RE: [NTISP] Post.Office Complaints

Bob's Lists ( (no email) )
Wed, 10 May 2000 16:19:45 +0300

Just to add, from 3 years experience of using Post Office...

> - "I'm downloading my mail and the transfer hangs" . Users
> that use Outlook would routinely call about their mail is
> timing out. For some reason, Post.Office doesn't like Outlook
> (and Outlook is one of the most popular e-mail clients).

It's not *only* Outlook, it does this frequently with almost any mail =
client. About 2 years ago I went through weeks of talking to = support about this one, without any real success (total =
lack of interest on their part).

Clients sometimes have to log in via web-based mail, delete the =
offending message (the one that's causing it to hang up) and then =
download the rest of the mail into their normal mail client. The problem =
seems to particularly affect forwarded messages, for some reason - I had =
one client whose mailbox *always* locked in this fashion when he got a =
forwarded mail from a particular person, although normal mail from the =
same person got through. Very weird.

Another interesting one - if you manually move the message out of the =
users' mailbox, then move them back in one at a time and the client hits =
'send & receive' ALL the messages go through - even the one that was =
causing the problem. It seems a *very* obscure problem, caused by a =
particular message type, AND if there are other messages 'behind' it in =
the queue.

> - The admin. isn't given an easy way to clean up unread (old) mail.

Amen to that...

> - No true mail relaying (spammer) prevention. If the sending
> domain =3D one of your own domains then send it. Therefore,

Not quite true, you can block by domain AND/OR IP address - the spammer =
would have to spoof one of your IP addresses to be successful.

> - No web interface to check, send, receive, mail.

Also not quite true, but unlike the trend (most other vendors have =
started adding web support as 'part of the package' have =
decided to make web mail a completely separate package, with a very high =
(imo) price tag.

> - No body, subject, or sender word blocking. Therefore, if the
> admin. wants to block a particular type of e-mail (based on a
> word in the subject or body) and redirect (or copy) to another
> account, you can't do it with Post.Office.

Tricky one... I like to leave this type of filtering up to the client, =
EVEN in unusual circumstances (e.g. the recent "ILOVEYOU" chaos)...

> - There isn't an _easy_ way to setup a form letter to greet
> new customers, or to customize error related letters that

Whoever thought of putting the welcome forms, error message text, etc in =
the registry needs to be taken out and shot, is all I can say.

> - No way easy setup a replicating mail server arrangement.

I found a (sort of) workaround for that... I have set up a backup server =
using the free 10 user licenced version. My MX20 points there, so if the =
main server's down for any reason incoming mail waits on the backup =
server. Of course, clients can't access their mail on it but at least it =
relays the waiting mail over to the main server very quickly, when the =
main server comes back up. say that if you are using two =
servers, you need two licenses per number of users on each server. Since =
the 10 user version is free, and you're not using it for postboxes - =
only relay to your main server - I believe you are not in violation of =
their licensing agreement.

> - Post.Office doesn't clean up after itself. The admin.
> occasionally has to dig through its directories, and identify
> garbage that it leaves, and clean up after it.

Another Amen... also, since I use Emerald which happily creates accounts =
but has no way of deleting them, there are a lot of addresses/mailboxes =
which have to be deleted manually. Even a throwaway utility - "which =
mailboxes have not been accessed in xx months" would be useful...

> - Slow to get new releases with new features out to market.


> - No pay? No support. If you don't buy a support contract from
> them, you're S.O.L.

Their support e-mail address used to accept mails (even if they went =
unanswered or were not answered in the timeframe one would expect with a =
support contract). Now, if your mail to support does not contain your =
support number, they bounce it. In other words not only do they have one =
of the most expensive post offices in existence, if you don't pay on top =
of that for support, they don't want to know you.

I've been looking for an alternative to Post Office for some time, for =
all the above reasons - the only thing that's putting us off is the =
difficulty in migrating to a new package... nightmare...

It would be nice to see some recommendations on the list - with 'real' =
users of the other packages chipping in with a message like this one =
with the good and bad points of each...

For example, I had one server running NTMail and I hated everything =
about it - the admin interface, and the fact that TWICE I had a user =
with a corrupt mailbox and it hung the entire service (both SMTP and POP =
hung on startup with some obscure error message!). Post.Office, at =
least, has NEVER failed on me yet.

I've been surfing through the web site of VOPMail, which looks =
interesting. Anyone *really* put this one to the test? How is it?

> I suspect since they have a large customer base, they aren't
> worried about these items (yet)... because, the money is too
> good to worry about it..?

Not sure about that one, but they are (again, IMO) very arrogant when it =
comes to complaints such as these.



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