I’ve had my .mac email address since Apple first offered free email service. When they started charging for MobileMe, I was one of the few who didn’t complain. I live by the phrase ‘no such thing as a free lunch.’ Someone always has to pay the bill. I like having my .mac address. I can change internet service providers and not worry about sending a change of address to everyone. I’ve never completely trusted Gmail, and don’t even mention yahoo mail. Every time I hear of someone’s email account being hijacked, it is invariably a yahoo account. Definitely not acceptable.
My .mac account has been super steady until recently. MobileMe service outages were rare and never more than a couple of hours for planned maintenance. I could access it from any computer, any location. Then came iCloud. Now, it’s great that it is free, but along with eliminating the fees, they also eliminated photo galleries and websites. Give it back! I’ll pay! Gladly!
Another glitch (at least in my book!) is that on my iPad, I must use the Mail app to access my email. Can’t do it with Safari. Try it with Safari and it offers to set up Mail for you. I recently was in a position where I had to use a semi-open wifi system for several days. Certain ports on that system were blocked — ports that Mail on the iPad uses. Web browser on my Nook Tablet had no problem accessing my email on the same network. Really, Apple?
The corker came last Friday when my email was offline. Huh? Password rejected? Huh? Friday is an important mail day for me. Launched Safari, then Firefox, and while I could login to iCloud, I could access everything except email. Checked with my iPad & Nook — same result. I checked Apple’s iCloud status page to see if any problems were listed, and everything was listed as A-OK.
I proceeded to spend 45 minutes in online chat with two tiers of tech support. They were in the dark and tried all of the usual troubleshooting methods. Of course, the first suggestion was that I delete the account from Mail and add it back. Not gonna happen. I finally got through that the problem was the same across all methods of access, and since everything else on iCloud was working, the only thing that it could be was a server problem on their end. After 45 minutes, the only answer they could give was that the data is “being moved to another server mailstore in order to guarantee performance and security.” My email was back up by Saturday morning, but after haunting the Apple Support Communities discussion boards, it seems that a lot of people are going through the same thing, and have been for some time now.
I can understand problems with a new system, but Apple needs to be honest about it. Let the tech support people know about it. Put a message on the status page that says “Everything appears to be working on our end, but we understand that some of you may be having a problem. If so, let us know and we’ll get it fixed.” People may get upset, but they get more upset when facts are hidden. And if we have to go back to a paid system, let’s do it. I will gladly pay for a consistent service. But above all, please be honest with us. I don’t want to go through the hassle of making Gmail my primary account, but if things don’t improve, I may be force to do it. Please, Apple, at least level with us.