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Autosetup of Customer Outlook Accounts

jtuck
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 12-11-2007

Autosetup of Customer Outlook Accounts

Currently, we are finding that a large number of customers are having difficulty setting up their email accounts within their email clients. As a result of this they are having to contact the customer support centre for assistance
So the Web Development Team would like to implement the ability for customers to download an email setup file. Once downloaded and executed on a customer's machine, it would automatically setup their email client to work with a PlusNet email account. This would hopefully make life easier for the customers, and would free up resources in our customer support centre.
Unfortunately, due to Microsoft's development of their recent products (Vista, IE7 etc), we can only offer this service to customers running XP with Outlook (and not Outlook Express). Furthermore, we would have to inform customers to make sure they had the latest general windows update, to ensure IE7 recognises the file type properly.
We realise this solution is very limited, but we still think it's better than providing nothing at all.
Any thoughts on this idea would be appreciated.
Thanks
James (on behalf of the Web Development Team)
7 REPLIES
maranello
Pro
Posts: 1,036
Thanks: 100
Fixes: 1
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Autosetup of Customer Outlook Accounts

As a recent new customer I would be happy to pass on my experience of setting up email accounts.
Firstly, setting up the default account seemed to be reasonably strightforward. The help guides provide good step-by-step instructions which were easy to follow for a non-techy like me.
Where I (and others, looking at some of the threads) had difficulty was concerning additional email acounts, webmail access, aliases, catchall facility and the like. It is still not clear to me why the default setup provides me with both a postmaster and a 'default' personal address, or for that matter why webmail login requires different login formats for the default and additional email accounts.
These areas could be better presented in the help guides, and in my view would be a better use of PN developers' time rather than developing an auto-setup facility which would only work if the customer had the most up-to-date version of IE and was using Outlook. Most new customers who need such a facility may not necessarily have kept software up to date, Outlook Express rather than Outlook is what comes bundled with most new PCs.
Just my tuppence worth!
My other car isn't a Ferrari
Not applicable

Re: Autosetup of Customer Outlook Accounts

Surely all of the changes are represented by changes to the registry, thus it should be fairly straightforward to write a script to pull together the pertinant details from the portal, coupled with whatever mail client the customer is using, and from there create the correct .reg file.
.reg files have the correct association by default, and it should be far easier to code than using the clunky MS tools for creating auto-config files.
/2p
LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Autosetup of Customer Outlook Accounts

Copied from my reply in the PUG forums :-
Quote
My personal view is that this could cause more confusion than anything.
That is a very limited set of customers, and in my opinion, customers using Outlook are much more likely to know what they're doing.
Perhaps it could be made available (uploaded somewhere) but not publicised so that if customers do contact the CSC, the CSC can determine if they are using Outlook and XP and direct them to the file if its relevant?  But I think it it gets on support pages, it could create confusion amongst customers.  My grandad uses Outlook Express, but I bet if you asked him if he used Outlook he would say "yes".
My 2p.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
Thanks: 930
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Autosetup of Customer Outlook Accounts

Totally agree with you. People who use Outlook would know the difference between that and OE (or most of them would). Many people who use OE wouldn't - I suppose that some who used Outlook at work might. Looks like a recipe for utter confusion.
Why not try an experiment: When people ring in asking for help, get CSC to ask them if they are using Outlook first - if they say yes I bet a lot of them will turn out to be using OE.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Community Veteran
Posts: 1,012
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Autosetup of Customer Outlook Accounts

I toatally agree with Liam.  As he says if it gets onto the help and support pages, it more than likely could create confusion amongst customers.
Not applicable

Re: Autosetup of Customer Outlook Accounts

Am I missing something here? When I first connected to Force 9 dialup I am sure that two auto configuration icons were sent by e-mail - one for the 0800 number and one for 0845. What happened to this?
Not applicable

Re: Autosetup of Customer Outlook Accounts

Thats for the dial-up internet connection I believe. If you look in the Connection Settings tab in the portal, you'll see they are still there.