Tuesday, 27 July 2010

If It Ain't Broke...

I just love it when a service provider or some such decides to improve what they do and make it so much better than it was before. Even though it was fine before, having been fixed and fiddled with innumerable times since being introduced - all those fixes finally got it working just right. Ford did this with the Cortina; by the mid-1980s they'd got to Mark V and it was pretty much the best in its class, so they discontinued it and started all over again.
Virgin Media have just done this with their email service. It was working great until a couple of weeks ago, providing a service via a number of email addresses, reflecting the various providers that have been subsumed into the Virgin brand (blueyonder, ntlworld, and so forth). But for some reason they decided to throw in with Google and this has necessitated changes in pop and smtp server settings. They claim this is straightforward but it ain't. Since the changeover, there have been a number of intermittent problems, the most frequent (and amusing) error message being 'Invalid Backend'.  My email has been out of reach all morning and has just suddenly and autonomously started working. Mysterious.
The only way to be sure of not having a problem is to use webmail rather than one's usual email application (Thunderbird in my case). Perhaps this is accidentally intentional so that we might be forced to see the adverts on webmail, but the fact remains that the webmail application is not user-friendly and is rather clumsy. Any road up,  Richard Branson and his minions will shortly be experiencing my disgruntlement.

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