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Telecom urges customers to solve Yahoo!Xtra issues by not using Yahoo!Xtra

Telecom hopes that a never-ending stream of spam email might encourage its users to go out there and finally learn to use the internet properly

Telecom hopes that a never-ending stream of spam email might encourage its users to go out there and finally learn to use the internet properly

Telecom is responding to the latest in a series of problems with its troubled Yahoo!Xtra email service by suggesting that customers cease using it altogether.

The last few weeks have seen the service plagued by a torrent of spam emails targeted at more than 60,000 of its 450,000 email users, and IT specialists at the company have been working overtime to try and find a solution.

But having failed to solve the problem numerous times, Telecom is now encouraging customers to give up on their service because, according to them, it “wasn’t even any good in the first place.”

In a statement released today, Telecom apologized for the mess, but also emphasized that its customers need to learn to use better email providers.

“Telecom sincerely regrets the events of the past few weeks” read the statement. “We are deeply sorry for any inconvenience these issues may have caused, and want to reassure you that we continue to hold our customers’ best interests at heart. Which is why we are now recommending that you stop using our services and find something more suitable to your needs.”

“Gmail’s a good one” said Telecom chief executive Simon Moutter, who was surprised to learn that nearly half a million people still use his company’s email client. “There’s even Windows Live, if you’re desperate.”

Similarly surprised by the stubbornly large user base of Yahoo!Xtra was Telecom’s call centre coordinator Rich Davidson, who said that he suspected those numbers had a lot to do with the problems being experienced.

“The vast majority of hardware or software issues we encounter are actually the fault of the user” said Davidson. “They’ve usually done something wrong like overloading their hard drive or disabling their internet firewall. It just so happens that, in this case, what they’ve done wrong is use their Yahoo!Xtra accounts.”

Davidson said that, in the coming weeks and months, the company would be taking active steps to help its customers wean themselves off its email services, and support centres will now be telling callers that the only way to protect their Xtra email address is to stop using it.

Today’s statement from Telecom comes as it prepares to launch a new ultra fast broadband package that will transfer its customers’ accounts to Telstra.