Google's Gmail System Failure Continues To Wreak Havoc and Business Losses — 50+ Hours & Counting

Google's Gmail system locked out at least 150,000 user's Gmail files, Contact Lists and Calendars along with their ability to send and receive email sometime Sunday morning (see yesterday's post So You Believe Gmail Is Free). Myself among them. It wasn't until after 5:00 PM EST Monday that Google posted a mea culpa to affected users in response to their attempts to log in to gmail accounts writing "Sorry... account maintenance underway. We are currently working on your account because an error occurred with your mail storage. Your account data and messages are safe. However, you won't be able to log in until our team is finished. We can't predict exactly how long this will take, but if you are still unable to access your account in 48 hours, please contact us with your username at gmail-maintenance@google.com. We apologize for the disruption."

I know what you're thinking: "Where's your back-up?" The plain answer: I don't have back-up. A huge guilt ridden lesson learned. I switched to Gmail three years ago because it offered everything I needed in one unsurpassed package. And I while I thought often about back-up, I never found a way to do it beyond providing Google with a back-up recovery email address they suggested in the event it should ever be needed. At this writing, Gmail has yet to contact me at that back up address.

The personal and business related angst, trauma and despair that this prolonged glitch has propagated is difficult to describe. Sifting through paper files of some printed email streams, trying to reconstruct other's email addresses from memory and attempting a photographic recall of my calendar for the week has been hell. One can only hope at this point that a near total recovery will be forthcoming and that lapses in scheduled communication and follow-up will be understood in the aftermath.

The obvious lesson is to never, ever, ever be lulled into complacency by years of un-lost data service. And so far as Gmail back up goes, David posted the following comment to yesterday's post on this debacle:
I luckily wasn't one of the .08%. I started looking at backup options though after reading about the data loss. Backupify seems like a good option and they are taking advantage of the Gmail press by offering a year for free. I'm not associated at all with the company, just passing along a tip to the Spend Matters audience.

Somewhat ironically, as with traffic jams and debilitating weather, Gmail has become so ubiquitous that their system failures now cause incalculable production and monetary losses.

Dear Google,
The big question is: Do you care? If so, please add "timely communication" and "back-up provisions" to your ten point mission statement and execute. Heck, you can even bill for it. And besides, anything less is most certainly evil given the harm you've caused so many individuals and businesses.

- William Busch

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