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Cox Communications Email Outage Affects NOVA

Company would not disclose how many customers were unable to receive incoming email over the weekend, but it included those from up and down the East Coast.

An untold number of customers who use Cox Communications email addresses were not able to receive incoming email messages throughout the weekend, a Cox Communications spokeswoman confirmed to Patch on Monday.

Service was restored on Monday morning, but many customers have yet to received countless lost messages sent since Friday evening. The outage affected all Cox customers with cox.net email addresses on the East Coast and the Midwest.

Emma Inman, a spokeswoman for the company, said it may take several days to deliver all the emails, which were stored in a queue in the company's server.

"I don’t know specifically what happened, but something happened that prevented the email from being disseminated to our customers," Inman said. "We’re replacing some of our email storage platform equipment and putting measures in place to ensure it won’t happen again."

For Oakton resident Robert F. Dorr, that explanation is too little, too late. He currently subscribes to Cox's Internet, cable and telephone service package, but said he plans to switch providers after this weekend's email service disruption.

"I work all day, every day, seven days a week. That’s how I noticed there was a problem with my service," said Dorr, a writer. "I did indeed try to call Cox. It’s a little bit like trying to have a conversation with a fire hydrant. There is no possible way to reach an actual human being at Cox. I don’t think there are any."

Inman explained the company's call center was overwhelmed with calls this weekend. She would not disclose how many customers were affected by the outage.

"Generally for competitive purposes, we don’t expose Cox subscriber numbers," she said. 

She said Cox does not plan to offer financial compensation for the lost service to all email customers, but will work with customers on an individual basis who request a credit on their monthly bill.

"We are focused on ensuring that service has been restored and that the emails in the queue actually reach the customers," Inman said.

Offering individual customer credits "is not our primary focus right now," she said.

Inman suggested customers could contact Cox via social media, the Cox Communications website, or by calling the company's call center, 703-378-8422.

Jonathan Erickson December 18, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Switch to Open Band! lol
Patricia Webb December 18, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Customer service is sadly lacking at Cox and some other service providers. It is very hard to conncet to a live person.
Amrish Pinto (Realtor) December 18, 2012 at 02:46 PM
If you're a small business owner, you might consider Cox Business for your home office. You'll pay a little extra, though the customer service on the Biz side vs Residential is leaps and bounds better. Cox Biz has sent techs out even on nights and weekends to fix my internet issues.
milton December 18, 2012 at 03:51 PM
just dont use COX for email...try Gmail, yahoo..etc....
Robert F. Dorr December 18, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Got a smile out of being quoted in this article but wish the writer had mentioned my latest World War II history book "MISSION TO TOKYO," which is reviewed separately on Oakton Patch. The fact that I'm a writer may mean something to someone. What Cox customers needed over this past weekend was a clearly written, easy-to-understand explanation of what was going on and why. The company did a poor job of telling its story. Even now, with service apparently being restored, Cox has never bothered to send out a notice explaining what this is all about and what will be done in the future.
Don Fowler December 18, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Cox would get many $ worth of positive publicity if they would automatically credit each residential internet customer who uses cox.net email with an amount as an apology. Yes, they will "work with you" on rate adjustments for your service, but you need to demand it, as they just said in this press release re: the email outage. Of course, everyone who uses email should have alternate accounts. It's easy enuf to do.
Locally Involved December 18, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Customer experience and satisfaction is irrelevant in a duopoly. Cable companies, though they lobby they are in a competitive environment because you can always switch to satellite or FiOS - but NOT another cable provider. Every customer satisfaction index shows healthcare and telecom/cable companies in the bottom 20 of 400+ companies surveyed in this country. These are duopolies. Let's face it - your options are limited and they know it. Time to break up the cable companies ala Ma Bell. Everyone projected doomsday when we did landline and all it did was spur competition, jobs, and new industries. The FCC needs to hear consumer voices. Otherwise, your prices will continue to sky rocket and your service will remain in the loo.
Georgia December 20, 2012 at 11:03 PM
What an insulting attitude Cox "customer service" has. I am still getting emails trickling in from the outage. In addition to the days of no email service our internet was out for many hours on Thursday. So, after discovering that Cox was not offering automatic credits, I decided to call to request one, since the outage had caused me a great deal of inconvenience and quite a bit of money. What a joke...no problem, they said, they would credit me five dollars total. Five whole dollars! What an insult after decades of using Cox and never even making a late payment. According to the supervisor, email is a free service offered with their internet service, so we should be grateful to get anything back. Verizon may not be great, but I don't think they can be this bad. I'm going to try them.
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