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UK ISP Sky Broadband Users Suffer Email Platform Migration Nightmare

Saturday, Apr 6th, 2013 (7:45 am) - Score 3,267

Sky Broadband (BSkyB) has told angry customers that it’s “extremely sorry” after the ISPs planned migration from their existing Google (Gmail) based email platform to a new Yahoo! webmail alternative (Sky Yahoo! Mail) ended in disaster when user inboxes become flooded with old and deleted messages.

The ISP first advised its subscribers of the planned change in February 2013, which came about because Google was apparently “no longer able to provide Sky with an email platform that caters for our requirements” (here). At the time customers were told that their current email service would come to a grinding halt in April 2013, unless they agreed to the new T&C’s for Sky’s replacement.

Regular readers will know that mass email platform migrations rare go smoothly (e.g. TalkTalk’s sloppy migration of their Tiscali email platform) and sadly Sky Broadband has now become the latest to experience this nightmare, which has already filled up their customer support forum with angry posts.

SeánP, Liaison Manager for Sky’s Forum Support, said:

Following switchover to Sky Yahoo! Mail, some of our customers are noticing a large number of emails being downloaded to their email client.

We’re aware of this issue, have an on-going investigation and are working to resolve it.

To minimise the chances of this impacting your email client, please sign in via the web at Sky Yahoo! Mail through sky.com.

Also, if you’ve changed your email connection settings from IMAP to POP or vice versa, please be aware that these two connection types behave slightly differently. See our related help article for more information.”

But late last night Sky was finally forced to admit that it had “taken much, much longer than we anticipated” to resolve the problem, although the provider did say that it had “managed to figure out what is going on and we have come up with a couple of things you can do to improve the situation“.

Apparently Sky’s ingenious “couple of things” that you can do to “improve the situation“, which are listed here, include such clever and not at all obvious ideas like asking customers to “delete any emails you may no longer want/require” and telling people to restart their email client. This advice relates to users who access and manage their Sky email account through a desktop email application (e.g. Outlook, Windows Mail).

Meanwhile other customers are complaining that they weren’t made aware of the migration. Indeed we can vouch for that ourselves as several family members and friends would have been none the wiser had we not pointed them towards our February news article. Apparently Sky’s letters and email notices simply never materialised.

As usual ISPreview.co.uk advises consumers to avoid using the email solutions provided by their ISP as this can limit your flexibility when seeking to switch provider and many internet providers treat email as a second class service. It’s often far better to spend a few pounds on a dedicated email provider or to simply use a free email solution.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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