Plusnet deleted my email

I have been a Plusnet customer for around 6 years (since 2002) - I could tell you exactly how long if they hadn't deleted virtually all of my email.

I keep my email on their IMAP server so that I am able to read my e-mails from different computers. I keep all my messages in my inbox as it makes it easier to search for messages. Since 2002 I had amassed just over 11000 messages in my inbox.

On Friday 14th November 2008 I received an email from Plusnet saying that I had large volumes of email stored on our mail servers and "After 7 days we will reassess the volume of email being stored on the server for your account. If the situation remains unchanged then we reserve the right to delete the contents of the mailbox in question, and at that time a 'black hole' of the default mailbox may be applied." (see below).

While I objected to the message (I am supposed to have unlimited email storage - more on that later), I did delete some of the largest messages (around 60 Mb) from my inbox. Having done this I expected my inbox to remain untouched. But the following Friday I was furious to find Plusnet had deleted all but the last 30 days of my email without any further warning. I didn't even have chance to take a copy.

I complained immediately and requested that they restore my email from a backup and I was told they didn't keep backups! I couldn't believe it.

Not only had they deleted my email, they were unable to restore them and I was supposed to have unlimited email storage. Here is a quote from their website taken on 27th November 2008. The page is called Common Email Questions and can be seen at:

The page says:

"4. What are my email storage limits?
There are no limits for email storage except for unread emails. If you have more than 25Mb of unread email on our servers for more than 30 days we will remove the unread emails without further notice. We do this to make sure our email network runs optimally all the time for all of our customers."

I can't see how they can possibly dispute this.

I suggest you stay away from Plusnet. In my opinion their customer service is appalling and you don't get what they say you do. See below for the messages that went back and forth with theiir support team so you can see how unhelpful they are. I am a very unhappy customer and they have done nothing to try and change that.

I'm going to backup my website now in case Plusnet decide to delete my web pages too.

It has recently come to our attention that you have large volumes of email stored on our mail servers.

Due to the resources required to handle such high quantities of email, this has the potential to negatively affect other users of the mail platform and cause service problems for customers. It is highly likely that a lot of this email is unsolicited spam.

The mail in question may be getting delivered to an address you no longer use or monitor. Please check your mailbox configuration via our website and delete any addresses that you no longer use:-

Another possibility is that your email program is configured to leave a copy of messages on the server. In Outlook Express this option can be found by clicking 'Tools' then 'accounts', selecting the 'Mail' tab, highlighting the account in question and then clicking 'Properties'. Click the 'Advanced' tab and ensure the 'Leave a copy of messages on server' option is unchecked. For other email clients please consult the software documentation for instructions on how to disable this feature.

It is quite likely that excessive amounts of spam email are being sent to your default mailbox. When your account is first created you have a single 'catch-all' mailbox. This mailbox will receive all email irrespective of the prefix before the '@' sign.

If this is the case then we suggest that you 'black hole' this default 'catch-all' mailbox. Before this is done you would need to set up separate mailboxes for the addresses you do use and ensure that these accounts are configured correctly in your mail program. You can remove the 'catch-all' mailbox and set up additional mailboxes using the 'Manage My Mail tool' in the Member Centre:-

Further details regarding mailbox configuration and black holes can be found on our website:-

Please note that any additional mailboxes you have already setup will continue to work following the removal of your 'catch-all' address.

After 7 days we will reassess the volume of email being stored on the server for your account. If the situation remains unchanged then we reserve the right to delete the contents of the mailbox in question, and at that time a 'black hole' of the default mailbox may be applied. This will not affect postmaster mail.

Should you have any questions regarding the contents of this email then please feel free to contact us using the Help Assistant on our portal:-

Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Kind regards,

Network Operations

This email has been sent as it contains important information about your service from PlusNet. Please do not reply to this email, as this is an unmonitored address.

PlusNet PLC
Registered Office: Internet House, 2 Tenter Street, Sheffield, S1 4BY
Registered in England no: 3279013

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