Gmail spooked out over Halloween

Some Gmail users claim to have been left without webmail for two days, as Google suffers fresh outage

Barry Collins
2 Nov 2009

Google's Gmail service has once again suffered from a prolonged outage, in what's becoming an increasingly common problem with the webmail service.

Users began reporting problems on Halloween (British time), claiming that they couldn't get access to the web front-end of Gmail. Some complainants on the Gmail help forum claimed they couldn't access the service for two days.

Hell will freeze over before I pay one penny to Google after this debacle

The outage appeared to affect users worldwide, including in the UK. "I'm in London, have had no access now for roughly past 24hrs," claimed one user on the help forum. "Have filled in a support form to Google with an alternate email for them to contact me on but no reply yet. This is really bad! I urgently need to access my mail for work now."

"More than 30 hours without email... totally unacceptable," wrote another user. "I'll definitely have to reconsider my selection of Gmail for my primary email account. It may be I have to pay for an account but hell will freeze over before I pay one penny to Google after this debacle."

Google's App Status dashboard only acknowledged there was a problem with the service on Sunday (1 November), and then suggested it was a minor issue.

"We're aware of a problem with Google Mail affecting a small subset of users," the company reported on Sunday evening. "The affected users are unable to access Google Mail."

An hour or so later, the company said the problem was fixed and that it had affected "less than 0.001% of Gmail users". The company offered no reason for the outage.

Common outages

Reports of Gmail outages have grown increasingly frequent in recent months. The webmail service was knocked offline completely for two hours at the beginning of September, with Google blaming overloaded servers for the problem, which was sparked by "routine maintenance".

Gmail suffered another outage later that month, although once again the company insisted it affected only a small subset of users.

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