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Published: Tuesday, 7/17/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

System for email upgraded by Buckeye

Users encounter glitches in transition

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Customers of Buckeye CableSystem's Buckeye Express email service encountered problems Tuesday, the first full day that the service switched over to a new email platform designed to improve the system and its capabilities.

"To make a long story short, we're transitioning to a new platform and we feel the new platform will be much better," said Brad Mefferd, Buckeye president and general manager.

But it likely will take until Thursday for all the problems to be resolved, he said.

The Buckeye president said the change was made because the previous supplier of Buckeye's email service no longer could meet the company's needs.

"At times people had difficulty sending emails to other domains, like aol.com and yahoo.com, that the prior vendor would consider spam," Mr. Mefferd said. "The new vendor resolves that and also provides larger mailbox sizes. Theirs is a more robust platform that also allows large file transfers."

For the last few months, Buckeye Express, which is host to 60,000 email accounts, has sent customers emails alerting them to the change, which began about 5 p.m. Monday.

Since Monday evening, several issues arose that Mr. Mefferd said would be corrected by Thursday at the latest.

The main issue is for people who get their email through devices other than a computer, such as a tablet or smart phone, or through different types of email programs. In most cases, a fix will involving resetting the name to the full domain name, such as "jsmith@bex.net," as opposed to just "jsmith."

Buckeye Express has provided information and videos on how to correct this problem for several types of email systems. It can be found at www.buckeyecablesystem.com.

Mr. Mefferd said one issue is that some customers found their old emails were not available when they logged in Tuesday. He said the problem is that the older email is being transferred from the previous system to the new system, a process slowed by the limitations of the old provider's system. It will take until Thursday to transfer all older mail.

Another issue was that some customers were unable to find or view their email address contacts. That problem was expected to be resolved by Tuesday night, Mr. Mefferd said.

Also, he added, some customers had trouble logging in to their accounts because of a software problem identified by the new provider. That problem also was expected to be fixed Tuesday night, the Buckeye president said.

Last, some customers have been relying on their computers to automatically remember the passwords to their accounts. With the changeover, the passwords must be re-entered, and many customers do not recall their passwords, Mr. Mefferd said.

"The volume was high on phone calls at Buckeye [Tuesday]," he said. Customers can chat with Buckeye online or call seeking information on their password, but with so many calls there could be a wait, Mr. Mefferd added.

"This transition, as in most data transitions, is not without its difficulties, and we are experiencing that," the Buckeye president said. "We certainly apologize for the inconvenience caused to our customers."

Buckeye CableSystem is owned by Block Communications Inc., which also owns The Blade.



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