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# 249015 19-Apr-2019 17:53
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Once again Spark & SMX prove that they really dont want customers using their dog of an email service.

 

Maybe this afternoons outage might be related to the relative tsunami of spam suddenly jumped in overnight (most of which the spambot caught for a change)

 

For the second time in a month turning on the pc and allowing chrome to auto login to my email fails despite us (and others) always having 'stay signed in' ticked and its demands for a captcha code.

 

The message "Uh oh. Your password, or username, is incorrect. Please try again. Forgot password or username?"
No ! - my password and username is correct and once again the stuff up is with Spark and SMX.
Several folk whose computers I also look after have been phoning with the same complaint and many have given up on resetting and trying to change passwords and logins.

 

Different browsers, reboots, different pc's clearing cache etc etc also fails.

 

Last time this nonsense occurred in frustration and wasted hours I found that leaving the email tab closed for most of the day, next boot up the email access had miraculously fixed itself...same login & password.

 

As usual the spark down detector and map says everything is just peachy and further its impossible to get past the chat robot wanting to put us down the change password useless rabbit hole to even try and report or query the problem.

 

How can we get a message to anyone not on holiday in either company that I want yahoo back (with my xtramail) which just shows how far I think they have fallen?


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  # 2221256 19-Apr-2019 18:35
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Then move to Gmail or something more reliable

ISP provided email is unreliable they don't want to provide a quality service due to the cost and I don't blame them

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  # 2221260 19-Apr-2019 19:18
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i cant see what would be happening for you to have these issues, i havent had an issue with my spark email.

 

im not saying there couldnt be something at sparks end but its most likely something happening at your end.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2221289 19-Apr-2019 21:13
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All the threads you've posted on here are in some way related to Spark/Xtra's email service.

 

If you've got a problem - then you're best to phone them. If you continue to have problems then perhaps it is time for you to set up a Gmail account and set up your Spark email in there also (and migrate to Gmail).

 

Nobody is forcing you to use Xtra, there are indeed other options.







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  # 2221309 19-Apr-2019 22:50
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You raise some valid points which deserve a response.

 

Yes, I have a very long history in my dealings with Spark and all the iterations before, even earlier than them, with compuserve.
Many times good, (some superb people now sadly long gone) more often than not over the last decade, increasingly not so.
Considering I was in the very first 50 sign ups nationwide to their email service back in the telecom days, that dates me and also my interest / experience in IT.

 

Now in my dotage I gift my time charitably to those even older than me, helping many Xtra clients maintaining their ageing pc's and their xtra accounts as they are old loyal brand users also (the fools). Thank god for teamviewer !!
No matter that I promote and setup them to gmail etc old folk hate change and I cannot force them to change especially if they are entrenched in the habit of a Spark phone account. 

 

I of course have many email accounts with several of the popular services including of course gmail, but my xtra email is known worldwide in both a previous professional as well as lifelong serious hobby level for which the address in 'old media' published form will mean I chose long ago to keep the address till I cark it.

 

The problem with your stance as taken in your post, while correct; epitomises the take it or leave it attitude of the modern corporate world and what I expect more from the young earnest types suddenly surprised when their customers go awol. The 'bright young' things who havn't grasped customer service, see the paying customer as an annoyance and worse anyone who has the temerity to complain rather than being an opportunity to improve or identify failings is labelled an annoying complainer.
So I guess what some are saying is brand loyalty dosn't matter a damn, so go somewhere else, we dont want to know.
So my original Forum question stands - " How can we get a message to anyone [not on holiday] in either company that I want yahoo back (with my xtramail) .... ?" and I now add 'or do management only read facebook or twitter'?


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  # 2221356 20-Apr-2019 07:44
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Jase2985:

 

i cant see what would be happening for you to have these issues, i havent had an issue with my spark email.

 

im not saying there couldnt be something at sparks end but its most likely something happening at your end.

 

 

Same here. If it was an issue regularly, Id move it elsewhere, but it's fine. I use webmail only, maybe that helps lessen exposure to client based issues, I recall Outlook was a contributor that that back in the day 


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  # 2221357 20-Apr-2019 07:48
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i only use outlook, webmail is only for checking for spam messages once every few months.


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  # 2221363 20-Apr-2019 08:24
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If your question is (if I read it correctly) will Spark move Xtra mail back to Yahoo, the answer would be an outright no.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2221552 20-Apr-2019 17:46
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Just on a side note and perhaps a long shot, I'm not sure - 

 

I used to get an error with Outlook saying my password was incorrect, and even got it when Yahoo was providing the e-mail service. It finally stopped when I'd changed my password when I got alerted by Spark that someone had fraudulently accessed my accounts (most likely due to compromises and lists being purchased and me being lazy with some passwords and leaving them the same as compromised sites namely Adobe and LinkedIn) - e-mail and MySpark.

 

I put it down to them logging into imap/pop at the same time as my client because it stopped when I changed my passwords.

 

Just a thought.


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  # 2221554 20-Apr-2019 18:17
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PeteS:

 

The problem with your stance as taken in your post, while correct; epitomises the take it or leave it attitude of the modern corporate world and what I expect more from the young earnest types suddenly surprised when their customers go awol. The 'bright young' things who havn't grasped customer service, see the paying customer as an annoyance and worse anyone who has the temerity to complain rather than being an opportunity to improve or identify failings is labelled an annoying complainer.
So I guess what some are saying is brand loyalty dosn't matter a damn, so go somewhere else, we dont want to know.
So my original Forum question stands - " How can we get a message to anyone [not on holiday] in either company that I want yahoo back (with my xtramail) .... ?" and I now add 'or do management only read facebook or twitter'?

 

 

Because that is the world we live in now.

 

Due to the enormous amount of choice the internet gives us there is zero sense in having 'brand loyalty', in fact to stay with a company purely because of "who they are" is just flat out dumb. If you don't like how a particular company does something, you vote with your feet and go to a company that you like. It's as simple as that.

 

As for...

 

No matter that I promote and setup them to gmail etc old folk hate change and I cannot force them to change especially if they are entrenched in the habit of a Spark phone account.

 

Yes you absolutely can. "Grandma, your email account is becoming to hard to manage. I'm going to set you up a new email account that you can use right away, and want have any of these silly troubles. We will send a email out to all your contacts to let them know, and for the first couple of months people who email your old address will get an automatic reply to tell them what your new address is. It won't cost you anything, and will only take 10 minutes to set everything up so you can use it just like your old xtra email"

 

Quite literally the conversation I had with my 90 year old grandma, who a year down the track, still calls her new gmail account the "telecom email".


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  # 2221575 20-Apr-2019 22:12
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Did you try actually logging a fault, your post seems to indicate you didn't go through this.
If we do not know your having issues. How can we fix it?

I'm not aware of any system wide issues at this stage (I'm on holiday so it could be I've missed the email)



To directly answer your question around management. Some changes are currently happening to not only have close communications with the team that look after xtramail faults (this has been ongoing for years now).
Spark have identified being on the other side if an inbox or im isn't enough to handle when things go wrong to handle it as rapidly.

So that team is moving across to head office to be a lot closer.

I can't really comment past that, I've probably said a little too much. But wanted you to know there are serious moves to improve the xtramail service.




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Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.


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  # 2221601 21-Apr-2019 09:26
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I have an Xtra account as does my wife. Neither of us use the web portal regularly. However when I do, so far, I've had no problems logging in via the web portal.

 

I have the account set up on the email clients of 5 devices, one laptop using Outlook, two Android tablets one using the native email client and the other using Outlook for Android, two phones both using the native client. My wife has two devices a laptop using Outlook and a phone using the native client. Each one of these devices is signing into these Xtra accounts several times per day without any problems.

 

I have found the Xtra email service since the change away from Yahoo to be as good and any other I have used.

 

May I respectfully suggest, based on my experience, your problem lies a bit closer to home than you may think.





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  # 2223127 24-Apr-2019 11:17
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I feel I owe it to those interested in this thread to convey my resolution a few days back of this issue and my thoughts so far.
snnet - You are a gem!
While your exact scenario didn't fit, your comment gave me pause for thought that I am now fairly convinced that I know what is happening.
Your comment "when I got alerted by Spark that someone had fraudulently accessed my accounts "... was the line that made me rethink the rabbit hole I had been down.
I no longer mix with the programmer coding types but I reckon the issues of my pals, and me replicated on occasions is "by design" and the Xtra / Spark / SMX security is still I am sure a work in progress, (like even the best software on the planet).
I reflected a great deal on the sequence of events thinking back.
The problems that occurred and the exact methods by which it either 'fixed itself' or was fixed. A pattern has become indicative, if not obvious.
First, after many many weeks of absolute stability with the only issue being the ebbing and flow of spam that gets through which now frankly dosn't bother me. I noted another of the many waves of letters that contain my long gone old passwords from near a decade ago. Letters wanting bitcoin, I am sure most on this forum know about.
Several of my addresses are on Ivebeenpwned and because I change passwords regularly and each is unique to a service, I can track with exact clarity which service was hacked and when.
To go into my xtra SMX webmail one morning and expecting it to just appear in a tab, and to then see the request to 'login & password" tells me something changed overnight.
Nothing changed my end !
So therefore what triggered it at Sparks end ?
I have noted that those who access webmail on various devices and who clumsily fail to punch in a correct password on the next access especially on other devices, are required to login and password AND the "Im not a robot" tick. Some of the old folk with bad eyes fail to see the tick boxes required which then leads onto the captcha system of ticking bridges, buses, shop fronts, traffic lights, skip ad nauseum. Some give up at that point.
After hours, when tradies are doing their gst and books, the Spark help desk is closed.
After too many fails at any point Spark insists on a password reset. By default the password reset sends you a reset link to your email ...which nobody can access.
In the past a phone call to Spark allows them to intervene and reset. I found this latest outage (prompting this post) I couldn't even get MySpark access despite me putting in my correct login and password. Hence no way to reset my password by any direction. I even had the bizarre experience of having the captcha constantly demanding ever increasing ticks for more than a dozen refresh times before it generated the green tick (I wish I had filmed it) then it still wouldn't accept my correct login and password. I am convinced the system had locked me out purposely.
I waited 48 hours, had a holiday from xtra email and did nothing regards my system. I then went into MySpark and my usual login and password worked !!, I reset my email password and went into webmail, put in usual login, ticked stay connected, ticked robot box (accepted 1st time), put in new password and I was straight in with no problems ever since.
So.
I reckon the cause of these random 'outages' are a result of some nefarious overnight email password hack attempts and the Spark system goes into an ever increasing lockout sequence which with the 'ping pong' utilisation of the captcha system turns the whole matter to custard (and it appears to put time locks on various functions) especially if you cant get a live person at Spark to intervene.
Am I right ? Who knows.
All I do know is these brilliant coding types are not lateral thinkers and I am still amused from my past beta testing days getting vigorously berated for crashing stuff when I pressed the wrong button "because I wasn't supposed to click that"


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  # 2223131 24-Apr-2019 11:24
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PeteS:

 

Your comment "when I got alerted by Spark that someone had fraudulently accessed my accounts "... was the line that made me rethink the rabbit hole I had been down.

 

The security teams monitor xtramail quite closely,  if a triggerpoint to suspicious activity is identified, those notifications are sent.

 

It's all about letting the customer know rather than it being unnoticed for months till something bad does happpen.

 

 

 

Nothing todo with the system being 'hacked' but more individual account sercurity





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Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.


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  # 2223155 24-Apr-2019 12:48
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'Save Password' is more likely to be the thing at fault here.

 

Much like when you have clients on other devices polling without updating passwords, browser cached passwords can vary between URL/cookie set. Use a different one, your wrong/old cached PW is sent. Acct locked for period due wrong attempts. Captcha required to verify.

 

What makes me think this?

 

For the second time in a month turning on the pc and allowing chrome to auto login to my email fails despite us (and others) always having 'stay signed in' ticked and its demands for a captcha code.

 

The only way that I see that could conceivably happen is wrong PW brute force attempts since the address is well known. Or cached old credentials submitted.

 

If live use with saved passwords is important. Setup IMAP on Thunderbird or similar. It is a far better experience.

 

 

 

But be warned, it too can be denied if the account is continually being brute attempted.


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  # 2228846 1-May-2019 16:13
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The Spark email system has some pretty sophisticated security systems in place that try to identify compromised accounts, and then automatically suspend them, or at least temporarily block them if they are under a brute-force attack.  If you try many different passwords over a short period of time you may end up getting temporarily locked out...

 

If your mailbox is inaccessible, it might be because it has been locked in order to protect you?  You'd need to talk with the Spark service desk, and then probably reset your password, in order to find out though.

 

 


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