AOL users complain of disappearing emailsSaved mails missing from accounts

06 April 2007

Internet provider AOL has left customers fuming after failing to explain the disappearance of their saved emails.

Jacqueline Fleming logged on to the AOL website after Christmas to find that almost 2,000 emails had been wiped from her account.

‘My stomach started churning. There were business emails, sentimental ones and even details of my holiday booking,’ she said.

The same thing happened again weeks later when all her January emails disappeared.

When Jacqueline, who is one of several AOL customers to contact Which? about this issue, looked at its message board she saw the problem had affected countless other

people.

Packed inbox

But when she spoke to AOL it said it was not liable and gave different explanations each time, including having too many emails in her inbox and that there was probably a problem with her computer.

And Heather Sager, who uses AOL for business, told us that she had lost more than 1,500 emails and had had conflicting advice about the problems, while Robin Harrod lost saved emails on three occasions.

When Which? contacted AOL it said Jacqueline’s complaint was the only one and it was not aware of technical problems with its email system.

But we alerted it to a number of customers’ problems and it has now assigned technical help to them.

There are no regulations requiring providers to back up records so users should back up their own messages. They can be saved through an account on your PC such as Outlook Express.