Dear Friends and Family of Earth & Sky Floral Designs and Gallery (and Shayai Lucero),
I wanted to share with you what has happened to me regarding my personal and business page on Facebook.
On late Saturday (January 19, 2013) afternoon, I was trying to play Words With Friends from my iPhone and kept receiving a pop-up window saying I needed to login into Facebook to continue. So I went to Facebook and got a blue screen. It told me “Logged in as Shayai Lucero. Continue?” So I clicked on continue and told me the “Single log-in is unavailable. Please submit login in information.” I tried and tried and tried and tried and it wouldn’t let me in.
So I started researching (from my phone) and found out that people were having issues logging in. I got home and tried from my husband’s phone. I still could get in. I kept getting lead to the “Facebook Checkpoint” (www.facebook.com/checkpoint) where the message was “You should receive an email from us soon. We appreciate your patience as we complete this process.” Then after receiving that message and I guess from trying too many times, I was then locked out of Facebook and couldn’t access it mobile. I had to connect to a computer and reset my password. I don’t have internet access at home and so I had to wait until the next day to either go to my shop (15 miles away) or get a wi-fi connection (from our local grocery store). I live in a rural area.
So I kept refreshing my email and checking my email address (and spam folder) for the address I associated with my Facebook. I then tried using the Facebook Pages app, Words with Friend, Spotify, Draw Something, SongPop, AP News, and many other apps on my phone that I linked to Facebook and now could not have access to. Now I’m getting more upset!
I wanted to update my business page throughout the weekend because we got new jewelry in and other Valentine’s Day items. I wanted to showcase it. I can’t post anything to either my business page or my personal page.
So the next day (Sunday, January 20, 2013), I did go to the grocery store, reset the password and kept trying and trying to gain access. I went through the ENTIRE Facebook (Online Help Center) suggestions of trying to access: Password reset (4 times), delete app and restore (twice) and would still get directed to “Facebook Checkpoint” with that stupid message. Then I started doing more research online.
From all the articles I have read, including lots of technology blogs, one of four things may have happened: (1) Someone tried to hack my account, (2) Someone complained to Facebook about my online activity, (3) I am too popular because one blog I read said the popular people were having to go through this because of Facebook’s “new ID verification program”, or (4) I clicked on a link or posted something Facebook found inappropriate and against their Terms of Service (maybe it was that Al-Jazeera article I shared regarding the #IdleNoMore movement).
I’ve called their phone number (650-543-4800 – Palo Alto, CA) and was given options. Press 1 for Customer Support: “Thank we do not offer phone support at this time. Please looked on our Online help center and fill out the appropriate contact form for your questions.” Press 2 for Law Enforcement. Press 3 for Business Development and Advertising: “We ask all parties sending inquiries regarding business needs to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.” Press 4 for Marketing. Press 5 for Press. Press 6 for Employment Verification. Press 7 for All Other Support Needs (see response for option 1).
I did try filling out a form requesting reinstatement of an Facebook shut down page, but got a message saying my lack of access was not for that reason.
Finally yesterday (Monday, January 21, 2013) at 1:52 a.m., I received an email from “The Facebook Team” (email address: email@example.com) with the subject “Re: Confirm Your Identity.” The email requests that I submit a color image of my government-issued photo ID confirming my full name and date of birth. It gives me a link to another “Facebook Checkpoint.” From there, is a page requesting the upload and a link to the Facebook ID Policy. I read the ID policy, but never got anymore details as to WHY it has to be done this way.
After reading the email around 3:30 a.m. (I was doing laundry), I sent a reply email back requesting a phone call. I also asked if this was the only way to get back online. I also asked for a reason why I was targeted for the process. I haven’t received a response.
So yesterday (Monday, January 21, 2013), about 4:00 p.m., I came to the shop, did a malware, virus scan (although it would be highly unlikely since I am on a Mac) and then tried to access Facebook. I once again did a password reset. I tried logging in and then was sent to the Facebook Checkpoint asking for an ID. I did take a picture of my ID, covered up my address, License Number, weight, and license classification. All I showed by my name and DOB. After uploading, I was given the “You should receive a message from us soon….” screen message.
I haven’t received an email and have gone on now 4 days without Facebook and app/programs access. I didn’t realize how my small business has come to rely on Facebook. I also didn’t realize how Facebook has taken over A LOT of your online presence. I would think that a multi-million dollar global company should have phone support. I also think that the ID upload may go against some Homeland Security laws about identity. And I also wonder a lot about my own identity. Even though I may have covered up some information on the photo, how can I be reassured that my own identity is protected?
And why me?!? I have 600+ friends and I can tell you how I know these people personally. I have close to 800 followers on my business page. I’m no WHERE near popular as some florists, floral companies, celebrities, etc. I just want this cleared up… and not getting help from anywhere.
Thank you for your understanding as we know many of our fans rely upon our activity on Facebook!
We are back on Facebook! Today we received a letter from an employee at Facebook stating “after investigating this further, it looks like we suspended your account by mistake. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience.” No reason for the suspension… but now we can get back to social media business!