Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More Optus arrogance and contempt for its customers

OPTUS has been forced to halt the planned shut down of its email domain after users complained of insufficient warning.

Thousands of long-time Optus customers awoke this morning to find empty email inboxes after the telco last night flicked the off switch to its email domain server.

Optus says it warned subscribers of the impending change -- a migration to a new domain, -- in an April newsletter but admitted it failed to issue any follow-up warnings.

The shutting down of the domain server meant that emails sent to customers with addresses disappeared into the internet ether or bounced back to the sender’s address.

But angry customers swarmed Optus's customer service hotline, saying they weren't aware of the closure.

One unhappy customer in Sydney expressed his disappointment that the telco failed to put in place an email redirect. He hopes Optus will learn from its mistake when it moves to complete the migration.

“Optus should have been more direct when notifying people about this change rather than hiding it in a newsletter.

“The ramifications are not just to the thousands of Optus customers but it’s a pain for any subscriptions people have, any software upgrades that are registered with that specific email address, bank statements and more," he said.

Optus refused to say why a simple domain name redirect was not put in place to avoid any disruption to customers’ email services.

An Optus spokeswoman said the migration process began yesterday afternoon but has since been put on hold while new notification procedures are put in place.

“Customers will be notified in the coming weeks regarding the date of the termination of the affected domain names. Optus apologises for any inconvenience,” she said.

The spokeswoman said the migration was implemented to reduce high-levels of spam and that only those customers who have been a customer with the telco since before 2002, when the domain was introduced, were affected by the change.

This includes all email addresses that sit on Optus’s, and domains. All of these will eventually be migrated to the domain.