Spark finally ditches Yahoo, moves Xtra mail to New Zealand company SMX

NBR Rich Lister Sam Morgan
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SPK Spark New Zealand Limited
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UPDATE: Spark's Xtra Mail page was immediately hit by technical difficulties. See screen grab below. Spark says the glitch has now been resolved.

After nine years punctuated by security hassles, spam, phishing attacks and confusion, Spark is finally ditching Yahoo as the provider of its Xtra mail service — which is being moved to New Zealand company SMX.

SMX's major shareholders include NBR Rich Lister Sam Morgan.

Spark's PR trumpets that it has decided to "bring Xtra Mail home" but Yahoo's recent financial problems and recent firesale to Verizon may have also helped it make the final cut.

The company says it has already moved 11,000 business email accounts onto SMX.

Several hundred thousand home customers will follow in the three months from January.

Spark won't give a dollar figure for the cost of the transition, but tells NBR it will be a "This is a significant multi-million dollar investment in our customer email platform."

There will be one final bit of possible pain for Xtra users.

All customers will need to give Spark opt-in permission for the change before 30 November to ensure settings and emails are saved. 

And those using "IMAP" email software (most people) will also have to tweak some settings ahead of the migration beginning in the New Year.

Spark says, "Customers will need to opt-in to the migration process as soon as possible to ensure their contacts, calendar entries and emails are migrated from Yahoo - they will retain their Xtra email address. Customers can go to www.spark.co.nz/email for more information or they can call a dedicated Xtra helpline on 0800 934 348 if they have any questions."

BELOW: Spark's Xtra Mail transition site falls over almost straight away:


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9 Comments & Questions

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Been with Xtra since day one & ridden the up's and down's and being not too tech-savvy I am always a reluctant switcher..

This last weekend I lost [Spark] broadband for most of Sunday; phoned for clarification & was welcomed by a 2-hour+ wait on the phone.. Bloody disgraceful really..

A few months ago I rang them because Slingshot were offering a deal that would save me $15 a month [for the same thing] - so they now Credit me $15 a month for parity.. I said to the girl "do you know how much respect/loyalty I would have extended to Spark if you'd simply done this without me having to ask ?"

She agreed.. but she was in Manilla & hardly understood a word I said..

So I suppose I am anybody's from now on.. but I still hate the switching exercise.

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and I forgot to whinge about little Sam.. bit of tall-poppy I suppose, but once Trade Me took off [& good on him for heaven's sake] the fees/commission/slice just secretly grew & grew.. while you weren't looking.

I just wonder if this boy has the same plan in mind for Spark.. get 'em cornered - then screw as best you can get away with.

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Spark has not released financial details beyond telling NBR it is a "multi million dollar" transition, but you've got to assume it was a competitive tender and that it will be a fixed cost per customer contract.

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About time. Yahoo has been nothing but poison for Spark/Telecom. Calling Yahoo an disaster run by idiots is an insult to idiots. They couldn't organise a bonk and a beer in a brothel with a bar.

SMX have been pretty decent to deal with over the past couple of years. Let's hope they can keep the standard up with all the extra work.

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Why on earth would you have an ISP supplied email address??? Are people mad? It locks you in, if you switch providers, you have to keep paying Spark for the privilege of keeping an @xtra address. But I suppose thats what they want...

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I have had an'xtra' email ever since I got the internet. I never want to give up xtra because it's part of me and I like it a lot. I hope it's not too hard to change the Settings, when it goes from Yahoo to SMX.

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Could be worse they could migrate it to hotmail.

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well I can't get into my emails at all now, wont accept my password, wont accept my question, and only way to reset passwords etc is via the dam email which I cant get into... usless....

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can't agree more, wil probably ditch them

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