updated 07:05 pm EDT, Thu July 24, 2008
MobileMe more problems
Apple's MobileMe service has been plagued with problems since its inception two weeks ago. Recently users have been experiencing issues connecting to the Mail server, preventing the use the service's most touted feature. For many, inboxes remain empty, and messages unsent, but some had luck and found they could suddenly access the mail server. Reports of data loss have begun to surface, the root problem occurring when a device tries to sync with the new MobileMe server. While some users finally report the nearly week-long MobileMe email outage is over, others found they have lost their stored emails entirely.
The problems began with approximately one percent of MobileMe members not being able to access MobileMe Mail. Unfortunately, for users and Apple alike, there are about 2 million .Mac/MobileMe members meaning that one percent could end up being 20,000 people or more. For most of these users it seems as though MobileMe's email features simply do not work. The Mail app at Me.com would continually show up empty, while outgoing messages won't send and incoming messages bounce back.
Others still have had much worse problems; one user reported the following on Apple's discussion board, "I was part of the "1%" on July 16. When service came back on July 17, I went to check my email and I found that ALL of my email -- thousands of email in every default and custom folder -- had disappeared from the .Mac/MobileMe server during the transition. When Mail.app synced with the server, it erased all of my email locally too. Every single email I had stored on the .Mac/MobileMe server -- again, thousands of email over three years of using .Mac -- is now gone."
It does not seem to be an isolated issue, as more complaints similar to the one above are showing up in the MobileMe support pages daily and Apple has yet to reply to these dismayed users.
David Pogue of the NY Times attempted taking matters into his own hands and contacted Apple's PR division to see if he could find any answers. Apple replied with a fairly standard explanation, mirroring the wording of Apple's recent gift to affected MobileMe subscribers. "The .Mac to MobileMe transition was a lot rockier than we had hoped, and we are still having some growing pains. Some users have been having problems with their e-mail in particular, and we are trying to restore the service as soon as possible. We're very thankful for our loyal customers' patience as we work out the kinks."
As Pogue also states, Apple has done so little to recognize the situation. There are many upset customers paying for a service that does not function properly, while keeping users relatively in the dark. Walt Mossberg has even recommended to his listeners and readers to avoid MobileMe for the time being as it is simply "too ragged".