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Sky's Botched Google Migration In the UK 101

An anonymous reader writes "Rupert Murdoch-owned British ISP Sky is migrating their customers to the Google Apps platform, and the customer experience is terrible. Their 1 million customers were told that they need to change their client settings to enable SMTP Authentication and other settings on a certain date — but not to do it before then or their e-mail would break; but if you don't do it on the date your e-mail will also break. Oh, and if you're a POP user you also need to enable that manually in the 'Skoogle' interface, as seemingly they chose not to run a system-wide command to allow it for all users. In addition, if you want help then you're pretty much on your own. One user has made 7 support calls and still not been able to access his e-mail since the migration. Hardly surprising that the story has made the papers with their help-desk in meltdown. It does make you wonder why they simply didn't put proxy servers in place to proxy the new service by modifying the old settings in the network and give their customers time to switch over without their e-mail breaking in the meantime. Or even a simple ActiveX tool to help out the less technical users."
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Sky's Botched Google Migration In the UK

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  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @06:26AM (#21469895) Homepage Journal
    is confusion among the less experienced. I was just looking at the instructions they provide and I will certainly admit it's less than just a few mouse clicks. Any user guide that is like 12 pages of interaction is probably a bit much to ask of the average user. Looks more like a user manual than a quick set of instructions for a "simple change".

    I would not thoroughly enjoy following those instructions, and I'm quite certain it terrifies at least 15% of their customer base.

    And to the previous comment of "active x - are you mad?" I would add a "me too", for reasons too numerous to get into here.

    This is the kind of thing I'd expect to find on an install CD from an ISP, that configures your computer for their service when you insert the CD. Setups like that are either provided on disc or are a "deliver and setup" option for ISPs when they have this level of setup required. Expecting Joe User to do this is just plain crazy.

    I bet their phone support is buried for quite some time to come.
  • Risk Trifecta (Score:4, Insightful)

    by deniable ( 76198 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @07:04AM (#21470033)
    1. Crash transition with no fallback. Risky.
    2. Having less technical users handle the changes without ramping up the help desk. Risky.
    3. Breaking peoples' email. You're a bloody idiot. I used to be able to break almost anything and people could deal with it, but break the phones or the email and things get very bad, very fast.
  • by Cannelloni ( 969195 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @07:21AM (#21470083)
    This was obviously caused by stupid, useless instructions from Sky's tech support people, and not a Google Docs issue. All the same, I smell a big fat troll here... ActiveX? Are you out of your mind?
  • by sommere ( 105088 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @07:34AM (#21470121) Homepage
    I'm sure it isn't "change for sake of progress," it is almost certainly because it is MUCH cheaper.

    Running a responsive e-mail server has always been expensive. Now that google has set people's expectations at 2+GB quotas, it is just ridiculous.

    Google used their massive infrastructure to make scalability affordable, and ISPs can't compete. Most of their customers probably already use gmail, so why continue offering the service?
  • Re:ActiveX??? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dotancohen ( 1015143 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @08:22AM (#21470297) Homepage
    Actually, it's mostly the _less_ technical friends of mine who have moved to Ubuntu/Fedora. The fact that they don't need to learn (or worry) about virus/malware (at least for the time being I am always careful to remind) is what draws them to it. And I don't that an ActiveX control will work very well on any Linux distro.

    Therefore, simple instructions are a must. These people set up their POP3 once, they can do it again. The lack of a proxy server, however, is rather surprising and disappointing.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"