BT Yahoo Email – odd wording, isn’t it?

I get my broadband (if you can call it that.. 3mb (on a good day), 2miles from the city centre ffs!) from BT. I didn’t want to but Virgin Media don’t cover my street, and the local BT exchange is over 2km away, for some reason, making every ADSL provider as crap as each other for me.

With my package from BT (one of the 5 billion different packages they do, which change every 6 months or so, as part of their ongoing complexity pledge), I get:

  • Free evenings and weekend calls (which I don’t use);
  • Fined if I don’t make a minimum number of calls every month (I’ve been fined a couple of times);
  • Some sort of inclusive VoIP tie-in (given I don’t use the actual calls, I’m far too lazy to bother looking at what VoIP calling entails);
  • Ability to use other free wifi at BT Openzone and BT Fon access points (I have never managed to get Fon to work, and O2 include free wifi with my mobile anyway). However, to use Fon, you have to allow other BT Broadband customers to use your router to get online (which is how Fon offers it for free), and I’ve got a shit enough speed as it is, without letting other people piggy-back off my connection; and
  • BT Yahoo Webmail.

I don’t use the Yahoo webmail, obviously. Who uses Yahoo mail? It’s 2011 for heaven’s sake. Surely the only people using Yahoo mail are people who set it up 10 years ago and can’t be bothered to change it.

Why would I want another email address to bother checking? What if/when I change providers? Who wants the hassle of changing their address everywhere?

I tried not to have the email address/account, but you have to have a BT email address apparently. A couple of days ago I got this email:

What I like about this email, is that they know I don’t use it.

“We know you don’t use webmail with your BT Yahoo Mail.”

Well done for being in touch with your customers.

“That’s fine but you’ll need to sign into webmail just this once to upgrade.”

What? Why? Isn’t that some very odd wording?

Despite the fact that they know I don’t use it, they try to sell me on the benefits that¬†“you can hang onto all your contacts, folders and messages”. What contacts? Folders? I thought you were meant to “know” that I don’t use the old/existing one?

But I also get “faster email” (that they know I’m not using), “the latest spam protection” (for an account I don’t receive any mail on), and “unlimited mail storage” (in an account they know is/has-always-been empty, thus making additional space of no benefit whatsoever).

I will confess here that I have an old Yahoo account. I use it for things like Freecycle – which happens to be a Yahoo group and require a Yahoo login. It’s very good at false positives. The legitimate emails I get on that account (minimal as they are) are routinely accidentally filtered as spam, by Yahoo. And now, had I been foolish enough to move to using BT Yahoo for my main email, I could be having this joy on a daily basis.

And why do I need to do this? I’m going to call their bluff, not bother, and see what happens. If I’m lucky, maybe they’ll delete the account I never wanted in the first place.

Update: 17th Nov 2011, 13:10

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly my posts show up in Google. I posted this as 11.50, and in under 1.5 hours, I’ve got an email about it.

Thanks to the person who emailed me saying:

“Came across your post whilst searching for “BT Yahoo email problem”.
There are currently MAJOR glitches with this service at the moment causing users all sorts of problems so I wouldn’t bother to upgrade or download anything from them until they’ve sorted it out.”

Record time. Thanks for your email. I assume you did it via email as you wanted to remain anonymous, so I’ll keep it that way.

3 thoughts on “BT Yahoo Email – odd wording, isn’t it?”

  1. I’m surprised you only get 2-3Mbps being as close as you are. I’m about 1.1km from the Easton exchange and get over 8Mbps with a Netgear ADSL2+ router (just over 7Mbps with my 2002-vintage ADSL router), and typically about 700Kbyte/s actual throughput with FTP, HTTP etc. I use Eclipse.

    My parents are with TalkTalk, using the ISP-supplied D-Link ADSL2+ router, are something over 1.13km away from the Kingswood exchange and get slightly better performance than me.

    Are the 2-3Mbps speeds you’re reporting the sync-rate as indicated by the router, or the throughput you get? If the latter, you may do better by switching ISP after all.

    1. That’s the speed I get reported by
      I originally had a BT Home Hub, but a month or so back when BT had that nationwide fault, it got stuck in an endless loop of rebooting. While it was doing this (and before I knew it was a fault), I replaced it with an old Netgear DG834G, to see if I could connect with that.

      I think it was after this, that BT told me they were upgrading my exchange, and it would be up/down for 10 days, etc. – at which point it increased from ~2mb to ~3mb (again using broadbandspeedchecker as a test). I’ve just run that same test now, and got 3864kbps down, 510kbps up. So that’s even better than average.
      My router is currently reporting connection speed (downstream) as 4531kbps. 4.5.

      There’s a website (which name escapes me) where you can see the average speed that other people have reported in your area, and my speed seems about as crap as others in my area using ADSL.
      There’s another site (again, name escapes me) that tells you which exchange you’re connected to, and the maximum speed, whether it’s unbundled, etc. for your address/number. Last time I checked that (which was before the recent exchange upgrade), they reckoned I had a maximum theoretical speed of 4mb.

      I considered buying one of those BT filter box things that is meant to increase your speed and make the connection more stable, but my flat is a new build, with only one phone socket (only ever one), and so the technical information I can find seem to say it will make no difference (although comments on some sites say I might).

  2. I do use Gmail. It’s not perfect. I do wish it would let me sort mail in order of sender, or in order of.. well..anything.
    I also wish it would let me actually change the “from” address properly, instead of doing:
    “From: Ben Park (, sent on behalf of”, which apparently only shows up in certain mail clients – but those certain mail clients include Outlook, so it’s lots of people I email.
    Apparently it does a proper “from” address if you are either on the free business plan, or the paid consumer plan.

    Things I don’t like about Yahoo, then:
    – The login page. Some of the artwork is of hideous people with too many tattoos. Thankfully, it doesn’t show the same if you use Adblock, so I’ve been using that for a few months.
    – I’ve found Yahoo to hide options in places where you wouldn’t expect them. I don’t find it as user-friendly.
    – When you get a few thousand mails in a folder (Freecycle – I don’t check it that often), sometimes it will refuse to delete them all at once.
    – I’ve just checked, and they’ve updated it. But I was going to say here that the mobile version was rubbish. Until very recently, it seemed like you could only reply to an email if you didn’t have it open. Like if you went into inbox, clicked new mail, you couldn’t reply. You had to reply from the inbox. If my memory serves me, you also couldn’t delete an email while reading it. They’ve changed that now though.
    – I intermittently get told I have entered the wrong password (it’s stored, so I can’t have), and then have to enter a captcha code. That’s annoying.
    – It seems to filter a lot of mail into spam, which is not, and completely misses glaringly obvious spam that is for penis enlargement or “business opportunities”. I currently have my main email address set to forward to both Gmail and Yahoo (so I can use one as a backup, if the other goes down), and Yahoo is currently marking all emails from Sugarsync (it’s a file-sharing and backup service like Dropbox) as spam. These are mails that go via Sugarsync, but are sent when a mate of mine shares a new folder with me – they’re not newsletters or anything. Gmail has a lot less false-positives for spam.

    Also some things that are not ‘wrong’ with Yahoo, but that I like about Gmail.
    – Gmail seems like a clearer easier-to-read interface.
    – Tiny adverts (I can’t even find them now. They were there a few days ago. One line at the top of the screen.)
    – Labels. I love that I can label an email from a friend of mine about a job, under ‘jobs’ and also their name, so they show up in either (while only one copy of the email exists).
    – With all those labels, (which essentially work like folders), they’d get in the way, but you can set just the most important ones to show up in an obvious place, while having the others easily accessible whenever you need them. Nice.
    – Search. Gmail seems to be able to find emails quicker and easier than anything else I’ve ever used.
    – Filters. The option to “filter messages like these” on every email, has meant I’m much more productive than I used to be, as I filter newsletters into a separate folder, etc. meaning I only really read emails from real people on a daily basis now. I’m not sure I could be bothered to set all these up, if it wasn’t so quick to do on a per-company, per-address, per-subject line, etc. basis.
    – Google Docs integration. I like the fact I can read a Word attachment (or some other attachments on an email) without having to download it first.

    There’s probably more (that I like/dislike about both), but that’s all I can think of right now.

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