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DrBob
Aspiring Contributor
6,110 Views
Message 1 of 67

Erosion of webmail by BT Yahoo advertising

Recently the new BT Yahoo webmail interface has been showing intrusive advertising in a panel on the right hand side of the inbox screen. I pursued this with BT technical help who confirmed that the BT Yahoo team had said that 'these advertisements are there on the webmail service in order to generate revenue for BT Yahoo'

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Today the adverts are not there but the area is left blank, a problem which was reported in the old user forums as "Unwanted blank advertising pane" at this link

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The technical help was genuinely responsive and helpful in checking and confirming that this was a [new] advertising channel from BT Yahoo! They suggested that I contact the BT Yahoo! team directly on 0808 100 3223 if I wished to complain.

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I wonder whether other community members agree with me that this new advertising channel reduces the value and usability of the webmail service for paying customers by:

1) reducing the 'usable' area of the inbox screen and

2) (when the advertising is turned on) distracting attention from the task for which I am trying to use the webmail service.

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If users wish to register complaints, without paying for phone calls and hanging on the phone waiting for a reply, what's the best way to do it? Who do we write to, BT? Any advertiser who avails themself of this intrusive advertising channel, or do I just pull the plug and swap to another ISP?

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I totally accept advertising on 'free' web services. I do not easily accept the erosion of my existing email interface when I am paying the top rate for the service from BT. Down this path lies a possible escalating problem with more and more advertising on the webmail interface and possibly the injection of advertising into emails themselves.

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How soon before BT offers the removal of the adverts in exchange for additional payment, 're-monetising' their existing service?

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This action has really undermined my confidence with BT, and I've stuck with them as my ISP since their first introduction of the BTOpenworld broadband service in the UK.

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I'm very interested to hear from the BT Yahoo! team in writing (here would be good). I'm also interested to know whether any other customers view this as strongly as I do.

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DrBob

66 REPLIES 66
Highlighted
StewartM
Contributor
6,070 Views
Message 2 of 67

Re: Erosion of webmail by BT Yahoo advertising

DrBob, I stopped using BT Yahoo, as I felt as you. BT are not only getting subscription from me but making additional money with adverts.

 

 

Stewart
groovesection
Aspiring Expert
6,052 Views
Message 3 of 67

Re: Erosion of webmail by BT Yahoo advertising

Try using Firefox with the following add-ons (all free)

Adblockplus

No/Script

You will then have ads automatically blocked,

Any "element" embedded ads you can block yourself manually 😛

And No/Script will make your surfing 100 times safer than using Internet Explorer

No script stops scripting (ActiveX) from running globally on webpages and this makes surfing online 1000 times safer.

Many spyware/adware/malware and even viruses are actually installed on websites via ActiveX scripting (which you will not even be aware of)

Many websites use 2nd level domains (for adverts amongst other things)

Youtube for example, the actual videos are served from ytimg.com not youtube.com

By running No/Script you can allow only the domains/sites of YOUR choice and this makes you much more secure.

 

If anyone is old enough to remember the porn pop up loops & premium dialers of the late 1990`s will know this was all facilitated from ActiveX scripting!

AlunH
Aspiring Expert
6,050 Views
Message 4 of 67

Re: Erosion of webmail by BT Yahoo advertising

DrBob,

 

I agree, I used to have the BTYahoo mainpage set as my homepge, and I used to really like it as I had news feed, weather and a preview of my mail there... I stopped using it when they intorduced a really big, imoveable advert which made the loading times ridiculous and why whould I use my bandwidth loading an advert I don't want.

 

It looks like I may be going the same way with my Email...

 

Cheers
Alun

"Can a leopard change it's shorts?" - T Prattchet
DrBob
Aspiring Contributor
6,012 Views
Message 5 of 67

Re: Erosion of webmail by BT Yahoo advertising

I tried calling the 0808 100 3223 number today. Waited for the call to be answered by someone who said that this new interface wasn't something from BT, it was from Yahoo! ... I pushed back, pointing out that the only adverts I had seen so far had been for BT's own products, so clearly BT had been availaling themselves of the new advertising channel. I was told I could use the less functional Mail 'Classic' interface or use Outlook or Outlook express to collect my mail. I explained that this still meant a degradation of my service as I read my email via the web interface from a variety of locations, not just from machines where I have administrative rights. I also said that this new advertising panel clearly represented a degradation of the previous service as it took up screen space as well as sometimes containing distracting advertisements. There was some talk about the email not being part of what BT supplied as part of their contract, but the person at the other end of the phone then seemed not to want to pursue that line ... I think under UK law there is some notion of 'custom and practice'. I'm not sure about the legalities, I'm just dissatisfied as a customer. I remarked that one obvious way to not get the advertising would be to terminate my BT account. The people at the other end of the phone were trying to be helpful but they still sounded like they were a technical team. I asked if there was someone I could write to, to get a written response to my complaint.The BT staff found it hard to get to an address via the customer facing website - just more links back to the technical support team. In the end the helpdesk was able to supply me with an address: BT UK Customer Centre, Durham, DH98 1BT. Shifting off BT as my email/broadband supplier makes me sigh; it would be a big step but even if I don't jump this time, I feel more likely to shift somewhere else, loosen my dependency on BT by using their email addresses less and Google's more, and try to decouple the mail service from the broadband offering so that if we do jump the family to another ISP (which I haven't done in about 15 years) it will be an easier move. So, whoever thought of the idea of cutting my working screen area in webmail to make room for advertising at BT/Yahoo! has succeeded in encouraging me to investigate loosening my technical dependency on BT/Yahoo! and question my loyalty to BT as my Broadband ISP.
0 Ratings
AlunH
Aspiring Expert
5,994 Views
Message 6 of 67

Re: Erosion of webmail by BT Yahoo advertising

You could try emailing the CEO, it's worked for me in the past.  His name is Ian Livingston, I can't put his email up here due to the rules, but the usual format is FIRSTNAME dot LASTNAME at BT dot COM

 

Cheers
Alun

"Can a leopard change it's shorts?" - T Prattchet
spranglebolt
Beginner
5,979 Views
Message 7 of 67

Re: Erosion of webmail by BT Yahoo advertising

Being a wrinkly, I've never been the least bit interested in any of the c*** displayed on the btyahoo site. Only need the e-mails. But there's an easy answer to this.

 

I have posts ported from btyahoo directly to outlook. The only downside is that I do feel obliged to go into btyahoo about once a week, because it is pretty good at blocking the hundreds of viagra ads etc, but I like to check that it hasn't waylayed any genuine emails.

 

0 Ratings
DrBob
Aspiring Contributor
5,944 Views
Message 8 of 67

Re: Erosion of webmail by BT Yahoo advertising

As I wrote in my original post:

"I totally accept advertising on 'free' web services. I do not easily accept the erosion of my existing email interface when I am paying the top rate for the service from BT. Down this path lies a possible escalating problem with more and more advertising on the webmail interface and possibly the injection of advertising into emails themselves"

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If I use a free Yahoo! account I expect advertising - like ITV.

If I use part of a paid for package, like MS Office or the BBC, I don't.

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BT/Yahoo! have been through this kind of thing before. Large intrusive popups, complained about - removed. Phorm, complained about, aborted.

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As BT has improved their service, I've been content to pay more to take the improvements. What I dislike is BT/Yahoo! degrading an existing service for which I am still paying for the same as I was a couple of months ago, before they took away the usefulness of the area now filled by advertising. This indicates a real disdain for their existing customer base. I may have to accept it in the end, or leave BT, but I don't have to be supine and pretend that I am happy being treated this way by my ISP.

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The webmail service has been part of the package that BT provides with my broadband service. I have been happy with the webmail service. If, to get the same service in future, I need to pay for an additional email system somewhere, clearly some value has been removed from the BT system. I really don't see that it's unreasonable to complain about that.

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I suspect that BT or BT/Yahoo! may be trying to work towards justifying asking for additional payment to access Yahoo!'s 'Yahoo! Mail Plus'. In many ways the BT/Yahoo! webmail is already close to being Yahoo! Mail Plus (Stationery, Filters etc). The introduction of the advertising in the webmail interface, though, takes us more towards the 'free' version, so my concern that promotional taglines might be introduced into messages (also in the free version) isn't pie in the sky.

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DrBob
Aspiring Contributor
5,956 Views
Message 9 of 67

Re: Erosion of webmail by BT Yahoo advertising

The only browser plugins anyone has mentioned to me as a solution would use the Firefox browser, which is not supported by BT/Yahoo!.
You are right, I do not expect to have to use my extensive IT knowledge and experience to ameliorate the degradation of the user experience caused by the rollout of the new webmail interface. I don't expect 'silver surfers' to have to get to grips with script blockers to protect their email interface either. I expect the interface provided to match with that advertised. If it's a money saving exercise, I expect my ISP to have the courtesy to contact me to explain , and, ideally, offer me a way to not receive the advertising - not (as happened when I called BT) have the new interface described as 'increased functionality'.
DrBob
Aspiring Contributor
5,584 Views
Message 10 of 67

Re: Erosion of webmail by BT Yahoo advertising

Well, it's six weeks since I wrote to BT UK Customer Centre in Durham - no reply.

Instead, BT have just restarted their awful adverts on the mail interface that I pay for as part of the package.

Please BT, just stop it and give me back the useful area of the screen you have hijacked.