May 25, 2006 10:34 AM PDT

Some users locked out of Google Mail

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Google said it is "working to resume normal service soon" for Google Mail after a number of users of the e-mail service were left without access.

The search giant on Thursday confirmed the outage after some people complained they couldn't access their e-mail accounts. Problems were also reported with Google Desktop.

Nathan Anderson, a user of Gmail (as the service is known outside the U.K., where legal issues necessitated a name change), said he was shut out of the mail service for at least three hours.

"I have tried through a number of different ISPs including my BlackBerry and nothing works," he told ZDNet UK.

By midmorning on Thursday users were reporting the service as being back to normal, although many were questioning the root of the problem. A Google representative declined to comment, other than to say Google was "investigating this."

Back in March, several Google Mail users complained that they were struggling to use the free service. Two said their accounts had actually been deleted.

The search giant eventually admitted some accounts had indeed been wiped, but claimed it was not responsible.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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14 comments

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Must be a slow news day.
Must be a slow news day.
Posted by backgroundnoise (32 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Gmail warned people that it's a Beta.
Why are people whining about deleted mail? Gmail is up front in warning all people who sign on that it's a BETA product. You sign on as Testers, not customers.
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
Reply Link Flag
OMG Google slashdotted!
It's only news because it happened to *Google*.

Websites DO now and then incur downtime. It's like your favorite cable or local TV network going blank for 20 minutes. It happens, and the companies try to fix it ASAP. But there's really nothing spectacular about it, it's a glitch that was fixed fairly promptly, and on top of that, anybody complaining about having problems with a free-of-charge beta service should have something placed through their skull.
Posted by DraconumPB (229 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Will Gmail ever not be a BETA?
I may sound sceptical, but if I were able to make exactly the fame amount of advertising revenue from gmail without having to have any responsibility for lost emails and service outages simply by sticking the word BETA in front of the name, I’d be in no hurry to release the final version. And it's not as if gmail is a work-in-progress, it’s been finished for ages.
Posted by joevallely (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Um..No?
To say gmail's been finished for "ages" is just ignorant. Over the past few months GMail has changed tremendously. It's still beta whether you like it or not. Don't like it? Go elsewhere. It's not meant to be used as if it was not experimental. On that note, let me point out that it's still not "open". Sure, it's very easy, all you need is someone who has gmail or a cell phone that can receive text messages, but theoretically it's still not "open".
Posted by AWhiteFlame (9 comments )
Link Flag
All FreeMail
All FreeMail systems can lose your data without being responsible. Hotmail, yahoo, all of them have a clause that they are not responsible for loss of data under any circumstances.
Posted by schubb (202 comments )
Link Flag
If you don't like Beta, use Yahoo! Mail
I use both - Gmail & Yahoo! Mail. And Yahoo! Mail lets you back up your email onto your PC for an annual fee of just US$20.
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
Reply Link Flag
$20?
Shame, Gmail allows you download POP mail for free. So you still
get the back ups if you want them. Hell, I never actually load up the
account in my browser thse days.
Posted by monkphin (28 comments )
Link Flag
I'm not paying $20!
I download my email onto my local system for FREE and even have my client email account do a BCC to myself which Gmail (using filters) automatically Archives it so I can get the messages I've sent from either client or web!

Yahoo! allowed this for a while and I was happy with that but then they changed the rules and started charging for it.
Posted by dragonbite (452 comments )
Link Flag
Well, theres one simple solution...
Ask for your money back.

Oh wait.. you didn't pay for anything.
Posted by KerSplatt (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
4 days long Gmail Server Error
I have completed 4 days without access to my Gmail account. The response is: "Server error".

It was not easy, but Google support reacted. As everybody can verify, there is no way to ask Google for support other than reading the pre-packed answers to frequent topics they have in the support section of their web site. SERVER ERROR problem is not in the FAQs. So I phone called Google headquarters: They do not give customer service there. So I entered my problem in Google's web site as if were a suggestion (using an old --not Gmail-- email account). They answered as follows:

"Re: [#61935649] Account Status

"Hello,

"Thanks for your report. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. To help us better diagnose the problem, please reply to this message with the following information:

"- Please describe what occurs after submitting your username and password.
"- Are you receiving any specific error messages? If so, please include the exact code or text of the message.
"- When did you first encounter this issue? Please provide a specific date and time, if possible.
"- What browser are you using? Please specify the exact version. (This information is typically available in the 'Help' menu of your browser, under 'About Internet Explorer,' 'About Firefox,' etc.)
"- Which Internet security, firewall, anti-virus, or pop-up blocking software is installed on your computer, if any?
"- Which browser extensions or toolbars are installed on your computer, if any?

"Once we receive all the requested information, we'll investigate the issue further.

"Sincerely,
"The Google Team"

I answered all questions inmediately, of course, but it seems to me that Google is looking for problems outside, in the userĀ“s environment, when they MUST know the problem is in their own SERVERS.
Posted by JH Caro (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes it's a pain.
But you simply can't do anything about it. Google probably knows that it's their internal servers or something somewhere along the way, but they can't say that because that is admitting that they have screwed up someplace, which immediately causes you to feel less trust toward them. They're trying to handle this in the most diplomatic way, which also includes the beaurocrasy that is Google Tech Support.

Ultimately, either google will fix it, or they won't, and you'll need to go someplace else, or make a new account. You won't know untill they say something else, or your account works again.
Posted by Bobbias (55 comments )
Link Flag
gmail server error
I have been getting gmail server error for past 10 or more days when I try to access it fro Firefox. Fortunately, I figured out that the problem is browser related. My gmail is working fine under Internet explorer for the past 4 day but I continue to get the server error under firefox
Posted by ashekumar (1 comment )
Link Flag
 

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