I've had a Gmail account for a couple of years now, one which I rarely use. I had a couple of odd things happen to me with it. Firstly, some idiot in Asia accidentally put it down instead of her own email account for Friendster, and to be honest, I think this twit is the cause of my spam problems.
The point is, anyway, I am now receiving more spam to this address that has existed for less than 2 years than I am to my main email account which I have had since 1999.
I decided to experiment, after some time of enthusiastically clicking the "report as spam" button every time an unwanted advertising mail arrived.
Instead of deleting the spam cache every week or so, I will leave it for the full 30 days and see how bad it gets.
I was shocked to notice after just 24 hours that already more than 200 mails were in the filter. After 48 hours, this had increased to 577. In this time I had just received 1 genuine email to my inbox. Tempted to delete, I didn't. I decided to continue with the experiment. At the bottom of the page, Google tells me that I am using 4MB of my total allowance.
I checked in after a week and found that by now my spam is up to a glorious 1024 emails. It now takes up 100MB or 7% of my entire allowance. I'm resisting the tempation to hit the delete key. I haven't had a genuine email for over 3 days now. I bite my tongue and persist.
3 weeks later I am now the proud owner of a vast cache of unwanted email totalling 8,310 emails. Thats a full month of spam, or to put it in context, about 277 unwanted emails a day or a mammoth 12 emails per hour. To put this in context, I have received just 6 genuine emails for the same period - that is a ratio of about 1300 spam mails for each genuine email I have received.
While the spam settings on gmail are pretty good - although at least once a week I still have to "train" the filter with at least 20 new mail types, its still frustrating to receive spam on this level. I have 2 work email addresses and both do a pretty good job of cleaning out the very tiny amount of spam that gets to me. The reality is - it was extraordinarily annoying that some idiot in the far east thought my email address was hers and signed me up to rubbish sites, and probably in the process, a load of spam-merchants. I thought most genuine sites would have immediately refused to continue her attempt to register an account if there was no confirmation from the email she sent (which there was not).
Either way, its a poor indictment of what could be a quite good service. I suspect a large part of the problem is "catch-all" addressing (as I have with my godaddy email account) where once the domain exists, you get spam. Either way, I am less than impressed.