back to article Gmail users howl over Halloween outage

Some Gmail users say they've been unable to access to the service for long stretches today and yesterday, though Google has not acknowledged any problem on its "Apps Status Dashboard." Australia-based user Jason Reed says he's been without access for at least 12 hours today, and others posting to Google's support forums here …


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  1. cj100570
    Thumb Up

    Luckiest Person Alive

    I must assuredly be the luckiet man alive. I've been a Gmail user since 2005 and I have yet to experience even 1 outtage. I've had it be a litle slow at times but I've always been able to access my email and on my BlackBerry with narry an issue.

  2. Insane Reindeer
    Thumb Up

    2nd Luckiest Person Alive

    Yes I too have never suffered an outage of any sorts with any of my gmail accounts. And a quick check around of friends and family currently using gmail as their primary email source (about 25) show that all is fine with their accounts. And these stretch from the Finnish Arctic circle through the UK, Brazil and Japan.

    And for me, it is now 5 and a half years of constant use without a single issue...

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Mmmmmm, enterprise grade

    Hell will be freezing over before I switch my company's email over to their service.

  4. Chris Neale

    Whinge Whinge Whinge

    "One poster said they'd never pay a penny to google after this debacle..."

    30 hours without e-mail over a weekend.

    So if there was no e-mail and you relied on the Royal Mail? Then what? no delivery for 3 days.

    Do people have your phone number? Do you have theirs?

    And yes as you righly point out it's free.!!!!!

    You go off and set up an e-mail service for 100s of millions of people and YOU keep it up 24x7x365

    Pfft if people can't live without mail for a few hours they need to get a life! to check my mail

  5. ChrisInBelgium

    @cj100570 - no you're not

    Not really, I've been a Gmail user since it became available, and have never had a day I couldn't log on either... I suspect there's a few more 'lucky ones'...

  6. the_madman
    Thumb Up


    Not only does Google Mail work for me, but it's started importing my contacts from my Hotmail account *properly*, while this didn't work fully before. Awesome! One less reason to use Hotmail.

  7. Jason Togneri

    You know,

    Some of us actually pay for the service we receive. I've been using paid-for email (admittedly as part of a hosting package) since about 2000, and it's pretty much only gotten better. I can't understand why you would place all your trust (and in some cases, I've noticed, business email lines) in the hands of a single third party - and a free provider at that.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Not an issue for me

    I haven't noticed any problems with my email..... but then again I don't use gmail :)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It may be I have to pay for an account"

    Aw, diddums.

    Welcome to the real world.

  10. Rob McDougall


    It's free! I'm always amazed by how good the service is considering I'm paying NOTHING....!

  11. Gert Selkobi

    Choose another gMail?

    "I'll definitely have to reconsider my selection of gmail for my primary email account." ~ Jason Reed

    Way to go, really stick it to Google by going to their free email rival Gmail.

    Or does he mean that he'll close his existing account and set up another with them, to avoid future outages?

    Sounds just like somebody who once asked me if I could "install the internet" into their computer.

    Fecking numpty! Did make me laugh though. Can we set the BOFH onto him. He deserves it.

  12. Pug50

    Perspective ...

    I wonder how GMail's uptime compares with most ISPs mail services or corporate self-hosted Exchange systems?

    In my experience at least, GMail is much more reliable/availiable than either.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Who uses the pile of shat?

    Google have time and time again shown their utter incompetence with email, so why do people still use the sack of crap?

  14. Anonymous John

    Can' think of a title.

    It didn't actually stop working for me in the UK, but several times I got an error message saying something like "Not all Google features are available. Please try the basic HTML version".

    Which I had to do to send email, or open draft emails (I think).

    Back to normal now though.

  15. blackworx

    Simple solution

    Don't use Gmail

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "More than 30 hours without email...totally unacceptable"

    Get a life. Or even better, organize a life for the millions and millions of people who live in poverty, suffer from infrastructure problems and could live much better lives if governments sorted these problems out instead of bailing out millionaire bankers.

    No e-mail unacceptable? No house, no food and no safety - that's what's unacceptable - get over yourself.

  17. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    For a moment there.

    I read that as g-wail users

  18. Pax681

    never had a prob

    same here , i have never ever had an issue with gmail either on the web or on my phone either

  19. Sean Donnellan
    Thumb Up

    Also lucky

    Ditto - no problems since April 2005

    Web/IMAP/POP - All free - and soooo much more reliable then Virgin Media (UK)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I'm unaffected

    I knew nothing about the outage until this story popped up. My mail client checks my mail every 5 mins and there's been errors logged so POP access is working for me.

    How many of the users that are complaining actually pay for access? I know there's a guy in the article that does, and it mentioned others do, but I bet most of the noise is being made by those who don't pay (it was last time).

    If your e-mail is that critical to your life/business why would you trust it to an outside company?

  21. Stu_The_Jock
    Thumb Up

    2nd luckiest person

    I've had a few gmail accounts for a few years too, never had a problem, in fact I use one account purely as a spam filter that I forward a POP box to, then reforward back to a reception box, works great.

  22. eugene


    Strange, don't they have automated failover systems in place? Did someone ... chuck a Spanner in the works?


  23. Gumby 1

    whats wrong with the ISP email!

    As most ISP's in Oz also supply you with an email address or a couple ( up to 5) WFT would you be using Gmail? Even traveling you can access those accounts from the web.

    Unless of course your using the webs from a library/cafe and don't have a home internet connection.

    I have one for each pocket, today I'll use the arch window.

  24. Mike Echo

    Second luckiest person alive

    My gmail pop has been sporadically flaky for a while now, complete with timeouts in TB, but (a) it's free and (b) I can usually use the web interface or the blessed PopPeeper to grab my pop mail.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Translation, please?

    "Google ees were around so they fixed the problem the same day."

    Is 'ees' an abbreviation for engineers, or executives, or is it just a typo whose correct form I am unable to detemine?

  26. Mike Shepherd

    Luckiest Person Alive

    I must assuredly be the luckiest man alive. I was never daft enough to trust my e-mail to Google.

  27. Asheguy79
    Big Brother


    Having two e-mail accouts with two different providers is always a good idea. I know it is somewhat of a hassel but so is not getting your e-mail. I myself don't use Gmail due to the fact that they are evil.

  28. Alex Brett

    Re: Choose another gMail?

    "I'll definitely have to reconsider my selection of gmail for my primary email account." was quite clear to me - the person is reconsidering his choice to use gmail, i.e. he's thinking of moving away to some other provider, presumably due to the outages.

  29. the_madman


    That makes you the third luckiest person...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ignorant commenters

    Typical ignorant responses. "What are you complaining for, it's free!". Well it's not "free" at all. Using Gmail represents an individual's investment in Gmail's capabilities. It has to be able to do the job and Google wants it to be able to do the job. And some users are paying for a service level and not receiving it. It remains to be seen what has happened in this case but the problem highlights one of communication - customers being able to reach Google, and Google being able to feed back to customers in a timely manner.

    As for comments with the theme "Why do you trust Gmail?" again this is ridiculous. Making Google out to be a demon with ulterior motives is predictable and boring. They are a business and their objectives are fairly clear. Stop turning a service outage into some binary assessment of Google whereby they are either fine or else creepy and unreliable. It smacks of all the oh so old "M$" crap which STILL flies around to this day from individuals who have not a shred of business acumen, understanding of service delivery or experience of large scale infrastructure (your Netgear home router and iptables doesn't count as experience I'm afraid).

    Finally I note that no-one has observed that while customers and Google should be able to communicate clearly, the onus is on the users to assess their email strategy and plan for contingency. This includes being able to route addresses elsewhere and access the content of mailboxes if Google's service is unavailable. It seems these users may not have done so. Perhaps a lesson will be learned, but quite possibly they will assess Google as being no good and move somewhere else, where of course they are destined to repeat their mistakes.

    I use Google in a free and paid for capacity, I expect it to work, I expect a service level and communication from Google - and I plan for receiving none of these. It's your data people, and it's your job to look after it.

  31. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

    Daylight savings?

    Perhaps the server he was connecting to are in the US which switch over at 02:00 on 1 Nov 2009.

    I had a bunch of servers unable to authenticate because some got the patch and others didn't (it was assumed that the ones not in the US didn't need, but we just learned otherwise). Perhaps its the same as Google

  32. nichomach

    @Gert Selkobi

    I'd say that it is apparent that the person's primary email account IS gmail, and that he intends to reconsider whether making gmail his primary mail service was a good idea, and is considering switching to another service and possibly a paid one from another provider. Perfectly clear, but then I can *ahem* "fecking" read plain English.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    All eggs in one basket!!!!!!!!!!!

    For all the commenter who noted that it is crazy for people to use GMAIL and put their eggs in one basket. Then suggest other ISP option. Isn't that all the eggs in one basket any how you take it.

    The question then becomes whether this basket should be GMAIL or not. I am yet to see a discussion that points to downtime or availability with other service.

    Our online business is dependent on real time email. We use GMAIL because even with the occasional down time the alternatives do not seem any better and we do not want to host our own email services.

    Yes, all our eggs are in Google's basket. We will not use ISP mail because of past problems and have seen no discussions that convincingly points to better alternatives.

  34. hikaricore
    Thumb Up


    luckily i was drunk all day yesterday so i was totally unaffected.

  35. Anonymous Coward


    "Sorry we accidentally kicked the plug while copying all your emails over to the government."

  36. Goat Jam

    Re: ISP email

    Use your ISP email? Great idea!

    Until, of course, you inevitably change ISP and find yourself having to change your email address for countless online and offline services as well as advise your entire set of contacts that you now have a new address.

    That is when you will discover that having an email account that is not tethered to your ISP de jour might in fact be a grand idea after all.


  37. Steve Roper

    It's FREE, people

    If you pay for a service, you have a right to complain when it doesn't deliver. But for all those bitching about their FREE email service going down... Bad luck. Don't base your business or personal life on something that costs you nothing if you don't want to expect problems. Google have no obligation whatsoever to even continue to provide the service.

    As an analogy, if I give you a free biscuit today, it doesn't follow that I'll give you one tomorrow. So don't budget your food bill on getting free food from me!

  38. Lyle Dietz

    Time to change

    I might have to set up a mail server on my VPS box. I'm relying on Google to much if these outages continue.

    I wonder how much I could charge people for an email service...

  39. Shannon Jacobs

    Google not listening? I'm shocked

    Google has decided they are big boys now and we peasants can be safely ignored. Maybe not always, but apparently about 99% of the time. I think that's a kind of risky strategy for a company that has almost no assets of their own beyond their reputation. My trust for Google has been dying pretty steadily of late.

  40. Big-nosed Pengie


    People actually use that web-based shite as their primary e-mail? Sometimes stupidity is its own punishment.

  41. Azrael

    Even if it's free...

    It offers a service. And when deciding whether to use that service, I'm basing that decision on what I think I'm getting. I'll enjoy and appreciate a free gmail account, until it becomes worth my while to use another option. Whether I stay with it won't be based on price, it'll be based on price AND service.

    So gmail does have to provide a reasonable level of service, or loose customers.

    They aren't obligated to keep customers - but if that's their objective, it'd be sensible for them to consider it. So the "it's free" argument goes a fair distance for me, but doesn't go all the way.

    All that said, 30 hours downtime still leaves, what? 99.7% uptime. My maths might be off, and that also doesn't take into account other downtimes through the year. It's not "five nines" uptime that you get from some places - but if we could get our university mailserver to provide even 99% uptime I'd be *very* happy. So it still looks like they're providing very respectable, solid service. On top of being free. Pretty awesome stuff.

  42. Dave Bell

    Less than perfect

    I've been getting warning messages about components failing to load, cured by taking the option to use the previous version, so I wouldn't count it as a failure, but the problems aren't over yet, I think.

  43. Witty username

    30 hours?!

    DEMAND your money back man!

    ...oh wait

  44. TJPSolutions

    Only interested in bad news about Google?

    Funny that I only ever hear bad news (or at least recently) about Google here, not a mention in the last couple of weeks about Google's 3rd quarter results, Jaguar Land Rover and the City of Los Angeles both going Google...all of these have mysteriously gone unreported.

  45. Peter D'Hoye
    Thumb Up

    GMail works very well

    Didn't see any problems, it is at least as reliable as the services I pay for at my ISP...

  46. The Dark Lord

    Cloud Computing

    Services like GMail are inspirational for IT Directors looking to outsource to SaaS. They look at the low cost model and forget other issues such as performance & uptime. My contention has always been that if the service you're outsourcing to is running, then they offer great value. But the control you lose when service is struggling is in many cases too expensive for the customer to bear.

    Basically, the customer can scream and scream at Google all they want. The service will be back when it's back. No escalation, no redirection of resources, nothing. None of the usual tools for crisis management are available.

    Seems Google need to work on this area of their service now if they and the other cloud providers are to convince us that SaaS is the way to go.

  47. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

    (@Steve Roper 23:45) Biscuit?

    "As an analogy, if I give you a free biscuit today, it doesn't follow that I'll give you one tomorrow. So don't budget your food bill on getting free food from me!"

    I have a coffee on the go... Can I have a free biscuit please? If you don't give me one, I'll bally well go and ask someone else for a free biscuit, that'll teach ya! Erm...

  48. JaitcH

    Bloody Freeloaders Are Never Happy

    If all those cheapskates who use free Google services should shut-up and be grateful for the generosity of Google an others wgo provide free services.

    Complain, complain ... I can't access my free service.

    Worried about reliability? Set your accounts up so everything is copied to secondary accounts. And appreciate just how lucky you are.

  49. Nick Stallman

    Another lucky person

    Google says 0.001% of people affected. Considering how many people use Gmail, thats nothing.

    I do have a Premier account, but I've never noticed any outages either.

    For $50/year its entirely worth it. 2 years with not a single problem.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    I must've been one of the 99.999% then...

    I had no problems whatsoever with Gmail yesterday. And people spitting their dummies at a free service is just stupid.

    If you use free services, you get what you pay for.

  51. JPatrick

    Gmail isn't free

    Gmail isn't free, we pay for it by looking at adverts that google serves up, we just don't give them any money for it....

    I've never had a problem with Gmail and I use it pretty much everyday. If you're the kind of person that sees email as "mission critical" and even a couple of days down time is a huge problem, then may I suggest either setting up your own email server or paying someone else for it?

    That said using your own server or paying someone else is no guarantee and hey some interuptions to service may have nothing to do with your servers paid or otherwise....

    Just my two pence.... nothing to see here now move along....

  52. TeeCee Gold badge

    Obvious really.

    "Google did not immediately respond to our request for comment when we contacted the company on Saturday evening Pacific time. And the company has yet to respond to users on its support forums."

    They've obviously decided that it's cheaper to give a full refund on every complaint than to run a support service.

    Since you paid fuck-all, that's what they're giving back.

  53. Campbell


    if you get something for nothing, do you have a right to complain if it doesn't work?

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