24 March 2008

BT and bank holidays

The last of my bank holiday has been utterly ruined by BT. At the end of last week, there was a flurry of mails on a listserv I use about email complications at BT but I didn't really pay much attention to them. Then I discovered this afternoon that I cannot send emails using my domain name via BT (my broadband supplier). I can email using my various BTinternet.com addresses, but as my business email has its own domain I foresee problems.

Earlier, I logged into the listserv's email archive because (as you might expect) I'd deleted all my colleagues' mails. It was an interesting rummage - apparently, BT decided to introduce new anti-spam measures (fair enough) by moving some goalposts (sort of fair) but didn't bother to warn its customers in advance (how's that for shite customer service?). So, the first my hack colleagues knew of the moved goalposts was when they tried to send email from their own domains and got error messages directing them to a BT Yahoo web page that contains instructions for resolving the problem. Naturally, the link in the error message was not hyperlinked. No surprise there. BT never makes things easy for its long-suffering customers.

So, I laboriously typed in the URL and began the tedious process of verifying 3 different domain addresses with BT so I can send my non-BT domain emails via BT. Verification is, apparently, vital, in the War Against Spam. Except BT is still delivering the usual bucketloads of 300-plus per day to my inboxes. (It might do more to prevent the influx instead of forcing its customers to prove they are not spammers, but I digress.)

Still with me? Ye gods, I know, it's bloody complicated.

Having verified my addies, I still can't send anything. A phone call to BT's help centre did not appease my temper. It's somewhere in India and while I don't doubt the techy guys at the other end of the phone know their stuff I can never understand anything they say. Plus they have a script and refuse to veer from it so any conversation is generally pointless anyway. I have been known to get more satisfaction by banging my head on the nearest brick wall while thwcreaming until I am thick...

Their feeble excuse is that they have server outage which only affects outgoing email from non-BT domain addies. BT ones will be sent as normal. The UK goes back to work tomorrow, as do I, and I'm looking at the possibility of not being able to reply to my emails. I've spent 2 hours trying to sort things at my end, time I should have spent enjoying the break.

If I treated my clients the way BT treats its, I'd be out of business in a month. Probably less.

My personal trainer had me boxing this morning - I wish I'd known about the BT issue at 8am. Because every punch I threw would have been targeted at my broadband supplier.


Anne Brooke said...

Poor you - BT can be such a nightmare. They're hopeless. Hope though that it's sorted for you soon.

Hugs & stuff


Unknown said...

If only. I'm still with selective email only it's worse today than yesterday! Thank goodness I have Gmail as a back-up!

Anonymous said...

Had the same issue myself unable to send email from sallywhittle.co.uk via my BT account, but for some reason only a sporadic error (ie I'd hit send, it would fail, I'd hit send, it would go).

What makes me laugh is I discovered the problem by searching for the error message on Yahoo. Went through the steps it recommended and the final screen said "sorry. unknown error".

Seems to have worked, however.

(and a small tip. Never tell BT you're using anything other than Outlook on a PC. Just lie. Saves SO much time and energy)