An AOL Watch reader in Great Britain details performance problems -- and bad customer support.Date: Wed, 18 Feb 1998 06:28:22 EST
To: David Cassel
Subject: GB AOL Woes Continue
It goes on - and on ....................
Today is another day of trouble, and denial of access, and lies. Once I had suffered the messages noted below, I phoned the FreePhone helpline (UK number) 0800 279 7444. The recorded messages there are the worst quality ever, which I have complained about before. The messages are broken up, erratic, and generally impossible to follow. I think they are designed to put one off. I persist, and pushing any phone button will eventually get a response from someone, who will eventually transfer me to someone else. The calls are at AOL's expense anyway.
I went this route this morning. A pleasant young lady answered my enquiry, and she told me right out that there was some form of work going on this morning, and I would not be able to access incoming emails till after lunch. At least she was honest about it. That makes a change.
I asked her about this problem of blocked emails locking-up the software, and she said immediately there was nothing wrong with my computer, and started to explain how Windows 3.1x users can use Ctrl-Esc - Task List - End Task to get out of the problem. I told her I had worked that out long ago, but it was hardly the solution to a software problem. She agreed. What else could she say?
So, once again, I am faced with a list of 20 emails from my customers and friends, all awaiting speedy replies for all I know, which I cannot access "till after lunch", leaving my correspondents thinking I don't care about their enquiries. It is a poor service when this takes place so often, and the service provider makes such pathetic and misleading statements in the Flash Session Status window.
"That mail is no longer available or is not accessible to this account. "
Slightly better would be something like
"Sorry. Your access to incoming emails is temporarily prevented by essential works. Please try again after XX.XX hours local time."
[They included a copy of their correspondence with AOL...]..............................................................................
Subj: Being denied access to my emails
Here's a copy of my flash session status messages so far this morning. I will keep you updated. I will try - I have to try - regularly to access my mail. My business depends on me receiving and dealing with my mail promptly.
Please tell me why that mail (except the first (top) two items on the list) "is not accesible to this account".
Or, how can it "no longer" be available when it was about midnight last night when I last ran a flash session? What is going on here? Are my emails being interfered with?
I will copy my flash session status messages to you every time I try to access my emails until it works, just to keep you informed.
Of course, you could like your Mr David White UKDavidW@aol.com place a stopper on emails from me so that you don't get pestered by an irate customer asking why the service has failed - again. This is a frequent problem on my email account. I am getting sick of it. I have complained about it before. Why is it still happening?
Beginning FlashSession ... (09:20:54)
Sending message 'Re: Out of Office AutoReply: The ultimate Palma rifle'... (09:21:39)
Sending message 'AOL software lock-ups.'... (09:22:06)
Retrieving list of new e-mail... (09:22:10)
That mail is no longer available or is not accessible to this account. (09:22:12)
FlashSession is complete. (09:22:22)
Beginning FlashSession ... (09:28:22) Sending message 'Software lock-ups when trying to access emails'... (09:29:06)
Retrieving list of new e-mail... (09:29:35)
That mail is no longer available or is not accessible to this account. (09:29:39)
FlashSession is complete. (09:29:49)
Beginning FlashSession ... (09:38:26) Sending message 'Emails problems'... (09:40:32) ukdavidw - This AOL member is currently not accepting e-mail from your account. (09:40:58)
Sending message 'A bullet in a huge paddy-bag!'... (09:40:58)
Retrieving list of new e-mail... (09:41:01)
That mail is no longer available or is not accessible to this account. (09:41:04)
FlashSession is complete. (09:41:14)