19 Jan 2018

$40,000 at risk in Vodafone outage, woman says

3:26 pm on 19 January 2018

A Queenstown woman says she almost lost $40,000 in business after Vodafone shut its email service.

Vodafone sign

Vodafone says there is now systemic issue with its auto-forwarding service. Photo: 123RF

The telecommunications company cut its email platform at the end of November last year, but offered a forwarding service to customer's new accounts.

Some of the more more well-known addresses affected included ihug.co.nz, paradise.net.nz, vodafone.co.nz and clear.net.nz.

Many of the addresses were launched in the 1990s but the company said it was hard to tell how many customers were actively using their accounts.

Vodafone said at the time it had not kept pace with changes in email technology and many of its customers wanted better service.

Queenstown art gallery owner Julia Milley said she started having problems with her mail as soon as Vodafone cut the service.

But she knew there was a big issue when she sent out a mailer to about 1500 people worldwide but got no response for days.

"I actually rang [Vodafone] and said, 'I've lost about $40,000 in sales'.

"I recouped that afterwards when I actually re-sent it to people, but if I hadn't ... realised what was going on I would have just been sitting out there in limbo."

Ms Milley said she spent hundreds of hours making sure she was getting all her messages.

She signed up with Gmail, but her clear.net mail has been redirecting only sporadically.

"Stuff ... is basically bouncing back [with a message] saying it's been blacklisted."

She had asked Vodafone for help dozens of times but had been told the company could not find a problem, or that the fault lies with the email provider of the person sending the message.

"Vodafone [is] basically denying any responsibility saying that it's just the fault of the people trying to message me: 'It's their servers that are at fault.'

"If they can't fix it by now I don't think they're going to fix it at all."

Other Vodafone customers have posted similar complaints on online message boards about mail not being forwarded to them.

No systemic issues - Vodafone

Vodaphone said it had thoroughly investigated and had not found any systemic issues with its email auto-forwarding system.

It said all their customers' email setups were unique, and if people encountered problems they should get in touch with Vodafone and it would tailor a solution to their individual needs.

About 140,000 customers have successfully set up auto-forwarding to their new accounts, Vodafone said.

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