Use Google Apps For Business? You Might Have to Start Paying

If you signed up for Google Apps for Business, then when you recently tried to log into your email,  you may have come across a message that said:

“Gmail has not been enabled by the administrator of the domain”

And when you logged into your c-panel you would find out that your account was suspended because you didn’t set up billing or you didn’t downgrade during your trial to the Google Apps for Business Free Account prior to your trial ending. This is all because as of December 6, 2012, Google has started charging for Google Apps for Business per user and this includes those users who use Gmail with their business domain.

The fees are $5/user per month, or you can sign up for an annual fee of $50 per user per year (which averages out to about $4.17).

Shocked? I was at first, but then realized of course, even Google needs to make money. However, the only thing that slightly peed me off was that I had signed up a client for the free 30 day trial prior to December 6th and toward the end of December their account was suspended. So of course they were not happy to have to pay an annual/monthly fee for customized Gmail.

Why I’m perturbed?

I searched all over their help forum to find out how I could redeem this client, but to no avail. The bottom line was that if you signed up and forgot to downgrade, there was no option for you to do so. This is what I think is complete bologna. First of all, there was no email that said that they should downgrade to keep their free account. There were plenty of emails that said that you should upgrade or set up billing, but with one or two email accounts, why would I want to do that? This is where I feel that Google could have communicated better.

The good news? If you signed up for a free account prior to November 6th and were not in the trial period, you are safe. You will still have a free Google Apps for Business account. However, you might just want to check your c-panel anyway, just to be sure.

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.