Google Apps for your domain is awesome, except when it isn’t

I recently bought a new domain name from a domain squatter. I used Sedo as the escrow and started the transfer on October 25th. Sedo are horribly slow and so I didn’t get the transfer completed until November 3rd. The first thing I did once I had the domain was attempt to set up Google Apps for my domain. I entered my domain name on their Standard edition signup form, only to be greeted with the following message:

This domain has been registered and is in the process of ownership verification. If you believe this registration was unauthorized, please have your domain administrator contact Google support.

Ok, so I guess the previous owner used Google Apps too. Figures. That shouldn’t be hard to fix, right? I did a little hunting around and found a Google help page that says:

The first thing to do is to visit the control panel login page for the domain. The control panel login page URL is https://www.google.com/a/your_domain.com. (Note: Your extension may vary eg: .com, .net, .org).

If this is a valid login page and you are the rightful owner of the domain name, you can reset the administrator password to gain access to the account. Please also contact other people in your organization who may be managing this account.

If it’s an invalid login page with a server error, this means the account is currently being deleted and you can sign up again in 5 days.

That’s annoying, but okay. At least I was seeing the server error message they mentioned. I figured I could wait 5 days. Besides, I’d started the transfer 9 days before, so there was a good chance the clock had already started counting.

It’s now November 12th and I’m still waiting for Google to release the account so I can set up my email. That’s 9 days since I got the domain in my possession and 18 days since I initiated the transfer.

I’m posting this in hopes that someone will have some suggestions on what I can do. Google makes it virtually impossible to get in touch with a real person on the Apps team. The fact that Google doesn’t have a straightforward process for resolving this is mind blowing to me.

I can’t possibly be the only person who has run into this situation. Anyone dealt with this before and have any tips on what I should do?

Update 11/13/10:
WIthin a couple hours of posting this, multiple people reached out to me offering to help and my domain was up and running shortly after. A huge thanks to everyone who reached out and got this resolved for me.

  • I was quite content with the Google apps group support

    • It seems they have shut down groups in favor of a new help forum. The forum has lots of people asking the same questions over and over again with no one receiving any helpful answers from Google.

  • Janusz

    I had similar problems when I wanted to migrate from multiple Google Apps accounts into 1 Google Apps account with multiple domain aliases. The aliases cannot be setup when the domain is used in a different account so you need to delete the account first. Only after the deletion you figure out that you cannot add alias immediately and have to wait 5 days. Unforutentely, for this period your emails get lost and the only way out of this is to setup a different email hosting e.g. Windows Live. I probably waited about 10 days to be able to add domain alias. Very painful indeed

    • I feel your pain. Hopefully we can draw some attention to the issues and help them rethink some of their verification processes.

  • I too know what 's the pain that Janusz has been through, since i ve been through this too. i finally had to go for hosted services (email hosting) that is much less troublesome. Well it costs more to get your email system hosted but it's jus more convenient. Specially when you re running a business…