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Buying an Oculus headset to help get your Facebook account back is a risky move

Buying an Oculus headset to help get your Facebook account back is a risky move


It has worked for some, but not others

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The Verge’s Adi Robertson wearing a Quest 2.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Some Facebook users stymied by the company’s seemingly impenetrable support channels have turned to an interesting — and expensive — loophole to get access to their locked accounts: buying an Oculus Quest headset, as reported by NPR. But it doesn’t appear to be a reliable way to get access, as many reports online indicate that the solution didn’t work out for them.

The crux of the issue is that it’s often difficult to know if Facebook is receiving support requests when you submit them through its normal channels. From NPR:

Facebook tells users to report hacked accounts through its website. The site instructs them to upload a copy of a driver’s license or passport to prove their identities. But the people NPR spoke with said they had trouble with every step of this automated process and wish Facebook would offer a way to reach a real person.

“I sent these forms in morning, noon and night, multiple times a day,” [Jessie] Marsala said. “Nobody got back to me, not once.”

Facebook says on its own support site that “we have fewer people available to review IDs because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic” and that reviews “may take longer than usual” as a result. And a Facebook spokesperson told NPR that “we also know that we need to keep improving in this area and plan to invest more in the future.”

The breakthrough, for some people, was a tip they found to buy a headset from Facebook-owned Oculus, which has its own customer support system, according to NPR. NPR spoke with two people who successfully got access to their Facebook accounts after buying an Oculus. But we’ve found a number of reports indicating that Oculus support hasn’t delivered a smoother support experience, so there’s no guarantee that it might work for you.

And even if you are thinking of buying an Oculus Quest 2 to try to get some support help, you can’t actually get one right now — Oculus has paused sales until August 24th.