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Telstra customers hit by webmail issues

Telstra customers have been experiencing problems with accessing email on the Web since Wednesday, 8 March, according to a number of Web forums.

A number of customers also appear to have seen portions of their older emails disappear.

One user, who did not wish to be identified, contacted iTWire, saying, “Since Wednesday evening, a large number (possibly all) of the customers on the Bigpond IMAP email platform have been largely without their email services.

“Worse than that, all previous messages in all of the email folders have disappeared. Customers, including me, are furious at the lack of information from Telstra who seem to want to keep the whole thing quiet.”

On the Telstra CrowdSupport forum, customers were furious about the problems with the Web email.

One subscriber wrote: “When Telstra migrated accounts from POP3 to IMAP it meant that we could view our emails on multiple devices, the same way Gmail works. But what it means is that we are viewing emails stored on a server (the cloud). If the server blows up so do our emails. However, you would expect that Telstra would be running continuous back-ups of their servers.

“My suspicion is that IMAP email is offline at the moment (since 6pm last (Thursday) night Sydney time) because they are trying to restore all our historical emails - but I can't get an answer out of Telstra to confirm this.”

And another wrote: “This morning I log on to my webmail to find that emails from yesterday have also been wiped! Now there's authentication issue on the phone email app too and I can't even access my emails from the mobile anymore.

“I've gone on to change password just in case. Am on the phone with tech again now. No one is taking any ownership of this to investigate and give a straight answer.”

Telstra's network status page indicates that there is a problem with email, with a message saying, “Current interruption. Customers may experience issues with their email service,” with the problem listed as having started on Thursday, 9 March.

There is no indication of the problem on the Telstra Twitter account or on the company's Facebook page.

Update 2.15pm AEST: Contacted for comment, a Telstra spokesman told iTWire: "We did identify an issue with a small number of Bigpond email customers who were impacted by an email synchronisation error and were unable to access emails sent and received during the week.

"The issue was rectified and measures have been put in place to prevent any further customers from being affected.

"We have contacted impacted customers and we are working to recover emails during the period. We apologise for the inconvenience.”


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.