MobileMe's e-mail outage costs Apple a customer

APPLE A DAY

Plugged In

July 24, 2008|By DAVID ZEILER

I haven't noticed any problems with my MobileMe e-mail account, which switched over from .Mac July 11, but many others have. Apple's MobileMe Mail discussion forum is loaded with threads started by angry customers who couldn't use their me.com e-mail accounts for days.

One reader posted a transcript of a tech support chat to my blog entry last week on Apple's inexcusably poor preparation for the combined iPhone 3G/MobileMe launch. I thought the conversation revealing enough that it deserved its own entry.

While others who commented on that entry thought I was too harsh in my criticism, the lingering problems with MobileMe services suggest otherwise.

Apple even sent out an e-mail July 16 apologizing for a launch that was "a lot rockier than we had hoped." To smooth all the ruffled feathers, Apple has given all MobileMe customers a free 30-day extension.

Apple gets points for acknowledging the issues and trying to make it right, but that will do little to placate people who just want the service to work as promised.

Here is that reader's comment post, unedited:

NO EMAIL ACCESS THROUGH MOBILE ME SINCE FRIDAY JULY 18th AT 10:00am. Here is the "chat" I had this morning at 9:00 with mobileme support. NO END IN SIGHT! Here is my chat at 9:00am

Hi, my name is Craig. Welcome to Apple!

Craig: Good Morning, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Forrester: I have had no email access for 4 days

Craig: I'm very sorry to hear that, Elizabeth. Give me just a moment to look up your account.

Elizabeth Forrester: no mail though mail app, iphone, or me.com. when I log in i see a blank gray page

Craig: Unfortunately, after reviewing your account, it looks like your account is part of a small group of customers experiencing a temporary ?outage in mail service with MobileMe. I know it's been a few days and it is? frustrating. I'm in the same boat as you, my mail hasn't been up for four days either.

Craig: Apple is working hard and has made this issue their number one priority. We expect the issue to be resolved soon.

Elizabeth Forrester: when is this going to corrected?? 4 DAYS is RIDICULOUS! This is my only email acct. I depend on this for work. I just got a gmail acct this morning and after checking the discussion pages it's unlikely a "small amount" of customers

Elizabeth Forrester: what is the issue?

Craig: We are experiencing a temporary issue with one of our mail servers. I'm sorry that is affecting you as well. I know how frustrating it is to be without mail.

Elizabeth Forrester: what's frustrating is the lack of response. Since Friday I've been told that it will be resolved soon. I'm very disappointed and beyond frustrated at the lack of communication and acceptable time frame for it to be resolved. so we just need to [take] it and wait possibly for days?

Elizabeth Forrester: thanks craig. i'll make sure everyone of the other "small amount" of customers knows that there is no end in sight.

Craig: Unfortunately, I don't have any thing else to tell you besides asking you to wait. I don't know any more about the issue and a resolution time than I've told you. I'm very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused.

Elizabeth Forrester: Me too. One loyal Apple customer is now gone.

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