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Plusnet Usergroup » All Users - The Open Forum » Announcements » News article posted about Email issues
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Author Topic: News article posted about Email issues  (Read 10238 times)
wildmind
Guest
« on: July 05, 2006, 04:34:06 pm »

Folks,

Liam and I have been working on a news article about the Email problems of late and have just posted it to the site.

Take a look here  :mrgreen:
Oldjim

Posts: 1014

« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2006, 05:55:46 pm »

100% agree - why does my Freeserve (now Orange) account always work but the PlusNet one keeps falling over.
I am beginning to question the ability of the technical sections to maintain/create a reliable core system - assuming that this is not due to individual incompetence it must be down to too few fully competent staff.
Slightly off topic but the same seems to apply to the ticketing/phone system where either insufficient staff were recruited or those recruited were not sufficiently competent, or were inadequately trained or most likely some combination of the two.
Although I worked in a different industry to me this has all the hallmarks of a salary structure which doesn't encourage the recruitment of sufficient competent/experienced staff and is usually the direct effect of budget constraints dictating staffing costs regardless of the problems caused.

mikeb

Posts: 657


« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2006, 11:58:39 am »

Although I worked in a different industry to me this has all the hallmarks of a salary structure which doesn't encourage the recruitment of sufficient competent/experienced staff and is usually the direct effect of budget constraints dictating staffing costs regardless of the problems caused.

Yup, I agree, seen it all before in a somewhat different but related industry also. Pay peanuts - get monkeys - but don't worry chaps, it's not a prob because they're cheap and you existing skilled/professional/competent guys can train them to be just how you want them, blah, blah, blah.  Yeah right !  After several major screw-ups from a variety of sm@rt @rsed and generally unqualified/inexperienced oiks who think that because they know which is the right end of a screwdriver they're engineers or whatever, anyone left with the proper and relevant skills for the job is looking for the door ASAP.  Been there, done that, have several tee-shirts.  If I wanted to spend all my time firefighting or making groveling apologies for someone else's p*ss-poor performance whilst trying to fix the mess they created then I would have spent many years training to be a Fireman or a Politician's PA instead !!

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WARNING: The e-mail address on my profile is not my usual address, all messages sent via this site have been redirected elsewhere for test purposes. This could result in messages not being received in a timely manner or potentially not being received at all.
bcentral

Posts: 1

« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2006, 02:28:26 pm »

 huh

Looks like things have gone wrong again with the e-mail.

bsjfan

Posts: 9

« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2006, 04:34:00 pm »

Yes, mine has been working only intermittently again for a while now. I have a Yahoo account as an alternative, but it is obviously not satisfactory not to have Outlook Express operating. As I wrote in an earlier thread (about phone support) I am not prepared to waste time & money on ringing PlusNet whose staff are unable to help anyway. Recorded messages advising callers to visit the website, which they can't do because the website is unavailable or they cannot get an internet connection because of PlusNet's failure, are infuriating as well. Neither was I consoled to be told by one of their staff in reply to a ticket that he had also been without e-mail service. Late last year when there was a total connection failure and I had been kept in a 20 minute queue on the phone before being cut off, I sent a letter of complaint to the Chief Executive Officer. I never had the courtesy of a reply, though much later PlusNet has admitted by e-m, that my letter was received. I had said that I could no longer recommend the company to friends and that I was seriously considering changing ISP (the only thing that stops me is having heard some horror stories from friends contracted to other providers). I am sick and tired of their bulletins congratulating themselves on what a good job they are doing when their customers have every reason to think otherwise.
Forgedykes

Posts: 2

« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2006, 10:25:08 pm »

My email access is borked again today - I can't access via either web or email client.

Like many other people, I rely on email. I use it daily. Because of the continuing email fiasco, I've had to open another email account elsewhere, ie I cannot depend on my Force9 email service any longer. So that's yet another service we cannot rely on.

For the majority of users, a working email service is absolutely essential.

I keep thinking, "give it another month, things will surely start to improve," but they aren't. More bits break and all we get (if we are lucky) are platitudes about new policies and changes which most of us are finding some difficulty in accepting because it's not happening at our end.

"One wheel on my wagon, and I'm just rollin' along..."

Fred
wildmind
Guest
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2006, 10:36:03 pm »

Hi there,

Ian Wild posted an update about the email issues to Service Status earlier this evening - a copy can be viewed here -> http://usertools.plus.net/status/archive/1152295291.htm

We've set up a specific forum for discussion of the email problems and we are hoping we will be able to start some good chats with PlusNet themselves about the way forward as well as getting answers to what has happened.

You can access this by going to http://usergroup.plus.net/email_discussion

One other thing that is really worth doing is setting up a gmail or hotmail account and subscribing to the Service Status by email service to allow you to keep track of what is going in Wink
mikeb

Posts: 657


« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2006, 09:51:30 am »

... subscribing to the Service Status by email service to allow you to keep track of what is going in Wink

OK, slightly OT but as good a place as anywhere to make a point / ask the question.  On usenet there is plusnet.service.status as well as various other groups and I have always monitored these on a regular basis over many years for info.  However, I find that status messages are not always posted in here and even when they are, they often appear many hours if not days after the event. As a typical example, the recent updates from IanW appeared this morning when I grabbed usenet headers rather than sometime before v.late last night when I previously checked.  Why is there a need or indeed a desire for an additional/separate e-mail update service (when there is a perfectly good system already in place for disseminating updates) as well as the portal service status page and the old metronet service status page and so on ? Also, and perhaps more to the point, why does it often appear that the info does not seem to turn up in all the various places in a timely and consistent manner ? 

In this particular case, e-mail updates are perhaps a bit of a non-starter (certainly using a PN mail a/c anyway) but usenet has been more or less OK for a while now .... famous last words and all that Wink
« Last Edit: July 08, 2006, 10:01:17 am by mikeb »

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WARNING: The e-mail address on my profile is not my usual address, all messages sent via this site have been redirected elsewhere for test purposes. This could result in messages not being received in a timely manner or potentially not being received at all.
Colin
Usergroup Member

Posts: 6339


WWW
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2006, 10:18:54 am »

In this particular case, e-mail updates are perhaps a bit of a non-starter (certainly using a PN mail a/c anyway) but usenet has been more or less OK for a while now .... famous last words and all that Wink

1) Very few people use Usenet I would guess
2) Usenet Status Postings were at one point completely unreliable
3) I can check my email at work easier than I can check Usenet and the portals
4) Someone asked for it at some point, so I wrote it.

Colin Ogilvie
Plusnet Usergroup Member
Using: Plusnet Extra
Ultra

Posts: 777

WWW
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2006, 06:10:53 pm »

Certainly the "service status by e-mail" has been very useful, to me, using a mail address which is independent of PN. 

Biggest problem with Usenet or Mail is when it is the service at fault.

I think Metronet were very sensible to use www.ServiceStatus.net for their service announcements.  It would be great if the portal status indicators could be displayed via that same (externally hosted) server...  I know DNS problems and connectivity would possibly be an issue that could make it fail but if the portal is down, there's no way to view status.  (I don't know if service status info shown on usertools.plus.net is tied in with the portal but if it is, that could also be affected.)
mikeb

Posts: 657


« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2006, 11:03:05 am »

Sorry guys, I've just re-read my message above and I didn't really mean to imply that e-mail updates via here wasn't a good idea but more that a 3rd party solution shouldn't be necessary and certainly wouldn't be if PN did the job properly for once. It is in many ways admirable that someone outside of PN has taken this on but finding a way around the short-comings of PN might well be a solution for some users (i.e. those registered here) but it still leaves perhaps the vast majority of users without the relevant information and PN doing nothing whatsoever to address the relatively simple issue of poor or generally unreliable communications. 

It is PN's responsibility, IMHO, to ensure that users have access to relevant service status and other announcements by an appropriate and reliable means.  The portal, usenet and I guess the Metronet page are already in use to one extent or another but bearing in mind a service status post generally means something is wrong and parts of the system may well be inaccessible then the provision of an optional e-mail update to a secondary address would be a very sensible if not essential addition to the current channels.  Obviously there is no guarantee that all these services will be available when a problem occurs but issuing updates via all sensible options at least provides the best chance of information being available to users one way or another.

However, my main point was (and still is) that it is MOST important that all official channels provide the same information and are updated in a relevant and timely manner.  I do not believe this is always the case.  In fact I KNOW this is not always the case !  Also, repeated postings of the same info is not really in any way helpful other than to perhaps indicate their is still life (but maybe not as we know it tongue ) in PN Towers.  I personally find the portal a PITA for most things and only ever use it as a last resort. I pick up usenet messages more for historic reasons than anything else but I would certainly welcome an e-mail option otherwise.

Regarding dubious updates, particularly to usenet, I note that this is STILL happening despite repeated comments on the subject and receiving no answers as to why. This morning I received service status updates dated around 20:00 and later yesterday which most definitely weren't there very early this morning. I also note there are currently updates on the portal dated this morning which are STILL not on usenet (i.e. the 9AM update).  What exactly is the problem here ?  Is it *really* that difficult for PN to ensure that customers can receive relevant updates via the appropriate official channels ? I've no idea what the system used actually is but I do know that I would have script or whatever automatically copying/routing the same message to the portal, usenet, e-mail subscribers etc. rather than relying on someone just maybe remembering to post the same(ish) message manually in all relevant places. It's not exactly difficult is it !

BTW, I'm also fully aware that a post to virtually any NG generally appears (on PN servers) within a few seconds so I don't expect to be told the *problem* is simply one of expected delays rather than what clearly appears to be PN just not getting their act together Wink
« Last Edit: July 10, 2006, 11:26:32 am by mikeb »

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WARNING: The e-mail address on my profile is not my usual address, all messages sent via this site have been redirected elsewhere for test purposes. This could result in messages not being received in a timely manner or potentially not being received at all.
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