back to article Gmail outage causes outrage

Google has apologised to users unable to get into their Gmail accounts last night. The ad serving giant blamed a problem with Gmail's contact system for stopping the service loading properly. The official blog post was titled: "We feel your pain, and we're sorry." The problem happened late afternoon Eastern Time and so …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    lul, whut?

    "Gmail is known as Googlemail in the UK and Germany."

    I'm from the UK and I call it Gmail, so does everyone else I know who has a Gmail account...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh look

    My non-gmail was working perfectly :) Why dont we all use exactly the same provider so we can all be offline at the same time!

  3. Anonymous Coward


    So how many kids couldn't get to their myspace e-mails or FW: FW: FW: FW: read this all the way or......

    boo bloody hoo!

  4. Al Iguana

    I thought it was just me...

    Pheewww... dunno about causing "outrage in the blogosphere", because I couldn't log into my Blogger account to post about it. Or My Google Docs. Strangely though, Google Reader and Calendar still worked.

    I still can't log into Blogger this morning, although Gmail is working again now. Cookie problem, probably.

  5. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: "Gmail is known as Googlemail in the UK and Germany."

    I believe it's officially called Googlemail after some legal unfortunateness. Mine's Gmail, though, as I registered my account before that happened.

    Here you go, 2005.

  6. John Delaney

    Anybody else notice an outage at the weekend?

    Think it was on Saturday afternoon, couldn't find Google (.com or or YouTube in DNS, and couldn't log on to Google Talk, for a period of a few hours. All other sites that I tried were fine. This was from my home Linux and Windows boxes, as well as the web browser on my Wii, and tried resetting the Bebox several times. Think that it must have been localised to my ISP (Be Unlimited) or my exchange, as I didn't see it mentioned anywhere.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not bad...

    I didn't even notice.

  8. Steven Raith
    Paris Hilton

    Outrage at beta service going down once in a while?

    Hmm, lets see what that image in the top left of my Gmail window says:

    "Google Mail - BETA"

    Beta, to me, doesn't strike me as meaning 100% uptime.

    Why the 'outrage' then?

    Steven R

    Paris - because even she woudn't expect perfection from anything marked beta, regardless who supplied it.

  9. Adrian Jackson

    This is disgusting.

    I was without access to my email for a short space of time last week thanks to Google's incompetence. I *demand* a full refund.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I didn't get the apology

    I don't visit such blogs or even use the online email access. So this article is the first I hear of anything going wrong other than it feels like mail is faulty. Why the heck don't they email gmail account holders and say what they had to say in the blog. They can't be feeling my pain if they hardly try to apologies. Thinking of switching. Was hoping this was it, sick of change my emails.

  11. Jon Marshall

    It's free

    I have to admit, whilst I get frustrated when things go offline, I'm still amazed what service I get without paying a penny. For starters, gmail gives me more storage than my company email... How can people complain so much?

    (From another gmail user in the UK)

  12. ryan

    why mail...

    and yahoo now offer addresses for those who failed to get a half decent address with gmail the first time around.

    so that won't be confusing at all.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Good grief..

    If people actually gave a damn about their email provision, you'd be paying for an SLA and support (phone and/or email) which covers any compensation when things go wrong (which they will do so at some point).

    I have no sympathy whatosever for anybody whinging about this problem unless they've paid Google for a Premier account. FWIW it knocked out two of my Premier Google Apps email accounts, but quite frankly, it WAS a temporary problem and IMAP access worked just fine.

  14. Chris


    Well I use the paid-for Gmail service so I can use my own domain and wasn't too bothered about the short outage. What fuss.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ John Delaney

    I noticed this as well. Changed the DNS servers to OpenDNS and it worked ok. With BeUnlimited as well, so must have been a dns issue.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't happen with Apple

    Once again, yesterday evening, I was unable to access my .mac/me mail.

    And now I hear gmail was down.

    Computers suck.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Good grief and others

    Google Apps suffered the same email outage last night, but Premier and Education Edition customers have an SLA.

    Frankly, as much as it inconvenienced me, writing and sending out press releases via my Google Apps setup, the fact that it was up before midnight was good enough for me.

    The outage had some effect though... they upgraded Google Apps to almost the latest version of Gmail (Google Apps does not have the "Always use HTTPS" option yet, but the new style interface is now available). At least my data did not go missing, which is more than what can be said for other providers.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin still works in the UK

    If you were told that your email address ended in then don't worry as this was just for legal reasons (mentioned above).

    You can still use, and tell people that your email address ends in instead if you prefer as it will still work.

  19. zedee

    @ Joh Delaney

    Yup it seems to have been a Be(there)-only problem. Exact same symptoms seen on my Be connection, but could log in fine over my O2 mobile connection. Read somewhere that it's been posted on the website as a known outage.

    That's the first problem I've had in my 8 months with them, best ISP I've had since EFH got gobbled by the borg.

  20. Trevor Watt

    @ John Delaney

    Be/O2 had some serious routing problems on Saturday. Something to do with peering issues or something. I did try to find out more at the time, but could not get on-line....

  21. Martin Lyne

    @ John Delaney

    It was a BeThere (and therefore also an O2) problem. No reg, no google (which also breaks it seems, downside to having google powered search..) but Beeb still worked.

    Traceroute was dying at BeThere's routers.

  22. Dave Morfee

    These things happen

    Like someone said its a beta, and I never remeber reading anything where Google said you get 100% uptime with any of their services.

    John Delaney - This was due to a fault on the Be/o2 network, two stories one is of a fire - very unlikly. The other option and the better one was a massive firewall config cock up, o2 stores lost connection to their internatl network which runs over a Be cloud, similar home broadband was the same. Some ports work eg VPN/RDC but port 80 was out.

    Sounds like port 80 got blocked on the firewall, at the same time locking out o2 from it, so sent a man with a laptop to console up to fix


  23. Jared Earle

    @Anybody else notice an outage at the weekend?

    No, that was just Be's huge outage. They lost a large amount of connectivity across all their customers.

    If you weren't on Be, you'd not have noticed it. If you were at the pub, you'd not have noticed it.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clearly a conspiracy

    "Cos the same time GMail went tits-up, MobileMe was also having one of its regular lie downs in a darkened room.

  25. Daniel Noakes

    What is the problem?

    I do not see what all the fuss is about, if it is that critical that people have 100% up time maybe they should spend some cash on a proper multi site high availability solution. Oh, but that costs money.

  26. hey_may
    Paris Hilton still in UK

    use a USA proxy to Register it

  27. Law
    Paris Hilton

    no outrage here

    I'm fine... barely noticed the outage. Infact, I have more of a chance of my crappy sky router dying than not logging into my email - which is a pretty awesome service for free... I know I know, they own my soul, and can sell it to the highest bidder via advertising, but really - how much does that really bother me right now??

    Phorm on the other hand... I might get google on their arse!!

  28. Dave Bell

    The usual suspects

    If anything on the internet vanishes, I suspect my ISP first.

    Yesterday, I had an embarassing outbreak of caffiene deficiency syndrome, and missed all the opportunities for outrage.

  29. Michael

    @ Steven Raith

    >>>Beta, to me, doesn't strike me as meaning 100% uptime.

    >>>Why the 'outrage' then?

    Could it be that it's been a "beta" for years?? Face it, slapping a "beta" jpg on the site does not a beta make. There comes a point where whether you call it a beta or not, it's in production use, and you have to take that responsibility seriously.

    Too many places call things "betas" just so they have a fallback position when they almost inevitably break stuff. It's a byproduct of, and a crutch for the "deploy it now, test it later" development culture that web 2.0 has thrust us into. If gmail is a beta, we should have to pay for it by having ads displayed.

    Once you start making commercial gain from a product, you can't really call it a beta anymore.

  30. Paul

    So much fuss

    Gmail suffers a couple of hours major downtime, something which really does not seem to happen often, and the blogosphere/twittersphere reacts as though Google had just admitted to serving fried babies in the staff restaurants.

    3 words: Get. A. Grip.

    Seriously. Close the browser. Go outside. Have a beer. Chill out. It's not the end of the world. You'll live.

  31. Satchmo

    GMAIL Outage

    Geeze, I really never noticed. You mean I missed all that great action

  32. EccenTriX
    IT Angle


    Just Kidding! Almost missed an interview coz the details was in gmail. But then was my own stupidity to rely on a service that I am not paying to meet my SLA.

    But its only fair that there is so much fuss.... I am sure if hotmail went down, Microsoft would be flamed as well :)

  33. Jamie


    No company can provide 100% uptime 100% of the time. Things do happen. Give google some credit they give millions of customers hundreds of billions of gigabytes free storage, free bandwidth, free email blah blah. These things all cost money. Bandwith doesn't just appear. It isn't just there! It has to be paid for. Severs cost thousands and google will have hundreds of not thousands of servers to serve their community free. Stop complaining they dont charge you a penny for their 99.9% reliability uptime. They like every other company have problems sometimes. Thats life.

  34. Andus McCoatover

    Gmail down? Maybe....

    ....that'll stop these relentless Post Office closures in the UK...

    Mine's the one with stamps in the pocket.

  35. Richard Hodgson

    Oh god...

    I was there for the great Gmail outage of 2008. It was down for at most an hour. I'm not even sure how I managed to cope.

    Oh yeah, I fired up and logged in through the Gmail POP server on there. No big deal, really.

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