that requires login, and you didn't get botmail, check your profile (make sure that you have the right email address), and / or try another problem category.


  3. Report a Terms of Service Violation
    Here you will have 8 choices.

    1. Defamation/Libel/Slander (Learn more.)

    2. Copyright Infringement (DMCA Violation).

    3. Spam (Learn more.)

    4. Hate or violence

    5. Impersonation

    6. Illegal/Other

    7. I need to contact another user

    8. Someone is posting my private information

    Make the appropriate selection, according to how you are being wronged, and what damages you can objectively state.

  4. Suggest a feature.
    This will lead to the Blogger WishList.


I will try to update this section, as procedures change.

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26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I hope it works. I got my boss's site hijacked by a splogger.

Anonymous said...

I´ve had lots of problems with Blogger recently. The innoying thing is that it is impossible to find any contact info on blogger help. I only find a link to the blogger help group. I don´t know if I am blind but the contact info should be easily found on the front page, the help page and every where else. I suspect Blogger has so many problems that they don´t want people to be able to contact them. They would get such head aches... I only found the contact page through your blog.

Jean said...

Thanks for the helpful links - I agree with cm, it's well nigh impossible to find the "contact us" link except through your posts. Splogs can be flagged as objectionable right on the page, but the blogs that promptly redirect to a spammy website have to be reported at the contact page.

Why oh why does Blogger permit authors to use their blog page as a redirect? I have never seen that feature used productively, and it's abused ALL the time.

Jean said...

What CM said! It's well nigh impossible to find the contact form except through your pages.

Splogs can be flagged as objectionable, but the blogs that immediately redirect to a spammy website cannot be reported except through the help form.

Why oh why does blogger permit users to place redirects on their blog pages? I've never seen this feature used productively, and it's abused ALL the time.

John said...

Thanks for keeping these links up to date. It is so frustrating trying to contact them when a real problem arises.

tinamariecreations said...

i called the google corporate headquarters because i closed my blogger account but my blogs still show up on blogspot. now, i can't get into my account because i am told i don't have an account when i try to log in. to make matters worse, i can't remember my password. google corporate offices say that they don't have anything to do with blogger and "by the way, we don't have support for our products." i then asked to speak to a manager since i was only talking to the receptionist and she said, "i need a first and last name of who you want to talk to." like i have a company directory or something. she was like a parrot, all she kept saying was "google doesn't provide support for their products." she also told me to go through blogger support, which just emails me back that i don't have an account! they are useless! now i have to post this with someone elses account. it's ridiculous.

Chuck said...

TinaMarie,

You're preaching to the choir now. I've been ranting about this for months.

Team Gordon 2010 said...

Hi guys,

Our blog www.teamgordon2010.blogspot.com can't be opened and instead a message saying that our blog was under review for possible terms of service violation.

We had read the terms of service for blogger and we haven't broken any of the rules.

How long will our blog remain inaccessible?

TEAM GORDON 2010

teamgordon2010@gmail.com

DBD said...

Congrats. Your site showed up on a search for "blogger problem reporting" with very useful information.

I did an initial search for "blogger problem" and ended up directly at the form you were talking about.

Melinda said...

I appreciate all of your suggestions; however, nothing is working for me. I can't even find the contact information you have listed in this post. Here is my promlem: More times than not I am getting the "Internet Explorer Cannot Display Webpage" message when I try to go to my blog page. In fact, when I type the address in, most of the time my internet goes directly to the google search page. This problem is not happening all of the time but more times than not in the past few days. I have also noticed it on occasion with other blogs as well. Is this a bug that Blogger is experiencing? Two of my other blog pages are showing up just fine (although on a rare occassion I experience the same problem with them). It still shows up on my profile page and dashboard and I can make posts, edit them, etc. but cannot view my blog all of the
time. Any ideas?

Chuck said...

Melinda,

In almost all known cases, "Internet Explorer Cannot Display Webpage" errors are not a Blogger problem, and are not resolved by Blogger. They are generally network problems, caused by the individual computer, or the Internet service connecting the individual computer.

In some Asian countries, notably China, Thailand, and others, they may result from governmental interference.

I've written about these problems, and the wide range of their causes. You might want to discuss your symptoms in the proper online forum.

invisibleoranges said...

I've tried for quite a while, and failed, to find this contact form that you mention. That option never appears no matter how far into the help tree one goes. It appears that Blogger has entirely shunted contact for support over to the Google Help Forum.

FJK said...

I wanted to alert you that the best way to get to the blogger contact forum is probably through bugs-log in issues. However when I tried it last, it just looped me to a blogger help search box page -- don't know if that's on purpose or some glitch on their (or my )part

Sergio Viula said...

I'm really disappointed at Blogger. I had just pronned to spread my blog address when I found out that the blog page was not displaying my posts.

I've a got lot of problem report stuff on Blogger's help center, but no practical solution or means to contact someone real from Blogger's staff.

I think it shows a total sense of respect for the user. I think the problem will never be solved due to absolute lack of means to send a simple e-mail message over to someone at office. :(

Disappointedly,

Sergio Viula

Chuck said...

Sergio,

Blogger does not provide email support. Get used to it. Use the forums!

Stacy said...

I accidently deleted the posts on my blog...is there anything i can do to retreive them?

Chuck said...

Stacy,

You need to ask this in GBH: How Do I?. Peer support beats Blogger blog commenting, for advice.

J.A.B.'s Freelance World said...

I am more and more frustrated, because...I just wish there was a simple "blog hacking report" that could be filled out. This would solve the problem (hopefully) trying to track down hackers who STILL put message after message of spam on my blogs! And this is after I requested a review and/or told Blogger of the situation. Something has got to be done to stop this asap!! I am very frustrated with this entire situation.

Chuck said...

J.A.B.,

Your problem is simply not one which is, unilaterally, controlled by Blogger. Reporting your blog as hacked is a waste of time. You have to start by understanding how the spam is getting onto your blog.

tattered and Tender said...

Your Blogs URL: www.tatteredandtender.blogger.com
Browser(s) used: Firefox, Safari
Location: ? New Jersey

I cannot find my blog when I sign in to my account. It says I have no blog- however the blog is visible when I go to www.tatteredandtender.blogger.com. If I click dashboard again I get that I don't have a blog.

When I try the recovery form I give the blog address and it says it sent my info to my email address which never comes- I've done this more than once- I've done it repeatedly. I've also signed in to all my email accounts and checked the spam folders etc.

I have followed all suggestions re: cookies/security/browsers/restarting etc. and I have posted to the forums to no avail.

I have written directly to "help""contact us" though how I stumbled on the page to do that I don't know- I can't find it now.
I received no answer from them.

I have no idea what to do next.
Anyone?

Chuck said...

Tattered,

Please ask this question in BHF: Something Is Broken.

Business Innovation said...

Thanks For such a useful blog

laDemajagua1868 said...

"It's Called Blogger Support - Not Blogger Mindreaders"

yeah ! but what about making it much more easier for the community of bloggers to get straight to the solution ?
For exemple, I gues this problem we all are having right now with the blogspot sphere is due to precisely the intntded and premeditated method of getting feed backs from all of us.
Yes , we the people using this blog-sphere are contributors too.
We are questionning but also suggesting indirectly the bugs that hamper and trouble the blogs and their owners or users.
It is nothing to hard to understand when the problem is common and the same to hundreds, thousands of persons-users . Which IS the problem ?
THIS ONE : "THIS BLOGS DOES NOT EXIST ! THIS BLOG CAN'T BE FOUND !
OR THIS :
Sorry, the blog you were looking for does not exist. However, the name cubasikastrono is available to register!

WHICH POPS UP WHEN I TRY TO GET INTO ONE OF MY TWO OWN BLOGS.

So, IN ALL LOGICAL MINDSET it doesn't take much to see IN THE MINDS OF THE PEOPLE...what is the problem !!
No one needs to read any minds here..just give a solution to the common problem of thousnads.

A.J. JONES said...

Hello, can someone please help me? I am not tech savvy at all and I want to link blogger to my existing site. I am lost because I am no good with codes and links...how can I do this without losing my mind???

marty said...

I had to set up a blogger a few years go. I want to delete it now but I dont know the email it is linked to and the password of the blog. I really need it taking down. How can I do this? Please help..

Chuck Croll said...

Marty,

The subject of removal of old blogs is complex, and subject to much acrimony, when the limitations are discussed. Account / blog security is controversial - and understanding the issues is essential.

Please start by reading - and trying to accept the limitations described in my FAQ re Blogger account recovery.

http://productforums.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#!category-topic/blogger/how-do-i/IZZXhSA_EvQ[1-25-true]