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Gmail Horror Story Continues  (View post)

Pedro [PersonRank 0]

Thursday, March 9, 2006
17 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».

Somebody Else With Gmail Problems [PersonRank 0]

17 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]

17 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:



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] .
Currently, it is not possible to recover accounts that have been
permanently deleted. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.


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]

17 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" 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]

17 years ago #

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

Mike [PersonRank 0]

17 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]

17 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]

17 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]

17 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]

17 years ago #

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

Lee Dickey [PersonRank 1]

17 years ago #

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

Bob [PersonRank 0]

17 years ago #

Philipp, no, that is physically not possible.

Nick K [PersonRank 1]

17 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 K [PersonRank 1]

17 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] are forwarded to gmail, and have been for about 18 months.


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] 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]

17 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"...


Suresh Behera [PersonRank 1]

17 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.


Same Happened 2 ME! [PersonRank 0]

17 years ago #


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]' 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_levy[put at-character here]

Chris [PersonRank 0]

17 years ago #

Did you see google's little joke, here?

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]

17 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]

17 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]

17 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]

17 years ago #

Gnascher 24 days ago

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]

17 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]

17 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]

17 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.


Joshua Jarman [PersonRank 0]

17 years ago #


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...


LG [PersonRank 1]

17 years ago #

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

Suresh Behera [PersonRank 1]

17 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.


Karl Roberson [PersonRank 0]

17 years ago #

HOLY FAWKING CRAP! There ARE others out there with my problem! Been searching a LONG 9 months for a 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, and sites....

Regards, and hoping for help,

AJ Walker [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

Gnascher 24 days ago

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]

16 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

Ron Stock [PersonRank 0]

16 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]

16 years ago #

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


Indu [PersonRank 0]

16 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 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


Vik [PersonRank 1]

16 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]

16 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.

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