back to article TalkTalk email goes titsup FOR DAYS. Cheapo telco warns: Changing password WON'T fix it

An unknown number of TalkTalk customers have been locked out of their email accounts for days, but the budget ISP warned this morning that its service was still struggling to return to normal. According to anecdotal reports on Twitter, TalkTalk's email system first went titsup on Thursday. The company was claiming on Friday …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    happy talky, talky, happy talk

    I do wish that GCHQ would pick a more appropriate time to upgrade their pipes:(

  2. Steve Evans

    Oh gawd...

    You actually got them to admit they had a problem?

    Well done.

    Last time I had to look into a TT issue, they blamed the inability of the customers router to log onto their network on the router... The fact that it had been working fine, and nobody had changed anything for years wasn't the point. The router was customer supplied, so that must be it.

    Even explaining I'd tried two routers, both of which has negotiated a good speed with the exchange, but had failed the log on (which occurs afterwards), the problem couldn't possibly be their end... Oh no, it'll be both the routers I used, or maybe BT will have to come out to check the line...

    Yes, they were still blaming the physical line, or router, or anyone by themselves.

    Took 3 days of calling before we got to someone who realised they weren't talking to a complete idiot. Even then it took over 24 hours for it to magically start working, and they never placed the follow up call to let me know either.

    Nobody should ever use a TT email account, you're not going to want to stay with them for a second longer than necessary.

    1. Richard Jones 1

      Re: Oh gawd...

      It is clearly a standard script used by all ISPs, (ISP = Internet Service Preventer?)

      When I reported I could log into their network but not get any further, Orange instantly sent me a new router only for access to come back 20 minutes later. By then they were unable to stop the router thing they had dispatched and it arrived three days later.

      It sits in the cupboard awaiting the next time their access method fails.

      1. Chris Parsons Bronze badge

        Re: Oh gawd...but not all ISPs

        I've been using Zen for years and years and on the rare occasions I've needed support, they have been fantastic. And they call a couple of days after to make sure all is ok.

      2. Steve Evans

        Re: Oh gawd...

        If it's one of their hubs, it's probably worth changing, there were some serious security issues with their earlier models.

      3. P. Lee

        Re: Oh gawd...

        I had a similar issue in Oz. They wanted me to do a factory reset of the router. I baulked and baulked and finally did it to humour them.

        It all came back - I have rarely been that embarrassed. That netgear is being replaced with a proper cisco...

        I haven't actually ruled out them waiting until they saw the line go down to reset things at their end, but generally Westnet a quite good.

    2. Elmer Phud

      Re: Oh gawd...

      "Last time I had to look into a TT issue, they blamed the inability of the customers router to log onto their network on the router..."

      Things haven't changed over the years -- I used to work on a BT Bband helldesk (before and after the split) and their previous incarnation just bounced jobs back with no notes, no diagnostics, no nothing.

      But it got the jobs out of their queues before the job failed.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Oh gawd...

        "Worse still, they were repeatedly nagged to enter their email password."

        There is very little excuse for allowing a service to fall over, but leave the users trying to log in to a failing web page, then allowing a message to run telling them, or implying, that it is their own fault. .

        But they all seem to do it.

        It seems to be an industry wide delusion that the users will somehow not figure out that it is the ISP's fault, so that they can get away with suggesting that it's only that user having a problem.

    3. Gordon 11

      Re: Oh gawd...

      Even explaining I'd tried two routers, both of which has negotiated a good speed with the exchange, but had failed the log on (which occurs afterwards), the problem couldn't possibly be their end...
      I had a similar problem, but it was only an issue as the line would go through periods of dropping. So TT changed my line profile from 6dB to 12dB. I now have a slightly slower connexion, but it stays up and hence logged on.

      All done via the forum pages in ~1 day, so some people there can handle problems.

      Nobody should ever use a TT email account, you're not going to want to stay with them for a second longer than necessary.
      I've been using it since the days of Pipex and not had any real problems. So again, different people end up seeing different service from the same supplier.

  3. Craig 2

    Anyone using ISP's own email is mad, and anyone using TalkTalk's is doubly mad!

    1. Androgynous Cowherd

      Agreed, never use ISP supplied email... but TT for me have been faultless, have fast fibre and when the supplied router (wifi) broke, chap came next day to my home and fitted a new one for me.

      I may be on my own here...

      1. spudmasterflex

        Not on your own

        I'm with you on this, had their 80Mb fibre for two years, using standard bt supplied modem and a sonic wall, never had any issues at all, get a constant 76-77 Mb and regularly download 150-200GB per month with no caps, slow downs, inbound VPN works fine as do all my web facing servers.

        I think maybe in densely populated areas they have congestion, but I live in a tiny village with maybe 30-40 houses so that could be the difference?

  4. Mike007

    ISP Email

    Who seriously uses ISP supplied email? you're stuck with that ISP, if you change you have to re-register accounts all over the place with your new email address. Just use gmail!

    1. DaddyHoggy

      Re: ISP Email

      I stopped using Tesco as my ISP when I switched from dial up to fibre with Virgin (then NTL) 10 years ago.

      I still use my Tesco accoubt via webmail interface. It has performed faultlessly for all those years and their tech help still helped when I couldn't log on after a password change (this is when I discovered the only thing I don't like - a 9 char password limit).

  5. Mystic Megabyte

    More [off topic] woe

    A friend told me her tale of woe yesterday.

    After years of paying her BT bill in the name of her ex-partner (Joe Bloggs) she got annoyed at constantly being called Mrs. Bloggs.

    BT assured her that the account name could be changed at no cost. Now her phone number has been unnecessarily changed and she has no internet connection.

    A nice man in India has told her that to fix the problem the road will have to dug up. WTF!

    1. Anthony Hegedus

      Re: More [off topic] woe

      Similar thing happened to a customer of mine, who was told that if they wanted their old number back, they'd have to pay £400

    2. My Alter Ego

      Re: More [off topic] woe

      The person probably cancelled and recreated the account rather than changing the name on it, that way they could gain commission for hooking a new customer.

      BT local business did this to us. Our ISDN 30 was in our director's name, not the limited company's name, so they asked us to amend the account. We'd put it off for over a year but finally acquiesced. A few days later we had no phone lines. When we called to complain they couldn't find the old account. They did however find a new account in our name. Or other director called out in their office for a day until they fixed it. Total down time was 36 hours. They even sent out an engineer to replace our NTE-2D box and pretended that that was the cause of the failure, not some pond scum boosting his payslip.

      What we learned was that unless you *need* to change something on your account, don't. Three things could happen - you get charged; you get cut off; they don't fuck anything up. A 1 in 3 chance isn't worth the risk.

  6. clint11

    It was not just the email that went down, it also affected the TT web page and the customer forums as well

  7. Arachnoid

    So this a week after the Yahoo email failure

    Which on and off lasted several days taking out other services like BT who still use them for email.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: So this a week after the Yahoo email failure

      I thought BT had moved away from Yahoo mail recently

    2. P. Lee

      Re: So this a week after the Yahoo email failure

      But its the infallible Cloud, the way of the future!

      Who would download email on their local computer with IMAP, so it stays on the server but you also have it locally?

  8. gwangy

    Possible solution ?

    Hmmm . Have they tried turning it off, then on again?

  9. Oldfogey

    WISP (Which ISP)

    Whilst we are discussing the horrors of our ISP's, can anybody suggest one that would meet my needs nice and cheaply?

    The location is at my mother-in-law's house, where I spend 5 or 6 days every other month. At present I use a mobile dongle, which struggles to give 3G, and even then is s...l..o...w, though it gets a bit better after midnight. There is no 4g here.

    Phone service is from BT, and I am stuck with that (phones come from BT, gas from Gas Board, electric from Electricity Board, as it was ordained and always will be).

    So. I am looking for an ISP that will provide 1 or 2 GB of data every other month, without demanding the phone line is changed, at a reasonable price.

    Any ideas?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WISP (Which ISP)

      You could try:

    2. qwertyuiop

      Re: WISP (Which ISP)

      ...gas from Gas Board, electric from Electricity Board...

      Whereabouts in the UK does your mother-in-law live? I thought that all of the UK had privatised gas and electricity companies ever since the 80s when Thatcher privatised them. Where is this little bubble that still has a Gas Board and an Electricity Board?

      1. Oldfogey

        Re: WISP (Which ISP)

        Sure, she lives in a typical south coast urban area, lots of options. But won't contemplate changing supplier for anything from the ones she ended up in after privatisation, because of all the problems other people she knows have had.

        No good arguing.

        And what I was hoping was that somebody would know of a deal that is not to be found on the switching sites - which I have spent more time on than I care to contemplate!

  10. David Roberts

    Password prompt?

    It isn't clear from the report, but one symptom of a handshake timing out when an email client (not web browser) is fetching mail is a request for the password.

    I see this now and then from the various mail servers I use, but mostly from BT.

    If this is the problem, and you can only change the password by logging into the web site, then it should (but probably doesn't) ocur that if the password works for the web site then it doesn't need changing.

  11. Peter Clarke 1

    I had noticed the Home page was slow to load or falling over on Fri/Sat. Strangely, my legacy email with LineOne and Tiscacli domains have worked faultlessly. I'm dreading the day they stop supporting them

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