First, the story:

A producer, essentially a 3rd-party contractor working for one of Feedwire’s clients, has elected to use a free gmail account for the bulk of her business and personal email. We’ll call her Sophie to protect the innocent. She’s currently on a business trip in Africa. Email communication is essential to her work and to her life.

Two days ago, her account stopped receiving messages. We’ve reviewed the settings, tested and re-tested the account. Her account is not full, her emails are not being forwarded, her messages are not being downloaded to some device or computer. Messages addressed to her are not being delivered to her mailbox. They’re just now starting to soft-bounce. Senders are receiving notices that delivery of their message has been delayed, and attempts will be made for a few more days to deliver the message before giving up.

We have concluded that there is something wrong with her mailbox. This isn’t an unexpected occurrence. There are millions, possibly billions of mailboxes out there in the world and every once in a while one of them has a glitch or a hiccup. Unfortunately for her, gmail’s free email service does not include phone support. There is a web-based support form, and the problem will probably eventually be resolved, but eventually doesn’t help her immediate and severe need to access her incoming mail.

Now, the solution:

Pay for it.

If you need a service, if you depend on it for business or for life, pay for it. You don’t have to pay much, but you do have to be someone’s customer before you can get any kind of customer service. Reliability has become free. Gmail is an extremely reliable service, among the best, but even the best fail. Failure is the expensive part. You get to decide whether you will pay a little in advance, or a lot on the back end. It’s your call.

What’s it cost to have a paid-for email? We can set you up for $22 / year. Three times that, and we can include a permanent secondary archive of your messages. $50 / year for an extremely reliable mailbox on your own personal domain with accessible customer service and support. I’m sure Sophie would have gladly paid $50 to avoid the predicament she’s in now. Probably even ten times that.

Everything breaks. The consequences of failure can be shaped. You have the power to prevent failure from becoming disaster. We’d love to help you with that process. Get in touch with us.