Bye bye GandiMail

… starting from the point where the story stopped.

After weeks of stress and infructuous searches1 for an alternative to the to-be-late GandiMail (see gandi.net – disappointing and untrustworthy!), I eventually found a free email hosting provider. Better than just a substitute, Skiff Mail proved to be the real gem I was looking for (with everything you could dream of). To allow plenty of time for a smooth transition I did the transfer 15 days before gandi.net’s deadline; still, there was some unfinished business

Before November 30

After a week with no issues to report (i.e., my emails were delivered to my Skiff account without any problem), I thought it was okay now to remove the two MX records from gandi.net. For info, it might be worth mentioning that the latter have different priorities than the one from Skiff:

@ 10800 IN MX 10 spool.mail.gandi.net.
@ 10800 IN MX 50 fb.mail.gandi.net.

With Skiff MX records set to priority 0, all emails should be addressed there first. If something had gone wrong, the emails would be transmitted to the next MX records, that is the gandi one with priority 10. It did not happen!

So, I headed to my Gandi dashboard, or more specifically to the Domain name section, selected my domain name, and moved to the Email tab. There I was welcomed with this message:

Update regarding the free mailbox service

Your free mailboxes expire soon. Our email service has been available since April 6, 2023. More information.
You can decide to:
• Convert your free mailboxes to the new offer and pay the corresponding fees by clicking on “Convert” for each mailbox.
• Migrate your free mailboxes to another provider.
• Delete your free mailboxes.
If you choose to convert your free mailboxes to the new offer, they will be added to the basket.

I ignored the message, as well as all the buttons inviting me to upgrade or convert my two free mailboxes, and, following gandi.net’s documentation, I headed to the contextual menu (፧) to the right of the first account, and chose Manage. There, I clicked on Delete and confirmed that I wanted to delete the mailbox by clicking on Delete again. I did the same for my second mailbox and …

Warning

Deleting the mailbox and the associated email address will also delete all the email in the mailbox.

IMAP stores emails both locally and on the server, but those programs will keep the data linked to the server, so if you change the server address details, the mailclient will look up what data is on the server, sees that its empty, then deletes all locally stored emails too.LPChip

… and nothing; except that my mail client could not connect to them anymore with the following error:

Task ‘Synchronizing subscribed folders for OBFUSCATED@CogitActive.com.’ reported error (0x800CCC0E) : ‘ OBFUSCATED cannot synchronize subscribed folders for OBFUSCATED @CogitActive.com. Error: Cannot connect to the server. If you continue to receive this message, contact your server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).’

I had these annoying pop-up windows from my email client because it could not connect to them, but I did not lose my email (they are still stored locally). After a few minutes, I went to the Send/Receive settings (Ctrl+Alt+S), clicked Edit, selected the (two) account(s) on the left, and unchecked the option to Include the selected account in this group.

After November 30

There had been many emails “inviting” me (i.e., insisting reminders that if I did not transfer my free accounts to their new email service I would lose them) to act before November 30. However, after I deleted them both, nothing! Not even a confirmatory email (on any of my other accounts).

Nothing, except for these two messages on there website:

Peak Period at Customer Care service

We are currently experiencing a higher-than-usual number of support requests, which has created a response time that is longer than usual for us. Please be assured that each request will be handled by our team, and accept our apologies for this unusual event. We are doing everything possible to return the situation to normal as fast as possible.

Is your mailbox suspended? / Are you no longer able to connect to your mailbox?

As shared in our communication sent by email on June 13, the mailboxes offered with the domain expire on November 30, 2023.
It is likely that the problem encountered is related to this situation. To resume your mailbox, we invite you to convert it to our new offer (section «Domain > Mailboxes & redirections», then click on «Convert»).

I have no regrets!


1 Among the many options I had (see gandi.net – disappointing and untrustworthy! – concl’d), I have also tried to find another good registrar that would offer a free email account (with a custom domain address and aliases), but to no avail! ^

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