MobileMe users seethe over four-day e-mail outage

Call themselves '1 per cent ers' after Apple says just 1 per cent of users are having problems

Apple's MobileMe online service continued to tick off customers Monday as users blasted the service for outages that have kept them from accessing e-mail for several days.

"I could not receive any e-mail (sending seemed to work OK though) on my MobileMe Mail account between Friday morning CDT and midday on Monday," reported one of the calmer users, identified only as "M&C," on an Apple support forum today. "I still can't believe Apple [hasn't] posted explanatory information about this on the MobileMe site."

The support site does include a notice from Apple. "1 per cent of MobileMe members cannot access MobileMe Mail. We apologize for any inconvenience," the notice under the "System Status" section reads. The message has been unchanged since Saturday, according to user accounts.

That notice has been taken to heart by customers unable to access their .Mac or MobileMe service: Some subscribers have taken to calling themselves "1 per cent ers."

"I'm a 1 per cent er (which is bull)," said "joemac1960" on another support thread. "I think a lot of folks who are in the same boat as I am (no e-mail for 3-1/2 days) don't come to this forum anymore because they know that until the server is fixed its just 'standby to standby'."

Other users were irate, or worse. "This is ******* ridiculous!! 5 days without mail, and I'm even on the shorter side of the delay from others," said a user tagged as "smellslikecinnamon" on another forum. "Is anyone out there ******* awake!! Can't you at least reach those of us with alternate e-mail addresses outside of Apple, just so we know what the **** is going on?!?!?!"

Apple has had problems migrating subscribers from its original online service, .Mac, to the new MobileMe while cranking up the latter to accommodate existing users and new customers who signed up to take advantage of the iPhone 's new "push" syncing capabilities.

The day before the July 11 iPhone 3G launch, .Mac customers complained about a longer-than-expected outage as Apple shifted to MobileMe. The process was to take just a few hours, but stretched through most of a day.

Last week, others blasted Apple for touting all of MobileMe's synchronization as "push," or nearly instant, when it wasn't immediate to and from Macs and PCs on the one hand, and the iPhone and MobileMe servers on the other. Apple issued an apology to users and credited them with an additional 30- days of service for their troubles.

The e-mail problem has some MobileMe customers stressed out and suspicious. "Like most of us, I haven't had access to my e-mail since Thursday around 1pm and have waited for long periods of time without success to chat with Apple support," said Joe Holley in a message posted Sunday to the service's support forum. "It is obvious that they do not have a solution and can't provide an ETA and that the problem is much larger than the 1 per cent of users they claim. I, like most of us, are feeling that Apple is being less than honest about the percentage of affected users and scope of the problem."

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
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