Google really needs to work on its support documentation and sales copy, as I wouldn’t be writing this blog post if their services and their limitations had been expressed clearly.
You can port all of your existing POP/IMAP accounts into your free GMail account. You can also send from any email address, provided you have access to it in order to click the link in their confirmation notice. Great. What they don’t tell you is that every header on every outgoing message will then include this line:
From: email@example.com On Behalf Of Your Name
This isn’t hiding in the extended headers somewhere… this is right there for everyone using Outlook and other mail programs to see. It’s to protect against spammers using the service, but mostly, it’s annoying. It’s also not mentioned anywhere, except in user forums where fellow GMailers explained that you can avoid this by paying $50/year to signup for Google Apps for your Domain.
I finally fork over my $50, only to discover mid-process that they limit the number of domain aliases you can use. (I have 24 separate domains + misspellings of some of those domains.) I think I got to #13 when I was greeted by a mean little red sentence informing me I surpassed this undisclosed limit. Obnoxious!
I also kept getting a mysterious “temporary 502″ error when I tried to access various pages:
Temporary Error (502)
We’re sorry, but your Gmail account is currently experiencing errors. You won’t be able to use your account while these errors last, but don’t worry, your account data and messages are safe. Our engineers are working to resolve this issue.
Please try accessing your account again in a few minutes.
Mind you this error persisted for three days, not a few minutes.
Two emails back and forth with support later, I got zero help. They kept reminding me to change my MX records. Yea, that’s what I’m going to do, send my MX records your way when you can’t explain why half my clicks result in an error message.
I’m sure I could pay $50/year/per domain to avoid this problem, and then port those 24 accounts into another GMail account, but I don’t feel like paying $1200/year for the privilege when Fusemail provides more features and seamlessly handles over 100 domains for $10/month.
In the end, I deleted my Google Apps account and ported all my domains through a single Fusemail.com account (on the suggestion of my new hero, PickledOnion). I’ve been checkiing my email for more than a year now with a real program — Mail.app — and haven’t missed Gmail for a second.