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Most of my emails have been deleted from the server

vanessen
Rising Star
Posts: 56
Thanks: 14
Registered: 22-01-2010

Most of my emails have been deleted from the server

WARNING - PLUSNET DELETES YOUR EMAILS
I've had PlusNet's webmail for a couple of years - Squirrelmail is slow but works.  After correspondence about speed, I was given access to the Roundcube alternative and one thing is better - the search function actually works.  Rest of it is no better than Squirrelmail and mostly worse.  I am away a lot and prefer to store emails on a well-maintained server, rather than my computer, so I basically like PlusNet's service.  
But no longer - read on...
Up to March this year PlusNet sent me the occasional email saying, “It has recently come to our attention that you have large volumes of email stored on our servers...”  They go on to advise about deleting spam, seeing if a catch-all address is holding a lot of mail, and so forth.  I contacted PlusNet by posting a ticket, and after geeting guidance about what to do, deleted lots of mails.  This made the system faster for me too.  I was advised about folders, so I created a whole menu of sub-folders to divide the emails, both sent and received, between folders so that none was too large.
Most importantly, I also sought guidance about how much storage was allowed and how much I was using. I know that with my Fastmail account I can have 10G of storage, and I'm using 2.3. So, what is the limit with PlusNet's webmail? And how do I tell what I'm using? But here I did not get any guidance at all. This has still not been resolved.
After March I did not receive any more of these "large volumes..." emails.  Then, while I was away earlier this month, PlusNet sent me another of those emails, this time from [removed], and a week later..
.
...wait for it...
[removed] of PlusNet DELETED nearly all my emails, and DELETED all my subfolders and their contents.  So what they have done, despite the previous correspondence, and despite giving me no guidance about the amount of storage used and allowed, is to delete my prime contact file with family, friends, suppliers, banks – everything, all over the world. I've lost this not because of a crash in my computer, or a malfunction with their servers, but because of a deliberate action by PlusNet.
Yes, this is PlusNet, your award-winning provider, with the top industry accolade for Consumer Customer Service.  The company that I have recommended to colleagues in the past and have just recommended to my daughter.
I have complained bitterly by phone and by posting a ticket (14:46 on  Tue 16 Nov ) – one unhelpful reply so far and my emails and folders are still missing.
So, Bob Pullen, if you are still looking at this forum, you've been helpful in the past and I'm looking for help now.  What your colleagues have done is disgraceful - and I need to bring it to the attention of other users:
WARNING - PLUSNET DELETES YOUR EMAILS
[Moderator's note by Jim (Oldjim): CSA name removed as per the forum rules.]
8 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Squirrel Mail is so slow

Duplicate post removed and post split off to own topic with suitable title
matt_2k34
Grafter
Posts: 1,300
Registered: 09-07-2007

Re: Most of my emails have been deleted from the server

IIRC - the Mail Server has a 1gb per mailbox limit for mail stored on plusnets servers. (but i stand to be corrected)
Also if you read the T&Cs it states that plusnet reserve the right to remove emails - if they are above the limit, or are causing issues to the platform which may be detremental to other users.
(sorry to be asking the obvious) but do you really need all the emails stored on there...? (2.3gb is alot of text!)
Regards
vanessen
Rising Star
Posts: 56
Thanks: 14
Registered: 22-01-2010

Re: Most of my emails have been deleted from the server

Dear Matt_2k34,
Thanks for your response - waiting for me after a trip abroad.  Yours is the first post I have seen mentioning the 1gb.  A previous post elsewhere mentioned 600mb (sic).  So first, could you clear up the uncertainly about the quota - is it 600Mb, 1Gb, 600MB or 1GB? 
My limit on Fastmail, my other email provider, is 10GB - but for this I pay 40USD/year.  I can buy more storage for a fee - 5USD/year/GB.  I'd be happy to pay a similar reasonable fee for extra storage on PlusNet.
The 2.3 GB is what I have stored on Fastmail - not what I have with you.  I have NO IDEA what I have stored with you.  That's the main problem - you issue threats to delete emails, if an (uncertain) quota is exceeded, and WITHOUT giving the customer the means to monitor his usage.  That is quite deplorable.
You issued me a general warning (first since March), and when I didn't react, after 7 days you deleted my emails.  The whole reason I have webmail is that I am often travelling.  In Rome I did not havs access to emails, and on my return the disaster was apparent.  I'm not disputing your right to do anyuthing you like, but that level of customer care is, again, absolutely deplorable. 
I have complained bitterly to PlusNet and in view of the woefully inadequate response, I posted my comments on the forum.  I'm seeking this:
"I hope that you will continue to offer webmail, and try to improve the service, but your methods of limiting storage are seriously flawed. Please take my comments seriously and as a minimum:
GIVE US THE LIMITS, AND THE MEANS TO MONITOR OUR USAGE
IF YOU ARE GOING TO DELETE, GIVE SPECIFIC WARNINGS AND PLENTY OF NOTICE"
I suggest that I pursue this with the people running the help assistant side, unless there is anything you can do to support us, the customers.
Regards
Community Veteran
Posts: 8,404
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Most of my emails have been deleted from the server

If a provider is going to delete your e-mail as appears to have happened in you case then how can you ever trust it again ?
The amount you can store also seems odd, compare this with Gmail where you can store much more that this, access it anywhere and it's free!
I Accept that you may not wish to use such a service for confidential e-mails but I do not know which is worse, losing e-mails or restricted confidentality.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,514
Thanks: 868
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Most of my emails have been deleted from the server

The Help & Support email FAQ says the storage limit is 1GB. See attachment.
Please note that both Matt_2k34 and myself are customers, not staff, and do not speak on behalf of Plusnet, nor have access to any user account information.
David
vanessen
Rising Star
Posts: 56
Thanks: 14
Registered: 22-01-2010

Re: Most of my emails have been deleted from the server

to: spraxyt , Matt_2k34 and gleneagles:
What has happened so far:
Yes, on Nov 11most of the emails in my Inbox and Sent box were deleted by Plusnet.
I found out about this on returning from a trip abroad, complained bitterly on Nov 16, writing about previous contact with PlusNet on the subject of usage: 
"Most importantly, I also sought guidance about how much storage was allowed and how much I was using. I know that with my Fastmail account I can have 10G of storage, and I'm using 2.3. So, what is the limit with PlusNet's webmail? And How do I tell what I'm using? But here I did not get any guidance at all. This has still not been resolved."
On Nov 20 I get this from ******** *****  at PlusNet:
"Thanks for your message. I am sorry to hear of the problems this has caused. I am passing this through to the relevant department who can give a specific response as to the details surrounding this. Please bear with us while this is responded to. "

On 26 Nov they write:
"I'm afraid there is no back up the lost mail as your correspondence was 5 days after the event occurred."
and
"I'm afraid email is only backed up for 24 hours otherwise our storage platform would be extremely large.
as your response was 5 days later then restoration is not possible as the email was not archived."
and
"We delete mail from the largest mailboxes on the account usually targeting .Trash. Sent and then .Cur first then by overall size however i cannot comment on what procedure was used at the time of this occurrence."
and
"So further on down the line when we check the size of your mailboxes we have not seen any reduction then we reserve the right to delete email on your behalf as set out in the terms and conditions of service."
I found this most unsatisfactory and wrote on 1 Dec (after another trip abroad), querying the amount of storage allowed and writing:
"I hope that you will continue to offer webmail, and try to improve the service, but your methods of limiting storage are seriously flawed. Please take my comments seriously and as a minimum:
GIVE US THE LIMITS, AND THE MEANS TO MONITOR OUR USAGE
IF YOU ARE GOING TO DELETE, GIVE SPECIFIC WARNINGS AND PLENTY OF NOTICE
If you do this then we, the customers, can help you. If not, you are building-in conflict and ill-feeling. Which sounds better?"
Later that day I got:
"The storage limit given across all our mailboxes is 600MB (Mega Bytes). Anything over 500MB will get flagged in a report to our Networks team and warning emails sent."
and
"I am sorry that you feel the warning periods are shorter that you agree with, however as I deal with the Mailspace tickets on a regular basis taking a lot of Support resource up, we expect for action to be taken in future."
On 2 Dec I wrote:
"You have failed to address my main point. It is completely unacceptable to impose limits, with threats of serious action, while giving the customer no means of monitoring the usage.
I seek an assurance from you that no deletions will take place until you have given us the means to monitor our usage.
When do you expect to have this in place?"
and later that day I got the response:
"I am afraid we are unable to give you such a promise, as we do not offer tools to manage your mailspace in this way. Unfortunately rely on the fact that our residential customer would rarely need such a large capacity for email. We can only ask that you monitor this yourself visually by checking how many emails you leave stored on our servers."
---------------------------------
So there you have it.  This is PlusNet's webmail offer.  I'd like to continue with it, but this is pretty much out of the question, as there seems to be no prospect of the system being improved and every prospect that my emails will be deleted.
Extremely disappointing 'service' from those otherwise decent people in Yorkshire.
matt_2k34
Grafter
Posts: 1,300
Registered: 09-07-2007

Re: Most of my emails have been deleted from the server

and again...
The "Email" isnt part of your broadband, its an "added extra" - basically a FREE FEATURE.
Various clients support "mailbox sizing" if you are fetching the email from the server.
Also, if you used POP3 (rather than IMAP) you'd be downloading the mail to your machine, only to be used by that machine - a few HUNDRED meg for emails is insane.
a "plain text" email is approx 5kb.
Thats almost 205 emails PER MB.
or 20,480 emails per 100MB.
The webmail provides only very limited functionality (a few years ago, PN had a better webmail client - however this was hacked and users accounts were spammed hideously (and some peoples still are) - i believe PN are expecting to get a 'better offering' however its not particularly high priority - as the current mail platform FUNCTIONS (even though you cannot see the mailbox size)
Quote
Please note that both Matt_2k34 and myself are customers, not staff, and do not speak on behalf of Plusnet,

As are most of the people on the forums Smiley Just trying to help Vanessen (but sometimes its difficult too, when i dont understand why your using so much..)
that event spurred me to make my own mail platform for collating my emails...  in 3000 emails (lots of newsletters, attachments etc.) and im only using 200mb.
vanessen
Rising Star
Posts: 56
Thanks: 14
Registered: 22-01-2010

Re: Most of my emails have been deleted from the server

Dear Matt_2k34,
I appreciate your help and comments - you are an experienced customer.
I too am very puzzled.
I moved to PlusNet's webmail service after using a initially-OK service called another.com.  They deteriorated, got taken over by UK2.net and despite promises of improvements, seemed hopeless.  Our area had recently got ADSL-enabled, PlusNet was our chosen ISP and I found they offered a webmail service that could be used with our family domain.
All seemed well.  The service became very slow, but still usable.  It drops out a lot - still usable but annoying.
Then came the problems with usage.  I do keep all the mail on their servers - more reliable than my own and my wife's computer, I reckon.
I'm happy with the limited functionality - if only it was faster and didn't drop out all the time.  I'm puzzled, because as you say there shouldn't be a problem.
I can't measure my usage of storage - I can't easily see how many emails I have, except in the INbox (146 at the moment).  I have about 30 subfolders, so, prompted by your post,  I have been going through them one by one and looking at the number of emails.  This took a long time, what with the slowness and the dropouts, but anyhow, the grand total is  2258  emails - about  11 MB, or if I assume there are attachments like yours, maybe 150 MB.
But according to PlusNet I have been approaching or even exceeding  the limit  (limit being 600MB or 1GB, depending on who you believe.) 
How can this be?  Are there some huge attachments on some of the emails in some of the folders?
So I compared my Fastmail account (nominally for work) , which has 19,152 emails in 70 folders and is said to use 2408MB of storage - that's  about 125K per email.  Some of those emails have some mighty attachments  - the biggest is 59MB - but of course most are just text.  By the way Fastmail charges about 40 USD/year for this webmail service - the limit is 10GB of storage and extra storage is 5 USD/year/GB.
Even at that large average size my PlusNet account might be 282 MB - still within the limit.
I'd like to help PlusNet and avoid further problems, but honestly, can't they offer a means of monitoring the number of emails in each box and the total amount of storage used?  If not, I really don't see that they have the right (despite the Ts and Cs) to delete our emails.
Having said all that, it seems I have three options
- stick with PlusNet, hoping that the service gets faster and doesn't drop out so much, but try to persuade them to provide a means of measuring usage so I don't overstep the mark, (failed so far), or
- use POP or similar to take the emails off their servers and into our computers, (never done this, but people say it works OK), or
- use the family domain on another account with Fastmail  (all our eggs in their basket then!)
Thanks for listening,
Christopher van Essen