Email Hell (Mercury Retrograde 2011)

For the last week or so, we’ve been in, what I’ve termed, “Email Hell.” Here’s a synopsis.

Last week a client, whose email server had been working just fine for a long time, started experiencing email delays. They forwarded all of their email through Comcast. Comcast’s servers were apparently experiencing long delivery delays, as several other sites (our own office included) were also experiencing delays in delivery of up to five days. To fix this, we routed their email through our own hosted email service which we resell.violation of terms of service

This worked fine for several days. Then, without explanation, the server we route email through started to reject the emails. Or maybe the server itself was being rejected. As it’s a hosted service and we have no access to the logs, we really couldn’t tell. Neither could the first two guys in tech support that we spoke with. Off to a great start.

So I attempted to route email through Comcast again, and again, our messages were not received. I attempted to route our email through two other ISPs (which we have email accounts with) and received different errors every time. Wonderful! That issue is still pending.

The pièce de résistance came this morning, when Google, whom we use for our own internal email, decided to suspend our main support email address. 90% of all of our business is conducted by this account, so you’ll understand why this was kind of a big deal. Google, in classic Google style, gave us no indication as to what the cause of them suspending the account was, other than to say that we “may have violated their terms of service.” The recommended resolution? Start by reading their terms of service. Give me a f****** break. As a paying Google Apps customer, we were able to call them and ask for technical support. Their technical support was less than impressive, and essentially told me to send a screenshot of the error, which I did, and they said they never received. They then sent an email to the account which was suspended, telling me to try to reset its password. By that time, the account had been re-enabled (again, in classic Google style, with no explanation), so I was able to receive said email, but seriously, who sends an email to an account when the recipient has just informed you that said account is disabled? Google Apps: You fail at customer service. Big Fat Fail.

In closing, I just want to say to Mercury, that darling little planet, what I wouldn’t give to knock you off your little orbit and into the sun some days.

Leave a Reply