Google Apps customers say domains aren't being renewed

Software entrepreneur Joel Spolsky, better known for his Joel on Software website, that the custom domain he set up using is offline because Google failed to automatically renew his domain after one year. Google's self-service site took his money and told him his domain was registered through 2010, Spolsky says. But on the anniversary of his signup, his domain went missing.

Spolsky collected published complaints from other Google Apps customers, and documented his attempts to resolve the problem through Google's automated customer support system, which sent him in circles without connecting him to a human support representative who could cut through the maze.

The post has started a commenter pile-on, both at and at . Cheap advice from a commenter with Google:

Google's support is shockingly bad. It is a deep and twisted warren of blind alleys, misinformation, and a million different paths that all end in "f*** you". You will not contact a human. There are no humans. Thousands of genius engineers engineered teh googelz to be perfect and human free for your utopian pleasure, and then they spent all day riding around on bikes and playing ping pong and eating free food and getting massages and inventing world-changing things. They're better than you. Google doesn't have problems. Ever. You must have done something wrong.

Please wait 5 days, and try again. If you continue getting this error, please contact support. Sorry, support is only available to Premium customers. Would you like to purchase Premium service? To purchase Premium service, simply log into your domain. Sorry, that domain is no longer active; if you have recently changed that domain, please wait 5 days, and try again. Contact support if you have any questions.

Spolsky unsarcastically describes the same problem: He was unable to find any form of human customer support for Google Apps for Business, despite his willingness to pay for it. "Many people use ... Google Apps ... for crucial things," he concludes. "This posting is a warning of the dangers of doing so."