Sorry for the radio silence, but I’ve been locked out of my WordPress.com account for the last couple of days. Actually, I was greeted by this ominous message:
When I saw this message, I probably looked something like this:
And then, after trying to log in a second time as if that might help, I probably looked like this:
It’s also quite likely that I looked like this in the moments to follow:
You might run into this message if you’ve violated the WordPress.com TOS, but sometimes mistakes happen and an account might be suspended in error. Or maybe your account has been hacked and you’ve gotten locked out. There are several reasons why you might see this message unexpectedly.
Luckily, there are real live people working at WordPress.com who are doing their best to make the user experience everything it can be. Considering it costs nothing to blog on their site, I think they go above and beyond.
If you find yourself staring at a message like the one above, the first thing you should do is go to the WordPress.com Suspended Blog page and make sure you haven’t violated their Terms of Service.
If you did violate the TOS, and it was an honest mistake, they might still be able to help you out, but I’d recommend moving to a self-hosted option via WordPress.org.
If you didn’t violate the TOS as far as you can tell, there is a form to fill out at the bottom of the Suspended Blog page. Enter the information requested and try to be brief while giving enough details to be helpful. They don’t need your life story, just the facts.
My advice is to remember that the person who will be reading your message (in my case, a very helpful gentleman named Bryan) is NOT the person who suspended your blog. A lot of these things are done automatically by the system. That said, if you violated the TOS by accident, he or she might still be able to help you get back online. And if a mistake was made on their end, he or she is the person who wants to make sure it’s fixed right away.
I absolutely hate when people “yell” at customer support staff — I see this all the time at Cemetery Dance — and I’d like to mention again that they’re simply human beings doing their job the best they can. Please don’t take out your anxiety or frustration on them.
Of course, now that I’m back on my blog, I look like this:
We’ll return to our regular programming soon. Thanks, as always, for your support!