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346 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 690978 25-Sep-2012 10:22 Send private message

http://www.telecom.co.nz/whatsnew/broadbandservicestatus/?f=all

Sep 24, 2012
Broadband Service Status
Email Issue:

Some Xtra customers are experiencing emails being bounced back to them when sending to @clear.net.nz and @paradise.net.nz email addresses.

We have been working closely with Yahoo and TelstraClear to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

We are conducting tests to confirm whether this issue has been resolved.

Please note that not all emails to those domains are being bounced, some emails are being delivered.




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  Reply # 690980 25-Sep-2012 10:22 Send private message

mclean: No, 4 days is not very long.  We lost access to TCL domains on 28 August.  Thinking it would go away we waited until 5 September before raising it with the help desk. We have probably called them 10 times since then - now on our third case number.  But if you want to make excuses you could also say 30 days is not very long  etc, etc...


Not making excuses, I don't even work for Telecom or Clear (in fact, I work for a competitor).

All I'm saying is that these things actually do take time.  It probably took until 4 days ago to even get as far as a Tier 3 engineer who can actually figure out what the heck might be happening.  

It's impossible to react to every reported "issue" as if the sky is falling down, sometimes it really is but you can't know until enough investigation has been put in.

If it's now a reported issue on their website, then it's at that stage.  So what I'm saying is it will be fixed but it's clearly a complex problem, especially as it involves a 3rd party, and may take a while.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 690993 25-Sep-2012 10:41 Send private message

ubergeeknz:
ABeerForMe:You really beleive that of the hundreds of thousands of emails going xtra ---> clear.net & paradise.net, that we can safely assume that it is only a little handful that have failed? What are the chances of that? If there's a gremlin in the system, it's a gremlin isn't it? I wouldn't even call it bouncing. It's more like a dull thud as the emails hit Telecom systems. The emails wake up a few days later and find their way back to the sender as a failed delivery. I suspect many people are probably blissfully unaware of their emails that haven't been delivered (yes it's true, I've spoken with senders who say "did you get my email", or they just have no idea), or people are blissfully unaware of the emails that they should have received, but didn't.


Until enough examples are provided and analysed, these comments are based on hearsay and guesswork, in my experience as a support engineer, these are not reliable things and tend to blow problems out of all proportion to reality.  Not saying for sure that it is not widespread, but there is so far no evidence for or against.  

What will help is that when customers get these bounces, they report them to Telecom ASAP, with all the details ready (don't delete the emails then contact them a week later with vague recollections). If they start seeing a pattern then it might help them nail down the problem.

  I offered to send xtra some of my bounced emails yesterday to assist with problem solving but they declined them.




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  Reply # 691038 25-Sep-2012 11:47 Send private message

ABeerForMe:

As an aside ... TelstraClear, are you doing anything so far as pushing this out into the media?

Come on NZ News Media.


The media don't care because the average reader either doesn't understand or doesn't care or agrees with exactly what MF already said users should be doing.

If users are not going to take advice then why should the media write about it?

Do you expect the media to write a story every time (or any time) a member of the public goes to a doctor, doesn't take the doctors advice and then gets sick as a result?

I got sick this winter.  My doctor had a sign up for flue shots but I didn't get one. 

Come on Stuff, Campbell Live, FairGo, Target, write a story about how my stupid doctor didn't do enough to make me get a flue shot!!!

What is New Zealand media coming to?!




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  Reply # 691048 25-Sep-2012 11:58 Send private message

ubergeeknz: Until enough examples are provided and analysed, these comments are based on hearsay and guesswork, in my experience as a support engineer, these are not reliable things and tend to blow problems out of all proportion to reality.  Not saying for sure that it is not widespread, but there is so far no evidence for or against.  

What will help is that when customers get these bounces, they report them to Telecom ASAP, with all the details ready (don't delete the emails then contact them a week later with vague recollections). If they start seeing a pattern then it might help them nail down the problem.


Just a heads up on this... 

This isn't a new issue at all. 

Normally it's other mail admins trying to get mail to flow in to Yahoo's mail servers for Xtra customers.

When this problem happens the operations community really are like an amazing social support network. 

As an operator,  you'll get lots of sympathy emails from all around New Zealand from other guys who've  had the same level of frustration with pushing mail into Yahoo only to get 451 messages filling up their server logs.

My personal experience is that there is no way to actually make contact with a Yahoo tech who has any control over the mail system to do things like getting your domain white listed or even ask what the allowed flow rates are so you can tune your own mail systems to prevent the blocking.

I suspect that there is more chance that the average operator will sent them selves on fire before they will give 10 seconds attention to helping Yahoo (or one of it's customers) with the same issue (though in fairness, as you have read from Gary's comments, Telstra have clearly given more attention to this issue than most operators would!)

The problem doesn't need nailing down.  The problem is well understood, it doesn't need users wasting their time reporting information that Yahoo already have on hand (as one user already found out and reported back here.)

The only problem I see is that users need to wake up and understand the dynamic of the product they've got an act accordingly. 

I suspect that it's out side of Telecoms control as they have contracts with Yahoo to provide the service that is provided and I I'd suspect that Yahoo is delivering within the terms of the SLAs that would have been signed when the contract was written.






Promote New Zealand - Get yourself a .kiwi.nz domain name!!!

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Geek


  Reply # 691073 25-Sep-2012 12:26 Send private message


If users are not going to take advice then why should the media write about it?

Do you expect the media to write a story every time (or any time) a member of the public goes to a doctor, doesn't take the doctors advice and then gets sick as a result?

I got sick this winter. My doctor had a sign up for flue shots but I didn't get one.



So you reckon it's realistic to think that hundreds of thousands of users are going to depart their ISP email service any time soon, and that that's the solution? For one thing it's a major inconvenience. I for one won't be holding my breath. Sorry that all these people aren't taking your advice, but keep trying.

The alternative is that we set higher expectations of these companies. How radical.

Sorry about your doctor thing. I didn't really get it. I hope that he/she has met your expectations of professionalism anyway.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 691075 25-Sep-2012 12:27 Send private message

DonGould: ...I got sick this winter.  My doctor had a sign up for flue shots but I didn't get one. 

Come on Stuff, Campbell Live, FairGo, Target, write a story about how my stupid doctor didn't do enough to make me get a flue shot!!!

What is New Zealand media coming to?!


My doctor had a sign up too. I paid my money, got the shot, and didn't get sick. 

On the other hand if I HAD got sick, and so had all the other patients who paid their money to my doctor, then I think he could expect all sorts of scrutiny from the media.  Even if I am "stupid", "don't understand", "don't care" and all the other things us poor paying Telecom customers have been called on this forum.

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  Reply # 691080 25-Sep-2012 12:36 Send private message

mclean: On the other hand if I HAD got sick, and so had all the other patients who paid their money to my doctor, then I think he could expect all sorts of scrutiny from the media.  Even if I am "stupid", "don't understand", "don't care" and all the other things us poor paying Telecom customers have been called on this forum.


Wait a minute. Was there any name calling in this discussion? If there was then I missed it.






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  Reply # 691083 25-Sep-2012 12:45 Send private message

mclean:  On the other hand if I HAD got sick, and so had all the other patients who paid their money to my doctor, then I think he could expect all sorts of scrutiny from the media.  Even if I am "stupid", "don't understand", "don't care" and all the other things us poor paying Telecom customers have been called on this forum.


Firstly, my analogy has proven not to be quite as good as I'd hoped.

But yes I do agree that there would be a story here if it had been a case per my suggestion about a doctor.

In this case though, I was not suggesting that the Telecom users are stupid, don't understand or don't care. 

I said "the average reader either doesn't understand or doesn't care or agrees with exactly what MF already said users should be doing."

I suggest to you that the average reader also wouldn't care about an article saying 10,000 people who ignored doctors advice got sick.

In this case, it has been said time and time again in the media that Telecom's mail platform provider is not up to the task.  We've seen story after story on this issue.  It's just not new news.

Even if this was a story about how 10,000 people got sick after a flue jab, people would loose interest if the story was run every winter.  They would just get the message that there is no point in getting flue gabs because they don't keep you well and have no apparent value.






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  Reply # 691087 25-Sep-2012 12:58 Send private message


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  Reply # 691099 25-Sep-2012 13:02 Send private message

ABeerForMe:  So you reckon it's realistic to think that hundreds of thousands of users are going to depart their ISP email service any time soon,


No I don't.  I think a few more might make a move with this issue but for the most part the issue will go unnoticed.

ABeerForMe: and that that's the solution?


From where I'm sitting yes it is.

As I posted earlier, I suspect that Telecom is in a contract that they can't exit, so they can't fix this problem for their users. 

I suspect, but have no proof or comment from anyone, that the guys managing the email project are not the same as the ones that signed the contracts and that everyone who is there is now just pulling their own hair out wondering what to do about this mess.

From Yahoo's point of view, they're clearly not upset about the issue or they'd have people fixing it, or perhaps they've got bigger problems to worry about, I don't know.

We loose perspective some days and think that Telecom is big, it's not.


ABeerForMe: For one thing it's a major inconvenience.


Rubbish.  Setting up a Google account takes a matter of minutes and there's any number of people on this forum alone who would help anyone having any trouble doing it.


ABeerForMe: I for one won't be holding my breath. Sorry that all these people aren't taking your advice, but keep trying.


Doesn't bother me if they take my advice or not.  Judging by the 2,500 views on the thread, a bunch of people have bothered to read the comments made by everyone, and I'm guessing, finished their morning coffee and moved on.

For my part I think I've presented a bit of balance to the question and I'm sure some people have gone away with a bit of a better understanding of the space than they had when they started.



ABeerForMe:  The alternative is that we set higher expectations of these companies. How radical.


We do hold Telecom to high expectations. 

Currently the major expectation is they deliver more value in terms of data to customers and general over all service reliability.

Email is now just one very small aspect of a data service.

I am very sure that if you were to ring the Telecom helpdesk and express you were having issues as a customer and wanted some help to set up a gmail account then they'd spend any amount of time on the phone with you (with in reason) to help migrate you.

I'm also quite sure that if you went into anyone of the countless Telecom retail stores around the country, at a quieter time of day, then the staff would also happily help you out, having explained your one of their broadband users.










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  Reply # 691100 25-Sep-2012 13:03 Send private message

So you are going to hold your breath waiting for them all to depart their ISP email service. OK.

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  Reply # 691111 25-Sep-2012 13:20 Send private message

ABeerForMe: So you are going to hold your breath waiting for them all to depart their ISP email service. OK.


No, that would be as stupid as effected users not taking the advice that MF already dished up a few posts back.






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  Reply # 691113 25-Sep-2012 13:21 Send private message

Telecom outsourced their email to Yahoo 7 in like 2006/2007 and there have been multiple issues with it over the years.

The best way for consumers to hold companies to account for poor service/decisions is to change to a different provider.

However if you use ISP email changing provider means changing email addresses (which is a pain). Effectively it's a form lock in if you've been using a xtra.co.nz for years you won't want to change.

We are recommending that you transition to using email independent of your ISP to break this lock in because it's the sensible thing to do. Of course everyone won't do it because most won't have even thought about it, but high profile problems like this are a good way to educate people there is a better way.

Registering your own domain name looks more professional and setting up some dns records to use Google Apps of Windows Live domains for email hosting isn't that hard.

Even just using a @gmail.com or @outlook.com would break the ISP lock in.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 691118 25-Sep-2012 13:26 Send private message

Ragnor: Telecom outsourced their email to Yahoo 7 in like 2006/2007 and there have been multiple issues with it over the years.

The best way for consumers to hold companies to account for poor service/decisions is to change to a different provider.

However if you use ISP email changing provider means email addresses and that is a pain, it's a nice form of ISP lock in if you've been using a xtra.co.nz for years you won't want to change.

Everyone is recommending that you transition to using email independent of your ISP to break this lock in because it's the sane thing to do.

Registering your own domain name looks more professional and setting up some dns records to use Google Apps of Windows Live domains isn't that hard.

It's the sane thing to do.


It would be made easier if ISPs didn't provide email addresses. I presume they still do to make it harder for people to move provider, as it is a hassle changng providers. If they do provide email though then they have to make it reliable. I've had problems with xtra/yahoo wrong classifying legit email as spam ever since they moved to yahoo. Many people probably never check their webmail junkmail box to know that they are missing email.

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