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Migration nightmare

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footz
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Registered: ‎02-27-2016

Migration nightmare

Message 1 of 13
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I signed up here because I was told that Corporate actually reads the complaints in these forums. Is that true? Our go-round with the email migration to AOL was a horrendous experience of being lied to, stonewalled, delayed, told to go buy a new computer, and any number of idiotic issues on many fronts. I spent about FIVE HOURS on the phone with various VZ supervisors. I have no idea where the best place to post about any of it might be, as there are many forums/topics here.
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Justin
Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
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Posts: 5,173
Registered: ‎08-05-2008

Re: Migration nightmare

Message 2 of 13
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@footz wrote:
I signed up here because I was told that Corporate actually reads the complaints in these forums. Is that true? Our go-round with the email migration to AOL was a horrendous experience of being lied to, stonewalled, delayed, told to go buy a new computer, and any number of idiotic issues on many fronts. I spent about FIVE HOURS on the phone with various VZ supervisors. I have no idea where the best place to post about any of it might be, as there are many forums/topics here.

Is that true? In a word, NO.

 

Best place to post? Well, you found the email forum, so I guess you found right place.

 

I have migrated 4 accounts to AOL, no problems, on two PCs and one phone. But maybe I have simplistic environment.

 

There are people here who can probably belp you, but first you need to identify SPECIFICALLY what problems you are having, what hardware and software, etc., there is nobody that can help you from the non-information you have provided. I also encourage you to take a look at all of the recent threads here about problems with the email migration, you might find the answer already there. But if you don't, post away, hopefully someone here can help you.

 

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV: Extreme HD, Internet: 50/50, Digital Voice
VMS Enhanced Service: 1 server, 2 clients
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

 

footz
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Registered: ‎02-27-2016

Re: Migration nightmare

Message 3 of 13
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Well, I didn't want to get into too many specifics
before getting a better idea of what my audience might be. Which

hopefully isn't all Verizon fanbois and people who like playing "pile onto the new guy". I have a slew of VERY valid complaints. The latest of which is evidently being lied to by a support supervisor that Verizon corporate actually tracks what is said down here and acts on any of it -- but that they don't is hardly a surprise, really.

 

My environment is likely even more simplistic. Our environment, actually; I was helping an aged parent who's basically terrified of the computer get through the migration because he had no idea how to handle it. Thus, I will refer to "our" and "we" as the entity trying to accomplish migration. We pick up and send mail via POP with a Mac-mail client, and that's about the only routine interaction that happens with Verizon -- we never use the web-mail facility, because VZ's website is a horror-show of broken javascript that would never run on our rather locked-down computer.

 

Why locked down? Because *I* was not about to let a non-computer-savvy loved one get xxxx all the malware floating around, and keeping junk functionality disabled is part of that. So said parent got the "you have to migrate" email on a Monday night, and emailed me [half a continent away, btw] in a panic wondering what it meant. It was total news to us.

 

The mail was all HTML and full of garbage pictures and tracking tags, with subject "immediate action required to keep email active". How many pieces of SPAM come from offshore every day with almost identical subject lines, wanting us to click on big obfuscated links?? It was from some sort of "ECRM" marketing department, and it took *me* a bit of study to determine that it might actually be legitimately from Verizon. The parent has no idea how to analyze full email headers to determine message origin, and relies on me for that when needed. Obviously whoever generated that email was NOT thinking clearly, or it would have come as a simple plain-text message with maybe a link or two directly readable in the content. I couldn't even figure out where the pile of junk was trying to send us.

 

And ... *AOL* ??! Are you  *kidding*?? was our thought. So I called in to Verizon to get some better idea of what was going on. Via that same giant, faceless voice-response system that EVERY one of their hundreds of 800-numbers lands in, and getting through that to a human is always a nightmare especially if all you want to do is ask a simple question. And the first thing all the first-level reps want is an account number, IRRELEVANT for the issue I needed help with because it would clearly affect many customers and not just us.

 

Verizon reps are brainwashed into a pathologically fanatical obsession with wanting personal details and specific accounts from all callers, regardless of what the actual issue might be. But if you don't want to fork over your personal information because the context doesn't need it, they get all huffy and try to claim that they can't escalate a call. That is FALSE, as if you're insistent enough they *will* pass you to a supervisor. Still, lied to right up front. Eventually I was told that the supers were all super-busy, so they took my number and promised that one of them would call back. My phone rang a while later, with nobody there. This happened about four times -- ring, answer, and while the call was still connected got only silence and kept saying "I can't hear anything, try calling again, I still don't hear anything" and eventually the attempts stopped.

 

There was no technical reason this should have happened. I suspect the reality was that to avoid the whole discussion and "punish" me in some way for not wanting to spew lots of personal details on my original call, the super simply left his mute button on and made enough calls to make it seem like *my* phone wasn't working or something, and never tried back from a different phone at his end. Stonewalled again. To keep these posts a little shorter, I'll break the story into separate sections and take it a little easier on my paste-buffer.

footz
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Registered: ‎02-27-2016

Re: Migration nightmare

Message 4 of 13
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Between the email, my conversation with the first-level rep, and an
online chat-session with another rep in India later that evening we got
three wildly conflicting dates by which migration had to be completed
or else -- Feb 23, March 1, and March 15. Which was right? The FAQ
also mentioned that customers using POP/SMTP with local clients didn't
have to do anything right away. Well, apparently it didn't matter,
because after that email came in on the Monday night, by Wednesday
morning the email access password was dead and didn't work anymore.
A day and a half between supposed warning and having our account
simply blown out of the water. Thanks so very much.

I turned on every bell and stupid whistle I could think of in a
browser session and tried looking all over verizon.com for a link to
the migration facility so I could maybe get it done, and there was
no such thing. I went to call in again and decided to play the game
their way this time -- provided the account and other identifying
information so they could "pull it up". It showed our email status
as "pending migration", which I assumed meant summarily disabled in
the meantime. That morning I wound up on the phone for about 4 hours
total, finally with a reasonably nice supervisor who was actually
willing to listen to the many grievances I had by then and try to
help out. It took a supreme effort of will to retain what little was
left of my professionalism, but I managed to get it all said. I also
raised many points about online security, privacy, and wanting to
avoid feeding Big Data that it really made her stop and think about
her own personal situation pretty hard.

The result of that call was an *epic* set of notes added to the
ticket, as I raised the issues about the other super's evasive and/or
lame callback action, the utter stupidity of the "ECRM" department,
the conflicting dates, the perpetual difficulty getting through the
IVR when you call 800-verizon, and the bad timing of how all these
events were playing out. And I hadn't even tried actually doing the
migration itself yet. The super swore up and down that it would all
be forwarded to the "corporate level" as as set of customer complaints,
but I later found out that that's essentially false and while specific
departments might receive the ticket to act on any support or repair
issues, there is no such avenue to "corporate" per se and the right
decision-making-level eyes were never going to enjoy reading that
novella. Lied to again. Oh, and that's when she started suggesting
the forums as a good place to raise complaints and have "corporate"
see them.

So now it was time to go off and actually try migrating. Evidently
the only given way to find the migration stuff was to try to log into
web-mail and receive some kind of redirect to a "today's the day!"
page, which of course we couldn't because the password for webmail
itself was disabled! But it apparently worked on the rest of Verizon's
site and way over on one side in tiny letters was a link to the
migration facility. Finally, the big red "it's time!" box. From
there it was a relatively short trip to the AOL form requesting all
the setup information, with most of our details already filled in.

I do internet security stuff by trade. In the past I've had to tell
*VZ mailserver technicians* the difference between POP and APOP [before
they transitioned to SSL] because their servers were accepting login
credentials in different and inconsistent ways. *That* episode way
back was another half day of wasted time until I finally got to someone
who more or less understood and could pass the problem details on to
the right people to fix it. Verizon is not perfect, and neither is
AOL -- the people who run their sites make all kinds of bad assumptions
about the client environments that customers may be running. Having to
turn on all that normally disabled hazardous stuff in a browser makes my
skin crawl, but it's the only way to make the awful websites at either
place work. Even with all that enabled, I could *not* get past the
part in the AOL form where it would send a code to my phone -- the
button on the form didn't work, and the call never came. Because the
site code was just plain broken. Eventually I had to scramble around
and throw an entirely different computer at the problem, and finally
got through the migration process. POP/SMTP access was finally restored
a while later, even with the same old password so I didn't have to
coach the parent through saving a new one in the system keychain.

footz
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Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-27-2016

Re: Migration nightmare

Message 5 of 13
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One of the items AOL asks for during migration is a birth date. To
avoid further victimization by Big Data, you SHOULD NOT put a real
birth date in that, as it isn't actually checked against anything and
AOL doesn't need to have it. Put in something relatively close that
still roughly represents your age, as they probably use it for some
legal requirements about being over 18, and record what you told
them for later verification. Why? keep in mind that your financial
institutions use your real DOB as one of several verifiers and the
fewer places you leak it to, the better. Like a social security
number. WHEN [not if] AOL's customer database gets stolen and romped
through by the russian mafia, real birthdates will give them just
that much more ammo to go after victims' financials and identity.
Unfortunately because of the *way* AOL is asking for it, they're going
to wind up possessing a lot of real birthdates for unwary people who
don't realize the larger implications of what they're giving away.

Basically, the items you give AOL -- password, birthdate, and secret
question answer -- are *arbitrary* strings that can basically be
anything and not have any link to real-world reality. Take advantage
of that for your own protection, and just save what you provided
away somewhere safe.

I tried calling AOL and bringing this issue up, and guess what? ALL
their support is offshore, mostly in the Phillipines. Great, that's
the kind of non-support we have to look forward to if we have any
problems with AOL mail. I hope that after the Verizon acquisition,
they start yanking those jobs back Stateside as fast as they can,
because those people across the pond are 100% clueless AND have
your account information flying across international borders.

Verizon claims that the "pop.verizon.net" and "smtp.verizon.net"
servers and all migrated customers' @verizon.net email addresses
will stay in place indefinitely, but I'm not holding my breath
as "corporate" could decide a few years down the road to dump all
that and force everyone to change their long-standing addresses
to AOL. It's well worth teaching the parent about Gmail at this
point, to at least have a fallback and allow for gradual transition
of their friends' email and contact lists.

One feature of the migration is that customers can [and should!] have
two separate passwords for the main Verizon site and their email,
maintaining credential separation between different facilities.
People are slowly beginning to realize the benefits of that, e.g.
don't use your facebook password for your banking, etc.

So, Justin, tell me if that's enough detail for you, our long painful
litany of being lied to, being stonewalled, being spammed by the CRM
**bleep**, and having to handle all of this on effectively NO notice on
behalf of my aged parent who wasn't about to rip up his computer's
locked-down setup just to use some script-laced site designed by an
arrogant teenager who thinks everybody has every latest bell and
JQuery whistle enabled in their browsers. Whoever engineered this
migration process and the FAILURE of competent human training and
support for it needs to be hauled above decks and publicly FLOGGED.

End of rant. For now.

Justin
Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 5,173
Registered: ‎08-05-2008

Re: Migration nightmare

Message 6 of 13
(3,687 Views)

Some suggestions:

 

1) Don't bother us with any of your complaints about support people, phone problems, being lied to, etc. They are meaningless to anybody here that might be able to help, and just clutter things up.

 

2) Break your stuff up into paragraphs! I truely tried to read your post, but my goddness it is just about unreadable, at least for me. Bullets, numbered items, paragraphs, etc. all help to make things easier to understand.

 

3) Perhaps you said so somewhere in your reply but I didn't see it, I suggest you simply log onto their webmail every day and at some point you will get the "today is the day" message. At that point, you go through the migration process, takes maybe 10 minutes. They say to change the account password, but it is not required unless the existing password does not meet the AOL minimum requirements. Leave the email servers the same, don't waste time trying to change to aol.net, etc. In other words, do the minimum required, you can always go back and update later if needed.

 

4) Verizon owns AOL. I am guessing that Verizon decided it was pointless (and expensive) to maintain two email systems, so they decided to move everybody to AOL. Could have gone either way I guess, but really it makes no difference to me, my email works just fine using AOL, just like it did with Verizon.

 

5) I have no experience with Mac, so if you have specific issues with that end I won't be able to help, but maybe some others here can.

 

6) And last, we are not Verizon employees here, we are customers just like you and your folks, and we can try to help, but no promises.

 

Good luck.

 

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV: Extreme HD, Internet: 50/50, Digital Voice
VMS Enhanced Service: 1 server, 2 clients
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

togatoga
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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-11-2016

Re: Migration nightmare

Message 7 of 13
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absolute nightmare. I have had a verizon.net email account for 8 years. I did everything I was supposed to do complete the migration, but it didn't happen. Spent over three hours on the phone the last two days to no avail. Waiting for a call back from Verizon tech support because AOL says it is their problem.  Why do have a abd feeling that the call isn't coming?

JDaniluk
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-14-2016

Re: Migration nightmare

Message 8 of 13
(3,436 Views)

I'm adding my story here just in case it's helpful to somebody.  "Migration Nightmare" sounds like the right topic. Verizon says the technicians are still working on it and promise that we won't lose access to the email account even though we're unable to complete the AOL migration before the deadline that was in our notification about activating on AOL.

 

My Verizon account was set up more than 15 years ago, when the company was still GTE.  We had the main email address (with an alias) and three subaccounts.  At that time the main account identifier was an unpronouncable string of numbers and letters assigned by GTE.  User-selected names were only available as email aliases or subaccount email addresses.

 

About 6 to 8 years ago Verizon had us select a "UserID" for the main account.  (That's another tale of woe, but I won't go into it now.)  Everything related to the main Verizon account, including the main account's email address, was then tied to that UserID.  We were never asked to assign a UserID for the subaccounts.  We continued to use the name on the subaccount email address (the part of the address before the @) as a username for POP and logging in to webmail. We used the main account's credentials for the Verizon SMTP server.

 

Last fall when we received the announcement about the impending migration to AOL, I checked on the status of the subaccounts.  2 of them can be deleted, but one of them is still used heavily, and losing access to it would be disastrous for many of our personal business accounts.

 

When I checked the account information screen for the main account at Verizon.com, there were no subaccounts listed under "Manage Subaccounts".  I called Verizon support and got them to confirm that the 3 subaccounts were alive and well, and that there would be no problem migrating them to AOL.  

 

Even though we normally access our Verizon email through other mail clients (one address forwarded, the other address with POP) I made a habit of logging in to webmail for both the main account and the subaccount in order to see any updates about AOL migration.

 

Late in February the main account got a notice that it was time to migrate to AOL.  I did the migration with no problem, except that it took me by surprise that I had to change my SMTP settings to use the AOL SMTP server and a username / password from the AOL account.  It seems to me that those instructions should have been part of the migration information that came from Verizon. 

 

At that point the subaccount was still OK on Verizon webmail and as a POP/SMTP account in Outlook, except that after a few days SMTP broke and we had to change the SMTP setup for that account in Outlook to use the subaccount's username and password, as the main account credentials were no longer accepted. I continued to log in to webmail every few days, looking for any information about migration.

 

On 3/9 the subaccount received a message saying to activate on AOL by 3/12.  On 3/10 I tried to log in to Verizon webmail for the subaccount and the page went into a loop, reloading repeatedly about once per second, displaying the "Signing In" progress indicator.  Since I was unable to log in to webmail, there was no way to proceed with migration.

 

i bounced around Verizon and AOL support a few times, each of them pointing the finger at the other.  One of them was sure the problem could be fixed by resetting the password on the subaccount, but instead of setting a new password he set a *temporary* password.  At that point login attempts no longer led to the page-reload loop, but to a "Create Password" screen asking me to set a new permanent password, and when I try to submit the form it says "A aystem error occurred while changing your password, please try again later."

 

Here's another interesting symptom: At the top of the "Create Password" screen, it says "Your User ID is ."  In other words, there's an empty string where the User ID should be displayed.

 

A couple levels further in to Verizon support, I got an actual *technical* support person instead of a generic customer support person.  This person (my 7th support contact) talked to an email technician and confirmed that one of the problems with the subaccount was that there was no User ID element associated with it.  Apparently everything to do with managing email accounts now starts with a User ID, and the process that set up a User ID for the main account never did anything with subaccounts.  I'm guessing that they purged the main account from the email system a few days after it was migrated, and that that broke whatever links were associating the subaccount to a valid User ID.

 

There has been basically no progress since then, except that the support rep led me through a dance with trying to recover a password and trying to recover a User ID via the public web user interface, and the temporary password expired and the account was locked and I couldn't get a password reset, and I could no longer use POP and SMTP.  Another support call got a new temporary password, which (for now) is working with POP and SMTP, but I still can't get in to webmail - I get to the "Create Password" screen and can't submit it successfully.

 

One of the questions I asked the support folks (both Verizon and AOL) was whether there was any other way to initiate the migration, other than by clicking the "Get Started" button in Verizon's webmail. The answer is No, because the code behind that button is what connects the AOL registration process to all the email addresses to associate with the new AOL account.  You have to choose one of those email addresses as the new AOL username, and there's no other way to get there. 

 

And - points that Verizon failed to make clear in its initial information about the migration - you have to do the migration via webmail even if you have no interest in using a web-based mail client, because you have to move your account to the AOL mail server before you can use forwarding or POP or IMAP, and the webmail interface is the only way they're providing to set up that account. And you have to do the migration even if you don't want to send and receive email using the Verizon email address, because your home email client is probably using Verizon's SMTP server with your Verizon account as authentication credentials, and you'll have to change to using the AOL SMTP server, and you'll need to move your Verizon account to AOL in order to have access.

 

Yesterday (3/13) there was another email saying to activate on AOL on or before 3/13 (!).  I called support again to make sure the support ticket was still active and got them to promise that they wouldn't delete the subaccount while they were working on the problem.  The good news is that the Verizon support people are starting to understand that there's a real problem, and I don't have to argue to convince them it's a technical problem rather than a user problem.

JDaniluk
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-14-2016

Re: Migration nightmare

Message 9 of 13
(3,350 Views)

An update on my situation:

About 9:15 PM on 3/15, a rep from Verizon called to say the subaccount had been fixed.  He stayed on the phone with me while I logged in to webmail and saw the Get Started button.  I was able to migrate the subaccount to AOL with no further issues.

 

I don't love Verizon forcing me to use AOL for my email provider, but I have no other issues related to the migration.

Justin
Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 5,173
Registered: ‎08-05-2008

Re: Migration nightmare

Message 10 of 13
(3,341 Views)

@JDaniluk wrote:

An update on my situation:

About 9:15 PM on 3/15, a rep from Verizon called to say the subaccount had been fixed.  He stayed on the phone with me while I logged in to webmail and saw the Get Started button.  I was able to migrate the subaccount to AOL with no further issues.

 

I don't love Verizon forcing me to use AOL for my email provider, but I have no other issues related to the migration.


Glad to hear it is fixed and you were able to migrate..

 

@Just curious, what do you not like about AOL? It is owned by Verizon, now that I have had it for a month or so I am actually happier with AOL than I was with the native Verizon email: I think the webmail interface is somewhat cleaner and easier to use, the SPAM filters work 1000% better than the ones on native Verizon, performance seems about the same, I use Windows Live Mail as my email client and the only thing I had to change was to add @verizon.net to my user name to get it to work (ie., still thinks it is talking to Verizon mail, not AOL, same servers, etc.), while I am still using POP and SMTP I now have the option to use IMAP if I want in the future. So I veiw it as a step forward.

 

And to repeat, 1000% better SPAM filtering!

 

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV: Extreme HD, Internet: 50/50, Digital Voice
VMS Enhanced Service: 1 server, 2 clients
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

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