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back to article Tiscali locks down contracts after email disaster

Tiscali says that broadband customers left fuming by its week of undelivered email remain bound by their contracts, and should accept that email is a free extra. Spokeswoman Jody Haskayne told The Reg: "They have a contract with us and they are obliged to pay us." Customers who want to switch to another provider because of …

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Anonymous Coward

blacklist, what blacklist?

It's funny how Tiscali sent email is not getting delivered to anywhere, even to servers that don't use blacklisting.

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Anonymous Coward

Tiscali are spinning like mad

While tiscali is undoubtedly blocklisted in many areas (here for one to start with), the problems their users have been experiencing are purely and simply *NOTHING* to do with blocklisting.

There has been a hardware screwup at tiscali and that's all there is to it. I manage my own mailserver and I can assure everyone that the reason my users aren't getting any tiscali-sourced e-mail is because tiscali isn't presenting it to me, not because I'm blocking it. Tiscali's relays are not forwarding the mail in the first place, so how they can claim other networks are blocking them is beyond me.

While the average Joe Bloggs e-mail user might not know the difference, your average Pete Postmaster certainly does. Tiscali has yet to learn that there are only so many people you can lie to without them seeing straight through the lies.

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Tiscali is a complete joke

I've just made a complaint to ISPA regarding the current debacle at Tiscali. Tiscali weren't even gracious enough to admit there was a problem on their website until outed by The Register. Appalling.

I'd become suspicious of an email problem, which The Register's story confirmed, after emails I'd sent to myself weren't received.

I also find their broadband service is generally unreliable. In the last few weeks, it's become even worse. Sometimes it's hours before I can connect, or the connection simply disappears.

I'll be changing ISPs for sure ASAP. I urge others to do the same, as Tiscali simply doesn't deserve its customers.

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Anonymous Coward

Free or not...

But it doesn't matter that the email service is "free".

If you go out and buy a pair of shoes with "free" laces, if the laces are not up to the job then you have recourse to complain. It doesn't matter that they are "free"; they were part of the deal and must be up to standard.

That's the law.

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so if its free there is no responsibility

...seems to me there is confusion on tiscali's part about the term free and bundled!!

It does raise a more serious question, ISP contracts. If they provide a service (free or not) it should work, this current get out clause needs to be addressed by ofcom or whoever as it has come up before (Orange broadband)!!

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Presumably Tiscali dont block port 25 then...

"We provide a quality email service...it is free and they are not obliged to use it." unless Tiscali happen to be one of the many ISP's that block port 25!

Now I don't know if Tiscali actually do block port 25 but assuming they do does this not make their claim a little absurd?

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"Free mail"

How can they turn around and say not to complain as it's a free add-on.

In the current market everyone expects to get an email address as it's been bundled in since the 90's! Plus I would push how they can acert it's free, i'm sure some of the monthly fee goes towards paying for it.

Email has become a vital daily service for alot of people and it really surprises me how a company can treat it's customers with so much contempt.

Then again it is Tiscali - it's their own fault for signing up in the first place.

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Tiscali SMTP server

My tiscali account was working fine untill today now get a different error message every time i try to send something.

Pinging smtp.tiscali.co.uk times out 100%loss.

Of course the tiscali website says everything is fine and rosie with their email so maybe it's just me (but i doubt it)

Chris

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Presumably Tiscali dont block port 25 then...

Andy writes: "Now I don't know if Tiscali actually do block port 25 but assuming they do does this not make their claim a little absurd?"

Not if your alternate mail provider accepts mail on the MSP port 587.

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Tiscali UK do not permit sending from own domains

Certainly not on the broadband package my parents are on. Not that several clueless denizens of their call centre could give that straighforward answer to my father, of course ;) Mind you, I did warn him to pay the organ grinder, not the monkey, when he was choosing providers but it's that cost/value thing again. He now understands that particular equation and will be leaving Tiscali, I suspect like many others.

Curiously, Tiscali NL do allow relaying, as one of my friends who has just gone self-employed was delighted to discover, much to my amazement.

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How can email be free

... if it's explicitly stated that "sending and receiving emails with large attachments" is included in the publicity blurb? Either (a) it's included in the offer, and therefore not free, or (b) email isn't included and we're looking at misleading advertising (Trade Descriptions Act, etc etc).

To be honest, the non-respect of their own T&Cs, plus the unbelievable excuses used to justify their failure to provide a vital service to their subscribers, shows all the hallmarks of a cowboy outfit. Don't buy their double-glazing whatever you do.

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Tiscali e-mail - don't bither

I am astonished that any Tiscali subscriber should have been caught out by their e-mail failure - surely nobody uses their ISP's e-mail as their main e-mail address any more?

googlemail.com offers so much more - and for nothing. Free POP3, free forwarding, free 2.8Gb storage (never delete another e-mail), superb spam filtering.

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Tiscali mail free? but you pay for the spam filtering...

Tiscali is a very cut down, bare bones company. All seems to be run on a shoe string. Support is painful - right down to having a "We are too busy so call back later" type response when the network totally fails...

My one question... if the email is a "free" service, why do they then charge their customers for the spam filters? (Filters that are free with 99% of all other ISPs....)

At least some of my customers now understand why I groan at the mention of Tiscali.... :o)

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Silver badge

External email

Curiously I *do* have my email on external servers, over at 1and1, and continually get timeouts trying to connect via pop3. It's been like this for months, and doesn't seem restricted to "peak" hours. I've resorted to dialup on a few occasions just to collect email.

The Tiscali network and support staff are showing string signs of trying to do too much with too little.

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Anonymous Coward

Tiscali FOI Information

Freedom of Information: Right to know request

Thank you for your request for information regarding the number of complaints that we have received in relation to Tiscali. Please accept my apology for the delay in responding.

You asked for the following information for 2005 and 2006:

1. Total number of complaints received by Ofcom regarding Tiscali.

2005 = 2,603

2006 = 6,300

2. Number of complaints regarding Tiscali under the heading Internet service bill & contract issues

2005 = 381

2006 = 575

3. Number of complaints regarding Tiscali under the heading Privacy issues – spam emails

2005 = 6

2006 = 11

4. Number of complaints regarding Tiscali under the heading Customer service issues

2005 = 193

2006 = 455

5. Number of complaints regarding Tiscali under the heading Problems switching between ISPs

2005 = 476

2006 = 3,338

6. Number of complaints regarding Tiscali under the heading Quality of internet service – e.g. speed

2005 = 419

2006 = 518

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Corporate behaviour

It has always amused me how the companies and the governments operate in UK.

The law abiding consumer/citizen has virtually no rights whatsoever, whilst the government and corporations can do what they want. This example is perfect, the company lies, and it will get away with it. The customer wants to move? – Nope, you cannot brake the contract..

What is even more annoying; show any amount of technical knowledge beyond the start button clicking, and you get accused of being a hacker, and “reported” to the police – as was the case with one of the ISP’s I had the misfortune of dealing with. Sometimes I am glad that the police could not care less.

And whilst I am on the subject of email servers, I run my own, that services small businesses.

9/10 support requests are “trying to send email to [insert name of a large company] and it does not get delivered” – running diagnostics, discovering that the servers for that company are not working, or not accepting attachments larger than 1 MB, reporting this to the client, and getting this response, “yes, but they are a large company, and you are a small fry, the problem must be with you”

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One and One

"Curiously I *do* have my email on external servers, over at 1and1, and continually get timeouts trying to connect via pop3. It's been like this for months, and doesn't seem restricted to "peak" hours. I've resorted to dialup on a few occasions just to collect email."

The One and One email problems are down to one and one. Myself (Plus) and a mate (Pipex) have also had issues recently and I sometimes get time-outs from work too via a main backbone link.

J

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Tiscali email as a free add on?

I can't see how Tiscali can square this claim with clause 7.9 of their terms and conditions.

7.9 If you have a contract with us for Broadband Services, you ............... and we shall not be liable for any errors in sending or receiving emails unless caused by our negligence.

If they have been negligent they have to accept responsibility. Nothing about this being a free take it or leave it service.

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Tiscali in Disguise

Having had bad experiences with Tiscali in the past I moved over to Toucan and guess what-Toucan are Tiscali by another name. Same e-mail problems but even worse support.

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blackhole

standard practice for tiscali to forward emails to a "blackhole" when they have equipment/spam problems, eases the pressure on the network

has the unfortunate side affect of deleting any emails sent to it..

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Bronze badge

Email "extra"?

Odd. Here I thought that one of the major reasons for being connected to the Internet, broadband or otherwise, was to be able to send and received email. Now Tiscali is suggesting that email is a "free extra"??

Very strange practices. Damn glad I'm not one of their customers.

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Tiscali Refunds

Hi,

Tiscali customers need to be aware of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1994.

Essentially, Tiscali is not free to do what it likes in contracts, especially when the contract is pre-set (ie you didn't negotiate the terms with them) and especailly with consumers.

You should be able to get compensation (depending on the details). Take it to the "Small Claims Court", especially where you have suffered loss or inconvenience.

As for "email being an optional extra" that's like a car manufacturer saying that the windscreen is optional... total rubbish! Email is an important part of a broadband service, just like web access.

If anyone fancies taking it further, contact me via http://www.suitemaker.co.uk/About/index.html, go to "Contact".

Yours,

Alan

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Homechoice

Well, I'm with Homechoice who were unfortunately taken over by Tiscali recently, and now all e-mails to hotmail addresses either disappear or return with a timeout message:

Status: 5.0.0 (permanent failure)

Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 5.4.7 - Delivery expired (message too old) '4.7 -

Delivery expired (message too old)' (delivery attempts: 0)

Reporting-MTA: dns; mk-smarthost-1.mail.uk.tiscali.com

That is from a Tiscali machine, so presumably the fault *is* theirs... But I don't like what I've read of the company lying to its customers. Maybe they're scared we might realize that they are human or something. Anyway, any company which does this deserves termination, IMO and I won't go with them in future - not for the e-mail failure (accidents can happen) but for lying about it. It is not OK to treat people with contempt.

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Tiscali or Quality Broadband/Service at a Cost

"Having had bad experiences with Tiscali in the past I moved over to Toucan and guess what-Toucan are Tiscali by another name. Same e-mail problems but even worse support."

Quite a few Service Providers are switching to Tiscali for Wholesale Broadband, some are even closing down their expensive centrals and migrating the customer base across to Tiscali's centrals. What a bad bad mistake, in order to save money in this cut throat Broadband market.

Time for people to stop and realize the real cost of Broadband. If you want reliable service with real people based in the UK to talk when you have a question or problem you will have to start paying a little extra than £9.99 a month,

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Contractual obligations

If I remember correctly, there is a clause in their T&C where you have to agree to check your Tiscali email account on a regular basis, which would mean that customers are obliged to use it. Would somebody be able to confirm this?

Could be handy for getting out of the contract...

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Anonymous Coward

Email Is Not Free...

... You actually pay for it when you pay Tiscali for your internet connection and email and the amount of addresses etc is what people also look at when choosing a provider. Its also why the likes of Tiscali ADVERTISE it when they promote their service to say you can email.

Its just the same old story of a company bullying its customers into stopping even though it is not providing the service THEY PAY FOR this includes all aspects of it regardless as to whether Tiscali want to ram the 'its free' card in peoples faces as they are so worried that many customers are hacked off they would have none!

All i can say is i URGE all customers to complain and complain and complain, and hit them where it hurts by going elsewhere - its obvious they dont give a damn what type of service they give customers and when ppl are not happy they simply respond 'tough shit, your in a contract deal with it' not the right attitude to have really!!!!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Still nothing....

No more news - take a look at their Status page, worse now than a week ago. I'm having to pay for an outgoing server service just to send email. What a load of £$%&*)((*^%$£'s

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Where's the Press

I am a little suprised that there has been so little coverage of this latest debacle in the national press. Given that Tiscali, Pipex and Toucan customers have all suffered over the past week(s) I would have expected almost daily coverage/updates. But then again I guess that there is advertising revenue at stake, or am I being a little too cynical?

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