We’re back on the grid momentarily…but only partially. You see, as we’ve complained in the past, our main Gmail account has been approaching 100% for a few weeks now, and we’ve been too preoccupied with other pressing matters to attend to cleaning out our mailbox properly. We attempted to download all of our messages to our mac mail account via POP, but, in all honesty, ended up downloading everything twice, by accident. Since this created a far too unwieldy inbox, we deleted that account and set it to download overnight before we left for our vakay.

Upon arising this morning we were stunned to find that our Gmail account had instead of downloading peacefully, been SUSPENDED for at least 24 hours due to vaguely alluded to TOS violations. Of course, since we were on the road most of yesterday, this was not as frustrating as it sounds, but the reality is that our Gmail account is our main interface with the world, for business and personal matters and losing access to it is a serious matter.

Yes, yes we know it is free. And yes, we probably shouldn’t have downloaded nearly 4G of mail over a period of 4 days.

But what really gets our goat about this is the inability to contact an actual human at Google. We dutifully followed all the links and sent emails and whatnot, but after 5 hours we have yet to receive anything resembling an actual human response.

Luckily, we had some failsafes in place, but the takeaway from all of this is that our already tenuous faith in a hostile universe has been further tested. In (ha ha) Googling the words “gmail” and “suspended” we came up with one blog post that said simply, “Google is the new Microsoft” and we’re deathly afraid that is indeed the case. Sure maybe we did something wrong, but it can’t be THAT uncommon — a trained guide would be able to recognize what happened from our explanation and offer us some assurance that we would be able to get back into our primary email account again at some unspecified time. Or maybe tell us we were SOL. Tell us SOMETHING. The fact that they don’t even offer that is deeply annoying. We may very well be switching my primary email soon.


  1. Since Yahoo recently provided unlimited space on their mail servers, maybe it could be an idea to get an extra account from them as well in which to store a lot of mail. I have a Gmail account, but I still primarily use my Yahoo account for much of what correspondence either I, or those writing to me, do.

  2. I use fastmail.fm. I pay for the full service (about $40 per year). When there’s any problems, I can read about it on the blog, or talk to an actual human being. And I can use a domain name for my emails, so you can email me at ray at raycornwall dot com. I’ve used them for years and never regretted it. The full service comes with a nifty notepad and file hosting feature that I use to migrate different personal and work files.

  3. I’ve dealt with this a little before. What I did was set up another Gmail account and forwarded all of the stuff I really want to keep to it. I keep my main account relatively empty. I’ve got a few Gmail accounts set up, but only one I use as an archive. Theoretically you could set up as many “archive” accounts as you’d need for future expansion.

    Just a thought.

    I love The Beat, btw!

  4. BTW, I totally get your frustration with the lack of Google “real person” support. But as things move more towards an open source and community built model, I think this is going to become more common. Not just with the Google Empire, but across the board.

    And really, how often is a tech support rep actually helpful anyway? I was one. I know.

  5. There is a certain virtue in paying for a service, not that that always makes it work. I Yahoo! everything. My only complaint with yahoo in 8 years of near total exclusivity is that my website’s blog went down inexplicably for a week or so. To the outside world, it was down for much longer. I just quit checking. We were baffled. THEN, one day, I went to see about moving it to a new host and…
    it was fine again. No trouble since.


    Anyway, yeah… unlimited email.

  6. Just thought I’d suggest Yahoo Mail if you decide to switch providers. They give you unlimited space now somehow, and do reply to my customer service requests quickly enough (sorry if this seems spammy)…

  7. I am so tired of gmail, for the past 2 weekends it’s taken me at least 45 minutes to get to me mail and then it shuts down. I was blamming AT&T only to realize it’s gmail.

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