Friday, May 6, 2011

Gmail: The server returned the error: Account exceeded bandwidth limits. (Failure).

For the second time today, I'm complaining about technology... Non-techies are likely to understand this post a little more than my last, so don't dismiss it right away if you're a little put off by the first impression...

I'm a Gmail user. I have, and use several GMail accounts, that all forward back to my main GMail account. One address I used for websites that I have to register for, one I use for possible spam sources, etc...

Last night I got a new hard drive and re-installed everything... Windows, Office, etc... everything. Today, I set up Outlook for my work email and my main Gmail account. I had over 12,000 emails in my Gmail account. After all, they advertise that you never have to delete an email again right! TONS and tons of space with Gmail! That's why the whole world switched, isn't it?? It's certainly the reason I switched!

So my Outlook client got to work synchronizing with my copious amounts of email. What I did not realize, was there's apparently a penalty for having too much data downloaded in too short a time period. Outlook had apparently tried to connect multiple times, while the original connection was still active. There was just too much data, and things just stopped. All of a sudden, I got this error from outlook: The server returned the error: Account exceeded bandwidth limits. (Failure). And yes, it was in red. 

I fumbled around with it for about an hour. I removed the account, added it back. I changed my password, I disabled imap, re-enabled it, etc... I eventually turned to Google, and found literally dozens of threads here and there about it being a problem with a few different possibilities. 

This can happen if:

  • Too much data is being downloaded in too short a time frame
  • Too many connections to the same email account
And there were a few other speculations too, but these were the most common ones. ALL advice that I could find said to close all connections to the account, and wait for 24 hours. Twenty-four hours! (It actually only turned out to be 4 hours for me, FYI). 

Now, Yes. I can go without email for 24 hours... But should I have to? I followed all available rules! I could not find anywhere on the Internet that says how much data is "too much", how little a time frame is "too short"... 

My problem is that they advertise their products as infinite space, never delete, no inbox too big! ...and yet there I was, dead in the water because I have too much data. Not only that, but I was expected to be down for twenty-four hours. 

Once again, not the end of the world, but isn't that a bit like saying "If you drive our cars, you can go as fast as you want, anywhere you want!" So you do! And then you find out from a third party that your car was impounded because you drove too fast. Sure you CAN do it, but there are consequences! Oh, and we're not going to tell you what the speed limit is either. Nor will we tell you how long you'll be without your car, but we're OK with letting everyone think it's for two weeks. Maybe it won't be. 

This may just be my opinion, but I find this to be a shady way to do business.