Email Migration Woes Cause Headaches for BT Mail Users

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By Mark Jackson, ISPreview UK | July 15th, 2014

Several thousand customers of BT’s Mail (email) service have experienced difficulties accessing their inboxes over the weekend after a fault with the migration from their old Yahoo! platform to the new Openwave Messaging (formerly Critical Path) based service prevented access, with some customers even being told to expect a loss of messages.

The incident was first reported on Friday (11th July), although it appeared to turn from being a limited problem into something that affected a much larger number of customers on Saturday night (12th) and many then continued to be affected until Monday. During this period customers whom attempted to login in order to view their emails were repeatedly denied access.

In a statement BT confirmed that the problem was caused by the on-going migration of their email platform, which is a process that began during the early spring. The ISP has also previously confirmed that the majority of their customers were expected to be moved through June and July, thus any big hiccups would become much more noticeable.

Service Status Statement – 14th July

BT would like to apologise for the problems with BT Mail on Sunday 13th July, where a minority of our customers were not able to access their email accounts.

BT was advised by their email partner Openwave Messaging that there was a problem with migration on Saturday night, which meant that a minority of BT’s customers would have seen an error when trying to log in and were unable to access their email.

These customers were also unable to receive any emails into their mailbox during the period. Openwave Messaging has advised that some emails may have not have been received or been lost during the period of affected service

The access has since been restored and BT is contacting all affected customers.

Some customers report that Openwave’s recovery process has “temporarily restored” their service back to the old BT Yahoo! mail platform, although BT has promised to attempt to lose their messages the migration again sometime in “the next few days“. Meanwhile Openwave Messaging has also advised that “some customers may have lost emails from the last 6 days, which will now not be in mail folders or inbox“.

On the upside the on-going move of btinternet, btopenworld and talk21 emails addresses from BT Yahoo! to BT Mail is now almost complete, which will no doubt come as a relief to both the ISP and its customers (related migrations rarely go without complications).

Earlier this year the same migration process also triggered some unusual security concerns (here), while customers have similarly complained about the loss of their old disposable email addresses and data stored in the ‘Notepad’ facility on the old platform.

BT is currently recommending that customers clear their web browser’s cookies and cache to help mitigate any potential login problems when attempting to access their emails.

UPDATE 11:40am

According to The Register, BT has now been cleared of the security concerns that were raised earlier this year (here).

UPDATE 2:56pm

Some BT customers are still reporting problems with gaining access to their emails.