Yesterday without any indication my Gmail account went into a lockout mode displaying this message when I try to login:
Sorry... account maintenance underway
We’re currently performing maintenance on your account. You won’t be able to log in while maintenance is underway, but your account data and messages are safe. Unfortunately, we can’t predict exactly how long this will take.
If this maintenance lasts more than 24 hours, please contact us at email@example.com.
As a developer, I put nary a confidence level in the veracity of this message and I'm fairly sure there is no maintenance underway. Something has gone wrong with the program logic or someone has flagged my account or a bunch of accounts to investigate something and now my crippled account is just sitting there until someone gets to it.
So for now I have no access to new or existing emails and judging by the Gmail forum it could be offline for days with no access to tech support. Which makes me wonder, this is the same platform as Google Apps and if a business decided to host their online apps on Google, would they be able to afford this kind of downtime and no support?
Larger businesses may receive some form of technical support, but what about the smaller ones? Something to consider as an overall migration strategy. Meanwhile I wait and see when my Gmail account is resurrected. Doesn't look promising though.
Update: After nearly a 26-hour outage, Gmail is back up for me as well as a group of other users who were affected by the maintenance lockout. There was no explanation on what caused the outage. Google is notorious for ignoring individual emails from people with issues, but they do appear to skim the forums and apparently in this case the number of people posting complaints got their attention.