Google tells hacked Gmail users to wait it out

A growing number of Gmail users are reporting problems with hacked accounts. Password hacking, of course, isn't a new threat. And users ought to be cautious with login information. But what's making users of Google's email system especially frustrated is the company's molasses-slow, user-unfriendly support after their accounts are hacked.

If your account is hijacked, Gmail user Cindy Speer learned, there's very little one can do about it. Google does not offer live customer support for Gmail, and Google will not restore your account unless it remains inactive for five days. That's supposedly a security measure, but we can't help but wonder if it also serves the purpose of discouraging users from pursuing a complaint. To restore their accounts, they also have to fill out an endless series of Web forms — again, ostensibly to aid in Google's investigation, but, we suspect, also to serve as a discouragement to support requests.

One consolation, to Google shareholders, at any rate: At least they can rest assured that Google's customer service department was not involved in the hiring binge that spoiled Google's earnings.