back to article Breathe coughs to email upgrade bodge

Breathe Networks CEO Marcus East has apologised for problems with an email platform upgrade which meant ISP customers and other users of its servers were unable to access email for several days. Breathe has been implementing an upgrade from bog-standard UNIX servers to a managed ISP Plus platform, which was announced in …


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Anonymous Coward


Whoops, I'm about to mention PlusNet.... did anyone ever find out if they found the emails they lost (sorry, misplaced) on Fri 13th?

Anonymous Coward

"bog-standard" UNIX

What are all the references to "bog-standard" UNIX about - what's "bog-standard" about it?


Breathe not fixed.

The owner of Breathe is over optimistic. I have had no email since 3rd April - that is now 16 days, not 10. No warning was issued (they might not have my address, but they certainly have my email address). No updates were posted for a whole week, and then only every two or three days, each time promising that it would all be sorted within a couple of days.

I have the impression from the Breathe forums that the simple addresses are starting to come back, but those of us whose ISP was absorbed by Breathe (there are possibly hundreds of such domains) are not getting any service.

David Rowley


Just give me my emails back

There were no announcements to email users prior to the upgrade. Their previous upgrade broke my POP email and I had to suffer their webmail service for the last few months. As a consequence of the latest fiasco, the Breate email service has been down for weeks not days. I have several months of emails inaccessible on their servers somewhere and some, apparently, have been bounced. I have moved to another ISP but I'm atill wating for are my old emails so I can suck them out of their servers, if, that is, they ever provide more than minimal support information on their web site, such as about how to configure email clients that aren't listed. An utter shambles.


Mac Code

Not only have we had no emails for 16 days.

I requested my Mac code on 10th April the 5 days have long since passed.

We also have no way of contacting Breathe

Customer service number - recorded message

Technical help - premium line

Customer sales - no answer

Head office number - voice mail - no one calls you back though. You could try aswell 0870 62 62 300


Customer since 1999 and utterly appalled

I've been a customer of Breathe stretching back to 1999 and can't believe how bad breathe have been over the migration.

We had no advance warning of migration and many (if not all) have had no email access since 4 April and only had limited access restored 17 April via webmail.

All emails to my address have been bounced back to sender, as such all my contacts now believe I've disappeared and have lost important emails eg e-ticket information. Many have also lost their list of contacts making it virtually impossible to advice people of the problems encountered.

Breathe had all our email details why or why didn't they give us 7-10 days notice so we could have been prepared? Common courtesy and good customer service at least but attributes totally lacking during the past 2 weeks or so.

Mr East and his colleagues made it either virtually impossible to get reliable information - the premium rate phone line at 60p per min was not only expensive but the people at the other end were totally unable to provide reliable information & effectively said things will be OK in 48 hours - the fact it took over 2 weeks speaks volumes.

This evening 19th April I've been able at last to access my POP mail via Outlook but of course cant see or access the emails that were bounced by Breathe between 4 and 17th April.

Mr East may have apologised here but the thousands of breathe customers have not heard a word from him - nor his colleagues.

It's with sadness that after 8 yrs I have to say anyone thinking of using breathe should do so with trepidation - and have a second backup email address with all you contacts incase they make another mess.

I would like to hear what Mr East has to say..but can't as we don't have his email or telephone details.

Anonymous Coward

MAC code.....and all the other things!

I've been a Macunlimited user since they started way back when. I signed up for their broadband service when they launched it in 2002.

After initial hiccups getting it started (the tech help were really good) it worked reliably at 512K untill they were taken over by NetConnect. There were odd connection drops, but by and large it was no worse than the other firms I had encountered.

Later on, NetConnect were merged into Breathe - and that's when it all went pear shaped. Connection dropped at the drop of a hat, sometimes even without a hat. Email worked spasmodically and didn't work more frequently.

Last November mail stopped working. Suddenly I have lots of clients ringing me to say that their macunlimited mail wasn't working, what should they do?

In desperation I went to their website and found - in a ludicrously well hidden part of the site - that email logins had been changed (because of new servers!!!). Now any company with any sort of gumption should realise that POP email users do not use web mail and therefore advise them before the change. Not Breathe.

On 5th March, I received a letter from them (by post!) saying that the broadband servers were all being changed and that my login would change on Wednesday 7th. *(but my [password would remain the same).

Wednesdya came but my broadband dfidn't, not the next day nor that day after that. In fact it took almost 2 weeks before I was able to get my broadband back.

But not for long. After getting more phone calls from clients having macunlimited issues I decided to call it quits and phoned them for my MAC case so that I could move to BeThere (I hope that's not a mistake now!)

Within 36 hours, my broadband is terminated. No service, But BEThere can't take it up because the Breathe tag is still there.

Last night (16 days after my request - and after 13 phonecalls and a letter), I actually received my code.

Yesterday my emails stated working again after that latest email; server upgrade fiasco - about another 8 days.

Their whole service is a shambles, and customer service is just a name!

Let's hope BeThere is going to be better.




Its taken 16 days not 10, Breathe are telling porkies, when the system came back yesterday, I checked my personal details, all there including phone numbers, email addresses etc.

However while I am getting emails now into OE, I am still not able to get into webmail, as there is a problem with the password (same as with OE, but is being rejected both user name breathe,com & email address

Message to Marcus East: As you've got it so wrong, you might as well as make a clean breast of it, and tell the truth the whole truth - you might then be able to get some respect.


Response to 'whoops'


We resolved the issue with the missing email from Friday 13th on the evening of Sunday 15th.

Regular updates were published to our Service Status tool at and specific items related to this event are:

New -

Update -

Resolved -

We also had the problem published to our portal at

Kind Regards,


| Colin Ogilvie

| Web Portal Developer

| PlusNet PLC


Breathe still not fixed

"Everyone should now have webmail access"

Many users still do not have webmail access.

"and all the POP3 accounts should be ready to roll by close of business today, East said".

Well, I wonder what that means. The iclway accounts I used to use no longer appear on the list of my email addresses. Do they still exist? Can somebody at breathe reassociate them with my account?

We are getting absolutely no feedback. The Breathe forums are full of people like me, but nobody from Breathe has bothered to reply.

And, one wonders how much they are making from all the support calls at 60p per minute.


Fiasco @breathe

Sounds like this bunch of cowboys couldn't organise a pissup in a brewery.

Anonymous Coward

Proper apology needed

To whom has CEO East apologised - certainly not me and many thousands of other users of Breathe Network.

How about he puts a statement up on the ISP's home page and provides a technically adequate staffed 0800 service to enable us all to sort out our e-mailing problems - it's not too late to make amends, although I suspect many may have already left.

For myself I can, at last, access the e-mails in my iclway mailbox but all mail since 4th April until yesterday appears to have been lost.

While I can now read mail via OUTLOOK2000 I still can neither send e-mails out via that route nor respond to any now being received.



Its working was perhaps premature

My comment earlier was perhaps in hope than reality.

Guess my optimism of yesterday was misplaced!

Yesterday some emails came down into OE, but webmail was inaccessible

Today webmail is accessible, there are new emails there, but OE cannot see them (and no error is reported).

Oh what a mess!

Anonymous Coward

It's all B**************ks again

Further to my note of yesterday, Breathe email is all airy-fairy again.

I am getting mails to my pop mailbox - in fact I got hundreds this morning - all the spam I had deleted off the webmail back in February. SMTP mail works once in every 10 to 15 tries.

My Wife's mail; is coming in OK - what she wants with all those Cratier watches is beyond me.

However, One of my clients called me twice to say that althugh she can send out mail withour any trouble, she is yet to receive any (about 16 days down the line) as her password keeps being rejected.

As the others have said above, Breathe's CEO is obviously on another planet. It would be good if El Reg could get him back to earth.




and ongoing...

Breathe's Customer Care had (16-April) been telling its customers that we cannot have our original eMail address(es) back, which became defunct in the wake of Breathe mishandling migrating its mailservers from ones Tiscali supplied over to Spider-Networks.

Regular eMail to both or our later alias upto 4-April 6PM is fetchable from the POP3 server ""; eMail to accounts from 19-April 9PM is fetchable from the POP3 server ""; and eMail to our newly-divorced alias is fetchable from the POP3 server "", which also holds duplicates of anything from its "Fetch existing IMAP mail" option (upto 4-April). We can now also access its Portal via

Are our eMail address(es) a disposable product of our ISP? Customers appear to have been left hacking our own solution for eMail services, whilst Breathe Networks orchestrated migrations (, Mobile SMS integrations (, and attracted further ISP brands (Biscit/Maxsurf).

Our redundant Outgoing SMTP mail-server "" works inconjunction with our old PAYG dial-up Internet connection (0845-6652056 public username "breathe" with any password) last-updated April-06 in our Breathe Dialer program's Dial Plan v4, which still uses Tiscali according to IP-Lookup. Our new PAYG dial-up Internet connection (0845-0798888) is refusing to authenticate our original private or the old public username & password, despite advertising that "you can use the username breathe with any password."

~ MarkF


Still no access

21 days now, and I still cannot get into my iclway accounts.


Breathe/0800Dial mail working - not!

Me too. Still no access via webmail or any other way to my 0800dial email account.

I'm getting pretty fed up with ISPs giving inaccurate information, or to put it another way - lying, when they make their numerous blunders.

If, for example, I knew I was not going to have my email account restored (very inconvenient as this has been my main email address for several years) I would probably cancel my account with Breathe/0800Dial and take on one of the cheaper account options now available from several other ISPs. The main reason I have not done this, so far, is that I wanted to keep the email address that I have used as my primary contact address for so long.



yes, like many others, I have had an account since the last century and it's caused me no end of inconvenience. Still not working today as at 30th April - has anyone had any success?


iclway and breathe

I have had no email since 3rd April - that is now 1st of

ay 10. No warning was issued (they might not have my address, but they certainly have my email address). No updates were posted for a whole week, and then only every two or three days, each time promising that it would all be sorted within a couple of days.

I have emailed them from my other email account(thank god not with them) but they have gone unanswered. Telephone call and the service desk said they will note my email address but heard nothing. Waste of space.

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