Google Blogger–403 Forbidden–How Could You Let that Happen!

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Dear Dr. Eric Schmidt and Larry Paige,

I realized last night that, as a Blogger blogger, I am a guest in your home or should I say a captive visitor. Darn, I thought I was a welcomed customer. What made this clear was when you locked me in my room and forbade me access to my stuff. My own parents didn’t use the word FORBIDDEN, nor have I ever used it with my child.

Yes, I realize that you at Google did not actually write the script for the 403 error code that uses the word FORBIDDEN, but you’ve been in business long enough to know how it works. You’re at the top. You get all three of the big Ps–the Big Press, the Big Paychecks, and the Big Pain when things go wrong.

Blogger has put on a show of the worst customer service and total random inefficiency I’ve seen in ages. It started about 2 days ago with outages. Then random inability to access Blogger blogs. Last night I was able to reach the dashboard of my Blogger writing blog, but not my blog itself–even from its own dashboard. I received a 403 Forbidden access error, because I was being read as a directory. It told me to contact myself and give me permission!

This was an opportunity for Google to show some care for its customer. Instead here’s the current Google Blog post still up.

Google has an informative, how-to blog for everything, except for it’s Advertising cashcow Blogger.

Google Blog List

You might say, “What about Blogger Buzz?” The Blogger Blog is fun to read and chatty, but it offers little information about how to use Blogger. A post here too might have made me think that Google cared. It also might have made me know for sure that it was a Blogger problem and not a problem with my computer. This is the current post Blogger Buzz.


The email abyss Blogger Help offers a return reply that says go search the help database. Then write again. Of course, then it never answers. Been there. Done that many times. It’s been that way for every email I’ve ever sent.

Google makes products, such as sitemaps, that don’t work on Blogger. To use them people have written scripts on Greasemonkey that go through Firefox to rewrite your software. Blogger customers are forced to get help from other Blogger users. That’s not customer service. That’s leaving customers to fend for themselves.

When I look at your corporate structure, it’s very telling. I don’t find the word customer anywhere.

Google Corporate Executives

Larry, you write ten points that you call the Google Philosophy. You explain each one carefully. I bet most users (that’s what you call us isn’t it?) have never read about them and will be surprised to see them.

Let me remind you what they are.

  1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.
  2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
  3. Fast is better than slow.
  4. Democracy on the web works.
  5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
  6. You can make money without doing evil.
  7. There’s always more information out there.
  8. The need for information crosses all borders.
  9. You can be serious without a suit.
  10. Great just isn’t good enough.

My answer: Get a Blogger blog, and you’ll see that where Blogger is concerned NUMBER 10 IS REALLY NOT A WORRY.

Why not try what Technorati has done recently . . . decide that customers are people who deserve support, not users who will always be there. Hire a full time Blogger Customer Service Team. Don’t make your customers do your work for you. That’s not nice.

How could I possibly, tell a new blogger that Blogger is the platform he or she should use to be successful?

I’m the nice one.


ME “Liz” Strauss

PS. I forgot to mention. I could not get to Blogger Status. I didn’t remember the address. Why don’t you have a link to it under Blogger Help on the Dashboard? There was no notice to go there.

UPDTATE—If you came to this page because you got a 403 Forbidden Error, the URL to find out what’s going on is

That’s where you can get up-to-minute information about what is going on.

Google for some reason can’t see to get that information where people can find it. So they send you to Successful-Blog, because they know that I have it. Bookmark this page because, as we all know Blogger and Blogspot go down A LOT

–ME “Liz” Strauss

Related articles:
Google–Do You Have Something to Tell Me?
Check Google Backlinks Through Yahoo
Google Site Maps–Looking for Lancelot or Guinevere
Google Zeitgeist–Will Make ME Millions

Blogspot Status Link Page


  1. says

    I hear ya.

    I got the royal shaft. Blogger has locked me out of my old blog. It still accepts comments, but I can’t get it to publish anything new, or make any changes to the template.

    It has been a nightmare, having to go to all of the directories I was listed in and trying to edit them to the new URL. Some let you edit, some don’t. Then I have to write and beg for redirect – LOL

    All my feeds are now useless as well. It is extremely frustrating.

    I struggled with it for days, writing letters to Blogger Help and Support, all for naught, so I’m starting over at:

    Enter the Laughter Redeux

    Trying to notify all of my previous links. Trying not to think evil thoughts – LOL

    Marti Lawrence
    Formerly – Digital Doorway:Enter the Laughter

  2. says

    Hi Marti,
    The sad part is the folks who are doing the work are working hard. They’re just expected to do everything. The folks at the top don’t value customers or they would value customer service. They also must not value their own people or they wouldn’t ask them to do so many jobs.

    Leadership is not looking at the bottomline. Leadership is taking care of the people. If you take care of the people, the people will take care of the bottomline.

    Marti, everyone who has spent time on Blogger has felt some version of your pain. But as we say if you get a story . . .


  3. says

    Even though might have been down as well, their RSS feeds weren’t. I was aware of their problems via RSS, rather than via their site. Even though you might not have been aware of it, they were still doing their best to update the users, and show that they were aware of the problems and trying their best to fix them. In your original assessment of them, you listed every page of theirs except the one that mattered, their status page. Maybe cut them a little slack in this instance? Just because you weren’t aware of their efforts doesn’t mean the efforts were nonexistent….

  4. says

    Hi Alan,
    You make really good points. As I said, I think the guys doing the work are heroes. But Blogger is for newbies and unsophicated bloggers, many of whom don’t know about RSS feeds. If they had a Customer Service Team you can bet that status address would be in my face–right there on the dashboard where I could find it.

    It’s the big guys who are at fault here. Not the guys doing the work. They shouldn’t be expected to do two jobs at once.

  5. esther says

    hey i was trying to view random blogs (linked from other friends) just for the sake of it since i was bored, but i received the 403 error for a few. i thought that perhaps non-blogger users were disallowed from viewing the blogs. so i logged in. but the 403 error was still there.
    sorry; i have no idea how to overcome this problem. x.x
    if you could, please reply. thank you. :)

    (btw, i was surfing

  6. says

    Hi Esther,
    I’m delighted that I’m here to help, though there’s not much I can do, except tell you what’s going on. Google is having a problem with their server again.

    The reason you’re here is because Google is not very good at Customer Service, as the article right above us point out, and I got tired of that fact so i decided to do some for my readers instead.

    If you look up the sidebar you will see a link that says Blogger Status Link under the title Pages. That pages will give you the URL address that will take you to the page where Google tells you what’s going on.

    It’s funny isn’t it? People Google to find out what’s going on. Google sends them to me, so that I cen tell them where to go to Google.

    What’s happening at this moment is that one of their servers has gone wonky AGAIN and it’s not allowing the blogs on that server to be published to or to be viewed. So the folks involved–both blog owners and blog readers–are stuck just waiting until the Google guys can fix it.

    Don’t blame the Google guys, they are heroes. It’s the folks they work for, who don’t give them enough to work with and who don’t know the word “customer.”


  7. Dwight Stegall says

    When you receive Google Error 403 Forbidden simply delete the cookies and sign in again to get fresh cookies. It’s that simple.

    I don’t know what causes this error or how to fix it. But this is a good workaround until a fix is discovered.

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