Monday, December 9, 2013

(Not) Going Dark

Update: With the help of some readers, the problem appears to be solved.  Thanks to all!

Writing this blog has been a great journey for me that I’d like to continue. However, I’m caught in the strange situation of being unable to renew my domain registration. It’s only $10 or so, but after sinking about 15 hours of my time over the past month into trying to get Google to take my money, I’ve made no progress. I’ll describe the gory technical details at the end of this post.

It’s not that my blog will disappear entirely, but I would have to go back to the old Blogspot address or try to register some new domain name. Either way I’d be facing losing my current PageRank which would lead to big loss in readership. I’m not sure yet if I’ll want to continue writing with this kind of setback.

Other bloggers have tried hard to get me to leave Google’s Blogger and use WordPress. I have little doubt that WordPress is usually easy to use and has powerful features. However, when I ask bloggers to tell me about any IT problems they’ve had recently and what they had to do to fix these problems, I get answers that make it obvious to me that I would never do what is necessary to keep a WordPress blog going. It’s not that I don’t have the technical background to fix IT problems. The trouble is that while many of my technical friends get a lot of satisfaction from tracking down and solving computer problems, I detest doing this kind of work. I like math and finance, but fixing computer problems ranks somewhere below cleaning toilets for me.

I still have lots of things I’d like to write about. Of particular interest to me is recent work I’ve been doing on the best ways to turn a retirement lump sum into a lifetime of monthly spending. I want to be able to figure out when I think I’ve achieved financial independence.

The threatened cut-off date from Google is Friday, December 13th (fitting, eh?). I will continue trying to resolve this, but if my blog goes dark on the 13th or sometime shortly thereafter, you’ll know why.

The Gory Details

This story began Nov. 13th with an email from Google complaining that the payment for automatically renewing my domain registration for michaeljamesonmoney.com failed. One of the suggested causes was an expired credit card. This made sense because I did get an updated credit card recently. So, I went to https://www.google.com/settings/account, clicked on Dashboard, signed in, found Wallet/Checkout, and updated my credit card details. Problem solved, I thought.

On Dec. 5th I received another email from Google saying that the registration payment failed. I checked my credit card details (they were correct). I then checked with my credit card company to see if they had rejected any charges (they hadn’t). Just in case this is the problem, I’ve entered a different credit card.

I’ve also hunted around in Google’s help areas and in various chat rooms for possible solutions. Many people have had similar problems and have solved them. But the dozen or so remedies I’ve found haven’t worked for me. The main stumbling block is that most solutions involve logging into https://admin.google.com/michaeljamesonmoney.com/, but I always get the following error message:

You are trying to access Google Admin of michaeljamesonmoney.com but you do not have a valid logged in account for it.

I have 3 different Google identities, but I get this error message for all three. I’ve tried on two different computers without success. So, there you have it. If you’ve read this far and have an idea of how I can fix this or how I can talk to an actual human at Google, I’m interested.

14 comments:

  1. I'm willing to drop by and try to help, as long as there is a beer.

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    1. Sounds good. Let me know when you're coming by and I'll make sure I have a beer available. Maybe even two!

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  2. I hope you keep at it Michael, I'll seek you out if this domain goes dead.

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  3. oh no! I love your blog. If you can't solve your domain problems, do you think you could set it up as an email list? I really want to hear about turning a lump sum of retirement money into a lifetime of monthly spending. Good luck!!

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  4. Have you called a domain name seller like GoDaddy.ca and asked them if they can just transfer the domain name so you are registering and paying for it through them? (You don't have to host your site at the same place that you pay to register your domain. I have my domains registered through GoDaddy but my site host is another company.)

    I would imagine that they can find someone to call at Google as its part of their daily job.

    With luck, this won't matter as BCM will fix it for a very reasonable cost.

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    1. @Bet Crooks: In fact, my domain is registered at GoDaddy. However, I'm pretty sure that Google is hosting the actual data. I never atually had any direct contact with GoDaddy; Google collected my money and had an automated way to tie everything in with Blogger. Perhaps it would be possible to solve my problem by contacting GoDaddy directly.

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    2. Might be worth a try. I pay GoDaddy directly and my host directly and they aren't sure who the other party is, so I'm not much help on this one.

      As for the Google stuff, I expect you already saw the thread at
      http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/apps/BhlbVzVtMhw[1-25-false]

      with ideas like

      google for some reason changed
      the username to be "bloggeradmin@yourdomain.com" with
      the password being the same as your google account's.

      There's some other stuff at the end of that post too. But since I found it, I expect it's one of the posts you already looked at that didn't help.

      Sorry that you're having this hassle. I can never understand company's that make it hard to give them your money!

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    3. @Bet Crooks: I saw that one, but haven't figured out what it means. I've tried going to https://admin.google.com/michaeljamesonmoney.com/ and typing in bloggeradmin@michaeljamesonmoney.com as a user name, but it says I've got the wrong password. I suspect I'm trying to use this user name in the wrong place, though. The point where I'm trying to use it asks for an email address not a user name.

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  5. I am a fan of yours. You could perhaps guest-post on other blogs until there is a resolution of your problems.

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  6. It might be a browser cookie, extension, or some other browser state interfering with access to your account. Try using the Chrome browser in incognito mode, which starts from a "blank slate" in terms of browser state.

    Otherwise, try asking godaddy for help. They might be more responsive than google.

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  7. That sounds like an awful situation. It seems like sometimes if you don't fit the profile of the machine, there's just no way to get help. I hope you can sort this out.

    I enjoy reading your blog as I find the analysis that goes into your posts to be the type of detailed analysis that I look for. As I result I hope there's some way to keep your blog alive.

    If you do decide to change URL's, please include an updated URL before everything goes dark, as I'd be sure to follow you there.

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  8. Please don't go! You are my favourite financial blogger and I love your detailed posts. I keep a very select list of bloggers I read on a regular basis and you're at the top with Canadian Capitalist. I'm not tech savvy enough to help you out with your domain name problems but I would definitely update my links and feed settings if you had to transfer to a new domain name.

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  9. Geez, don't shut this thing down Michael!

    I hope you are correct in saying you found a solution.

    My first option would be what Kevin said, it is likely an issue with a browser extension. Clear the extensions are you are likely good to go.

    Next step would be to email Google Blogger folks:
    https://support.google.com/blogger/?hl=en#topic=3339302

    Last step would be to contact your domain registrar GoDaddy.

    Again, hopefully all resolved now.
    Mark

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