This article explains what happens when an account expires. If you get a generic error when requesting account recovery, it's possible your account has been expired for too long and was therefore removed.
Phase 1: Grace period
In the first month after a personal account expires, no restrictions are applied. You have full access to your account and can keep sending and receiving emails. This is to make sure that if any billing problems occurred for the renewal payment, there is enough time to take care of this without losing functionality. You will be shown a message at the bottom of the interface that the renewal payment failed, and you will also receive emails about this.
Phase 2: Inbox disabled
If more than a month passes after account expiration you will not be able to send or receive email any longer. You can login to your account but can only access the payment portal to make the renewal payment.
Phase 3: Termination
Six months after an account expires, it will be nominated for permanent deletion. This may not occur immediately at the end of the six-month expiration period, but somewhere shortly thereafter. Once termination occurs, the account will be permanently inaccessible and cannot be restored.
After a trial account expires, you will still have 7 days of access so you can login to your account and view your emails. You will not be able to receive or send emails. After those 7 days, the account is permanently removed and cannot be restored. If you did not upgrade the account in time but want to use our email service, you'll need to choose a new StartMail email address and sign up again.