How to get blocked out of all your Google services in less than 10 minutes. Part funny, part painful PSA

How to get blocked out of all your Google services in less than 10 minutes. Part funny, part painful PSA
In this day and age, where account hacking and privacy are constantly at stake, more and more services are offering two-factor authentication — the security process where you not only need to log in with your account and password, but also confirm your identity by entering a unique code, which you get on your smartphone. Google, of course offers this as well, securing all of its services, which are under the roof of your Gmail account. Among these services is Google Voice – it gives you a unified VoIP number and voice mail for all of your devices, so long as they are all logged in your Google account.

Unfortunately, this small fact escaped TWiT.TV host Jason Howell for just a second, and a second was enough. He decided to activate his two-factor authentication while he was live on a show. Without giving it much thought and acting out of habit, something that can clearly happen to anybody, Mr. Howell set up his authentication number to the one issued by Google Voice, not the number of his actual cellphone line.

So, two-factor kicks in, the host gets logged out from all of his Google services, Google Voice included, and now he can't receive the much needed authentication number. It's a catch 22 — in order to get the authentication key, Mr. Howell needs to log in to Google Voice, but in order to log in to Google Voice, he needs the authentication key.

We are sure that Google support was capable of helping out untangle this mess in reasonable time, but still, let this serve as a PSA — always take a breath and consider which number you are punching in when registering for two-factor authentication. Otherwise, you're basically applying for an instant headache.


source: YouTube

FEATURED VIDEO

22 Comments

1. TheOracle1

Posts: 2264; Member since: May 04, 2015

Google offers alternative log in methods if you make that mistake. I know because I've done it before.

3. adi9764

Posts: 119; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

Any content submitted to PhoneArena, becomes the sole property of PhoneArena and cannot be used in parts or in whole without PhoneArena’s consent. All such content expresses the views and opinions of their authors and PhoneArena will not be held responsible for any offensive or racist materials posted.

10. TheOracle1

Posts: 2264; Member since: May 04, 2015

Not really brave. It was a natural mistake since my GV number is my primary number. Fortunately I have three other numbers (two dual-sim phones) one of which I eventually used. To answer your question I also had a backup email for any authentication problems. I must admit I panicked initially.

4. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

lol, you're brave for admitting that. lol, this video is awesome though. It's a shame that there's no method on Google's part that prevents you from entering a Google Voice number. How did you access your account? Did you have the saved authentication codes? Or were you able to use a backup email to unlock your account?

2. Unordinary unregistered

The only gripe I have with Google is there completely s**t customer service with GMail. Oh wait... THERE ISNT ANY. Just automated robot responses asking stupid f**king questions like "name 5 labels you had besides the default ones". B***H I DONT USE LABELS. Tons of more useless crap responses auto generated into some stupid recovery form. Had years and years of important docs on there, all to be hacked; with no option of recovery, because one of the richest tech companies in the world is too lazy to have a real customer support center for the most popular email client. It's one of the reasons I keep choosing Apple. Their customer support tops any other competitors by LEAGUES.

6. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Maybe try calling Google support for some other product with a live support person and tell them your problem, then see if they can get you to live help for Gmail.

8. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

It is like pulling teeth to call them.

9. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I've called then a few times for my phone and it never took more than 5 minutes on hold.

13. Mxyzptlk unregistered

That's for your phone. Might be different for other services.

14. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Yes, but there's only one number for Google support, and since a live person would be transferring you, it would probably go faster.

15. Mxyzptlk unregistered

We all know that usually isn't the case especially if you have experience calling customer service support and getting bounced back and forth between agents and departments.

16. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Really, because I've done that plenty of times, which is why I suggested it. Telling them that your problem can't be solved through a telephone menu or FAQ usually will get them to get you to the correct department I've found. Of course if you treat them the way you do most people here that is the reason why it never worked for you.

17. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Just because you have done it many times doesn't mean it'll be the same for everyone. I've had some success with Google fixing an issue with something I bought but didn't show in my purchases. "Of course if you treat them the way you do most people here that is the reason why it never worked for you." What is that supposed to mean?

18. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I never said it would, which is why I said TRY in my first post. If it doesn't work, TRY something else! I've had good luck with it, maybe you will, maybe you won't. Either way, how the hell would I know if it works for every single person? If you're a snarky dick, people aren't going to want to help you. Is that clear enough for you.

19. Mxyzptlk unregistered

And what I am saying is that just because you had some success with Google customer service in a totally unrelated department doesn't mean he will have the same luck. I think you now see what I was getting at in the last article we had a debate in. I like how you assume I'm a snarky d1ck just because I was clearing up some misconception.

20. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

No duh! I said it's something to TRY, that I had luck with, and MAYBE he MIGHT have the same outcome. Show me where I said it will 100% work. Saying you could try something doesn't mean it will work for certain, just that it MIGHT work. The only thing I see is that you're just being dense as per usual. I'm not assuming anything, I said if you act the same way you do to most people here on PA, they probably won't be as willing to help someone like that out. And you aren't clearing up anything because there was nothing to clear up. You're the one making assumptions that I said it will absolutely work when I merely said it was something to try and see if it does work.

22. Mxyzptlk unregistered

It's all speculation, which is the point I am trying to get you to see. I'm not being dense at all. I'm just trying to get you to see the point, and apparently I'm failing to do that. Oh you were assuming. There's no doubt about it. I just wanted to clear up the misconception, and you're being salty about it. Perhaps you now see what I meant when you were having those ridiculous arguments with me about a week or so ago.

23. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Yes, I've never said it wasn't speculation did I? What I said was try it. I never gave any guarantee that it would work! You're trying to make it seem as though I said all he has to do is to do what I said and everything would be fine, which I never did. I only relayed my experiences, and said give it a try and see if it would work. That's it, nothing more. Have you ever been given advice where they said try it out? One where they gave no guarantee if it would work or not? Did you keep bitching at them like you are here? OK, keep thinking that if it makes you feel better. Again, no misconception to clear up. If anyone's being salty, it's you. All I did was try to give someone another option, and you're dragging this out to infinity. Reactions like this are the reason people don't want to help other people out.

7. Mxyzptlk unregistered

That's what happens when you're a monopoly like Google.

5. digitalfiz

Posts: 8; Member since: Apr 16, 2013

Pretty sure part of the activation process of 2fa is taking and storing a bunch of recovery codes to get into your account in case you lose access to your 2fa app or the sms number you used to link it too. But.... who needs those right?

12. rob5150

Posts: 183; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Exactly, printed my 10 alternative numbers out a while ago.

21. MyJobSux

Posts: 106; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

So i'm seeing at the bottom left corner 'This week in Google'...and this guy cant figure out two factor. When he did finally get the code he was confused where to put it at. Instead of trying to put the code into the main device he was trying to authenticate to he was trying to put it into his phone. Bottom line, i just don't see how these guys, at least 'jason', is a knowledgeable figure on anything Google.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.