The free ride for early customers of Google’s custom domain G Suite service is gone, according to the company. Google has long provided a feature that allows you to utilise Google apps on a custom domain, giving you a Google email address that ends in your domain rather than “gmail.com.” The basic tier allowed you to create a custom domain account for free for the first six years of the service’s existence. You now have to pay a fee to use a custom domain with your Google account. In 2012, Google made it impossible to create new accounts for free, but it wouldn’t take away accounts from current users, would it?
It certainly would. Google will shut down free G Suite accounts if the account holder does not upgrade to a paid account, as 9to5Google initially reported. Users of the “G Suite legacy free edition” are receiving emails from Google informing them that they have until July 1 to begin paying. This procedure is described in full in a support page. Beginning May 1, Google will attempt to automatically “upgrade” customers to a paid account if billing information is provided. Accounts will be “suspended” if no such information is provided by July. These accounts will lose access to “core” Google services like Gmail and Calendar after 60 days.
These users did nothing wrong when they joined up for G Suite basic tier years ago, so it’s tough to see Google pull the rug out from under them now. You trust Google and store all of your data with them, and you expect that your account’s basic terms will remain the same indefinitely. However, Google is modifying the terms for these users, reminding them that they either begin paying or risk losing their accounts. Customers can utilise Google Takeout to export certain data, but if you don’t want to pay, it’s a lot of work to rebuild an account under a consumer Google account.