Broadband

EarthLink’s email leakage; ISP quality of service and support in decline?


I came across a very interesting blog discussing the current leakage in EarthLink’s email system.  Robert mentions that a friend of his saw incoming email volumes drop by 80-90%, he decided to investigate after noticing that this had become the norm rather than just a quiet day.  A simple test was devised—messages were sent to his EarthLink, Blackberry and Gmail accounts.  For every ten messages sent only one or two arrived in his EarthLink inbox compared to ten out of ten being received by Gmail! 

After some digging around a technical contact at EarthLink acknowledged the problem—EarthLink’s email system is so overloaded that up to 90% of some users’ incoming mail has simply been disappearing!  No bounces, just gone!  As the author says; the quality of service ISP’s are giving their customers seems to be rapidly degrading.  I had a frustrating encounter with my ISP’s helpdesk (now very obviously a call centre in India) over the past weekend:

I was having trouble connection to a certain server, after reading ever expanding threads on the support forum it became clear that one of the ISP’s core routers had a problem.  Every single person who had trouble connecting to the server was on the same ISP and traceroutes showed the same router being a point of failure.  I called the ISP’s helpdesk and explained the situation in detail saying that I believed one of their core-network routers required attention—after five minutes of explaining the situation the agent’s response was, “Yes sir, can you please tell me what lights do you see on the front of the router?” Doh!  After spending another half an hour trying to explain the problem I gave up; it was too much like banging my head against a brick wall!  Luckily two days later I could reconnect to the server. 

Does anybody else find it increasingly frustrating trying to find someone technically competent to speak to on their ISP’s helpdesk?

6 comments
lancene cadora
lancene cadora

I have 4 computers: old dell desktop with xp, new 09 dell desktop with windows 7, new 09 hp laptop and and iphone. All have settings instructing that a copy of mess. be left on the server. I receive 4 different subsets of messages on each computer. Any help out there?

debradbryant
debradbryant

I was wondering if I was the only one that had trouble communicating with tech support through anyone. They have little knowledge, and I know I could easily be their boss. I wonder how much they earn?

georgeou
georgeou

I quit Earthlink dialup service in the late 90s. The called me up in "good faith" to ask me why I'm leaving and I told them I wasn't satisfied with the dialup service and we ended the call. A month later I get the credit card bill that they're still charging me. I called them up and asked them why and they said that I had agreed during that "good faith" call to continue the service when I did no such thing. Of course I ended up getting in to a big argument over this and finally had my credit card company stop payment.

Tig2
Tig2

I was sold to Earthlink when my chosen provider was "acquired". I stayed put because I didn't care enough to change... until I actually had to speak with someone in tech support (apx 2001). The experience was so frustrating and the "support" staff so rude, I terminated my account, effective immediately. I verbally terminated, the next day I wrote. They continued to try to bill me for about 4 months. With my current service provided through a well known cable company, I get equally irritated. But I have learned to escalate the call to a supervisor level immediately. Recently, our service was going out about every two hours for anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours. I got the provider to admit that 60% of my neighbourhood was down. Not good news but as long as someone was trying to fix it, I'm okay with it. They sent a tech to my home on Friday. Supposed to arrive between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. He got there around 1:00 p.m. Checked the various levels of signal coming to the house, declared everything to be okay, left. An hour later the cable was down again. I called it in only to have the first person I spoke to tell me that the reason things weren't working was my wireless connection- which they don't support. So I asked for her supervisor. He admitted that there had been a number of outages for the area but thought they were fixed. Sent another tech out to look at the problem. Turns out that they swapped a transformer on Friday and spent most of the day troubleshooting the new equipment as well as the connectivity. FSR one just happened to be here while I was not affected. I gave the history information to FSR two who checked the lines. Then he called into the office to see if there had been any work in this area or any known outages. The CSR told him "no- everything has been fine". So the FSR started to escalate. He was then advised of the transmitter failure and replacement. The overwhelming sense is that we are held hostage to an extent. If you want service, generally there are limits to who can provide service in your area. This means that you end up paying a lot of money for begrudging service. That said, I also learned that no matter how bad the company, there are people there who have a real desire to provide customer service regardless.

Leee
Leee

In May, the Louisville branch of a well-known regional ISP lost a server--hard. What was supposed to be a few hours' "routine maintenance" turned into a weeks-long headache of all-day hold times and clueless, condescending phone reps (in Louisville, not India) who automatically assumed the problem could easily be fixed by rebooting. After it became clear that the problem lay with the ISP, promises of credits and delivery of "misplaced" (not lost) e-mail flowed as freely as the words spoken--that is, costing not a cent and yet ever so tempting. Turns out most of the promises were made by temporary workers hired to handle the "increased call volume" and thus unenforcible. It's been seven months. I still have an e-mail account with the ISP (our actual service was out only for 45 minutes) and I have yet to receive even one of those "misplaced" e-mails. I know they exist--I sent some myself! But I never use the account; we switched to Gmail for our e-mail needs and it's been great. Clearly this has not been a case where "you get what you pay for"; the ISP lost a ton of business through their unapologetic attitude and refusal to issue refunds commensurate with the aggravation of home and business users alike. Everything that could have gone wrong with this ISP did, down to their handling of what probably started out as a simple mishap due to human error. It can happen anywhere.

seanferd
seanferd

http://techrepublic.com.com/5200-6230-0.html?contentType=2 Not too many people will find your post attached to a discussion several years old. Are you using Earthlink? So, you have mail client settings on each of 4 computers that a copy of the message stays on the server. But not every computer gets all the messages for the same mail server account when downloading? And each set downloaded by the 4 computers is different from each other? Could be filtering settings in each mail client, perhaps. (Mail clients and mail server accounts are the important factors here.)

Editor's Picks