We love Google. Well, mostly. I bet you and I like our email more than Google — especially when it's mission-critical. And we'd probably be less fond of Gmail when it messes it up. I thought I would compile a list of what's wrong with Gmail lately — along with links to the evidence. You may want to bear this in mind before you switch to Gmail:

Note: This is way off-topic, but this these issues have affected me personally — I thought everyone should know. Maybe "Gmail paper" is a good idea, after all?

1. Gmail goes down


1a. Gmail goes down … again


2. Gmail deletes your email


"I logged in to Gmail earlier this past December 2006 only to find that my localization setting was set to Chinese. It took me about 5 minutes to figure out how to get it back to English, mostly because I don't read Chinese! I assumed it was just a fluke. Maybe my cat walked on the keyboard? My password wasn't particularly strong, but based on what happened, I doubt it has to do with that. The data is just plain missing. But then I noticed something else, Gmail appears to have eaten 7 days of my email!"

3. Gmail deletes or disables your account entirely

(this has happened to me, twice — personally)

Google statement via GigaOM:

"Regretfully, a small number of our users, around 60, lost some or all of their email received prior to December 18th. Once we found out about this issue, we worked day and night to confirm that only a few accounts were affected and to do whatever we could to restore as much of the users accounts as we could. We've also reached out to the people who were affected to apologize and to work with them to restore the email from any personal backup they might have. We know how important Gmail is to our users, we use it ourselves for our corporate email. We have extensive safeguards in place to protect email stored with Gmail and we are confident that this is a small and isolated incident." (http://gigaom.com/2006/12/28/mom-google-ate-my-gmail/)

4. Gmail makes you look unprofessional


"My account was disabled - a very important account which was receiving the responses to my dissertation online survey. It took 13 days and 8 e-mails from me to get it back. The incident nearly ruined my dissertation." (http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/013175.html#comment-308399)

5. Gmail does other mindless stuff


"When I make a rule to tag incoming mail, please do not send it to the spam folder. I wouldn't set up rules to tag something if I wanted it to go to the spam folder. This wouldn't be a problem if your system learned from my behavior (like marking 100+ messages not spam), but it doesn't.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Your loyal Gmail user,
QuadsZilla" (http://seoblackhat.com/2007/03/28/dear-gmail/)

Now, I know, Gmail is free, right? Well — not really. It's ad-supported. Gmail isn't free. And Google markets the same product as a hosted service to corporations. I expect more from you, Google. Even Hotmail has been more reliable for me. Rely on Gmail at your own risk. It may very well cause you grief in the future.

… and, of course, when you email them about your problems, they send you a form letter about how to choose secure passwords. At least when your ISP's email server goes on the fritz, you have someone to talk to.

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