Friday, 13 July 2007

When ISPs merge

I found out a couple of days ago that UPC has been bought by Telenet (And no, no direct links to these guys).

I discovered this, not by email from UPC, nor by letter (although I am told one was sent) but by checking my webmail and being directed onto the Telenet webmail site (in dutch) and subsequently needing a full 10 minutes to log in and understand what the hell was going on.

UPC's webmail was actually quite good and allowed most services that other web based clients offer. Telenet's , however, (for the lack of a better word) is shit. I can cope with not having any clear distinction between read and non read emails. I can also cope with it not saving my settings for longer than one session and I can also almost accept the rrrreeeeaaaalllllyyyyy slow (initial) loading of the Inbox (28 secs).
However the lack of Sent Items, Trash and Junk folders renders this webmail unusable. Their automatic spam filter is non-existent and there's no way of adding one.
It seems (as I was told by both UPC and Telenet) that to solve this I must use a Mail client (Outlook, Mail or other) to be able to do what I want with my emails. This is all great when you have only ONE computer, but experience has shown that it can be very annoying to need an email and not be able to access it because it's no longer on the server, or if it is, I can't access it.

Anyway, moving on.

I am told by both that all the features (ok, then obviously webmail does not come into these) will remain identical until 2008. (I have already been asked by Telenet if I would like to subscribe to their Welcome package which includes Internet connection and phone line - I do not have a land line and I do not wish to get one!)

I hear most of you cry "Just change your ISP". I would love to, but my problem is this.

I specifically chose my address and have remained with UPC to keep it. I have been told by Telenet that I will be able to have the same email (replacing @chello by @telenet of course), but when I asked them to confirm this in writing, I was simply told "We can't do that Madame". Not reassuring as when have we, as Belgians, ever been able to take as truth what is said by a Help desk employee.

But I'm now starting to think that a change in inevitable. So the search begins to find a new ISP that will give me the same connection speed, an equivalent download limit and at a decent price.

Ok, rant over, almost... Just so sick of decent (but by no means perfect) companies being bought by larger ones and the service becoming second rate and us, as consumers, having no choice in the matter. IT SUCKS.


Anonymous said...

That's modern capitalism at work :)

Most people don't bother with these bolt on shitty website and email services from their providers these days. I have an email address from mine and I don't even know what it is (nor care, I have enough of the damn things anyway).

Don't get me started on how crap my ISP is though, but unfortunately it's the best one available to me (for now).

Since you like reading email in places other than home too, you might want to consider becoming yet another Gmail person, especially since you'd be able to read mail from your existing email address using their "Mail Fetcher" thing.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree. I was a customer of Belgacom, and as such I believe I had a email address.

I never checked it.

Yahoo's new webmail service is pretty good.
Gmail is a decent enough webmail tool.
Hotmail ... god forgive me, but it's tolerable.

AMC said...

I ended up downloading Thunderbird to at least sort out the web mail shite. Despite the fonts menus being really bad, It's totally workable.