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Topic # 97089 10-Feb-2012 12:38
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Hi There!

4pm on Tuesday we asked Xtra to make a ip change to an A record so that mail would be delivered to their new Static IP. I was told the request was made and would take effect within 4 hours. I called back after 3 hours to check on progress and was told no request was lodged and nothing could happen till tomorrow at the earliest. 

I decided at this point to move the domain to another provider so they would at least get MOST of their emails (I know XTRA need to remove the records so that xtra customers can email properly to the removed domain). 

I called back the following morning and they requested the records be removed and since then it's been a NIGHTMARE of people telling me the problem already been fixed even though it's obvious it's not. There is mail queued at smtp.xtra.co.nz. 

Yesterday I finally made some progress speaking to someone with access to tier 3 (Apparently) but as of 20 minutes ago still no email backlog and still no proper flow of email.

I have tried various times to escalate and talk to managers but no-one can help saying I need to deal with Level 1 technical to resolve my issue as no-one has access to this tier 3 team except via email. 

Customer is obviously beside themselves and I have spent all day yesterday and today trying to get it sorted.

It's just unacceptable that managers don't have access to appropriate escalations etc. 

anyone got any ideas how I can get hold of Teir 3 support? Does anyone from xtra monitor this forum by chance?

At my wits end!
 

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  Reply # 579781 10-Feb-2012 14:12
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Xtra isn't my area but if you could PM me your name / contact phone / account and a general description of whats going on I can escalate it to the L3 people that I know and get some traction on what's going on.

Normally when you're making DNS changes you get Xtra to change the Time To Live TTL on the DNS entries down to 30 mins from the normal 7 days.  That way when people look up your entries they don't get cached.  Then when you do the switch everyone gets updated with the new IP.  However if the TTL is still at the default value it may take a while for the updated IP address to propagate across the internet due to cached DNS entries.

PM me and I will see what's going on.

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  Reply # 579841 10-Feb-2012 16:08
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WOW - this brings back memories! Seems they are this incompetent with all their customers!!!

We had near identical issue when we moved out email off site to an external provider. But at least we got it sorted in about 36 hours so we're screwed for too long. It is amazing that Telecom in this day and age can be some incompetent with this sort of thing. Have they lost all the competent staff that know about this sort of thing?

The other issue we keep having is (been on going for several years, but not had it for the last 6 months) was that Xtra would bounce mail for just some of our staff occasionally with DNS errors (they held our MX records). Strange thing was that other people could still email person having email bouced from X, and X could email other people in our organisation, but just not the person they wanted to email. Then 24 to 48 hours it would be right and someone else would be having the same issue!

I once managed to speak to someone who actually knew what they were talking about and what the problem was, and they fixed it - for a while.

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  Reply # 580361 12-Feb-2012 08:37
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just as a side note, telecom do not run xtra email, it is run out of australia by yahoo 7.

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  Reply # 580378 12-Feb-2012 09:09
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I have just had a similiar situation.
I have a client who had two domains hosted with Xtra (a .com and a .co.nz). They were using Officemail.
Right from the start we had decided to transfer their domains to another host (just so that then we could have easy access to their zone records).
Xtra/Telecom were actually really helpful, and the .co.nz domain transferred overnight and they removed their DNS records the next day and mail flowed right from the time the server got on the internet.
The .com one was a pain though as the contact details in the domain were out of date and they had nowhere to send the code to change it to another provider (not UDAI, but some other bunch of letters). There again Telecom were as helpful as they could be, and we eventually got the code, then it took out hosting provider a week to change it over (apparently common for .coms?).

For some reason, some of the .com emails from their clients are still pointing to xtra (and therefore getting bounced), it looks as if the sending servers had not updated their DNS (so the 7 day TTL probably). It is all settling down now, but overall I found Telecom/Xtra to be quite helpful. The people I spoke to there were on to it and had no problems helping me (I needed a PTR created for their static IP and the first guy I spoke to had that done in about a minute).



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  Reply # 580404 12-Feb-2012 10:24
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To be honest I've done this more than a hundred times with xtra, but not for about a year, because the customers we have remaining are just happy chugging along. However this time was such a nightmare. So many inexperienced people insisting the dns records were correct and everything was fine and the problems were at our end despite the fact emails from people at xtra.co.nz were never arriving and I could ETRN smtp.xtra.co.nz and see messages pending. Finally got a solution around 3pm Friday from Tuesday 4PM when the saga finished. Completely unacceptable! I just couldn't reach anyone with the visibility and knowledge at xtra to help, everything was emailed to this department or that, then hours would go by.

Where things got really bad is somewhere on Thursday someone did something, and the tests by clients at xtra weren't coming through, but the tests the helpdesk did were coming through.

I need to find a new contact as I have some more customers we want to move in the next little while, but I can't do this all over again!

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  Reply # 580407 12-Feb-2012 10:32
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If you have that many customers why not just run your own nameservers and maybe even resell the registration service with a half decent registrar?







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  Reply # 580410 12-Feb-2012 10:40
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Zeon: If you have that many customers why not just run your own nameservers and maybe even resell the registration service with a half decent registrar?


Because for years I a great relationship with the business team at XTRA, 90% of my customers were with XTRA for Internet and because until I now find a contact I can trust again at XTRA, I don't exactly feel confident that a transition elsewhere is going to seamless and trouble free. Also since my only contact now with XTRA is moving clients from them they don't have a lot of incentive to provide me with that contact. 

Now now do recommend other providers, but we don't take a cut, we just charge a fee based on time, to set them up elsewhere.  

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  Reply # 580422 12-Feb-2012 10:53
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Going back to the original request, did you give them 7 days notice of wanting the change? If not, then with a 7 day TTL, it's going to take a week before any changes propogate fully (assuming third parties are respecting the TTL value, and not caching for longer), even if they did make it immediately.



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  Reply # 580427 12-Feb-2012 10:58
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I've never had that problem before, never changed the TTL before and it didn't take 7 days to resolve the problem. The issue was as far as I can tell that they orphaned the Intermail records when they removed the zone file, or that the zonefile wasn't completely removed correctly.

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  Reply # 580431 12-Feb-2012 11:04
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networkn: I've never had that problem before, never changed the TTL before and it didn't take 7 days to resolve the problem. The issue was as far as I can tell that they orphaned the Intermail records when they removed the zone file, or that the zonefile wasn't completely removed correctly.


If you have a long TTL you can't expect DNS servers around the world to immediately update their records, because they're simply following the TTL that's been set. That's why it's standard practice to always reduce a TTL to a short period of time well in advance if you're going to make any critical changes to sites where  downtime will result in issues, and then change the TTL back afterwards.


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  Reply # 580434 12-Feb-2012 11:10
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networkn: I've never had that problem before, never changed the TTL before and it didn't take 7 days to resolve the problem. The issue was as far as I can tell that they orphaned the Intermail records when they removed the zone file, or that the zonefile wasn't completely removed correctly.


You may have just been lucky previously then. Best practice is to reduce the TTL to an hour or less prior to the changeover day. This needs to be done at least the duration of the current TTL (i.e. 7 days in this case) prior to the cutover time so that the cached values in DNS servers worldwide expire, and you don't end up with conflicting values on different servers.

Once changes have been made, and bugs ironed out, increase the TTL again so that it's cached for longer, and less load on the primary server(s).

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  Reply # 580438 12-Feb-2012 11:13
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I should add that with a long duration TTL, even if you change whatever settings, if it's cached for 7 days on a DNS server used by the sending party, then they are going to keep trying to send to the wrong place for 7 days (until the cached value expires).



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  Reply # 580492 12-Feb-2012 14:04
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Well I am not certain what dns ttl's were set on this domain before I moved it, but I am pretty sure this wasn't the issue in this instance, the problem was records were not removed from the servers in the right or and in a timely fashion, and that there isn't a suitable escalation process in place to allow me to speak to technically appropriate people. There were also a lot of people who said they would call back and didn't, and promises made that were not kept.

Also since the records were not updated properly, those people using xtra to send their email would have had been affected regardless. We were getting email from most the other places, just it would seem people who used xtra to send email.
 

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  Reply # 581959 15-Feb-2012 17:20
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I've just been tearing my hair out with a customer of mine, I couldn't figure out what the problem was with his email client (didn't matter which one) intermittently and often bouncing back asking for username and password.

Turns out that YahooXtra only allows one device authentication, and his smartphone was taking that authentication spot intermittently, thus stopping his Laptop's Windows Live Mail.

Three words, or one acronym..... WTF.

Honestly Xtra, catch up with the needs of this technological age.  Seriously.  It's no wonder I refer my residential clients to Xnet, and commercial clients to Telstra.

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  Reply # 581962 15-Feb-2012 17:26
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I used to have this sort of problem when moving clients hosting and domain from telecom, and that was many years ago. Getting through to the right person is tough. These days I let the client handle it, and give them the information they need to tell telecom, otherwise it just takes too much of my time.

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