6 Jan

Google Doesn’t Support FeedBurner

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The Long Story Short

Google took over FeedBurner and is now providing NO real support for people using the service.

Google, if you are going to acquire these little companies, would you please not ruin the service they offered?

The Long Story

If you are reading this in your own newsreader, like Google Reader, Outlook, or whatever, you are doing so because you are subscribed to an RSS feed. Namely, one at this URL:




Note the “feeds2” prefix. This is a sign that after Google bought FeedBurner, I was a good little citizen and transferred my FeedBurner to my Google account as the 6 months of spams instructed. Well, it turns out that I had a GMail account at the time and a Google Apps account. I wanted my feeds to get transferred to my Google Apps account, as I really didn’t use the GMail account anymore.

No dice, said Google at the time. You must transfer to a GMail account. OK, fine. Transfer complete and all is well.

A few days later, it turns out I CAN transfer to my account to my Apps account. Great! So, I go through the transfer process. But I screwed up somewhere along the way. The feeds apparently did not get all the way transferred before I (sigh) deleted my GMail account.

So, there are several VALUABLE feeds registered to a non-existent GMail account out there. And I can’t get ahold of them anymore. Awesome.

Nor can I apparently reclaim my old GMail account. It is apparently still there, because I can’t create a new GMail account by that name, but neither can I log in to that account.

I admit it, I made a mistake using Google’s software. Which their software allowed to happen. In a situation like this, the typical path is to get some technical support from a help center or something. So, poking around for where to find some help, I find this Google Group.

And (here’s the money shot) apparently a public forum with no Google staff attention is the entire customer support strategy. Yep, you heard me. Google seems to have no mechanism for actually helping users of this system.

I first started a thread (here) in October, 2010 and have bumped it twice. Nothing. A quick scan of the forum reveals that there are MANY others in the same or similar situations. They are getting no love, either.

The Current State

Given that you are reading this, it is clear that the feeds are still working. That’s something, but I am unable to see our stats, add new feeds, or redirect to new source feeds. Here’s hoping we don’t upgrade software for the next 20 years. Good grief.

11 thoughts on “Google Doesn’t Support FeedBurner

  1. Google service, for any of the products, is completely ridiculous. It’s truly sad, especially for paid products…

  2. Welcome to the Google World, no single person is big enough for them to care. Or maybe that is that they are an engineer’s company.

    Sometimes I also think that this is because they make so much money on ads/searching that they know that they just don’t need to care about anything else they offer.

    I had something similar with Blogger (also a Google’s service), no e-mail support contact available, the official support channel is some discussion group which is full of spammers and frustrated users but no actual support is provided there.

  3. It also happened with Nexus One. They decided to go with their own support, instead of offloading it to the carrier. Then people realized Google offered no support at all, and the project was cancelled.

  4. It sounds like a nasty situation but think you’re being a little unfair to the Google. I accept the points you make, to a degree, but would offer two in defence of google.

    – all google services are provided without much/any human support. Humans don’t scale cheaply. However, there products are reasonably robust and come with a wealth of shared online knowledge bases (from google and others). I would prefer this unreal support to real support of an unreliable and unknown service.

    – you deleted the email account, no doubt you have your reasons but it is a pretty drastic action and in my opinion asking for trouble. Please insert technical moral metaphor about deleting here.

    If you’re still reading you’re probably annoyed with me for not giving you some sympathetic story, and I do have bad google stories, but I just felt the Google deserved a stand as they have no humans left to do it for themselves 😉

    long time reader, first time commenter,

  5. @Colum – I buy that.

    I get that I made a mistake. What I don’t get is that there seems to be no way to rectify it. That seems rather silly.

    And yes, I threw a little hissy fit on my blog 🙂

  6. @David

    Fair play to you for admitting that, many wouldn’t. Hissy fits are allowed if they acknowledged 😉 and it was a reasonably measured fit…

    I myself have a google disease known as Jekyll and Hyde, mixing of gmail and google apps documents that isn’t supported well either.

    Would you consider posting to a new feed in parallel and giving notice to subscribers to switch feeds. Then turn off the old one when you’re happy with the numbers on the new account?


  7. @Colum

    I think that may be where I am headed. The iTunes feeds will be easy enough to convert, but this blog feed itself has me worried. Will likely just keep both going until the old one dies in Google’s dungeon (or wherever old feeds go to die).

  8. David, were you ever able to rectify this issue? I have been blindly blogging now for over a month. I have no idea how my feed is doing! It is really frustrating. Would love you know if you were able to get help about this issue. I have never done so many unsuccessful google searches in my life.

  9. Hey David-

    We ran into the same issue here but was able to solve it by using the temporary e-mail address Google assigns to e-mails that migrate to Google Apps.  To transfer your feed sign into feedburner with the following info -username%domain.com%[email protected]

    Worked for us, hopefully it will work for others Googling for a solve as well

  10. Nii,

    This is an incredibly helpful answer to something I’ve been spending hours trying to solve. I had to amend your advice slightly so that I logged in as username%[email protected], which worked. 

    Phewee. Thanks!

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