[ONGOING] Gmail Account Suspended After Adding POP3 Imported Account

I was recently tasked with setting up a handful of Gmail accounts for a company, creating the accounts worked fine as expected, but when trying to add their business email address as a POP3 import/send as address I have been facing some issues where the accounts are becoming suspended and at risk of deletion. Gmail’s reasoning for this? Apparently “Terms of Service Violation”. I have thoroughly read through the several pages of their Terms of Service, and there is not one rule within that, that we are breaking here.

To make matters even worse, I chose not to leave a copy of imported messages on the server (to free up mailbox space on the POP3 server) which means that all emails from the company address have been sucked up into Gmail and are being held at ransom, if I can’t get Gmail to unsuspend those accounts, the thousands of business emails will be gone for good.

My findings so far:

  • I am able to setup a account import from a POP3 account easily, it imports the messages fine, no problems at all there.
  • However, when setting up “send mail as” for this address, as soon as Gmail sends out the verification email to the address it is causing the Gmail account to immediately logout and state that it has been suspended. This is reflected by a email from Google sent to the recovery email address for the account stating that one can appeal the decision and wait for a response from their staff.

Of course this is very inconvenient and nerve wracking to think that crucial business emails are at risk of deletion, not to mention the downtime that it is causing for the users in question who are unable to deal with their emails in the meantime. I’m unsure what could be triggering this but presumably this is some sort of anti-spam measure. However, this is not a suitable way for Gmail to deal with the problem. Ideally, they should show a captcha or similar instead in a situation like this.

The Gmail accounts have been phone verified already, but for the first two accounts I was able to successfully appeal to Google, thankfully were reinstated after waiting about 10 hours for them to review the issue. I was then prompted to re-verify the phone number again when logging into the account again.

I have reached out to @gmail on Twitter to find out more, I won’t hold my breath but hopefully they will come back with some suitable answers and maybe even a change in their procedures to prevent this from happening again.

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