New version of BT Yahoo software available

After 3 hours of trying to get hold of Yahoo 2nd Line Support in Canada, I decided to have another go at trying to download and fix their software for them.

As soon as I started the install script I noticed that there had been some improvments. There were more messages telling me what was being installed, and the install was quicker. At the end I wasn't asked to reboot either, as I usually was.

The Parental Controls were activated and the system rebooted. Logged on as myself and got all the right pages and information. (This is where most of my problems had been). I set up all the permissions that I wanted for my wife and kids without any problem.

I then logged on as each family member and tried various dodgy sites. All were blocked. One problem I noticed though was that the "Permission Slip" part of the software doesn't work. This enables a family member to make a request to view a page, which I (or my wife) can either accept or deny. All my kids get is the page pointing at btopenworld.com (wrong).

Another problem I have noticed is that MSN Messenger is no longer able to automatically log on when a connection is made to the internet. Connecting manually works however. This is probably a ploy to try and make everybody use the Yahoo Messenger software (which I have deleted as I don't know anybody else on it).

I will raise the above issues with Support again. I have now left the software on my PC.

If you were expecting the browser to have changed in any way then you will still be disappointed. But then, as others have said, you can always revert back to IE. The Parental Controls still seem to work as long as you keep Yahoo as the default browser.

Out of frustration at not being able to get a call through to, or back from Yahoo Support, I fired off an email to Ben Verwaayen. To my surprise he sent one back from his home within 30 minutes. He has promised that he will get Duncan Ingram (MD) to chase up all my requests and suggestions. He was totally unaware that there had been major problems with the Yahoo software or that people were very unhappy with it.

I'll keep you posted.

I've just received an email from Duncan Ingram (MD of BTOW) apologising for his staff and promising to get all remaining issues sorted out ASAP.

He was under the impression that everybody loved their software and seemed a bit shocked when I told him that a lot of people actually hated it and had removed it from their systems.

  nkosi 11:50 07 Oct 03

Well done, Golden Eagle! Straight to the top and tell it like it is! I appreciate you plugging away at this ridiculous mess and it sounds as though heads may roll. Well - wrists slapped, anyway. We have become accustomed to better customer service in recent years and the high-handed way in which BTOpenworld have tried to force this tacky product on their customers shows an eighties mentality (that's 1980s, the decade, for younger readers). Hopefully, thanks to your initiative, the top management team will now realise that they are not keeping in touch with the customer (or their own staff) and that could be a disastrous mistake for them. As with most companies now, decisions are made after consulting accountants armed with spreadsheets and customers are seen merely a source of income or an obstacle to their plans. Blah blah blah shut up Ian. Anyway, thanks again and keep us posted with any developments. p.s. I'm still holding back on the upgrade!

At 14:30 yesterday my wife received a call from the BT Complaints Dept, making all excuses as to why I hadn't previously been contacted. They said that somebody would definatly call me at 19:00 and I should make sure I was by the phone and waiting.

I waited from 17:00 until 21:00 and received no call. Now isn't that a surprise !!!!

I tried calling the BT Yahoo Support desk, but just met with the "we are experiencing extremely high call volumes" and "you can expect a substantial delay". I stayed on hold for 2 hours the previous night so decided to give up.

Instead I sent another, slightly snottier email to Ben Verwaayen and Duncan Ingram, asking them what happened. I have just received an email back from Mr Ingram, who has accepted that this is totally unacceptable and will be personally speaking to the staff involved today.

I now have a list of about 15 major / minor faults with the Yahoo software, all of which I hope will be fixed. It would appear that we the customers are still being used as testers at the moment.

My advise would still be to hold off downloading this software until it is working properly. Hopefully that will be some time this year.

  nkosi 11:45 08 Oct 03

It's unbelievable they didn't call you back when the big boss was on their case! Looks like an upgrade from wristslap to headroll for the complaints dept. I shall follow your advice about not downloading anything and will watch this space with bated breath.

It gets even worse now.

I received another call from the Complaints Team yesterday, who apologised profusely for the lack of a call. With me on one phone and a Canadian manager on another a new time was agreed of 20:30 last night. The manager promised faithfully that I would be called.

20:30 came and went, as did 21:30. No call.

I have fired off yet another email to Ben Verwaayen and Duncam Ingram stating just what I think of their company (but being polite still). I'll wait and see what happens today.

I then found that I was no longer able to access any web pages using the Yahoo browser. This is exactly the fault I was getting before installing this new version of their software. I have now removed the whole lot and restored my system back to before it was installed.

This is getting beyond a joke now.

According to Duncan Ingram everybody is really happy with the new software and they are getting hardly any complaints. The funny point is that I know of somebody who works in the same area as the Yahoo Support Group and he says that they are run off their feet, with hundreds of calls queued up constantly. If you call the support number on 0845 600 7030 you can expect a 1-2 hour delay before getting through.

As usual I'll keep you posted.

  nkosi 09:37 09 Oct 03

This is a quite extraordinary situation. I have to admire your determination in keeping your jaws clamped round their ankle. It's getting personal now! I wonder how long your patience will last - of course if you are still tied to BTOpenworld in the first 12 months of your contract, you have little choice. Perhaps you should suggest that one of the managers instructs his PA to call the support line anonymously and, if they get through, to ask how well the software is doing. Then he could see first hand what is happening.

Are you and I the only two on the forum who are interested in this? We can't be the only ones on BTOpenworld Broadband. What are others doing? Perhaps just watching and waiting. Thanks again for your efforts. Ian

As you say it is getting personal.

My wife says that I am like a pit-bull. Once I start on something like this I will never let go until I get a result, one way or the other. :)

I talk to people on quite a few forums, and they all tell me that they are having the same problems as me, or are waiting to see what happens with this before they install the new software.

Duncan Ingram is well aware that people are waiting on the results of this complaint, I made absolutely sure of that last night in my email.

It would be intersting to hear what experiences other people are having with the software, or who is waiting to see what happens? A list of faults would be good. If I can turn round to BT Yahoo and say, for example, "23 people are having problems with this part of the software" it would give my arguments a bit more clout.

I'll keep going until we get some software that works. I just hope that I live long enough.

  mikef. 18:11 09 Oct 03

GoldenEagle you asked for problems unfortunately I will be of no help as I've had no problems since downloading the browser, except it will not remember logins and passwords like IE, and am now using a mixture of IE and the new browser, IE for ever thing that I have a log in remembered.

However that is no excuse for the lack of service you are receiving and I wish you all the best at getting this sorted out.

Mike

Yesterday afternoon I received another call from the BT Complaints Dept, saying that some more people have been drafted in to look at the problems with the Yahoo browser. I was told that they are working on the problems, but I wouldn't get a call tonight as they didn't yet have the answers. At least I didn't have to hang around waiting for a call.

At 17:30, a lady from Yahoo in Canada called me !! So, they don't call when they're supposed to, and they do when they're not, aaarrrggghh !!

She asked about the problem I was having with Parental Controls. I pointed out that I now had a list of 12 faults that I and other people had come across. She listened to each fault as I read it out to her and said that she was noting them all down. She didn't have the answers there and then but promised to have them for me by 19:00 tonight (Friday). Fine I thought.

At 19:00 a man called from Yahoo in Canada. He said that he understood that I was having a problem with Parental Controls. He said that they didn't have an answer yet but would get back to me in a day or two. I asked if he was aware of the call I received from one of his colleagues at 17:30. He didn't.

It's like the old saying with buses. You can wait for ages for one to turn up, then you get two at the same time.

One thing that I learned in the call at 17:30 is that it is possible to change the Home Page to anything that you want (a problem that others have mentioned). I will find out in the the next call back how this is done, and let you know.

On Friday, I received a call from Yahoo in Canada to say that they were still working on all the faults I had raised and wouldn't be calling me back until Tuesday. At least they are calling me now.

At 19:00 I received another call from a lady in Canada saying that they had resolved some of the faults and could I work with her for a while to make some changes on my PC. Nice to see they are now all working together ???!!!!

Anyway, it would appear that the Parental Controls are now NEARLY working. The only part that appears to be failing is the Permission Slips that other users fill in when they want to view a blocked site. This will be looked at asap.

It turns out that it IS possible to change the Home Page, something which people have mentioned isn't possible. The Help pages should have been changed by now to show how to do this. When I get home tonight I'll post how to do this (at work now).

There are still about 9 faults oustanding. Yahoo support have promised to get them all resolved and call me back tomorrow (Tuesday). They thanked me for allowing them to test their software on my PC. This seems to be the first admission that the software is just a Beta version. I guess that I should ask them for a testers fee :)

I found another fault on Sunday. If you set the Online Timer to restict how long a user can sign on for, it always tries to block them after an hour. I will raise this as a new fault on Tuesday.

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