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G Suite Users to be Freed by Google

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.

Google Apps for Your Domain was the name of Google’s custom domain when it first launched in 2006. Since then, the service has gone by several names—”Google Apps for Work,” “G Suite,” and now “Google Workspace”—but the basic concept has remained the same: You get Gmail and other Google apps, but they’re custom branded for your company, giving them a more professional look than a gmail.com email address. The service is now accessible for $6 per month per user, with higher tiers available for increased storage requirements. The basic tier was free from 2006 to 2012.

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.

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