Gmail Losing Emails?

Like a lot of other folks, I’d switched over to Gmail my primary email account. Their Web interface is great, and Gmail’s spam filtering is possibly the best I’d ever seen. However, there was one rather small problem, where by “rather small problem” I mean “kinda huge problem”: I was losing emails. As in, I know the person had sent me emails, and I never received them. Yep, I checked the spam folder. The emails never showed up1.

I was willing to forgive this once or twice, seeing as how complicated and fragile all these SMTP shenanigans is. (Seriously, SMTP has to contend with FTP for the Most Stupid Protocol Ever Award.) However, after Gmail lost emails three or four times and I received the emails successfully at my other, non-Gmail accounts, I couldn’t ignore the problem any longer. The last straw was when one of my friends forwarded me an email three times from another Gmail account and none of the mails came through.

I’ve since switched to and have been a happy chappy since. Pobox’s spam filtering isn’t quite as good as Gmail’s, but it’s good enough, and their once-per-day spam report where you can simply click on a false positive spam to whitelist and retrieve it is just brilliant. That feature alone is worth the $20/year. If they had an email forwarding address where I could send them the rest of my spams to improve their overall spam training, Pobox would be perfect. If you’re looking for a powerful, reliable email forwarding service, I can recommend Pobox without hesitation.

So, here’s a question: has anybody else out there lost emails with Gmail? Surely it must’ve happened to somebody besides me. (Oh, and if you read this, work for Google and would like to figure out what’s going on, drop me a mail: I have the Message-IDs of at least a couple of the emails that were lost. Maybe we can all work this out.)

1 The first time I experienced any email lossage with Gmail was, very unfortunately, a business-related mail: one of our RapidWeaver customers had a Gmail address, and despite me sending two or three emails to him, he claimed never to have never received them. Of course, said customer thought that our customer support was rather lacking when he never received an email within a month, despite me sending one off within 14 hours of seeing the problem. A small drama ensued, threats were being made to post about our lack of customer care to the front page of Digg, etc etc. Thankfully everything was sorted out at the very last minute and unhappy people were made happy again, but geez, it’s a nice reminder of how things can go wrong very fast when communication channels break down.

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