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back to article BT! dumps! Yahoo! after! 10! long! years! together!

BT is ditching Yahoo! after 10 years to take up with US firm Critical Path, which will supply email services on the new BT.com. The telco said it was switching its broadband customers over to the new BT Mail service as part of the relaunch of BT.com, breaking up with Yahoo! and axing the BT Yahoo! portal at the same time. BT …

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Brilliant...

This better be a super smooth transition. A few of the silver surfers I look after are on BT Yahoo! and have a tendency to only mention that their email hasn't worked for X months when I visit.

Hopefully they'll be able to sensibly transition the IMAP/SMTP details so I don't have to reconfigure everything (that's what DNS and MX records are for, right?).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Brilliant...

MX records are already transitioned for most/all BT residential domains. While I am not fully aware of all the details of the migration, I strongly suspect that the hostnames end users have in their clients won't change. Having worked with BT in the past (which is why I'm AC) their product management people are strongly opposed to customers having to do anything different as a result of infrastructure changes.

Having done a lot more e-mail migrations than I care to remember the biggest problems aren't on the technical side at all - DNS changes are trivial and POP, IMAP and SMTP are (mostly) standardised by this point (although IMAP namespaces can present challenges, thanks Crispin). It's on the end user side, especially with older customers. They tend to have an aversion to change as they're maybe not the most technically minded and when they get presented with a new web interface they panic and don't know what to do.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Brilliant...

Have you ever had anything to do with Critical Path ?

Cannot imagine it could be much worse than Yahoo for the users but depending on how they are doing it it might be very very annoying for somebody.

Might have been the interoperability between Critical Path and sendmail that left much to be desired.

(And getting it to look as if nothing had changed).

Maybe BT won't bother with anything like that.

Still don't understand why these huge ISP's outsource mail (Unless they are getting a profit from it). Cannot imagine Google pays Virgin to use gmail. It is not that difficult running mail for a few people.

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Re: Brilliant...

"Still don't understand why these huge ISP's outsource mail (Unless they are getting a profit from it). Cannot imagine Google pays Virgin to use gmail. It is not that difficult running mail for a few people."

Because typically the outsourcing is free in exchange for pushing adverts in people's faces.

We'v e had this happen at $orkplace. A perfectly functional system which was a tad overstretched ad needed some TLC was replaced (on orders from high) with MS Outlook (Soon to be Office365) because it was "free"

So far that changeover has cost £3 million and taken 2+ years - and support loads have gone up by a factor of at least 10, so the IT folks (including me) are not happy.

The "on high" who ordered the changeover has buggered off to greener pastures.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Brilliant...

This is because BT Retail consumer do not historically operate their own network infrastructure. They run from the exchange to Radius server over BT Wholesale and pending auth checks at this point, these customers are dumped out onto the Main BT IP Network and allowed to jet off and do their own thing, as opposed to being tunnelled over to owning CPs network where there is normally a CP radius, Mail/News servers and DNS etc. So everything offered on top of bog standard web access has always been a service on top for retail consumer (not business though, this has a 'normal' set-up).

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Re: Brilliant...

Yes!

Hopefully this will actually cause an improvement both in the readability (less really problematic clutter!) and useability (actual menus missing and not matching the help/instruction pages) a lot.

In the mean time, if anyone knows where the "delete email account" button has gone as the "manage email accounts" button also seems missing, I'd be very thankful. :(

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good

Hopefully this means my dad will finally get rid of the silly Yahoo!/BT task bar thing he has had for years.

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Re: good

Na- that malware requires fdisk and a screwdriver through the hard-drive to clear

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Gives me hope that Rogers in Canada will follow suit. Yahoo! (spit) email buggy, bloated and ugly.

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Terrible

And extremely slow !

I now receive more spam than ever before, wonder why. Maybe Ms. Mayer, having the Google DNA has decided to advert/spam everything she touches. Yahoo users are in for a torrid time.

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Re: Terrible

Google does not mean spam.

I have both Gmail and Yahoo mail. I get no spam in my Gmail and tons of it on Yahoo, always have. Strangely, the Yahoo account isn't used and the Gmail one is and lots of companies have it.

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I recently had to sort out an email problem for a friend of a friend where they could not send or receive emails. I verified all their settings were correct and then attempted to login to BTYahoo. That all worked without a problem, I then spent a good 10 minutes trying to find the POP/SMTP settings to use to verify they matched with Outlook. I managed to get POP downloading but SMTP kept erroring saying it could not contact the server. After several more minutes Googling I found a page on BT to "automatically configure" the settings for Outlook. Needless to say it did not fix anything - eventually after more Googling of the hexadecimal error message I came across a forum post dated 2010 that said someone had changed the SMTP port number from 25 to 587 so I thought I'd give that a try and it worked, instantly. If it wanted to use port 587 instead of 25 then I would expect the BT help pages to mention this and their automatic configuration tool to have done this for me - but clearly much is amiss in the BT world.

Finally - they have been pestered with emails about "upgrading" to the new Mail interface (which it seems they already have) with warnings about loss of email if they don't upgrade - I hope for their sake that they don't have to follow any more steps to transition to whatever new service BT are going to be using - but somehow I just can't manage to find the faith that BT will not royally screw this one up.

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"Finally - they have been pestered with emails about "upgrading" to the new Mail interface (which it seems they already have) with warnings about loss of email if they don't upgrade - I hope for their sake that they don't have to follow any more steps to transition to whatever new service BT are going to be using - but somehow I just can't manage to find the faith that BT will not royally screw this one up."

I've been wondering about that.

What is this new interface they are on about?

Is it the rearranging of the web-mail page? -- world+dog seem to be using the same sort of look.

I've still got a Talk21 account -- been waiting for ages for that to go.

I have been out to sort out 'missing contacts from Internet Explorer' -- they use IE on XP (unsupported) for getting to Hotmail. It took a while to explain that along with not having to change their mail address from Hotmail, all the contacts were still there but not quite where they were before.

(no, they are the same age as me)

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T&C

A close reading of the small print suggests it's just a ruse to get new consent for them to read your e-mails so that abuses can be identified.

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BT Connect still accepts connections on port 25 and they supply port 587 as a fallback just in case the ISP you are using has blocked port 25.

Many ISPs block port 25 in an attempt to thwart home users using SMTP to send spam. I suspect this might have been the problem you were experiencing - I've run into it many times.

If it's not in their help pages it should be though.

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Meh

My experience of the BT Yahoo site has been confined to situations where I begrudgingly have to help hopeless relatives and in-laws. You know the types, they still insist on using Internet Explorer and have installed every unnecessary tool bar they can find just to make it even more frustrating. They get annoyed if you install a better browser because they'll decide that something different is 'broken'.

"We want to give customers a website where everything is in one place"

My sample group can't find what they're looking for on the current BT Yahoo site because there is too much on screen. I accept my sample set of BT Yahoo users may not be representative but I think they're missing the problem.

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People frequently complain that the Y! home page isn't as clean as Google or Duck Duck Go (or countless other sites, including other media/news sites). People who work at Y! are also frustrated (or at least the ones I know are) and there *is* a stripped down search interface that few people know about at http://search.yahoo.com

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"My experience of the BT Yahoo site has been confined to situations where I begrudgingly have to help hopeless relatives and in-laws. You know the types, they still insist on using Internet Explorer and have installed every unnecessary tool bar they can find just to make it even more frustrating. They get annoyed if you install a better browser because they'll decide that something different is 'broken'."

And to think that's pretty much what I've just posted -- though I've remembered that they also 'have' to use Chrome to use Gmail .

I realise now why they find Firefox confusing -- it isn't 'Email'.

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re "hopeless relatives and in-laws"

It's always the in-laws with BT-Yahoo! It's as if the marketing people at BT sat down and said "we will target the clueless in-laws sector of the market" which probably aint far from the truth really!

Give the in laws some credit though - mine have just started using Chrome off their own backs! They're learning! Plus there's only so much shit you can take from IE before you start to act! haha

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This post has been deleted by its author

Lets hope BT keep the legacy email address such as .btopenworld.com that I've been using for years.

And also my pro Flickr (or what's left of Pro after Flickrs upgrade) will that remain or will I need to pay to Flickr now to stop the ads?

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Talk21 is still there.

openworld and btinternet point to the same acccount

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So as well as spending large amounts of money to bring in relatively profitless companies under the Yahoo name, they're also losing areas of their income from business, which will no doubt increase since this kind of thing is normally a rolling rock situation.

Place your bets on who's buying Yahoo!, facebook, microsoft or google.

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!!!!!!

Please stop adding ! after every word in the headline when the article is something to do with Yahoo! It was funny once, about 100 years ago. Now it is just annoying.

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Re: !!!!!!

Please stop moaning about the added ! after every word in the headline when the article is something to do with Yahoo! It was funny once, about 100 years ago. Now it is just annoying.

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Trollface

Re: !!!!!!

If! it! bothers! you! then! you! are! reading! the! wrong! web! site!

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Headmaster

Re: !!!!!!

I! know! Yahoo!! is! old! but! not! 100! years! old!!!!

ffs!!!!

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Paris Hilton

Re: !!!!!!

I remember my first day reading el Reg years ago - "oh thats weird putting loads of !s in that headline" I think to myself

Few weeks later "oh look more of those weird !s wtf" I think...

A year later "hang about, is it me or do these weird !s only turn up in headlines about yahoo!?"

You get used to it mate! Give it time!

Paris, because she's another Register institution we couldn't live without!

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Re: !!!!!!

I like the occasional reminder that we no longer need to use 'bang' email addresses.

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Re: !!!!!!

"I like the occasional reminder that we no longer need to use 'bang' email addresses."

I quite miss them. They were the common syntax when I started using email for work. Was there a time when both "!" and "@" versions were acceptable formats? Thunderbird won't accept "!" now though.

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Happy

Bundling

This puts the wonky notion of service bundling mentioned in that article the other day into perspective. Business partnerships are fluid and in the long term rarely benefit the consumer.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/28/google_and_tax/

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I did get sucked into their disposable email address thing though. I have hundreds of email addresses - pretty much one for each website I use. Total waste of time though as it does turn out that you don't get spam from the legitimate companies that use your email address.

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I disagree, only the other month I was able to identify and call-out a company that had managed to acquire an address which I only gave out to one company.

Turns out, this company director used to work for the company who I'd given the email to. Cue one threatening email (knowing the DPA inside out sometimes comes in handy) and several extremely prompt replies from them, and they backed down (and lost an AWFUL lot of potential custom just by doing something extremely stupid like pinching their former employer's email database).

But, to be honest, that's nothing to do with Yahoo so much as having your own domain, a catch-all email account and the brains to put different email addresses into every website and keep a record of what one you used with who. If you want throwaway email addresses, just buy a domain for a few quid a year - you can use it for EVERYTHING, it doesn't matter what ISP you use or whether they change over to Yahoo, you can have all mail forwarded to any account you like (so if you WANT to use GMail, etc.), and you can do useful things like sticking a website on it, giving friends and family a free, extra email (e.g. fred@yourdomain.com which just forwards to their email or gives them an IMAP account).

The amount of spam I get is close to zero. Hell, I get THOUSANDS of attempts, but the number that actually pass through is next to zero. Basically, because you have to know what addresses I'm currently using and only the places with valid emails that I've written have that. And when I spot spam, I complain to the only company that was ever given that address and, if necessary, block it. You only really get spam when your addresses are PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE, like putting them on websites, in CV's, etc. or when someone at a company decides to steal/sell the email database. The latter is surprisingly common, I've found, and the former are easily avoided.

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About 10 years too late

The Yahoo service was abysmal - the mail "deprioritisation" they installed (instead of proper greylisting) resulted in massively delayed or bounced legitimate messages and was appalling (and hard to explain - other than "get a new ISP"); trying to obtain technical support as a sysadmin trying to get mail delivered was like pulling teeth.

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LOL

This explains why I got an email a couple of weeks back saying customers who do not login to their BT Yahoo mail at least once before 15th of June would lose their email account. I guess they're trying to cut down the migration numbers.

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Re: LOL

I remember that tactic at work -- it always seemed to hit middle-management for some reason.

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ODd

Sure my enighbour had a mail about swithcing over to the new yahoo about a month ago?

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Meh

Great, maybe now they'll stop with the adverts.

I sometimes have to access my BT e-mail through a web browser and suffer all of those annoying animated adverts flickering away in my peripheral vision while I'm trying to read. I pay for this e-mail so why bombard me with adverts?

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Re: Great, maybe now they'll stop with the adverts.

I strongly doubt they will. More and more service provider customers are looking to do ads in webmail because it lets them lower their upfront cost, which is all most people look at when comparing services.

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Re: Great, maybe now they'll stop with the adverts.

AdBlock?

(You can sort the filters for sites you want to benefit from ads.)

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Holmes

Yahoo loves spam and deserves the harvest

Of the big three, Yahoo is clearly the biggest supporter of spam and they deserve to go bankrupt. Yahoo is most often used for the spammer dropboxes, and Yahoo makes it hardest to report abuse. You can't even get the full email in a form that lets you see what is under HTML format. They will show you what they think the header is, but I'm sure they aren't as competent as the spammers in fudging the headers.

Yahoo could give us tools and minor incentives to fight the spammers. I'd be glad to donate a bit of my time to make the world better, even if those scumbags at Yahoo also benefited from my efforts. Just tell me that I was the first to target the spammer's website or dropbox and I would have a warm fuzzy feeling.

Yoo hoo Yahoo. Are you listening. I think you have two options. (1) Go bankrupt. (2) Improve the value of your email system.

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Re: Yahoo loves spam and deserves the harvest

By the time the first abuse reports come in it's generally too late and the spammers have moved onto a new drop box already.

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Holmes

Re: Yahoo loves spam and deserves the harvest

No, that's why it's generally pointless to pursue the spammer's ISP or botnet, but the spammer has to keep the dropbox open or the website up because there's a human sucker in that loop. There are VASTLY more people who hate spammers than suckers who feed them, which means it is relatively easy for the spam-haters to get there first--well, if Yahoo was willing to provide a few tools instead of helping the spammers.

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Won't be shedding any tears

Pretty much everyone I know who's unfortunate enough to have a non-optional BT yahoo email account (which shared credentials with other BT services) has had their account compromised through no fault of their own. If they can't stop people hacking their email service at will then they're not fit to be in business. Good riddance!

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Re: Won't be shedding any tears

Hotmail seemed to be far more of an inconvenience for this.

But then my address list on line is tiny compared to the local one.

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ACx

BT and its Idiot users.

What is the problem with yahoo mail? I've been using it for something like 15 years with out any problems what so ever. No spam problems. No availability problems. No lost mail problems. No advert problems. No creepy data theft like google problems. Nothing.

Sounds like a BT issue. Though most likely its the usual stupid users blaming everything but themselves. Usually is. Usually people who think they know what they are doing too.

Yahoo mail is simple, easy and works. And doesn't get messed with all the time like, say, google mail.

But, hey, let the morons bleat away slagging off something clearly they know naff all about.

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FAIL

A disgrace!

I find it shocking that an ISP of the size of BT does not feel that is competent to run its own mail service. Surely it would be worth BT's while to accumulate the necessary skills in house, and not have to outsource their mail solution to a third party?

It is even more shocking that they choose to use a non-UK-based company to provide these services. There are plenty of British companies who could have provided BT with a UK-based mail solution, and BT (an international company, but based in the UK) should be flying the flag for British industry. Shame on them!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A disgrace!

Historically BT has never been competent at anything, other than perhaps providing a phone service.

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Re: A disgrace!

When were they competent at providing a phone service? I must have missed that day.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A disgrace!

Given that I was working in that area in BT at the time...

Email isn't as important as it used to be, but even 10 years ago, it was already a commodity, with little or no profit margins. However, it's still a vital check-list item: you can't not offer it.

And for someone like BT, supporting a mail platform is a nightmare - even back in 2003, they already had over 1.5 million residential BB users. That's a hell of a lot of bandwidth and storage requirements, even before you consider that they were being hammered, thanks to spam and ddos, as well as all the hassles around dealing with blacklists, etc.

These days, the userbase is somewhere north of 6 million, and I'd guess that the "profit margins" [*] on email are even thinner and the overheads are even higher; people may be using email less and filters may be more effective, but attachments are a lot bigger and there's even more people looking for ways to spam end-users.

Overall, for a company like BT, outsourcing a high-maintenance, low-profit element such as email makes perfect sense.

[*] or whatever intangible benefit you want to assign to a "standard" checklist item...

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