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Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately, due to potential privacy and confidentiallity considerations, we are not accepting inbound email from Google's Gmail service. In order for us to respond to your email, you will need to resend it from a different email account.
I am aware of the current privacy backlash (silly in my opinion), but in my opinion, regardless of the email providers Terms and Conditions, the biggest threat to the privacy of the person's reply is the person they send it to - not the provider.
Someone so paranoid about privacy should really require recipients of their emails to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Congratulations on being a tester! I tried, but did not get there in time. I am very curious to know (I haven't spent all the time needed to read through the big posts here yet) if the interface looks like the screenshot they have provided.
Is it really a gig of space? Have you tried to fill it up by uploading something huge? I know they say search, not sort, but do they let you create folders anyway?
Are there any ads placed in the mail you send? If I sticky you my email address would you be willing to send me an email from there so I can take a look at it?
As for email being rejected... I could see that happening, but an intelligent user wouldn't worry about Gmail's ability to look through the email and present ads based on it's content. If someone has something important / confidential to send, do it with encryption, and NOT to a free account. I'll bet it's a webmaster's knee jerk reaction to Gmail, and will soon pass.
Nope. Just the email. No little sig at the bottom that promotes Gmail or whatever.
Wow! A real live answer from the GoogleGuy himself... What a day this has been... First I become a "Full Member" then the GG answers my question... Maybe I should go pick up a Lotto ticket on my way home!
I know the idea of beta testing is to thrash it, but it's all too precious right now, and I haven's shared the address.
Enjoy, and bask in the glory of being among the first of your peers!
Not so much because of privacy issues (which I think have some legitimacy), but because of copyright ones. I am not pleased with the idea that Google will use my intellectual property to target ads for my competitors when I communicate with my customers.
Not so much because of privacy issues (which I think have some legitimacy), but because of copyright ones.
Exactly. Why on earth would you want to send business email into a system where the operator of that system has stated up front theat they intend to read your email and then display ads that match the content?
And please don't make the "it's the same as running a spam filter" argument. Filtering spam doesn't put an ad for a competitor on content I created.
It's pure genius on their part. (an AdSense program that eliminates the need to pay publishers) But it isn't something I'm willing to contribute to. If they want to make money off of email I write, they can pay me for it. So until G comes up with an email publishers AdSense program, I'll continue to deny all email from G.
I dont like to add them to newsletter sign ups as their is no guarantee they are who they say they are.
I dont like to receive attachments from them as (see above)
The majority of people I want to speak to for business or personal reasons do mainly live and or work in "fixed locations" and have permanent telephone lines and relatively fixed ISP solutions which provide them with email solutions which are linked to "real world identities".
If I receive an email which comes from someones ISP account or from a registered domain from a company which is likely to be that persons employer then I have a significantly higher degree of trust that the person apparently talking to me is even a little bit real :-)
I think the repute of web based email accounts has been so severely damaged in recent years that its an interesting [1 not] time google has chosen to jump into it.
It looks to me more like a dubious "me to" battle tactic against msn and yahoo than a well thought out business strategy to provide something offering real and unique value to present and potential customers. 
With the addition of two points made above and the ineptitude displayed so far by G management to cope with the public relations issues involved in this issue I think "deny all" sounds like a perfectly appropriate response.
 so soon there will be three large organisations providing a host of "similar online services",  with little apart from brand to distinguish them and none excelling in any of the fields they provide ... is it to become a war of like commodities devoid of serious innovation with the lowest price probably being a primary competing factor.
 excepting that MS has a considerable additional offline software business which neither yahoo nor google can match and which make them the most likely to prevail in the longer term if the battle becomes one for cost leadership across similar bland "me to" offerings.
[edited by: Mark_A at 11:23 pm (utc) on April 8, 2004]
I have now decided that I would have the same attitude if I had a business in which this would affect me. And suggest all online business consider the same.
The idea that the content of your email will display the ads of your competitors is an extremely valid one. That alone distinguishes GMail from any other web-based service (for now).
I also worry that many ads shown on the receiving end of a gmail user could be very distasteful in certain context.
Google would probably do well in not showing any ads if certain "touchy" subjects are covered in the email context such as death, desease etc. (enter grey area..).
Do I not email my condolences to a friend with a gmail address for worry of what ads will show on his gmail desktop?
One: I am not advertising my competitors when I have a captive audience interested in my products.
Two: They have publicly stated that they will never delete the emails which is particularly bad when I still (and other businesses must) get emails with credit card information in them. I would rather delete them from the server.
Three: Even my emailed invoices/order confirmations will have competitors adverts. If the customer finds it cheaper from a competitor advertised in my own email and then have to refund the customer and lose my transaction fee I would not be happy.
I have significantly reduced trust in any email I receive from generic web based email accounts and I dont expect this to be any different.
Exactly. "Throw-away" addresses are a HUGE problem, clogging up listservs and so forth. For that reason, in any of the email-signup scripts that I use, I have them automatically refuse the sign-up for addresses from Y or MSN's HM (and a few others), giving the user a message to provide another "real" address.
"Throwaway addresses" almost ALWAYS cost more in time and resources than real people.
This appears true for Gmail as well. Worse, I am especially troubled about G's deep copyright infringement issues in actually reading (er, excuse me, the politically correct term is, "scanning") emails that I never authorized G to read. If G wants to read and archive the emails I send, they are free to pay me for it with an address TO THEM. Are they prepared to pay me for that? Not likely.
It would therefore appear that GMail will have to be added to this list of banned email providers for list sign-ups.
Google would probably do well in not showing any ads if certain "touchy" subjects are covered in the email context such as death, desease etc.
They do say in the TOS that no ads will be shown if the email is deemed to be "sensitive".
So all the commerce site owners who are concerned about competitor's ads showing should just rewrite the email receipt to say something like "Thanks for your order, and please accept our deepest sympathies for the loss of your $79.95." :)
1.) MSN/Y user tries to send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
2.) MSN/Y will warn its' users in big letters:
WARNING! - Google/GMail will read the email you are about to send - to ensure privacy we don't recommend sending any email to Google/GMail...
TV Spots will 'educate' internet users even more and will put Gmail in the same category as spammers and will ruin not only GMail but the whole Google brand.
Google forgets how powerful the internet community can be (remember network solutions redirecting misspelled domains?) and that it took years to build the 'we don't do evil' image but that it can be lost within weeks (especially once MSN/Y start using it as food for their 100M TV spots to ruin google's brand)
WG, that's actually one of the best arguments against GMail i've read so far. Although i don't have a problem with GMail's privacy etc., what you said convinces me to not exchange email with gmail accounts, too.
>Microsoft Email Server implement a GMail blocker
We'll see a built in blocker for Outlook, too ... no doubt about that - unless Bill buys the whole package one day - Search + Advertizing + Mail - formerly known as Google.
>If they want to make money off of email I write, they can pay me for it.
WG, that's actually one of the best arguments against GMail i've read so far
indeed - very, very interesting thought.
Some people in the US won ridiculous amounts of $ for smoking - I wouldn't be surprised if some day an organization representing thousands of internet users would come up with a way to claim a couple cents for each of the billions of emails they sent to google (the internet users' intellectual property and work for which they were never paid although google made a profit out of it) - filing such a lawsuit a couple days before their IPO could cost G far more than it could potentially earn. There are enough people in the US filing lawsuits just for fun and the attention by the press would make it rewarding regardless the outcome.
Until that happens, here are the do-it-yourself steps for Outlook. (I use 2003)
1. Create a new email message. Add a subject (Gmail Denial Notice) and your default copy in the body section.
2. Click "File > Save As" and then select "Outlook Template" from the file type menu. That will add the email to your templates folder.
3. Open your rules editor ("Tools > Rules and Alerts"). Click on new rule, and then walk through the wizard selecting the following items:
A) Apply rule after message arrives
B) With specific words in senders address (gmail.com)
C) Reply using a specific template. (Select the template yoo created).
That's it. Now, anytime you receive an email sent from a Gmail user, Outlook will automatically reply with your denial notice.
None of my customers would be affected by my banning all those .. as none of them communicate with me by anything other than real owned domain email addresses.
I find that invariably all email I get in claiming "from addresses" at one of the above .. is not worth the time it takes to delete it.