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We're listening - 10/02/07

From: Email Guy
Subject:       We're listening
Date: October 2, 2007 10:20 AM
Permalink   |   Post Comment

We're listening.

Lots of you have provided good feedback on the 5.50 release, both here and through the feedback mailbox (click Feedback in Web Mail). Based on that feedback a few things have become obvious that we need to adjust, and we're working on that now. See the post below this one for details about the release.

The biggest thing seems to be the change to the order of the Spam and Delete buttons. People are accustomed to the Delete button being first and clicking it without looking is just automatic. We're going to put that back.

Another source of confusion is the new Forward control. The selector is a little confusing and there is no button for a one-click action to forward a message. Currently you have to click on Forward, and then make a selection for the way you want to forward the message. We're looking at what we can do to make this easier.

The other surprising thing that seems to affect quite a few users is that the updated style sheet which controls the layout of the page, sometimes isn't being automatically updated by some browsers. If the old cached copy in the browser is used (saved on your computer), the page layout is pretty messed up. This doesn't seem to occur on IE, but it is being reported by some Firefox users. We're not sure why this happens, but it is easily fixed by clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page. To do this in Firefox, click on Tools / Clear Private Data, check only the box for Cache, and click Clear. Then close the browser and reopen it. Other browsers will have a way to do this. Sometimes it will be called "Temporary Internet Files" instead of Cache, depending on the browser you use.

We're looking into how we can make sure all browsers automatically update the cached style sheet when it gets changed on the server.

We're also looking at a few other minor issues that have been reported. So thanks for all the good feedback, and keep letting us know how we're doing. We hope to have another release out very soon that addresses these issues.


    « Previous   |   Showing Comments 26-47 of 47

Posted by: Greg   |   October 10, 2007 7:43 PM    |   (26)

I want to add my voice to the number of people that have already requested a return to the old fonts/typefaces, or at least the ability to select an alternate (in my case, a non-proportional font like web mail had previously). I receive a number of plain text, system-generated messages that have output designed for non-proportional fonts, and it is extremely difficult to read them any other way.

Please let us know if you will be restoring the font, or adding a font choice. I read your 5.50 announcement and subsequent update, but this point wasn't mentioned despite a good number of comments about this issue.

Thank you.

Fixed. Sorry I didn't get your comment posted sooner (before we actually changed it).

Email Guy

Posted by: M Prindle   |   October 11, 2007 12:08 PM    |   (27)

Besides the buttons the biggest annoyances is how narrow the interface is now. The advertisement to the right of the window squishes it. Also the space between each message is way to narrow making it hard to read.

Posted by: Jim Breitbach   |   October 11, 2007 3:27 PM    |   (28)

Two comments:
1. Need a better way to get Sent messages from Webmail to my Sent folder on my home computer. The only way now (correct me if I'm wrong) is to send them to myself and then move them to the Sent folder at home - not acceptable.

2. When I sign out of webmail, I usually want to check another webmail account. PLEASE take me back to the webmail page: https://webmail.earthlink.net, or at least give me the option to do so.

1. One better way is described in the last paragraph of this post. I agree it would be a nice feature to have, but it is pretty universal that there is not a simple, one-step way to do this. One reason is the difference between accessing the mailbox via POP3 (like Outlook) and via Web Mail. And Sent messages are always contained only in the specific software instance that generated them, which in the case of Web Mail isn't on your computer. There is another type of email system called IMAP that does allow you to synchronize folders and messages between computers, but it is a system that is generally confined to enterprise use and not ISP use, due to scalability and other factors. I wish we could change to IMAP, but I don't think it will ever be practical on our scale.

2. You have that option. Just set your logout page in Preferences / Web Mail Options.

Email Guy

Posted by: Rick   |   October 11, 2007 3:32 PM    |   (29)

When I send someone an email, they get two copies....and it appears that way in my "sent" folder. How do I not automatically send two email copies at once?

It isn't automatic. You are probably double-clicking the Send button. Only click it once.

Email Guy

Posted by: Laura   |   October 11, 2007 3:55 PM    |   (30)

This is the second time I have made this comment without any sort of response. Our shared mailbox has "lost" messages twice over the last week! Your Webmail is the only mail client used on either computer we use, so there is no way that another mail server has access to the messages.

Why are the messages disappearing? Nothing like this has ever happened before, and it is very disconcerting - especially since several important contacts have only that email address as a point of contact.

Is there something that we need to do differently? We use Firefox.

I know it is frustrating but I'm afraid you're mistaken. Your mailbox is absolutely being checked (and emptied) by other email software running on your computer, not Web Mail. This last time this happened was at Oct 11 10:20:20 ET when 9 messages were retrieved and deleted by other email software. Then 20 seconds later you logged in to Web Mail. So that other software was running at the same time. It could be Outlook Express, EarthLink Total Access, or any email software. But it is there, and it sounds like you are running it when you go online without realizing it. There are other instances in the logs.

The missing messages will be found in that other email software. If you are not aware of running this other software and it is just happening inadvertently, then you should change your password. That will stop the software from being able to access your mailbox. To change your password, click on My Account at the top of any page, and log in there.

Look in the start menu on your computer and find any email program in there, and then open it and look for your messages. You will find them.

No messages are ever deleted from any user's Inbox by EarthLink.

Email Guy

Posted by: G Bryan   |   October 11, 2007 7:21 PM    |   (31)

Since the subject of ads on the right keeps coming up, let me add my own voice to the chorus of people who don't like the change.

My own observation of the comments here is that less than 10% of the people expressing a view actually like the change. I hate it, because I don't like the way it truncates virtually all subject lines. I was able to get rid of the problem of annoying ads by using a Firefox plug-in that suppresses the ads altogether (leaving just a blank white space on the right), which I had not done before. So essentially you have now pushed people like me into a TiVo-like response to these unwanted ads. Previously I let them display, because they were just a minor annoyance; once you pushed them more obnoxiously in my face, I responded by killing them altogether.

It's not that I am against ads in general. It is that the ones that Earthlink was serving were too distracting and obnoxious, with objectionable flashing and jittering and animation, to tolerate. In addition, from time to time there were ads with some kind of weird programming that caused them to be selected and clicked on while viewing or composing messages, through keystrokes rather than clicking on the ads. That's when the Firefox plug-in was called for, because I was tired of being switched to an unwanted ad landing page simply by the act of typing a message. (I don't know how often this problem still arises, since I don't get ads any more.)

Ads on the top of the screen don't especially bother me, although your taste in advertisers is pretty tacky. Ads on the lower left don't bother me either, because they don't rob any useful screen real estate. However, the ads on the right steal needed space from subject lines. There is simply no way to pretend otherwise with a straight face. Any subject with more than about six words gets cut off.

I challenge you to prove the statement that "most people like this change" or even that there was much demand from customers for it before it was dropped like a bombshell on Webmail users. It seems far more likely that Earthlink simply wanted to be able to peddle the new ad space position as being more prominent and therefore harder to ignore. Of course, as noted above, I now ignore all of it, across the board, and undoubtedly many others have used the same Firefox ad-blocker technology to do the same. In short, your idea worked too well, and backfired.

I have been an Earthlink customer since 1994 or 1995, shortly after the company moved out of Sky Dayton's spare bedroom. I remember when the company was marketing to customers by driving around to computer stores in Los Angeles and leaving photocopied flyers on the front counter. I have endured Earthlink's growing pains, including periods when the service availability was scandalously poor due to massive overselling of subscriptions and overload of the facilities. But it has seemed in recent years as though Earthlink was trying to be a much more professional and responsive ISP. This change in the Webmail page layout, however, seems like a throwback to the bad old days.


Posted by: Craig   |   October 12, 2007 10:50 AM    |   (32)

I sent my comment regarding ver 5.50 previously via e-mail as I wasn't aware of this forum so I'll repeat it here, especially since it wasn't addressed with ver 5.51. I would like the "Sender" column to be wider as the way it is currently results in the display of the addresses of many senders being truncated. Am I alone with this criticism?

Posted by: Michael Krask / Motek Inc.   |   October 13, 2007 2:56 PM    |   (33)

The new ad format on the right is not good- I'm sure you've heard plenty about that; and I agree. But more specifically I'm concerned about ad content. I have been ad business meetings (overseas) where some cutie sexy girl in motion was a complete embarrasment to me and to those who could see my screen, behind me. I know that the ads are your elixer for profit and I'm not going to even suggest that you would improve the situation for me and others. However, I WANT TO PAY EARTHLINK to not see these ads on webmail. How about $10 per month. Anything, please to get rid of these ads. I'm a business person and I need a web mail service without distracting ads which compromise the professional display of information and my productivity. I WANT TO PAY for what I want. Where do I send my check?

I'm a little confused by comments about a "new" ad format, since it has been unchanged since May. I guess that is still new to some users. As for your request, I'm trying to get approval now to do this for a small fraction of what you propose (pennies), as a simple checkbox selection in your account settings. I've been working on this for a while and I'm optimistic about it becoming available soon.

We do try hard to police the content sent to us by ad agencies (they don't always strictly enforce our standards), and offensive ads are removed when we catch them.

Email Guy

Posted by: Sigrid Rettger   |   October 17, 2007 4:52 PM    |   (34)

When writing an email message using the Color and Graphics option, I would like to be able to control whether to use single or double space. Currently, it single spaces at the end of a line and wraps around. The feature I do not like is when you choose to start a new line and it automatically double spaces. This is not good in the body of the email or at the signature when additional information is often included. Thank you.

Posted by: Lisa   |   October 19, 2007 4:49 PM    |   (35)

It would be helpful if you offered another "Forward" option:
Copy message as a "new message" that doesn't include the forwarded >>
arrows. Many times I need to resend a message as a clean, fresh message
without the arrows and have to delete each arrow before I can do this!

The messages in the message list area are too crowded. I cannot see the entire
sender's email address because it's cut off. I'd like there to be a slider bar that
allows me full view of the addresses.

Why can't the choice of "Color and Graphics" be the standard for composing a message?
At times I am already in the middle of composing a message when I realize I need
bold letters and cannot have the option without deleting the message and starting anew.

Posted by: Mary Lynn J.   |   October 20, 2007 9:53 AM    |   (36)

The one thing that vexes me to the soul is the all-on or all-off toggle for quoting someone's message to me. If I toggle all on I end up with quoted text in messages that I don't want quoted text in at all, which requires me to clear the field again before starting (a real pain). If I choose all-off, then I have to open several windows and cut-and-paste in the bits I want, which leaves them undifferentiated from the text I wrote in myself.

Ideally, there would be a small button right in the Write Message window that lets me choose on the fly if I want to quote or not for each message individually.

I am not a blanket person and neither are my messages. Using blanket rules can actually make my use of web mail more aggravating and slow than in other mail handling programs.

Please, please, please consider such a change!

Thanks for the bending of your ear!


Posted by: Helen   |   October 21, 2007 1:46 PM    |   (37)

I have the same issue as Sigrid posted (#34). It's driving me nuts that I cannont turn off the automatic doublespace while using the Color and Graphics option. There are times I want to use single space in the body of the email. Please help. Thanks.

Posted by: Betty Howe   |   October 30, 2007 11:01 AM    |   (38)

As an admitted ignorant PC user, I am happy with SIMPLE. Why can I not forward to
friends and family the e-mails that I deem worth forwarding? The 'new' forward button
tells me nothing.


Posted by: Duke Torbert   |   November 10, 2007 5:55 PM    |   (39)

I was bothered by the ad strip acress the top. I am highly annoyed by the ad strip down the right side.
I would like to see the ad strip eliminated altoghther but across the top is "better" than the side

Posted by: Ray Peterson   |   November 12, 2007 11:10 AM    |   (40)

Why can't the user be taken straight to the inbox after signing in? I already have news headlines on my start page, why do I need to see them in my mailbox? It just adds another unecessary step to the process. Most annoying.

See this FAQ for instructions to change that setting.

Email Guy

Posted by: Jack Tauber   |   December 9, 2007 8:28 AM    |   (41)

I recently checked the email status that my son has. He and I use only webmail. I have tried to get him to store anything he wanted to save on disk or paper but he has not done so. He has now accumulated over 3,000 emails in his Inbox. How can I get him to store them on disk without having to do so individually. His email address is phonosemantics@earthlink.net.

The messages are safe in Web Mail on our server. But if you want the added security of having a local copy saved on your own computer, he should use an email program to retrieve the messages to the computer (like Outlook) and then they will all be stored on your computer and not on our server.

Email Guy

Posted by: JT   |   December 13, 2007 5:48 PM    |   (42)

Picture messages ("pix msgs") sent directly from a Verizon cell phone to my Earthlink e-mail address are not being allowed through by the Earthlink server to my webmail account, even when the domain name (vzx.com) for these Verizon pix-flix msgs is entered into my Webmail address book. I used to be able to receive pix on Earthlink Web Mail without problem UNTIL the new WebMail upgrades were done. Will you be addressing this compatibility issue?

Posted by: Gina   |   January 16, 2008 1:03 PM    |   (43)

I, too, would like to have the option of permanently having "color & graphics" as my default! Can that be included in the next webmail update?

Posted by: neomi   |   January 18, 2008 8:58 PM    |   (44)

i think the backgrounds on e-mails would be a lightcolord pink or blue

Posted by: Tish   |   February 2, 2008 5:26 PM    |   (45)

Post 102 last October asked again about 'last name first'. You replied that this feature was 'coming soon'. Is four months long enough??? This is a really important feature, especially when I don't remember someone's first name or when looking for a business listing.

Posted by: rob   |   May 2, 2008 8:52 AM    |   (46)

I don't care whether you post this or not. Just need to know how to increase the font size in the INBOX side. I am older and it is difficult to read. I can change font in everything else including web pages and outbox but the INBOX font change has eluded me.

tks in advance

The font is generally specified by the sender. You can use the zoom feature in your browser to make everything bigger (as opposed to just making that text bigger relative to the rest of the page). On IE7 there is a zoom control at the lower right of the browser window. On Firefox the View / Text Size control will make the Inbox text larger (as well as everything else).

Email Guy

Posted by: shane   |   June 4, 2008 11:50 AM    |   (47)


1. The advertisement on the right side is starting to make this look like yahoo. I do pay for this services though so i should have the option to disable the advertisement this is very frustrating and is one of the problems i believe must be fixed.

2. The spam button is not familiar in format and i can see it getting pushed by accident very easily

3. when i went into the settings the delete all spam box was check right off the bat, this may cause some issues for most users that do not check that feature.


1. i like how the interface is easy to use

2.ease of drag and drop makes moving folders a breeze

Stuff that would be cool to see

1. Ability to change window color

2. since the page is made with a mixture of codes, have the top box with my account, web search ect. move up to where it is not visible and pop down when the mouse is placed over the top of the page. as this would be a nice feature to give more viewing space to people viewing on a laptop.

Thanks for listing to my rants i hope you take them into consideration.

    « Previous   |   Showing Comments 26-47 of 47

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