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Gmail Horror Story Continues  (View post)

Pedro [PersonRank 0]

Thursday, March 9, 2006
8 years ago

«inconclusive» and «we're not able to provide further assistance» tells me Google doesn't have anything on this guy. That looks like a subtle way of saying «We believe this is bogus, but can't or won't tell you what we know about "Bob" in public, whether he really is or not a Gmail user».

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Pedro, I submitted full details to Google and filled two questionnaire as requested. They do have my details and they do know who I am.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

yeah what is the big deal here ?? If theymessed up – then just let the user know that an inevitable incident occured and apoligies- afterall its a free services.

bu after all this brurahaha, Google should not have just sent the std reply to the user.. its like a slap in the face for the user.. how pathetic of Google!!

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Typical "corporate bland" response.

or [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

well, one of the problems is that it really may be inconclusive. If it the account was deleted, it may be difficult to figure out if someone physically deleted the account, if some script on the computers Bob was using had something to do with it, or if it was a problem with google's servers. It may be difficult now that the account has been deleted to figure out the cause.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

or: While that may be true, all I'm seeking right now is a solution, i.e. the restoration of my account regardless of the cause of deletion. But even that isn't being done.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

hey Bob, just get yourself an gmail invite and keep moving forward..!!

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

/pd: I'll do that, but I'm really hoping that Google can be a wee bit more helpful here and try to accommodate me. With essential email being delivered to my account, I do need access to it once again, even if all my emails have been lost.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Bob, So you cant use your old accountID ?? thats strange, if the account and data has been deleted then the Account Directory will not have a pointer to your userID /Email-Id. and therefore should permit you to create one.

Does anyone know what is the aging process that Google uses ?

e.g long long time ago in a far away glaxay hotmail held the userid/email for 30 days before it finally purged out and could recyled /used once again..

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

/pd: Negative; I can't register a new account using my previous ID. That doesn't come as a huge surprise since Google does seem to "hold" deleted usernames for extended periods of time.

or [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

while getting a new account, I would say to continue trying to get a better response from google, maybe something will turn up. I remember someone with yahoo mail having a related but not the same problem where access to an account was needed. It took more than a month, and all kind of people requesting yahoo for help, until finally access to the account was given.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Actually, I've had an account-related issue with Yahoo previously, but they were very gracious about it, and resolved it within 48hours after we exchanged a couple of emails. My experience with them was definitely pleasant. But who knows, this issue with Google might work out. I'm hanging in there.

Wouter Schut [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Bob, create 3 gmail accounts just to be save! Just forward all your mail to account 2 and 3 :P

These are for you:

mail.google.com/mail/a-ebb99a0 ...
mail.google.com/mail/a-ebb99a0 ...
mail.google.com/mail/a-ebb99a0 ...

Mark Draughn [PersonRank 5]

8 years ago #

Not to blame the victim, but situations like this are the reason I use paid services for all my important stuff. It's not that the product is better, but the customer service is a lot more motivated when they want your money.

I only pay seven seven dollars a month for my blg web hosting and email, and it's not nearly as cool as gmail, but they always answer my email and so far they've always fixed my problems. My photo hosting service costs $100/year, and I've received live responses at 3am from the programming staff.

Anyway Bob, good luck, and maybe all this publicity will help you out.

Jesse [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I think if bob were lying he would have left after people started questioning whether or not it was true. The fact that he has stuck around makes it more likely it's true, IMHO

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Mark Draughn: I do hope so, although the signs aren't looking good. :/

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Jesse: Exactly. My story is valid, and I'm probably one of the many people who've been scalded by similar circumstances in the past. I'm thankful that my story has received comparatively more publicity.

If only Google would only respond in a more helpful fashion.

Michael [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Sorry – I posted this on the other thread before I realized we were to post here.

Here's a quick tutorial on how to backup your Gmail account using Outlook, just in case anyone needs it. Best of luck to you, Bob.

Link:

betapundit.blogspot.com/2006/0 ...

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Let me play devil's advocate here.

When you delete a Gmail account and try to log in, Gmail does not tell you "The account you attempted to access has been deleted." There is a very good reason for this. The account has been _deleted_! (You can delete your account from the Google Accounts page).

Remember the issue of Google keeping your e-mails around for ever and ever? It's a problem. They don't need evidence out there that they are doing it.

There is no evidence period that Google is keeping track of deleted accounts that I have seen.

Where are the screenshots backing up Bob's claims?

Why would Google have a programmatic error message that has only ever been used once? I searched for Bob's error message. It has

a) only been used once
b) been made up
c) only been posted to the internet by Bob

If Google did have such a strange error message for manually deleting accounts, which we would assume would be for a very good reason, why would they offer to allow you to create a new one?

Why, after there is internal company pressure from Googlers who read this blog, would they send Bob a boilerplate error message? My gut tells me they are abiding by their privacy policy, and that there is no deleted account. They would save a bit of face here if they could. I see personal requests satisfied on WebmasterWorld all the time.

Like I said, i'm just playing devil's advocate. I didn't see anyone else doing it. In the process I found a lot of questions that do not have satisfactory answers.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Brian Mingus: What screenshots are you talking about? Error messages? Refer to Philipp's post in the previous 'Gmail Horror Story' thread – he verified my claims. Surely you trust him? He even provided a link to the blog post of another Gmail user under similar circumstances.

No one said that Google manually deleted my account. The fact is that we DON'T KNOW what happened, and that's what we want to find out. And no, I don't know either why they officially responded that way despite [some] pressure from fellow Googlers.

You can view the error messages I did by doing exactly what I described in my very first post on the original thread. They're certainly not made up.

Gmai *DOES* keep track of deleted accounts as far as I can tell. I invite you to create one, and attempt to delete it. Then try to create a new account with the same username. You'll find that the username isn't available.

¥€$ [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

> Wouter Schut
> mail.google.com/mail/a-ebb99a0 ...
> mail.google.com/mail/a-ebb99a0 ...
> mail.google.com/mail/a-ebb99a0 ...

And this time, don't forget to change the secondary mail address...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

To explain, I did not verify "The account you attempted to access has been deleted". What I verified was that emails to non-existent accounts bounce, and that there's this message: "There are no accounts in our system with the E-mail address usermame[put at-character here]gmail.com which you entered." (This is not at all to say that the first message is non-existent – I just didn't verify it!)

/pd [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Philipp , were you sending from another (non) gmail account ??

The response I get from (my) gmail to a dummy/Fictious email account is ;

"This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:
   blabhlahbl[put at-character here]gmail.com
"

The Contents of the Err Msg is totally different from what you are mention. What conditions trigger variants of an err msg ?

/pd [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Ok I tried something else and I got this as error ;

===================================
Hi. This is the qmail-send program at yahoo.com.

I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following
addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

<blabhlahbl[put at-character here]gmail.com>:
64.233.185.114 does not like recipient.
Remote host said: 550 5.7.1 No such user 15si841856wrl
Giving up on 64.233.185.114.

============================

I tracked via Arin.net to verify the source IP- maps into Goog's ASN!!

/pd [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Hey Bob,

Could you pass me the TRUE state "NO such user <<whatever> ?? Or rather whatever is the ASCII notation of your useid is /was!!

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Pd, the error message I cited I received when trying to revover a lost password for a non-existent Gmail account. As bounce message, I'm getting this:

From : <postmaster[put at-character here]mail.hotmail.com>

"This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

Delivery to the following recipients failed.

   hellomynameisphilensse[put at-character here]gmail.com"

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

/pd: I don't understand your question?

When I was testing, I sent an email from another Gmail account to my now-apparently-vanished Gmail account. I'm sure I received a bounce message, though I can't remember what it was specifically.

Philipp has my Gmail username; perhaps he can test that?

/pd [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Philipp, I hear you now – that was PWD recovery procedure err msg.

earobinson [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Still no word from google? This is really bad, did you have any other google services under the same account like news, or search history? If so can you still access them?

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

earobinson: None at all. Last thing I received was the email Philipp pasted in his post.

My entire Google account seems to have been deleted, so no, I can't access any of Google's services using it.

Does anyone know a Gmail rep I can speak to?

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I'd like to sincirely thank to everyone who's attempted to help so far – Philipp L, Peter D, etc. Including the many people who have offered words of advice, and tips on how I should deal with the situation.

Right now it's down to Google themselves. I'm hoping that they'll be able to bend over backwards to investigate this issue thoroughly and restore my account. There are a couple of Googlers who *seem* to be working on this, but I don't know for sure what's really happening behind the scenes.

If you could help in your own little way, please do. From increasing publicity of my situation to bringing this thread's attention to a Google rep – it's all welcomed.

Josue R. [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Need help on experiment:

I have created and deleted a gmail test account but I cannot install nor use my Gmail FileSystem on this PC now. I would like to see if there is any way to login via this method.

Gmail ID: 123tester123
Password: tester123

Could someone login with this user/pass using Gmail FileSystem and tell me if you are successful?

Ludwik Trammer [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Josue, Gmail FileSystem is a 3rd party application that uses the same login method as e-mail users. It doesn't has more privileges.

Neil [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Bob do u use IE as a browser? I found on:

groups.google.com/group/Gmail- ...

they have menationed in a few groups that the browser one is using may make a difference.

David [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Well certainly there's an incentive for him to create this kind of story. Companies do this all the time to competitors on the internet. You'll find fake horror stories on many consumer reports sites. He's already promoted Yahoo in this thread. I'm just saying...

But I think I'll be downloading one of the GMail backup programs, just in case. ;)

Gamzutov [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Bob:
I do hope your email has a full recovery and you inform the rest of it soon.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

huh ?? David when you download a gmail backup program and get it workin g, let us know what you use.

David [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Actually, I noticed Michael's tutorial for using Outlook to back up GMail into a PST file. It worked very well except it only let me download 250-350 messages at a time, so I had to keep pressing 'receive'. Which took a while considering I have more than 10,000 emails in my account. The other downside is it doesn't preserve your labels, so your emails will be unsorted.

betapundit.blogspot.com/2006/0 ...

Also, for the record Yahoo deleted my entire email account once. I think it's because I didn't login for around a month.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

yes the forwarding idea works well, but I am a little hestiate to reach the .pst outlook bloat size limit during the process!!

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Neil: No, I use FireFox.

David: I'm one of the biggest Google fans you can find around. Me creating this thread and making up such an elaborate story would be a huge blow under the belt if it was solely to tarnish Google's image. I was simply relating my experience with Yahoo.

I'll keep all of you updated. The timer stands at ~60hours and counting.

SAS [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #


   Did you try pop access to your acount?

   My two cents

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

SAS: Yes, that didn't work either. It's pretty clear that Google no longer recognises the existence of my account. I've tried logging on to other Google services such as Google Alerts, but zilch.

Andrew Hitchcock [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

I just deleted an account that you can all use to test:

super.duper.awesome.person[put at-character here]gmail.com

I removed my secondary contact first. When I try to login, I get this:

"Username and password do not match."

Using the "forgot the password" system yields this result:

"There are no accounts in our system with the E-mail address super.duper.awesome.person[put at-character here]gmail.com which you entered. If you spelled the address incorrectly or entered the wrong address, please click here to try again. "

Note: for some reason I was still logged into Gmail with the deleted account, so I could read e-mails and send them. I just logged out, so I don't think I'll be able to get back in (it seems to just be a flag checked during login saying "deleted"). Now, trying to reply back to that e-mail I sent from the deleted account, I get this:

"Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:"

Finally, when I try to recreate the account, it says this name is unavailable.

Andrew

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Andrew: That's pretty much what I'm experiencing, except I didn't delete my account.

Any idea how long they hold usernames for, before they release it into the registration pool?

sam [PersonRank 3]

8 years ago #

Bob, why dont you post screenshots of the error messages you get? that might be helpful..

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

sam: Is that really necessary? Several users above (Philipp, /pd, Andrew, etc.) have successfully reproduced the errors that I'm receiving. And they've already been fully documented in my original post.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

And also, a screenshot can be faked easily...

Josue R. [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

From Gmail help Center

"If you don't log in to Gmail within three months of it being labeled dormant – or for nine consecutive months – Google deletes all messages in the account, closes it, and recycles the username."
mail.google.com/support/bin/an ...

"Once you close your Gmail account, you can't reactivate it, and you won't be able to retrieve any messages. After a certain period of time, Gmail recycles your username, so we can't guarantee that it will be available if you decide to open another Gmail account."
mail.google.com/support/bin/an ...

It does not tell you how soon can you use recylced usernames.... so Bob, expect a nine-month wait – sorry.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Yikes, I certainly hope not! I'm trying to get them to release the username into the pool. There's no reason they should be holding it back if I, the original owner, need it re-registered to me once again.

Kevin [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Josue R., gmail support said nothing about waiting for 9 months. what it's saying is:

if your gmail account is considered dormant (probably log in infrequently), AND you don't login for another 3 months,

OR

if your gmail account hasn't been logged in for 9 months straight,

THEN gmail will close down your account.

Bob said the gmail account is his main account, so I doubt either situation applies to him.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I think what's important to realise is that my *entire* Google Account has vanished – it's not just Gmail. I think I fall under a different set of circumstances.

Allen [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I don't know why they request so much information only to tell you "Sorry" – As I mentioned before, I went through the exact same thing a while back. I understand how much this sucks, and you have my deepest sympathy on the matter. Gmail is a many splendid thing – when it's working for you not against you.

I posted a blurb on my blob about my/your experience and my current use of gmail. The keywords, here: If you use gmail again, backup your account on your own machine.

my.opera.com/ThePrawn/blog/sho ...

Allen [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

By the way – this happened to me far longer ago than nine months--over a year--and my original address still hasn't been released to the public. (I'm extremely confident it's not something that would be registered by someone else.)

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Allen: Well written.

It's shocking to know that your username has yet to be released.

If only a Gmail team member could enlighten us on this issue.

Kevin [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

It's not just gmail... you're just as liable to lose your mail on thunderbird, on outlook, your OS X Mail app. in fact, your laptop can be stolen, your hard drive can crash, or your house can be broken into and your PC can be stolen.

for all the people telling Bob he deserved it because gmail is beta – do you think microsoft or mozilla won't lose your data? or maxtor or western digital or dell won't lose your data? what does it have to beta?

backing your important data up in a different physical location is always considered good practice, whether the primary location of your data is web-based or in your physical PC.

Chani [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

the worst part about this, and many other situations I've seen, is google's response – or lack thereof. it seems like you're *lucky* to have gotten that "sorry we're never going to help you" message – at least you know they read your email. most of the time they just seem to ignore people. do they have only one customer support guy for the whole company? or are they just arrogant? it's not like they can't afford to hire more people :P
*sigh* I guess google's just another company. not the magical perfect being we want to see it as. but really, their lack of real humans responding to people is very frustrating.

CapnKernel [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Josue R. wrote:
> so Bob, expect a nine-month wait – sorry.

Pregnant pause?

CapnKernel [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Google says:
> 'Gmail is an experiment in a new kind of webmail, built on the idea that you should never have to delete mail

... because Google does it for you?

Thinking... [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

The one person who said they deleted their gmail account and then created a new account and, somehow, had access to their old account----Bob have you opened a new account in an attempt to see if that is possible?

Hey, if there are features built into a software system, they might work for everyone irregardless...

Just a thought.

Another thought.....I have not gotten SkypeOut for the simple reason that a bunch of forum users said their help system was nonresponsive.

My point...if Google is nonresponsive or at least not helpful---that may not bode well in the future when competition appears around the corner to Google. And, wait, no one can ever believe they are invincible!!

Customer service is always where it is at!!!

Derek [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

You guys all say that Gmail is beta and is still testing.

Google news came out of beta just a few weeks ago? And how long had it been in Beta? a year and a half or somethign like that.

Beta is just Google's way of getting attention to their products

gadget-girl [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Long, long ago, when the earth was green, it was my job (amongst other things) to train people to do tech support for Another Webmail Provider Who Shall Remain Nameless.

This was about five years ago, and so I don't remember all the gory details (sorry), but I do remember some things which are probably valid for Gmail too and which may be of interest:

1) Every webmail system I've ever head of has been database-driven. Database records get mangled sometimes. If a database record needs to be corrected manually (and to me this sounds like it would, although since I don't know Google's inner workings it's only an educated guess), it's going to need to escalate up the support ranks to someone who has access to such things. That will take time – more time than you would expect. Keep pushing. If someone sees several follow-ups on the ticket, they will start worrying about their turn-around times getting lowered over one ticket and escalate.

2) There are US federal regulations that affect e-mail providers (remember being asked how old you were? That's one of them.). They apply to all e-mail accounts, no matter where the e-mail account holder lives. Be as indignant as you like – I'm Canadian and it applies to my webmail accounts too, if they are run by American companies. There are also anti-fraud/anti-identity theft rules about recycling user IDs as well. Think about it: otherwise, someone could get your password somehow, delete your account, and set up a new one with the same ID before you even had a chance to find out you had your account deleted. Or "bad guys" could delete their account and then launder their ID to cover their e-mail tracks (or at least try to).

One of the rules is about keeping e-mail. The e-mail providers, free or not, beta or not, have to keep your e-mail in case the authorities decide they want to read it (yes, there is a separate privacy debate regarding this, but that's another thread). Again, I can't remember the exact numbers, but I do know that the providers have to keep the e-mail for far longer than they would ever support restoring it to the user in the case of an accidental account deletion. Note again this is a US federal restriction, not a corporate decision.

3) It makes total sense to me that Bob's other Google services for his user ID don't work anymore in addition to the Gmail. From a data point of view, it's most likely all the same record, just with different flags set for each service he actually used. Again, I don't know Google's particular set-up (see disclaimer in point #1), but I don't know how else they would do it.

None of the above should be news to anyone who's thought about how webmail and related services work, and the privacy issues are publicised in all the usual places.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I've created a new Google account, but obviously would still like access to my now-vanished account.

Hopes of a recovery are diminishing rapidly at this point of time. :/

Brinke Guthrie [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Google doesn't respond to help inquiries............ever. you're lucky if you get a form letter.

That's the one thing that can bring the entire company down.

Arrogance.

Happened to the Roman Empire, and it can happen here.

Believe your own hype, and one day you will be sunk by it.

Ignore the end user at your own peril.

Gish [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Bob,

I completely empathise with your situation, and whole heartedly wish you the best of luck in retrieving your emails, and restoring your email account.

My suggestion for a redundant system, is to register whatever domain name you wish to have. Have your email redirected to that google account, and download it locally for reading.
Also forward a copy of the email onto a 2nd account of large size (non google, as we are only supposed to have one account per person)

If gmail.com goes down permanently (if the company goes bust) you have your own domain name, and email address on that.

The local downloaded copy of the email provides some redundency for gmail account deletion/outage/acts of god.

If the aforementioned act of god/outage is prelonged, just set the forward to address on the domain name (most good registration companies offer this free email forward feature) to point to a newer gmail/whatever account.

If your local drive fails, restore from gmail.

If your local drive and gmail fails, restore from the 2nd account

If your 2nd account fails, you probably wouldnt notice because you are running off your primary account.

I would also probably suggest 2ndary DNS servers on your website. Just in case you 'miss' mail that is sent.

Long winded, I know. But that is what I currently run. Call me over pre-cautious, but I know what its like, as hotmail has closed my account (due to not logging in every 30 days) 4 or 5 times now.

Once again, good luck mate. Our thoughts are with you.

Cheers
Loughlan (aka Gish)

jessica [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Bob,
Do you use any other Google services? I recently had something similar happen to me. I used my 2ndary Gmail account to set up a Google pages account. Then I decided to take the page down and I didn't want people to have my username, so I took down the page. When I decided the pages account, it also deleted my Gmail account. :(Luckily, it was just a 2ndary account, I have another one that I use everyday.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Thanks for the tips Loughlan.

jessica: I use Google Alerts, have an account on Google Pages, etc. But I can't access any of these any longer as my entire Google account was deleted.

I didn't do *anything* (that I know of) which might have caused my account to vanish. It's a mystery which Google doesn't seem to want to let us into.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Gadget_girl , good feedback.. me2 is canadian and as an FYI..

1) Pushing the incident from tier1 to tierN support to expert level within an enterprise like google does not work. The Gmail team only has 5 suppport people at the desk. (at least thats what I was told). They dont use enterpise tracking as its of no value to them. Secondly the volume of incident is so great that they just dont /cant wade thru the mess. Thirdly, there are no SLA --as such. (use at your own risk). So there are no charge back costs to the end-user or some sort of company (small businss) for service and incident handling.

2) US Federal law is attached to the last listening post – called as the 'soxs line" . Provisioning and data rentention is mandated to be a min of 5 yrs + current yr. In Canada its 6 yrs plus current and in EU its 3 yrs+ current. As for RU and CN its a totally different propostion. Asia Pacfic's follow the EU mandates.

3) AS for the entityuser data set --it would like something like user(UserId , [Account1, Account2, Account3,.... AccountX]) thats something which is a list of services for a specific user. I think that the userID got currupted and in the bargin all pointers to the usr's data is lost.. thus creating "zombie transaction".. its there-- but just impossible to find, as the pointers would all be system generated linked to a seeded hash key run over ssl.. and me thinks-- that them 5 helpdesk dudes/dudettes will not have the time or spend the efforts to decrypt the whole scenario and issue...

fwiw.. i think this is a unique case..where google are even surprised and are trying to figure out what happened,. I dont think that this incident would be a nice one to occur, once they begin the hosted /paid email services of google.. so its easier for them as a company to turn the "nelson's eye" on the enduser (at this stage) and not communicate anything.

After all, what are they (goog) going to say ?? Life is like a boobons ass-very colurful and full of S#*^ , and we just cont figure out what went wrong ?? shareprices will drop from the $320 mark down to $20!! Its a tricky situation. I actually sympathize with both parties on this issue (googs and bob!!)

Remember the Sox's Line – by virture of being a public company they have to be very careful on how such issues are resolved as well as communicated.

..... its just NOT about Bob at all ..its much much bigger!!!

Josue R. [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Gish: i've been doing what you suggested Bob to do for such a long time now its been a life-saver.

There's nothing like good ol' backups with different services. I always suggest people i encounter the same advice – buy one domain ($5 – $7 per year) then create a forwarding address and give that address to your contacts. Should your primary account fail, you have a backup somewhere else.

Since i've started to use this method, spam has reduced by 70% on my old accounts, because i no longer use or give out my real inbox email, just my forwarded address. Yes i know, i gave alway my trick to all you damn spammers (screw you and your annoying spam emails!).

technologymadness.com [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

O boy! This is really horrible to loose your account. I am trusting google and pouring all my mails (imp, semi-imp and non-imp and app pictures) This is truly eye opening story and didn’t realize that how much my life evolve around google. And now google is coming with online storage. Looks like they are committed to store whole world’s information. This is very scary!

Good luck Bob!

technologymadness.com

vijay [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

hi all techies,

Bob, really sorry for you. I am also having my primary email ID as gmail and neither I have any backups.

Further, now, I have got about 800 MB of email data, which I will have to backup. Which is the pain to download. So was just hunting for some alternative I can find. I just realised about yahoo pop feature, which allows you to collect mails from other pop's. (Not promoting yahoo in anyway)

So gave a try. But it's not able to import mails. Have done all the things corretly in gmail settings, problem seems to be out there at yahoo setting. Can someone guide. I feel, many will be helped by it, who can;t afford to download all emails for backup on slow connection.

Thanks
vijaymehta.blogspot.com

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Josue: Funny enough, I used to own a domain (still do) and gave out my email address based on that domain to everyone. The trouble is that I was using my webhost's email services which were frequently giving me problems. I considered forwarding emails from that address to a service like Gmail, but then there would be problem of having a different From address from a Reply-to address. It can be done most definitely, but pretty messy once people start sending emails directly to my Gmail account, etc. Eventually I completely migrated to Gmail and with the hype around Google, I naively thought that my data here would be safe and secure. I was proven wrong evidently.

If it's any consolation to me, heh, I'm glad that my story is helping people out there take precautions so they can avert a similar disaster.

No word from Google still at this point of time, and to be honest, I don't have any hopes left.

As much I think Google is being irresponsible, I can only blame myself for not forseeing such an event, and taking the necessary steps to mitigate any possible damage.

Oh well.

[Fake Larry Page] [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

I and Sergey are very disappointed in our company. It really is terrible that we did this and then didn't do something about what we did. I think we will have to quit and start again. Damn.

Owen Phelps [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Bob said:
>>> considered forwarding emails from that address to a service like Gmail, but then there would be problem of having a different From address from a Reply-to address. <<<

FYI that was my problem for a while too. But recently Gmail has added the facility to specify a different From address (in addition to specifying the Reply-To address if you like). You can create a number of From addresses, specify one as the default and choose a different one from a list on an email-by-email basis.

So you can keep your personal domain but use Gmail behind it in exactly the way you'd like. That's what I do now, and it's fine.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Owen Phelps: Yep, I'm aware of the recent feature introduction. If it was implemented earlier, I probably wouldn't in dire straits like now.

Dinesh Cyanam [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

So sorry about the reply google gave u Bob....

Well about the account deletion....like I deleted a goolge account of mine...including gmail sometime in October 2004. From what I remember, Google Help said that all account info will be held in their database for 6 months and then purged and the username given out to the pool.

I have tried couple of times to register that name again but it says that the account is not available. Infact, I tried it once again jus a few minutes back but it still sayas the same. So, i jus not sent a mail to that <old address>[put at-character here]gmail.com and I got a Delivery Status Notification mail saying "Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently"

I am really not sure why that username has not been released to the pool even 1 year after it was supposed to be deleted.

Gnascher [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Bob,

If you're so disappointed with your experience with Gmail, then why do you continue to use it?

Could it be that, despite your disappointing experience, it still happens to be the best free internet-based email system out there? If not ... why don't you shop elsewhere.

If you don't like the service you've received, take your business elsewhere. Simple.

You relied upon a system clearly labelled as undergoing Beta testing without a backup. Your data got lost, and now the creator of the system is essentially saying "too bad, so sad".

You know this now ... don't keep all your eggs in one basket ... keep copies of your eggs everywhere. Now stop polluting the internet with your whining about your loss of data at the hands of Google.

You probably hit the delete link yourself anyway...

Just wondering [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #


The data you had saved in your email account was of type mp3/divX etc.? Some authority might be investigating you and your account and it might be suspended/blocked for this reason.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Gnascher: Your statements are simply put ridiculous and unwarranted.

Just wondering: I had at the very most 1 or 2 mp3s, although chances are I had none. I don't think they're investigating me for that.. they've got way bigger fish to catch.

Jim [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

This is a weird suggestion, but... have you tied going through consumer advocates, such as Consumer Reports, the BBB or even better one of those "Channel 7 On Your Side!" news features where the news reporter will help investigate the problem and hopefully get the issue resolved?

Often big companies won't listen to one person, unless that one person has a major news organization backing him up ready to write a story about it.

Luke [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Well, it's already made the front page of DIGG! (www.digg.com). That should get some people looking into it.

Will [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Bob was not foolish for trusting Google with his critical data. On the contrary, Bob was doing exactly what Google invited him to do.

Google is offering a vision of the future of computing where applications move from the desktop to the web and all of your personal data is stored, safe and secure, on Google servers, where you can access it quickly and conveniently from anywhere.

Google want us to trust them. They want to store our email, our search history, our documents. They want to store all of our data. This is Google's avowed mission: to organise the world's information. All of it. They want to be the stewards of all of the information in the world. If they can't even be trusted with the integrity of one man's email, their vision of the future takes a couple of black eyes.

Bob may have been foolish for trusting *Google* – but not because it was stupid to keep his critical email on a web-based service, or on a "beta" seervice. If there was any foolishness here, it was for trusting Google to keep its promises.

Oh, and the silly flames from the Digg crowd. Those were foolish too.

grafenberg [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

dugg innit. 10's of thousands of people around the world all sympathizing for you right now innit.. ;-)

good luck,

danfromfla [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I hate to break it to you, but Gmail is a FREE service. Unless you were paying for a service-level-agreement (SLA) on your mailbox, those nice folks at Google don't need to spend time trying to fix every mailbox issue. As an fellow email administrator, I can appreciate the time and resources that it takes to keep a system like Gmail up and running. There will ALWAYS be unexpected things that occur, and it is up to us to minimize those occurrences.

As a person who utilizes free services, you need to make sure that you have good backups. Never leave important data solely in the hands of such a provider. Having an SLA helps, but having your data in multiple places is invaluable. The thing to note is that Google has no obligation to internet users, they do their best to satisify the majority of their clients, and to make money in the process. It may not be a perfect arrangement for us individuals, but it sure beats having nothing to use.

-danfromfla

Mike [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

While I feel for you Bob and I hope things work out for you, I also place no blame on google. The fact of the matter is that if you are using a beta as your primary mail resource it is YOUR responsiblity to back up your data. Take the responsibility and stop trying to put it on google for offering a free beta service that you used as if it were a production ready product for which one might expect to pay actual money...

Eric [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Gnascher you and every other person here telling him he is stupid and it's his fualt makes me disgusted to be considered part of the human race

what ever happened to being kind to people

oh yeah, greed and power and most of all arrogance

Brian N [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Bob,

I hope everything works out for you. I have a gmail account as well but luckily haven't had any real problems with it. Don't mind the people saying the same junk over and over. They obviously don't have much to do today and don't have anything constructive to say.

RRS [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Look...I understand your dire straits....but why on Earth would you trust a FREE web-based email system as your primary? That is crazy!!

Mike [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

What is the world coming to when talking about personal responsibility is considered cruel?

LOL

Sympathetic [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

I use gmail as my primary e-mail and i think that Goggle is at fault. it shoulent matter if you pay for it or not....Google advertises gmail and they should take responsibility for what happens to it. it is a beta but the fact is that they are still offering it without any warning about it not working well. the only way you can tell its beta is by the little beta at the bottom of the logo. i dont think your wrong for wanting them to fix their mistake, i would do the same thing. Google is a good company and i have all the trust in the world for them. they will take over the internet soon.

D-man [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I would like to hear Google's side of this. There has to be more to this story than what we've heard from Bob so far. Why would Google blow away an account unless it violated the TOS in some way?

CJ Millisock [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

I trust Google's free web-based email system as my primary, and I wouldn't regret it if I were Bob. Like Bob, I'd wait a while in hopes of getting the old one back, but then I'd sign up for another one. Why? Because Gmail is the best thing to happen to email in a long long time. In the past, checking email was a chore. Gmail helps a ton with the idea of archiving and the conversation view.

I hope you get your account back, Bob.

Sympathetic [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Finally someone else is human and has sympathy for Bob.

Dave [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Everyone, please stop telling this guy the same thing over and over again. He is not trying to blame Google. He just wants a little help from them. Sure this is a free product but Google still gets their money from it even if it is not direct. He knows he should have backed up and I am sure he will in the future. Let it be. Move on. Google is a good company and Bob is a good person. Let's just stop with the blame and focus again on why Bob first posted... simply to get help with his email. Bob, good luck with everything and with all the stress and you are dealing with you have seriously earned a nice night out with possibly a steak dinner or something (or all you can eat shrimp... wow that sounds good). Please send me some rolls and mashed potatoes.

obvious guy [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Sorry guess I was a little harsh, I see that you have contacted google and they offered you NO help at all...I say don't let it end there though take it a step further until google either restores your account with all your data intact or until they give you a proper explanation of what happen to your account and why it can't be recovered, good luck buddy and sorry for being so rude the other day.

Best of Lucky..
The not so obvious guy. =)

PasserBy [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Have you considered suing Google? You have enough written evidence (both from you and other bloggers) to suggest that you were wronged by Google. Regardless of whether you win or not, it will be a sure fire way to bring this issue into the fore front so other users are treated with respect in the future.

David K. [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

It's really a shame...not just that your email was lost, but that Google's response was so inappropriate. On the one hand, it is a free beta service, and that comes with a certain amount of CYA. On the other hand, I think most people have come to have a certain amount of trust with Google's services, and it's really out of character for them....not to have a glitch (that can be expected with any computer service), but to handle the response so poorly.

Everyone who is screaming to sue them, though, should just back down. I think that even our unfortunate host knows he wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on with a case like that.

Goat [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Yeah, a lawsuit. What are you twelve?

mail.google.com/mail/help/term ...

Read section 1.

Artea [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I just dont believe his story. Google deleted his account, and no other people have come forward and said it's happened to them as well...

makes me think one of two things:

1) you are doing this for attention (self deletion)
or
2) you got hacked.

either way, it's your fault. If your data was really that important you would have backed it up. If this really happened to you, you WOULDN'T have made another gmail account to use. Seriously now...
I think its sad that people are sticking up for you when there is no way right now to say one way or the other what happened. Hell, you even said you don't know what happened.

Bolob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Something about this story doesn't add up. I think Bob is leaving out something.

Based on the alleged response he received from Google, it sounds like Google purposely deleted the account. It is highly unlikely that his entire Google account just vanished by accident. I'm sure a single Google account is made up of information from mulitple databases. If it were just the email account that was gone, it might seem more plausible.

Having worked in support for many years, it amazes how often people will swear up and down on their children that they "didn't do anything", only to find out that they did. They either forgot, thought it was unrelated and chose not to mention it, or lied.

My guess is that Bob was somehow violating the terms, or some else hijacked his account and was violating terms. Bob seems genuinely perplexed...but this is the internet and we have no way of validating anything he has said. No one knows if Bob ever had a Google account.

Regardless, Google has the right to delete any account at any time for any reason with no explanation. Sh*t happens and posting this on the internet to garner attention is pretty pathetic. I've lost years of data because I didn't back things up, so I can empathize with the loss. However, it's your own fault. Time to move on and chalk it up as a lesson learned.

Anonymous Coward [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

i have a g-mail account, and I didn't like how it worked, anyway.

Also, it's not the first time Google does something evil. Remember click fraud? I've read in many places that google has deleted adsense accounts for "click fraud".

Whenever I see google i just read g$$gle. They've become nothing but a corporate monster. Screw them.

The best thing you can do is get a yahoo plus account and download your mail via POP. Thunderbird is an excellent mail client, and this gives you the power to backup whenever you want to.

Alex D [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Is GMAIL still in Beta?

T. Rowe Marquette [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

[You Get That For What You Paid]

GMail IS A marvelous thing, but, well, considering how much we PAY for these accounts, we do get a great deal more in return.

Should this have happened? No. Did it? Yes. Should Google at least PRETEND to care more? Sure, but, well . . .

Al Gore [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Bolob, the proper spelling is "Internet".

Ron [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

All my stuff is in my gmail account and I never backed it up. Also, if I lost my wallet I'd be screwed.

Meh

To the guy talking about magic words like FREE or BETA... [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

This is not about magic words, it is about something you have to express your agreement in order to get a gmail account. That is you agreed that google is not responsable about anything you loose because of any kind of failures on the service.

obvious guy [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

[sorry]

Sorry guess I was a little harsh, I see that you have contacted google and they offered you NO help at all...I say don't let it end there though take it a step further until google either restores your account with all your data intact or until they give you a proper explanation of what happen to your account and why it can't be recovered, good luck buddy and sorry for being so rude the other day.

Best of Lucky..
The not so obvious guy. =)

KHE [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Bob –

I would call Keith Coleman at Google. He's currently the product manager for gmail.

KHE

riman [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Gmail in Beta? Please. Show me a way to submit bug reports to Google. Bug tracking is standard for any Beta stage product. I just don't see it.

Here's a quote for Larry Page:
"It's kind of an arbitrary thing. We could take beta off all of our products tomorrow, and we wouldn't actually have accomplished anything...If it's on there for five years because we think we're going to make major changes for five years, that's fine. It's really a messaging and branding thing."

A messaging and branding thing? So they're not really testing, it's all about the image. It also means that google can get away with not offering support for any of their 'Beta' products, they're not responsible for loss of your data, and so dont have to waste resources fixing it.

The term Beta needs to be rethought, if companies are going to stand behind the Beta shield to protect themselves from responsibility they should say so right up front, not buried in the Terms of Service Agreement. Beta means nothing to the average user, If it's on the net and widely available people will think that its stable.

Tim [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Bob, Gmail has a huge hole. Did your Gmail Account have "." (dots)? If you did, and you put your username without the dots with the right password, it let me in. I didn't create that account. I don't know how this happened... If your username didn't have dots, try it with dots and see what happens. Just a suggestion....

Carl [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

This may have been suggested before, but have you tried logging into gmail from a different machine. You work machine perhaps where it worled before?

Maybe there's something funky going on with your home box. It's unlikely but it's worth a shot.

Gregg H. [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

I can't believe how unhelpful Google is here. I was the victim of a phishing scam a couple of years ago and had my hotmail account stolen from me. I notified them immediately and they rstored the account back to me. They asked me to name several of the folders I created to prove that I was the account owner. Good thing the thief didn't change or delete anything yet. If Microsoft can take the time to help out the users of their free service I don't see why Google can't do the same.

Chad [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Hi Bob,

I am sorry for your loss. It really sucks. I've lost data by making not-the-best choices before. And it's hard. Having people come down on you is not good. I'm sure you figured out "crap, I wish I had backed that stuff up." within 30 seconds of realizing your data was gone. I empathisize with your pain, from experience. I really hope Google can find and restore your data. Please stop reading this message now – it's for the other posters, not you. I'm going to repeat some stuff you are tired of reading by now. Again, I'm sorry for your loss.

-Chad

Hello everyone else reading this...

I want to say that I agree with everyone who says that using a free beta service for your crucial data is unwise. Whether that service is from Googe, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, Linus Torvalds, the FSF, OSI, the UN, or where ever. Beta means – it could screw up, and it's not our fault – we're still working on it. The "free" part doesn't matter nearly as much as the "Beta" part.

I also want to say that trusting any crucial data to only one place – whether that place is your home computer, a paid hosting service, a paid backup service, a pen drive, a CD-ROM, your work computer, or whatever. You have to back up crucial data. Always, no matter what form it is in – you always need to have it in at least 2 places – probably in at least 2 formats.

Those points have been repeatedly pointed out, and are accurate. I just wanted to let you know that I agree with them – and I will make sure my data is backed up – including my Gmail account.

Those who think this somehow proves that Google is an evil corporate empire – you are morons.

Google is great. I use Google for everything. Email, blogging, desktop search, im, sidebar, picasa, hello, earth, email notifier, google pack... Everything they offer – I use. Even Writely.

People who hate Google and people who hate Microsoft – these people hate success. They can't stand to see anyone doing better than they are – so they call them evil. "That guy's rich – he must be evil." It's sad really. They want everyone to be as miserable as they are.

The response that Google gave makes sense from their standpoint. Let me explain.

Google is primarily in the business of selling ads. Those ads are on their search results – their blogger pages – their gmail accounts – everywhere.

Google makes money from those ads by providing the best relevant web ad placement in the world. Bar none.

The way Google does that is by indexing and reindexing the Internet. The entire Internet. Or at least as much as they can find. They also back up the Internet. The entire Internet. Or at least as much as they can find. They do this to make it possible for them to index it.

The way they index it, find it, store it, and sort is – that's all what makes them the best. It's a secret. The only reason they do it better than everyone else is because no one else knows how they do it. Otherwise everyone would copy them.

There is a good chance that somehow, be it by adware, a glich in his browser, some extention he was using, a hacker messing with his home computer, a virus, a messed up stored password, or an improperly stored cookie – Bob's account was deleted during the time he was trying to log on every 15 minutes.

Many times, one of the security measures people take for a password protected site is locking down the account when multiple failed log in attempts occur. This is because there are programs that try to "guess" a password by going through every combination of numbers, symbols and letters from 0 to ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. If they didn't do the time out or lock out – no password on earth would be safe. It seems that somehow – either through him trying to log in every 15 minutes, or because someone was trying to hack his account, or one of the errors mentioned above – Bob's account was hit by this kind of Denail of Service attack.

However it happened – Google's heretofore refusal to restore Bob's account makes sense as well – since the restoration process may somehow reveal part of Google's propritary storage and indexing process – which, as I said, is their bread and butter.

Again, I feel bad for Bob. I do not blame him for what happened. Enough blame has been dished out to all sides. It's an unfortunate event. Using Bob's loss of data, frustration, and bad situation for an excuse to bash Google is sad indeed. Google provides excellent free services for many people. One loss is unforunate, frustrating, and sad – but it does not make a company evil – and it certainly is expected. I mean, how many of us have loss data on our own sub terrabyte computers? And Google has multiple terrabytes – if not pedabytes of stored data. Eventually something's going to go poof.

Gregg H. [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

"However it happened – Google's heretofore refusal to restore Bob's account makes sense as well – since the restoration process may somehow reveal part of Google's propritary storage and indexing process – which, as I said, is their bread and butter."

Are you just in the business of making excuses for Google not doing the reasonable and right thing? Or are you just an idiot? Really, no offense meant, I'm just curious.

FTL_Johnson [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Everybody go search on google for "Restore Bob's Gmail address!"
So it shows up on that real time search thing at google headquarters.

D Reed [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

There are so many posts here that this might have been brought up, but I wanted to point out that this "BETA" argument, while valid in more traditional software days when a company lets you sign up and get a copy of some software to put on your machine. You in turn install the software, mess around with it, let them know if there are problems. Eventually the company will "finalize" the software, release version 1.0 and start charging people for it and making money.

The difference here is that the ad-supported software, BETA or no BETA, are making money for GOOGLE or what ever company is providing it from day ONE. All the emails that Bob sent here where used to train/tweak the advertizing engine and source ads (just like everything else GOOGLE provides). I think this is inherient problem with the "Web-2.0" BETAs if you will. Think of it this way. Is GOOGLE going to return all the revenue they make from this BETA? no. Will they delete all the emails once the go from BETA to LIVE? no. The problem here is any company can now release something, slap BETA on it, start making money on it and have a end user agreeement tied to the BETA that gives them the ability to point to the "BETA" and say, "so sorry.. .next".

A true BETA in my opinion would have been limited to 100MEGS or even less, and it would have a very small audience. GOOGLE just wanted to jump ahead of MS/YAHOO/etc. Don't get me wrong, I do like all the things that GOOGLE is doing, but unless the majority of the users walk away from the BETA software, not sure any of this will change.

Anders [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Haha, searching with those terms brings up this thread as most relevant.

Luke [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Chad, that needed said. Thank you for taking the time to write all that. I hope people agree with you and don't start the childish posts again.

Chad [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

To Riman who said "Gmail in Beta? Please. Show me a way to submit bug reports to Google. Bug tracking is standard for any Beta stage product. I just don't see it."

services.google.com/inquiry/gm ...

Just because you don't see it – doesn't mean it's not there.

Try looking for something before making a stupid comment.

Graham [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Wow, I've been following this thread for some time now, what a situation. As for my two cents:

I personally like google, they have innovativo products and are simple yet effective, I also am trusting gmail with three accounts regardless of the fact that they are still in beta...so what? They're big, things like this shouldn't happen, it's the first I've heard of it.

Bob, no, I do not see a publicity scam, neither do I balme Bab for trusting google, I do, I have not been bitten, nor have any of the many I know who do also.

I also see some great advice on backing of accounts, but that is kinda too little too late and irrelevant. Great info, just not here.

For the people flaming Bob for trusting google, just.....just go away. One person out of several ....thousand, hundred thousand, million?...anyways, one out af many, like winning the lottery...You might as well yell at everyone else while you're at it. I do it, people trust google because it has worked and is stable thus far. (excepting this one problem)

I don't know why the account was deleted, but it sounds like a technical bug or someone physically deleted it. Ouch. Either way, I think this can be resolved and end up happy in the end. The info has to be there somewhere.

I don't blame google, althought the problem seems to be at their end...I think it's all chance and bad things happen just like stepping in a dog dookie. Google should do more to remedy this situation though. There should be backups, somewhere. Once you get throught google and the automated messages, if you can talk to someone, things will get fixed. IF you can talk to someone real.

I know we have already asked for people in contact with google to get some help, but I would like to make a call out to any new people here, from digg or not, anyone who may be having a phone interview or any sort of contact, contact with someone who will have contact, anything. We need to get enough attention to make this worth google's time.

A few people have brought the idea that google doesn't care because it's not worth the time and money because it's free...you're stupid. When did google start caring about money for us little fish? They probably make most of their money from advertising, not users. Google should be trying to remedy the situation because they want satisfied customers. In a way they have to do something about this because it's big, many people know about the problem, and it's bad publicity to not.

!!! Make the story spread, tell friends, family, digg it, slashdot it, post it, let everyone know so things will get big enough to matter.
I would like to invite the readers of this thread to submit ideas as to how we all can band together to make a difference. The manpower is here, we just have to harness it somehow. No one of us can help anything unless we have a contact to refer to, so everyone posting the same things over and aver again is pointless. (Bob you're stupid, here's how to backup, don't trust google, oh that stinks, ...,......)
I have a web site that I am developing which I would be more that willing to host anything that can help. If anyone with ideas or php skills would like to help, I would love an email at "aximilation+deleted" atgmail.com, but please keep it related to helping Bob.
Bob, feel free to e-mail me, I think this thread is great, but I would love to manage the ideas and work with you in any way I can. I will try to keep up to date with this thread, but that address is a much faster way to get to me.

So please people, post ideas here, if you think it's really great or have contact info that you can share that you don't want to post, drop me a line, I will share and coordinate everything with Bob if he'll contact me. I want to see something happen! Google is cool, but dang this stinks.

Maybe we should start a fund for the best idea that works....donations anyone? Extra proceedes go to sending Bob to the steak dinner Dave mentioned earlier...I'll entertain those ideas as well whether or not we get google to do anything. I'll even match the first $10 if anyone else will contribute. Heck with that, let's send Bob to Hawaii! :-)

Thanks in advance everyone who will submit those awesome ideas!

Way to go bob, let's see some changes!!!!!

   – Graham J, Web Developer
** aximilation+deleted ** (aaht-gmail.com)

Luke [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

My Gmail account has a link in the top right corner that says "report but" next to "log out". However, my OTHER g-mail account doesn't have that. Crazy! Maybe it's a new feature.

FTL_Johnson [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

exactly. that's why it's good... maybe somebody will notice it at google and run the search themselves... see this story... and care...

It's a huge longshot.. but I bet joe schmoe programmer will care more than a google PR rep.

OnGooglesSide [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

I know this has been said before and people are still arguing about the beta status of Gmail. But I feel it needs to be said again and even more realized that google is doing the right thing here.

You choose to use a FREE service that is in BETA that has no guaranty of keeping your information safe.

It was the fault of the user to expected more out of a service than it offered. I've read the policy, and it comes down to that all it really says is they will do the best to make your happy. There is no guaranty.

As for the beta thing. Yes the software may be in good standing, but you forget this is not just a software package, it is also a social package, which mean all the social problems, like this one, need to be identified and analyzed so the the best solution can be provided when social problems specifically like this happen. So the BETA status has a lot more to deal with then just software bugs alone. Though the fact that some one has lost there account shows that the software could use some more work, which does mean the software should still be in beta.

Plus googles response is appropriate and makes me feel better in using them. I know now that no one who e-mails google know matter what information they give them, will not give out my e-mails or password to them.

You people seem to forget that this is the age of identity theft. Unless google sends some one out to the meet the person in general who lost there account, then have no real proof of who is who. And since this is a free service I don't think they are willing to spend the money and I feel that is acceptable.

I know this post my be fueling the flame, but if this happen to me. Yes I would be upset, and yes I would be sad. But I would at least accept the facts of the situation, understand Googles position, get a new e-mail account, kick myself in the but and realize that I need to take care of my own back ups of important information, and most importantly go on with life.

FTL_Johnson [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

I wish this forum would refresh using AJAX... hahaha
web 2.0 roflmao lolz lolz!!1!1 um.

NOOOOOOOO [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

GMAIL has failed.

Jeremy C Johnson [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Immediately ceasing use of my gmail account.

Graham [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

OnGooglesSide, Chad, D Reed, good thinking. Yes it's beta, yet they make money. True, you don't pay and they don't *have* to do anything, but they should.

Right on....get to google, get on their real time search too! (FTL_Johnson+digg)

Graham

Gregg H. [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

"You people seem to forget that this is the age of identity theft. Unless google sends some one out to the meet the person in general who lost there account, then have no real proof of who is who. And since this is a free service I don't think they are willing to spend the money and I feel that is acceptable."

There are several fast and easy ways Google can authenticate Bob as the real email account holder way short of driving to his house, meeting him, having lunch, talking politics, and doing a fingerprint check. I don't go in for the Google bashing, but I also don't understand what motivates people to go out of their way to make exuses for big corporations when they give their customers the shaft. Anybody want to start making exuses for the electic company now?

Occam's Razor [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I've read the posts on this thread, and one statement from Bob makes it clear to me what happened:

   I'm trying to get them to release the username into the pool.
   There's no reason they should be holding it back if I, the
   original owner, need it re-registered to me once again.

What Bob wants most is his username back, not any mail or data from his account. If his mail were what was important to him, there's no way he would settle for getting just the username back. He probably deleted his account thinking that was the quickest and most effective way to empty his mailbox or clear his search history. Then when he tried to reopen the account and couldn't, he made up the story to try to get the public on his side to get special treatment from Google.

This kind of thing happens all the time. People are fond of blaming it on an ex:
groups.google.com/group/Gmail- ...

Gmail has a form (linked to from the help center) for conducting investigations on hijacked accounts:
   services.google.com/inquiry/gm ...
That means they do these kinds of investigations all the time. Here's an example where someone's blogger account was hijacked and they got it back to her:
bloggerforum.com/modules/newbb ...

I'm sure Google would have helped Bob if anyone other than him deleted his account. What message would they be sending if they restored Bob's account after he deleted it himself? If you complain loudly enough, we'll fix it? Bad precedent.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

this story is climbing on digg!!

digg.com/software/Google_refus ...

anon [PersonRank 7]

8 years ago #

Thats funny, I can't seem to find the story on digg other than through your link. Did they take it off the regular listings?

rab [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Its right there on the main page.

Luke [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I don't see the story on the main page of DIGG anymore either... I wonder if they removed it... That's too bad. Still, 700+ Diggs and climbing!

/pd [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

oh anon..not sure if its an err between the keyboar and the chair...then mea culpa.. but rab sees it :)-

Traverse Davies [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Hi Bob,

Don't know how much data you can get back, but google search works off of your browsers cache for offline content, not something it generate. You can get to that data by looking at your cache (in IE that will be several hundred megs by default, firfox will have stored less) or by installing google desktop search.

If you install google desktop search, it will index all of your offline content in it's inital pass. Then you can use it locate the e-mails in question. This should get you recent mail (which tends to be more helpful than the older stuff) but won't get you attachments (other than inlined images).

Anyway, hope this helps. Crappy thing to have happen. Makes me glad that I run e-mail off of my own server with multiple backups.

OnGooglesSide [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Quote "I also don't understand what motivates people to go out of their way to make exuses for big corporations when they give their customers the shaft. Anybody want to start making excuses for the eclectic company now"

Your still missing the point. Your electric company isn't giving you free electricity. There policy of services is different. They are not the same. Plus I hope your electricity company still isn't in beta.

How is Google giveing this person the shaft when they are giving the service away for free in the first place. The person still has the option to sign up a for another account or getting another service which he can pay for and has a guaranty. There are other option do that, most e-mail providers online give you 1 to 2 gigs of storage now. Yes they cost money, but then they also have a guaranty.

When a person sign up to gmail they agree to there policy of services. They don't offer pertection for lost information. Why is some one asking for something they don't offer.

It is like me demanding my neighbor to mow my lawn for free just because he is a nice guy and has a lawn mower. Not only is it not nice. It social wrong to think that way. Even if your dealing with a big box/large corperation.

Why are we upset about something we already new could be a problem when we accepting the free e-mail account.

Ask any good Administrator. Always do backups your self and always have more than one back up system. You can't relay on others or just one type of system.

anon [PersonRank 7]

8 years ago #

definitely not on the digg search anymore, and the count has stopped going up. What do you have to do to get it back up there?

buried story [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

It now shows as a Buried story on digg.com

anon-had-same-problem [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

My wife's gmail account had the same thing happen ("There are no accounts in our system...") in July 2005. We entered a trouble ticket via services.google.com/inquiry/gm ... including our registration confirmation email, and got a standard automated/template reply in response.

Fortunately, she wasn't really using her gmail account at the time, so it wasn't critical. I was pretty worried, though, since I had totally switched to gmail. In any case, we wrote back and asked them to have a human actually read and respond to our trouble ticket, but didn't get a response to that. Three days later, the account magically reappeared, so I advised them and said to close the ticket.

I know this probably doesn't help, but I thought I'd at least chime in with a data point, since I recognized the problem. I wish I knew what happened to "restore" the account, but we didn't pursue it further, and haven't had another problem since (with hers or my account).

Good luck!

Lynn [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

lynnfredricks.com/wp/2006/03/1 ...

What does that say about how you value your own business if you put 300 MB of your (and possibly your customer's) data in a free (and entirely at your own risk) service?

What does it say if you send your customers email from a free service? It says you aren't willing to spend a pre-teens allowance to get your own domain and email account.

This says you are too cheap to care about your self image or your business data. How would you treat your customer's data?

Bob, I dont think anyone should feel comfortable doing business with you under these conditions. If you were just a home user, storing emails with buddies, I would sympathize. Good thing you didnt reveal your real name on this.

Jetrac [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

"Bob, I dont think anyone should feel comfortable doing business with you under these conditions. If you were just a home user, storing emails with buddies, I would sympathize. Good thing you didnt reveal your real name on this."

And you did after posting such a rude response. Remind us not to do business with you, either.

Brinke Guthrie [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Yes, I think that was a bit harsh.

Lynn [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

So what do you think people should post in response – ooh Bob, I feel so terrible for you? And what good would that do Bob anyway?

Bob (wisely) hid his identity. If he takes my advice to heart then he will be a better business person.

I don't know a business person who hasn't made a few dumb decisions in their life. What is important is not to keep making the same dumb decisions again and again – so what is worth more – your insincere sympathy/shock at my directness, or my advice on how Bob can avoid a business pot hole like the one he dropped into here?

Luke [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Lynn,

Before you write such a post, you need to do your research too. You can send e-mail from G-Mail as any address or domain. For example, I can send an e-mail from G-Mail that says it's from (ceo[put at-character here]my-company-name.com). So, before you bash everyone here, do your research.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Wow, what a surprise. I didn't realise this story was digg'd.

I really don't think that Google is going to bulge here.

Most of the posts here have simply repeated what was said in the original thread – about how i should have backed up my data, how Google shouldn't be blamed (or should be blamed, depending on the side of the road you're on), suggestions on how I should get it resolved.

Trust me, but I've tried everything within my reach to resolve my crsis. From getting publicity to contacting Google directly, but there hasn't beeen any sign of a response.

Brinke Guthrie [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

what part of the US are you in? I have an idea.

Carol [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

It kind of happened to me.. I tried to delete my orkut account, but they deleted my gmail account instead.. The orkut remained until I tryed to delete it again..
Never really understood what happened, since I never attempted to delete the google account, just orkut.
Anyway, I think there's not much to do. Gmail has never bothered to answer me. But then again, I'm just a teenager and really didn't had anything so important in my email, so I gave it up pretty easily. You should keep trying, you never know.

I'm not really against goggle, these things happen, I think. It's not like we pay for their service.

Just back up next time, will you? :)

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Brinke Guthrie: I'm not located in the U.S.

Carol: Ah, I think i've learnt my lesson by now. ;-)

Lynn [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Luke,

Irrelevant, man – I did not claim you could not do that, nor did Bob say he was utilizing the ability to use a different "from" email address, either. Nor did I bash everyone here. Read back.

The concept of a "free" service or product is interpreted differently by culture and law. The Google interpretation is clear in the EULA – a very American EULA. Bob made a mistake to utilize this free service for his business – as you can see by Bob's post above – he probably won't make that mistake again.

It is a big mistake to depend on something which is free and under such a EULA. It is a transitory gift that can be modified at any time.

Brinke Guthrie [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

I thought you might live in the Bay Area for some reason, I was going to suggest calling the local TV troubleshooter. They really get things done.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Brinke: I live very far away from the Bay area, very. Although some day i do intend to shift closer. ;-)

This loss has cost me painfully both financially and emotionally. It's unfortunate that Google has been unable to provide a cogent explanation for what has happened, but well, realistically I didn't expect much more.

Luke [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Lynn,

My apologies. I mis-interpreted what you were trying to communicate. As I do agree with you that if someone is going to have a business, they need to be very careful about it, have things backed up, etc..., BUT, at the same time I do not think it's wrong for people to complain about what G-Mail did. If Google offers free service that is suposed to be "top of the line" in mail, which is what they want, they need to be more "customer service" friendly when someone needs their help. Anyways, I'm not going to go into more detail because the thousands of people on here have already done that and we are just going in loops! :-). Obviously some of us disagree, and that's ok! I wasn't trying to be Irrelevant.

Good luck Bob. I said a prayer for you.

Indian Geek [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Start paying for your mails if they are important for your business.

Gmail is good for freeloaders!!

Use Runbox or Fastmail.fm

Brinke Guthrie [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Indian Geek 1 hour ago
Start paying for your mails if they are important for your business.
Gmail is good for freeloaders!! Use Runbox or Fastmail.fm

Dude, I use GMail and I resent being called a freeloader. Offer logical advise without the 'tude, OK?

black-sheep [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #


Some paid email providers cant be trusted either.

Indian Geek [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Sorry – no offence intended

   I meant for business use only.

I have a gmail account as well and if I lost my mails, I wouldn't work any sweat. Remember it's free and it's beta.

I have seen many people screaming how their mail service is not working properly and how they are losing hundreds of dollars, well if it is that bad then I guess a 50 to 100 dollar investment is not a bad idea :)

Take a look at luxsci.net, they offer one free backup/restore per month but they charge 100 dollars/ year ; Fastmail can be trusted and provide backups but you have to pay them.

BTW I use both Fastmail and Gmail in combination ; along with carrying out offline backup.

Another Alternative [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Bob, did you login to your gmail account from an unsecured wireless site? I'm wondering if someone got your gmail password and opted to delete your account.

anonymoustache [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Well well well... Looks like a 15 year old is now in charge of gmail security!
i-newswire.com/pr58750.html

Josue R. [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

The story about the "15-year-old-hired-by-Google-to-be-part-of-Gmail-security" is false and even Tom Vendetta (the 15-year-old kid) admits to error and regrets posting to digg about it. Read his blog...

tomtothevendetta.blogspot.com/ ...

Lynn [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Hi Luke,

No problem :-)

Id like to think that free services will make some effort to provide stable and predictable service – as others mentioned above, a lot of paid services don't give you a lot of security either.

There is a huge blooming of non-premium priced software-as-service services out there – some from companies which have no previous experience in selling software or data warehousing. They advertise reasonable rates, but how reasonable is it to risk your business on something that comes with no guarantees?

Best regards,

Lynn
lynnfredricks.com/wp/

Laura [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I feel for Bob. This is the downside of keeping your stuff in places you don't own. Possession is 9/10ths of the law, and when it comes down to it, Google <i>owns</i> everyone's email.

rarepattern.com/nodes/2006/03/ ...

Amit-nervous [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I have been following this thread for 1 day now.. For some reason, yesterday, I decided to google for "gmail troubles", since I thought.. "what if my emails are being lost when gmail is down"

This is really scary if true. It also depends on Bob, how he used his account? whether he was a spammer? If he used a compromised computer/network to access gmail..etc ? but most likely he is just a normal end user like me.

I lately I keep getting this "gmail is temporarily unavailabe" error and I have the gut feeling that all our gmail accounts are under threat due to some technical hitch at gmail..

Google, please consider your shareholders and Kindly sort out this story asap.. We want to ensure that google is always on the "good side of customers" .

Skeptic [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

You don't work for a company that has a competing mail service, do you? This isn't just some spammy scare tactic? It seems like a difficult thing to prove, though I'd guess at the outset that you have no reason to say anything but the truth...just curious and cautiously skeptical.

Heavy User [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

When I try to login my GMAIL account I get redirected to this url:
mail.google.com/mail/help/serv ...

With the following text:
Server Error

Gmail is temporarily unavailable. Cross your fingers and try again in a few minutes. We're sorry for the inconvenience.

This is already this whole day, i'm getting concerned now. I tested also with another provider. Am I the only one?

Elias KAI [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Yes Same in Gmail here in Sweden
first i got logged out from chat...service temp...unavailable then cant get into my gmail

weired

hohum [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

gmail is now back online, but I must say @Skeptic... I had the same thoughts about this.

Chad [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Nope – me too.... It's been slow all day – and now i got the same error.

Bob – any word or update?

Ali [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I just want to say that I'm suffering a similar fate with my own gmail account. The last time I managed to access it was about six days ago. Everything I tried indicated that the account somehow had disappeared. I first got "Server Error" then was told that "username and password do not match" then when I tried resetting the password i was told that "the username does not exist in our system"!!!!!!!!!!!

I've been a gmail user for a long time and all my contacts are on there. My correspondence with the gmail support team has been so far fruitless to say the least. I'm in the middle of an important project and Im expecting a lot of emails coming in. I have no backups. I'm annoyed, upset and quite worried.

The odd thing is that when I tried to re-register my username I told me that that user name already exists!!!!!!! What on earth is going on? One minute it doesn't exist, the other it does!! in any case I can access it no matter what.

X [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Time to stop calling GMAIL a free service. It is provided free to you, as is all of Google's stuff, but doesn't mean google isn't making a profit (hence the ads). Also, suggesting that Bob is foolish for not backing up his data is worthless at this point, and also ridiculous. Of all of those out there who backup their GMAIL is it in hard copy? Is it in a protected location? Is it safe from flood, fire, theft and nuclear bombs? You can't be 100% safe. Reasonably considering Google capable of storing his data safely is fair, and the fact they didn't should not be blamed on Bob.

As for solutions, I do not think you have any option but to continue posting here, there and everywhere. Continue to contact Google every day if need be. Just don't give up! You have alot of people here interested, and upset at Google's responses, and publicity is very powerful.

Good luck Bob, I'm rooting for you.

X [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

A quick appendage to the thought above:

I have read several comments stating that Bob should pay for his mail service if it is important, or that he gets what he paid for, or that GMAIL is still in BETA. All of these arguments are poor at best. Google provides free services to people because it makes money that way. They are not doing us a favor in letting us use their products, we generate income for them. We are doing THEM a favor by using their services. If they did not provide high-quality, useful, reliable services we would not use them and they would not be a 80+ billion dollar company. A company chargning a fee for email has to in order to survive and compete and does not mean the quality of service, or reliability of their systems, is any higher.

The BETA argument is just as flawed. A public release BETA is intended to find problems/bugs and FIX them. It is not intended to be a shield to protect the developer. BETA versions do have bugs, problems do occur and sometimes these things happen. This is not the point. The point is, Google should be aggressive in their pursuit to fix this from a technical and PR standpoint, especially at this point.

Chad [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

X,

Nope – you are wrong. Having a backup copy of "Critical data" is a normal amount of precaution. Nothing in this world can be made completely safe from destruction – but taking reasonable steps to protect information you need is to be expected. Leaving "critical data" on somebody else's free server accessible only through a beta service is not a reasonable level of precaution. Having at least one back up copy of that data – say by popping it to your harddrive at work and/or burning it to a CD once a week or once a month – that's reasonable. Having 15 copies in 12 different file formats on 7 different forms of media on each of the 7 continents – each enclosed in a fire-proof, air-tight, UV-protected safe with a 17 digit 128-bit encrypted password that changes randomly every 46 hours – that's a bit much. Nobody expects that. Downloading important emails – that's reasonable.

Beta means there will be problems. Programmers are working to find and fix bugs – they haven't found them all yet. When you volunteer to be a "Beta tester" (notice – they don't call them beta "users" – because if it's beta – you shouldn't be using it – you are testing it), you accept a certain amount of responsiblity to test the program or service, and not to treat it as though it were a "gold standard" release.

You are right to say that we are helping Google by using Gmail. We are helping them test the service, and we are providing them with an audience for their advertising. But we're also getting stuff in return. It's a win-win situation. If Bob's email hadn't been deleted – or if he had a copy, there wouldn't be an issue. But that's the risk you take when you use a Beta anything as your sole means to critical data.

Gmail is not a backup service. It's not even a data storage service. It's an email service. And a beta one at that. It was never meant or advertised as a place to store critical data.

Again, as I said in my eariler post – Bob's particular case is sad – but it's not Google's fault. Google never promised Bob or anyone else to protect their data from harm. Crap happens. Salvage what you can and move on.

Jimmy [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I think you should just switch to *gasp* Hotmail or Yahoo. They're both free, they're problem-free, and they're NOT IN BETA.

MS's Live Domain dealie is awesome. It does what Google's domain mail system purports to do, but actually does it right. Mail looks like its coming from your domain, and even though it's in beta, it'll soon be a full-fledged released product.

I can't remember the last time I couldn't access my Hotmail account. I can remember the last time I couldn't access my GMail account...like 5 minutes ago...or earlier this morning...or yesterday... Hell, I have problems accessing GMail every damn day. It's a good thing I only use it for non-critical communications, otherwise I'd be really screwed, like poor Bob.

X [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Chad,

While you are presenting a new case for BETA and reasonable steps to protect your data, it is still a flawed argument and useless at this point, like previously stated. Don't forget, Googles #3 reason to use GMAIL over other email services is "Never lose a message again". The words BETA in small letters sitting on an the application doesn't absolve you from fulfilling your own promises. You also imply that this "GOLD RELEASE" of GMAIL will somehow be different from the version we see today, while even Google states the opposite. Also, reading GMAIL's privacy page users the word GMAIL "users" 40 times. Guess how many times it uses the word testers? That's right, zero.

Reasonably backing up your own data... Again you make a new case for it, but it is flawed again. Stating that forwarding your email to another account, downloading it via POP and/or making paper copies of important mail is ABSOLUTELY a good step in protecting your data, but it is not reasonable for the majority of users out there because it is not as obvious to them as it is to you and me. I would guess the percentage of people who use free email accounts and know how to backup that data other than printing it off is extremely small (I work with thousands of people like them every day at work, and they are typicalof most people). And printing off hundreds or thousands of emails is definitely not reasonable. Surprisingly, most people consider backing up and archiving your paid email account to GMAIL or other free webmail services a good practice and there are countless tutorials on how to do this. GMAIL is advertised as an "email archive" location, to store old, important data indefinitely. I guarantee this implys to ther public that their data is secure, safe, and not going to be deleted or lost. Taking steps beyond that would be paranoid to most people, unless they have been burned like this before.

I wholly and fully advocate backing up your own data, regardless if it is a paid service, someone else's servers, your own servers, or whatever. It makes no sense to say that because it is free, or BETA, or not your servers that your need to backup your own data is more obvious or more needed. It is either needed or it is not. This thread is not about data lost that was not backed up, which some people have interpreted it to be. This thread is about GMAIL failing to provide a service as advertised and a gentleman wanting Google to make best efforts to fix it.

Bob did not have a backup of his email. This is not stupid, it is not unreasonable, it is not reckless. Bob is now aware of both the dangers and the preventable measures, so not backing up his email from here on out would be stupid, but still not unreasonable.

Ingrid [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Hi Bob

I would be keen to chat to you to find out more details on what happened.

Please can you contact me on ingrid dot marson at zdnet.co.uk

Thanks

Ingrid

Ingrid Marson
Reporter
ZDNet UK

Cal [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I am quite sorry that you've had such a bad experience with GMail and it ashame their support isn't the easiest of areas to use.

I can admit GMail is not released offically however I'm very sure the vast majority of the internet community know/have GMail by now. Google runs "GMail" thus giving it quite a good reputation considering it is ran by the worlds largest search engine, and a very well ran organisation.

It's a real shame Bob that you have recieved this problem, I'm going to backup some of my stuff now too since I use gmail as a primary email account.

For anyone interested in creating backups try visiting softpedia.com/get/Internet/E-m ...

I beg you all not to mention what he should have done and what he shouldnt have done, guys, and gurls, it's done now! We can't "could have done that" and "could have done this" but we can certainly hope a GMail rep contains Bob and sorts this out as it has sure recieved alot of publicity.

Good luck,
Calum

John [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Hah.

Calling Google a well run organization is like calling a Nazi a pacifist.

Sam Davyson [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Jimmy: Yahoo and Hotmail are both about to release Betas!

harryEd [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

C'mon folks.. this story needs more attention..

alsanan (indiza.com) [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I think is very sad that Google simply not looks at this issue and tries to solve it successfully. It says a lot about what they cares about our data. They want more users but they are unable to solve a "simple" problem like this with so many people reading. Seriously, 2GB free is nice but such a opaque company doesn't worth it.

Luke [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Bob,

What's the latest? Any new news?

Alec Noronha [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Google, Yahoo and the other e-mail providers ought to provide a dump / restore feature, preferably incremental and portable between providers.

Till then Zoe, a java-based e-mail local archiver could be used to archive all your mail from any source (gmail and yahoo both have a pop interface). It includes Lucene based search.

jumper [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

i would suggest getting a 2nd gmail account and setting up your primary gmail account to automatically forward all messages to the 2nd account (but keeping the original copies on your primary account intact). that way, you will have a backup of all your emails in another gmail account.

jumper [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

the only drawback in my suggestion above is you can't save the emails that you send...only those that you receive. but you could always BCC your 2nd account in all the emails that you send.

it also does nothing to the emails that you have already received before. i would suggest forwarding them to the 2nd account as a (crude) solution.

Abdullah [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Any updates?

MSpreij [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

After reading this most of the first (now locked) thread, I decided to backup my GMail. Apart from it being a good idea, it turns out to be easy, cheap (diskspace-wise) and is kept up to date more-or-less automatically.

1. Get Thunderbird, mozilla.com/thunderbird/
2. Enable POP in the GMail preferences.
3. Setup a Thunderbird account as per mail.google.com/support/bin/an ...
4. If you have a lot of mail re-create GMail filters (which you should have ;-) as Thunderbird filters, and make folders for the labels. (I forgot to do this and now have 15000 messages sitting in my inbox.. fortunately Thunderbird has no problems with that as for performance, I'll just have to create the filters and run them on the inbox.)
5. Check your email! The first few times it will only download 800-1000 messages at a time, but if you leave it be, it'll eventually get it all.

Run Thunderbird (or just leave it running) a few times a week and you have a no-sweat backup, and can also read your email when you're offline.

And it feels a lot better, too ;-)

Regards, Martin

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

On a side-note, "Bob" is also mentioned in ZDNet today:
news.zdnet.co.uk/internet/0,39 ...

Person McPerosnpants [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Happened to me too. Won't give the email address but it was deleted. Then again I was planning to delete it anaways...

hey what happened [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

what happened? any updates?

Kay [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I'm using Inbox.com which provides same functionality including Storage with very easy access. WOrth trying.

Jamie Dilts [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #


Hey Dude

Just one question, are you sure if you are still alive ? Maybe that is the reason Google deleted your account :)

It seems to be a part of their ToS for Google Pages then you can no longer access their account.

Check this discussion here –

emailaddresses.com/forum/showt ...

Posting ---

Termination of Google's services

I just saw this in the "Terms and Conditions:" section in pages.google.com/

   Upon the termination of your use of Google services, including upon receipt of a certificate or other legal document confirming your death, Google will close your account and you will no longer be able to retrieve content contained in that account.

Not only will Google close my account if I die... I will also not be able to retrieve my content in that case!

Jamie Dilts [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Ye here it is

Go to this link pages.google.com/-/terms_of_us ...

Go to Clause no 7 . para 2

Upon the termination of your use of Google services, including upon receipt of a certificate or other legal document confirming your death, Google will close your account and you will no longer be able to retrieve content contained in that account.

Somebody Else With Gmail Problems [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

A couple of months ago I got the server error message saying to try logging in again in a few minutes. Hours later I still could not login. All my friends' accounts worked fine, as did my second Gmail account.

I couldn't login with my main account for the entire day. Thankfully the next day it worked.

Then all my contacts from GTalk were deleted. . . then restored hours later. The deleted again. Then restored again hours later.

Definitely time to start backing things up.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Just a quick update. Sorry for the late response; I didn't know people were still referring to this thread.

Here's Google's last response:

=================================

Hello,

Thank you for your reply.

After a thorough investigation, we did not find any evidence of foreign
IPs logging into your account, nor was the account deleted by Google. All
actions taken on the account, including the one used to delete the
account, appear to have been done from the same IP.

We have determined that on March 7, 2006 at 7:43 am, you or someone using your password deleted *myusernamehere*[put at-character here]gmail.com .
  
Currently, it is not possible to recover accounts that have been
permanently deleted. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.

Sincerely,

The Google Team

======================

I don't have any choice here but to buy that story, even though I know for a fact that what they described is ridiculous and impossible. I was last logged in from a secure military facility (there's no way anyone could have accessed it), and the next time I tried to login to my account from my home an hour later, the account was gone already.

I'm well over this and I've moved on, so the only reason I'm posting this is to update you on my case, since I do have somewhat of a responsibility to do that. With that said, I appreciate everyone's support and the help of a Googler, particularly Matt Cutts, in ensuring that I received a "decent" reply to my ticket. Also, special thanks to Ingrid for his article on ZDNet UK.

Crystal [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I just had the same thing happen to me today. Got this error message when I tried to log in. "Sorry, your account has been disabled. For more information about Google Accounts, please consult our Help Center at google.com/support/accounts/.\ ... The link isn't one bit of help and after reading this thread, I seriously doubt if I will ever get my account back. I had my husband send me a new invite and tried to create my account but it says my old user name is not available yet when I tried to send my gmail account an email I got the "Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently" message. I have all of my mail backed up but I'm dissapointed that I won't be able to get my account back since I did use the gmail address for most of my correspondence.

Bob, thanks for updating this thread with the latest news.

Shii [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Google should take notice of this thread and develop a failsafe system for accounts that get accidentally deleted.

Mike [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Unbelievable. The same thing just happenned to me. Makes me so freaking angry. Heres the symptoms:

Getting the server error message for the past several hours.

I am able to get to the my accounts page.

I am also able to change my password.

It *seems* like my account is still there, but I cannot access my contacts through google talk or anything.

Waiting on a response from my bug report.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Bob, is it possible you left your PC unattended and someone played you a bad prank and deleted your Gmail?

Lee Dickey [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Well.. my email was working last night. I only check it from 2 different locations. From here, my home email and then on my work machine which is used for customer payments etc. The work machine gets used for nothing else and I am a security freak so there is nothing on this PC.

Basically, my password will no longer work. I can change it and it sends to my secondary but it either was changed or I do not remember what it is. I am getting nothing and I keep everything there. Getting a response from them has been painful. My account is still there and I need them to resolve this asap before my life gets turned upside down. I keep EVERYTHING there!

Lee Dickey [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

By the way, I am not the same "Lee Dickey" as linked in my name. I am not a professor.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

(Lee, the link simply points to the top Google result for your name...)

Lee Dickey [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Well that is good to know. I have recovered everything minus my gmail account.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Philipp, no, that is physically not possible.

Nick K [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Hi Bob

Now that you are over it and moved on – some questions:

what email are using now? how are you backing it up?

Nick

Nick K [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Hi Bob/Everyone

I have a different problem. Gmail has failed on me a few times and always come back. Quite scary to be honest. Gmail is my primary email server.

heres my problem:

all my emails to my_name[put at-character here]my_domain.com are forwarded to gmail, and have been for about 18 months.

fine.

gmail works fine – i can see my emails and search.

if GMAIL goes kapputt and judging by your experience its entirely possible, i will need to access my my_name[put at-character here]my_domain.com account.

problem is its over 2GB big and contains about 100,000+ spam emails.

i have tried on several occasions to d/l these emails to outlook and outlook express – but they just get jammed up and stop working.

does anyone have a clue what i can do? i would like to download my entire gmail data – but outlook doesnt seem to want to.

Tom [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Hi Nick

Outlook (Express) downloads the mails fine by me.. about 500 at a time. You have to connect repeatedly to get everything. The spam mails are not included in the download, at least not if you don't select them in the settings of Gmail. I am happy to now have home copies of my email, so I don't have to worry anymore about these "Horror scenarios"...

Tom

Suresh Behera [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

It has passed two week but still getting the same error.I have no idea what shall i do...I learn a big lesson from this.Gmail was my primary account. Hope it will recover soon..I am getting this error

Server Error

We're sorry, but Gmail is temporarily unavailable. We're currently working to fix the problem – please try logging in to your account in a few minutes.

Please let me know if somebody has any idea.

Thanks in advance.

Suresh

Same Happened 2 ME! [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Hi,

Yesterday I got this error that my account has been deleted. When I send a mail to my address 'ilan.levy[put at-character here]gmail.com' I get that the address doesn't exist.
My password isn't this issue. I send an email to Gmail but no answers except the auto-reply.

I read all this thread very carefully, and it seems that it happened to others than me. So 2 things:

- For those who trusts Google , I trusted them too. Use POP and back-up your account. Trust me I lost CRUCIAL data and I wasn't using my account for anything but usual mail stuff.

- For those who went through the same problem I suggest we make a list of names of ppl it happened to them, in order to know how many we are!!! (This data is important!).

I think that since Gmail offers this service as free and respect themselves they should provide us a better answer. Many ppl fu..ed means, that Google is unreliable. So to ppl who says "You got what you payed for ..." I think this is not the issue at all.

Could we open a thread to recense the names of ppl it happened to them??

Thanks in advance,

Ilan

ilan_levy[put at-character here]msn.com

Chris [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Did you see google's little joke, here?

   google.com/romance/multiple_pr ...

-----
Database Capacity Exceeded (again)

That's just great – once again, the sheer volume of our users' thirst for our products has exceeded our capacity to quench it, therefore, deja vu, this service is not available at this time (at least not to you).
-----

It seems they realise they have problems with capacity.

Jamie [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I wonder if there is an application or plugin (like fasterfox) that is following the delete links in the course of caching the data? The page headers would probably discourage it but a misbehaving app might go through the process anyway. Security scanners are another thought coming to mind... Also, firewall content filtering apps (some of which explore the site a bit to test it).

Chris [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Wasn't Bob's story that he couldn't log in for a long time, and then his account disappeared? That would rule out any kind of program blindly following links.

I've been locked out of my account about 90% of the times I've tried to access it over the last week. I have been able to set up a new gmail account and maanged to get into my old account long enough to set up forwarding to the new account. The messages take a while to get forwarded, but seem to arrive at the new account eventually.

Also, I was able to POP 40,000 of my messages into Thunderbird in about 8 hours over night last night, but there's a problem – Thunderbird seems to want to sort my whole Inbox after downloading each message, so it's getting slower and slower. Currently it's taking 2 seconds per message.

Jamie [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

The automated deletion scenario would also kind of be a moot point if the "account delete" page has a captcha or text field you need to type "I agree" into.... Not sure, I haven't tried it yet.

I had problems with thunderbird on large mailboxes as well. I stopped using it for that reason. Wish I knew an alternative to suggest...

Brinke Guthrie [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Gnascher 24 days ago
Bob,

If you're so disappointed with your experience with Gmail, then why do you continue to use it?

Could it be that, despite your disappointing experience, it still happens to be the best free internet-based email system out there? If not ... why don't you shop elsewhere.

If you don't like the service you've received, take your business elsewhere. Simple.

You relied upon a system clearly labelled as undergoing Beta testing without a backup. Your data got lost, and now the creator of the system is essentially saying "too bad, so sad".

You know this now ... don't keep all your eggs in one basket ... keep copies of your eggs everywhere. Now stop polluting the internet with your whining about your loss of data at the hands of Google.

You probably hit the delete link yourself anyway...

I just saw this post. What a rude response. Guys like you make posts like this knowing full well you'll never meet the other guy in person. I'm quite sure you wouldn't say this to his face, would you.

Joe [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Well, you know I trust Google because there good. So gmail is probably the same. With pop3 it took me a day to download all the stuff so now I'm good, update every day. But isn't there something like giving a second chance ? Any way glad it's fixed.

Gail Davis [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I've been using gmail for a very long time now and occassionally there are some bumps in the road but its fine. I've never had any major problems but I remember the word 'beta' so I can't whine if something happens.

finger [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

oo boy!

I realize this topic is slightly old, or that I'm just late getting here. But I'm sorry about all the crud that happened to "Bob". I think that nobody here would wish this kind of thing on anyone else, not even the people who rang him out.

Hopefully a lesson has been learned and won't have to be learned again.

Things go in 3s in my neck of the woods.. three email accounts, only one of them primary (that one NOT being Gmail), three destinations for backups. Here's hoping I don't have to lean on the backups too soon. Same hope goes for all of you as well.

Finger

Joshua Jarman [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Bob,

I'm sorry to hear of your experience, losing data no matter what the cause is a sad and painful thing.

I appreciate you sharing your experience, it was an eye-opener for many.
I'll be backing up my gmail now thanks to this thread.

I found Gnascher's post particularly amusing.
If he followed his own advice, he would have just left when he read something he didn't like. Instead he took the time to "whine" that you were "whining". I always wonder about people who make those type of senseless posts. Do they think they are going to acomplish anything?

I wonder if they are evaluating what they are contributing at all...Strange...

Thanks.

LG [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Ill be back very soon to see any update!!!

Suresh Behera [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

I am glad to know that my Gmail account is back to operation but i learn a lesson in between. Thank to all who support the discussion.

Suresh

Karl Roberson [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

HOLY FAWKING CRAP! There ARE others out there with my problem! Been searching a LONG 9 months for a solution....my account was created on 05/21/2005, when my dad invited me, and lasted till 08/16/2005, which was my last successful login....I've waited almost exactly 9 months (finally also found a proper complaint form I can fill), and, I think I'll scream if I get that email Bob got from Google. I NEED my email. Luckily, I also have my other email (the one my invite was sent to), but there is still 2 places that email my gmail that do not allow the signed up email address to be changed. So, if I can't get my gmail back, I cannot use the two services that I signed up for when I still had my gmail....any ideas of what to do? For your information, the services I used that I can't change my signed up email for are from www.mapleglobal.com, and www.mapleSEA.com...Maplestory sites....

Regards, and hoping for help,
Karl

AJ Walker [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Gnascher 24 days ago
"Bob,

If you're so disappointed with your experience with Gmail, then why do you continue to use it?
Could it be that, despite your disappointing experience, it still happens to be the best free internet-based email system out there? If not ... why don't you shop elsewhere.

If you don't like the service you've received, take your business elsewhere. Simple."

Well that's the point! He doesn't continue to use it because his account is deleted, you [personal attack removed] Why not shop elsewhere? Because it's the best free service, made available by what we perceive to be the best provider of information worldwide! That's quite the reputation to live up to, and any company that takes themselves seriously on the level that Google does would have at LEAST provided him with a better answer to his impassioned plea.

Is it wrong to rely on gmail exclusively? Of course! It's also a bad idea to rely on ANY service that passes ANY data over ANY bus or network exclusively, but people do, and companies make promises that it's okay to do so. 'Too bad, so sad'? [personal attack removed] I know that sometimes the manual isn't enough, and sometimes companies should try and be responsible for at least decent customer service if they want to maintain the public facade they have so carefully groomed.

"You probably hit the delete link yourself anyway... "

Now that's just uncalled-for hostility. You're [personal attack removed]

Keith Miles [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

gmail error msg:

Sorry but Gmail is temporarily unavailable. We're currently working to fix the problem – please try logging in to your ...

This is what fixed my issue; I should also state I'm using IE 7.2. beta

Log out of your Gmail account, and close all other open browser windows.
*Click the 'Tools' menu at the top of your browser, and select 'Internet Options.'
*Click the 'General' tab at the top of the dialogue box.
*Click 'Delete Files' under 'Temporary Internet files.'
*Select 'Delete all offline content' by checking the box.
*Click 'OK.'

Restart the browser then retry.

Keith Miles
MCP,MCSA,MCSE,MCDBA

Ron Stock [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

And how exactly does one "log out of you Gmail account" if you can't even GET to your Gmail account?

George [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Same problem like me
Today my account has been disabled too.

George

Indu [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I have a GMAIL account; And my system was attacked by virus and I used McAfee and got it quarantined. All is well. But...
while I can open any of the websites including google, but when I try accessing www.gmail.com it goes into page not found and autosearch=help kind of stuff. How do overcome this ? or is GMAIL really down ?

I will appreciate if any body can provide me any help.
thank you

-Indu

Vik [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

My account hotspur.vik [at] gmail [dot] com has now been disabled for 6 days, having been in daily but moderate use for the past 18 months. I filled out the usual forms etc, and nothing back.

I emailed gmail-maintenance and got the following canned response: "Your Gmail account has been disabled due to a technical issue. Our engineers are working diligently to find a solution so that you can regain access to your account." Unsurprisingly when I emailed again from my yahoo account and cited a made-up non-existent gmail address instead of my genuine disabled one I got exactly the same response.

They are just a bunch of cheats, they tell you they're fixing your account without even verifying it exists. Disgusting, Google. And just disgraceful.

cttnpckn [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

This just started for me today. About 4 hours ago. I added them to my trusted sites, tried firefox, manually deleted every cookie, cleaned out all my temporary internet files, tried 2 different computers (one I had never accessed gmail from) no luck.. I won't bother writing. what a crock.

This thread is locked – no further replies are possible. 

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