January 2008 : The Yahoo!Xtra Bubble fiasco

In recent months, the New Zealand computer and I.T. press has been full of reports of the problems being experienced following the sale by NZ Telecoms of their Xtra email business to Yahoo! in Australia. This happened in August 2007 and all Xtra email accounts were migrated to Yahoo! Bubble. This was hopelessly bungled and has resulted in misery for many of Telecom's long-suffering customers together with the resignation of Telecom's Chief Operating Officer for Consumer.

Even after all the re-registration problems were resolved, ongoing operational problems remained with little sign of NZ Telecoms or Yahoo! doing anything to sort out the mess.

Basically, many people in New Zealand, and throughout the world, were finding that email messages sent to Yahoo!Xtra email accounts were either being delayed for many hours or, even worse, not being delivered at all. This was being caused by Yahoo! taking ridiculously over-zealous anti-spam measures on their servers which makes no allowance for New Zealand internet providers. This filtering takes out both spam and perfectly genuine email and, unfortunately, NZ Telecom's did not instruct Yahoo! to white-list New Zealand internet service providers (ISP).

There is nothing that the sender of the email can do to overcome this problem. However, clients that use Xtra as their ISP can make sure that they are not losing business due to email orders and bookings not being delivered to them. This requires that the Yahoo! anti-spam measures are disabled and the procedure required to do this is quite simple and is carried out by logging on to Yahoo!Xtra Bubble webmail. (This is quite independent of any anti-spam filtering that you may have set up on your own computer.)

Remember - however irritating spam may be, there are worse things in life and not receiving important emails, order and bookings is one of them.

Recognising what a serious problem this is, New Zealand Tourism Online have an excellent page on their website, describing how Xtra users can disable the Yahoo! spam filtering. We urge all Xtra users to do this if they haven't already done so.