Rant: GMail Sucks so Good - I think it competes with USPS.

First up - yes I do have a Gmail account (1 yr old), just like I have a hotmail account (11 yrs old), a Yahoo account (8 yrs old). The concept is cool, the Huge storage is a great benefit for customers and hey I do also see some merit in searching v/s sorting mail. But then I do have the same terrible affixation that haunts all geeks or ex-geeks who suffering from a constant need to try out new-technology . Sufficiently warned? Here comes the rant:

When it comes to using webmail systems - despite all the features thrown at you - or the minimalist-feature (Is that an oxymoron?) one thing I shall not compromise on is the ability to receive the mail sent to me on time - and the ability to send out email consistently from my mail account. That is a requirement as fundamental as a car-shopper looking for cars on a plethora of features ranging from heated seats to GPS navigation... but just hoping for the car to go from point A to point B when required by the driver. Simple. Just like I dont want to spend a sleepless night worrying about if my car would start the next morning when I need it to drive to work - similarly I dont want to worry about if my email would have reached the intended recepient - as intended on time.

Now in the last 2-3 months, I have come up with solid reasons on why I can build a case on why Gmail Sucks::

  • Losing my mail - while I type a mssg and click send - to find instead a "login expired" message! A quick MSNSearch says there are others who have had the same problems too!
  • Sometimes - I can just not plain login. Instead I get a mssg on the screen that says "Oops"! Okie Britney you have a fan at the G! team alrite! Yes - they did it again. More folks with same problems have had this too. I know Error Code 32 or Error code 00zhgy0 are worse - but what kind of an error message goes... "Oops!" ?
  • Quite often (read intermittently) - emails sent out from a Gmail accnt (mine or others) takes 2-3 days to reach my inbox. And I thought Hotmail, Yahoo were competition! Apparently not - Gmail seems to compete instead with USPS! Fedex/UPS would ofcourse have an ontime overnight delivery - so no competition there.

Before I wrote this rant I did a test over the last month... A simple Ping-Pong test. PING: First I would send someone the email and PONG - call them up after 10 mins to ask - "Hey seen my email yet?". 9 out of 10 times the response would be "Why email me when you were going to call me?" but then every once in a while - that email would be lost ... and arrive 3 days later! A look at the email headers to check routing - was enough proof. The bottle neck seems to happen at the Gmail Proxy:  "Sent (from gmail accnt) on Sept 19th... received by Gmail Proxy on Sept 21st.... received by (corporate mail) on Sept 21st." 21st?? Thats 3 days! Atleast 5 times before in the past 3 months I know this has happened - and about 3 times my message was never delivered. Never Delivered? Hullo - USPS atleast gets my packages delivered on time - maybe its in a bad shape (if you bought furniture from Overstock.com you know what I am talking abt) - but atleast it is delivered.

Anyhoo - That is just unacceptable. And for any comments that are going to respond to this rant and defend about the tag "BETA" on Gmail - I tell you - its been on Beta for a yr or more now - and you'd think sending out mails is something Gmail would have gotten fixed by now ..... instead of pointing me to ads when I read my mail!