Updated Thousands of old and duplicated emails are flooding the inboxes of irritated BSkyB customers - after the media giant dumped Google's Gmail overnight and turned to Yahoo! to run its message service.
The migration to Yahoo!'s servers, which happened with little or no warning for some users, was branded a total cock-up by Register readers. One thundered to us:
Not on Sky myself, but had a phone call from an elderly relative today: she'd turned on her little Windows XP computer to see it lock up when trying to download 8,000 emails dating back to 2008.
A BskyB spokesman claimed customers could easily learn more about the company's decision to shift from Google to Yahoo! by simply looking at Sky's user forums. Indeed, they are lit up with rage at the moment with some even complaining with caps-lock mode fully engaged to show how very angry they are.
A BSkyB subscriber calmly puts across his or her point
But, when pressed, the Sky spokesman conceded that not everyone uses or is even aware of the company's online discussion boards.
Another irate reader told El Reg:
I had 11,000 emails downloading in Outlook last night as Sky appear to be copying all the emails I’ve ever received – over 1GB so far! Also people report problems with IMAP and access from other mobile devices.
Will BSkyB customers back to normal by the weekend, we asked the spokesman. He replied: "That's the hope."
The ISP migrated to Yahoo!'s systems overnight on Wednesday. The following day it coughed to a major problem:
Following the Sky Yahoo! Mail switch this morning, some customers may see emails that had previously been deleted which have been downloaded to their email client.
We are currently in the process of copying all emails across to Sky Yahoo! Mail and old emails may be downloaded again.
However, over the next 24 hours, we will complete the mail synchronisation for all customers and at this point this problem will resolve.
Therefore, customers’ mailboxes on their email client will then only contain the emails they expect to see on there, and not any deleted ones. We apologise for any inconvenience this is causing.
BSkyB told subscribers that everyone is affected by the migration blunder, so the company won't compensate individuals who have wasted their time deleting thousands of duplicate and old messages from the service.
As for the decision to ditch Google's webmail service Gmail in favour of Yahoo!'s rival offering, Sky's spokesman said BSkyB's brand did not feature high enough in the web giant's future plans.
Apparently, Gmail "did not accommodate the Sky experience" whereas Yahoo! mail will, apparently.
It's possible that BSkyB was not keen on the ad giant's tactic of tracking users around the web and tying them to Google's properties online.
Telcos, of course, have their own tracking methods so perhaps there was a clash of heads between Google and BSkyB. Furthermore, it's been well-documented that Rupert Murdoch - whose company owns about 39 per cent of Sky - is not exactly a fan of Google.
But BSkyB might have other things to worry about now, given Yahoo!'s recent huge security gaffe exploited by hackers to compromise punters' inboxes.
Yahoo! - which also counts BT as a corporate customer - blamed cross-site scripting bugs on that cock-up and claims to have now squashed it. ®
Updated to add
A spokesman for Sky has been in touch to say: “Some of our customers have been experiencing some issues as their email accounts are transferred over. We are aware of these issues and are working to resolve them.”
The BSkyB man also told us after publication that the media giant repeatedly informed its customers about the switchover from Gmail to Yahoo! mail. However, we've heard from readers who received no such messages from the company prior to the change.