Another good reason to not use gmail for your business emails

18 comments

Bought into "Send from other email accounts using gmail?" On er, "behalf of" one one unhappy user...

Then I just found out that people are receiving all the emails I send like this:

From:

On Behalf of

Are you kidding me google? You've been giving out my private gmail address and generally making my emails look bizarre without really indicating it?

Comments

using google mail for your business

Why would you ever use a gmail acct for your business ? Only a poser would send me a business email from a yahoo, gmail etc acct and thats the last time I would take them seriously as a business. It would be evident in the headers

SMTP problems

>Why would you ever use a gmail acct for your business

I sometimes use gmail for business when I'm travelling and don't feel like messing with my smtp settings.

The "on behalf of" only

The "on behalf of" only messages show up in some E-mail clients and not others. It's to do with whether the mail server trusts the person sending the E-mail enough to let them claim to be someone else when the mail server doesn't know that for sure. Gmail doesn't trust that this guy is also in posession of

. And rightly so.

Nothing to see here, move along please.

I'm in the process of moving

I'm in the process of moving a small company's marketing staff to gmail. It'll be safer for the business overall to have them OFF the server. They'll keep their server-based email as a alternative should gmail suffer a prolonged outage. Separating mail-serving from web-serving seems to make good sense from a security perspective. I also plan set up a 3rd alternative using a dns-based email redirecting system using a second domain. This third setup would bypass their server entirely and could be redirected in a matter of minutes.

>poser

Yes, that's been a minor concern.

>behalf

This isn't ideal, but in this particular case it's not too much of a concern. The gmail accounts were set up for public use, so there's no issue concerning concealing the address. The nature of the business is such that email exchanges with clients usually only lasts a few weeks or months but they would like the ability to market their permanent email addresses in print, etc. In short, they're just using gmail as a back-end utility.

Don't use Gmail! Use Fastmail or webmail

Fastmail.fm for personal use; $35/yr for 2 GB, unlimited domains, excellent filters, and the best email experience i've ever experienced.

webmail.us for corporate; 10 1GB accounts for $100 / yr; unlimited domains (but a bitch to add more), very bad filters, but OK.

Don't be a cheap bastard with your important stuff. Both of these services are better than GMail; fastmail will friggin blow your mind. (i've only ever tried the $35/yr one).

>Fastmail.fm Duly

>Fastmail.fm

Duly noted

>cheap bastard

Part of the fun is to be a cheap bastard even when I don't have to be. But there's another overriding reason, I've found paid "web utility services" to be prone to failed business plans and resultant degredation of service over the long term. I would prefer to remain in control and just drop/add the backend as required. Using generic public services like gmail and aliasing them keeps me from becoming too vested.

Gmail is unreliable

I tested GMail and very quickly saw significant "issues", aside from the obvious fact that I will not knowingly allow Google to index and store my emails.

One major problem is that Google "decides" if an email is worthy of being viewed/stored. I sent series of images to myself, where the attached images were named the same way each time (image1of6, image2of6, etc). I sent different emails to myself that way over several days. They were all unique images, sent at different times, although to Google they appeared to be identical. Sure enough, GMail decided not to show nor store the emails (!)

If someone sends me an email, I want to decide to read it or not. I don't trust Google to do that. At least a spam filter allows me to store and review messages "that might be spam".

Noted John, and I'll be on

Noted John, and I'll be on the watch for that. We did some pre-testing by forwarding of "suspect" emails and they made it through. This company has had problems in the past with false-positive ISP-level filtering, it's even happened on their intra-company correspondences. They are a legit business but deal in a service that is high on the spam meter ...and that problem is compounded by the fact that these are marketing people and have a natural talent for spammy, exclamatory subject lines, hhh!

Google helping spammers ?

Google should update their robots.txt file : http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=fr&q=site%3Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Fhosted+inurl%3ADomainContact
They are plenty of private emails indexed on their emails business' pages...

LOL

Nice catch, OilSeg

Here's some background on the From issue

Just chatted with one of the folks on the Gmail team, and believe me, they're aware of the "from" issue.

It's in place as part of spam/fraud prevention and is also dictated by how "Sender" is defined by the standard email spec (see http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2822.txt -- note that "Sender" and "From" are different in the spec).

If we obfuscated the sender ID, many systems would flag all such mail as spam. In addition, we use DomainKeys to sign mail, and it requires that we use the "Sender" header to identify the true sender of the mail if the "From" header differs. We don't have to sign it, but it makes it less likely to get caught by spam filters if it is signed.

Also, the actual "on behalf of" display is a client-specific behavior; Outlook is the only client we're aware of that has the less-than-optimal display (has anyone noticed other clients or services that have the same problem?)

* * *

Currently, we DO inform users that sending with a different address changes their "From" address (Settings > Accounts > click "Learn more" on the left hand side), but we plan on adding notes to the user interface and help documentation so people are more aware of these issues.

* * *

By the way, though this is not something everyone here is going to jump at, there's always "Gmail for your domain" (https://www.google.com/hosted) if you decide that you'd like to send/receive e-mail without the pesky From issue.

>By the way, though this is

>By the way, though this is not something everyone here is going to jump at, there's always "Gmail for your domain" (https://www.google.com/hosted) if you decide that you'd like to send/receive e-mail without the pesky From issue

What the heck, since I'm snow white now, I'll jump. Maybe we can get them to kill that damn grouping.

>Outlook is the only client we're aware of that has the less-than-optimal display

This is similar to the "IE is the only browser we're aware of that..." problem. That's a BIG only.

gmail

"By the way, though this is not something everyone here is going to jump at, there's always "Gmail for your domain" (https://www.google.com/hosted"

Signed up, so the countdown to acceptance begins....NOW...tick..tick..

correction

>Maybe we can get them to kill that damn grouping.

I'm told I used the wrong Gmail terminology, it's not grouping, it's 'conversations' or threading or whatever they call it that bundles 3 or 4 emails from the same sender together. PITA.

common complaint, rc

We see that complaint all the time on mailing lists. People subscribed long ago from an email that now forwards, so they get list messages. But if they try and START a discussion, they get bounced (not subscribed). Rather than reset their old account and reconfig for the new email addy, they just grab an old message and do a REPLY, changing the subject line. Easy, intuitive, and it works.

Since nobody actually uses weblist pages or threaded archives, nobody cares. Except the Gmailers. Man have they started whining in the past year or so. Still, nobody cares :-) so I suppose they will eventually go find a graphical forum of friendlier folk to chat with :-)

update

no invitation yet, but not really a concern. afaik, we've not come upon any fatal flaws --though threading strikes very near the pull-the-plug mark. it's a big UNlearning curve to move to that environment after 10 years of flat/unthreaded.

more

the quality of the default spam filtering is shaping up as a sizeable plus. this firm has a few who, though much of their livelihood now depends on email, simply aren't going to effectively manage filtering. so far, i'm getting reviews saying that what's put into the spam box should be there.

update

After approx 2 weeks live on the standard, non-hosted gmail the overall report is very positive. The luddites are able to bump along in their usual fog with just the default filtering on. Those with more sophisticated daily needs (management & support staff) are able to make use of fairly roughly-crafted Boolean operators in searches and filters to automate incoming forms handling.

Management is learning to cope with threading and may eventually even find some spark of utility in it, so they've downgraded their position on it to "guarded." As their volume of threads grow, they expect some problems with wholesale deletions due to permanently removing entire threads by mistake. But they've been warning the users that this is a potential problem so at the very least they'll get to say "See! TOLD you so."

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