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Telecom customers facing long waits

Last updated 12:35 18/02/2013

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Long wait times continue for Telecom customers contacting call centres about email issues.

A cyberattack starting on February 9 meant hundreds of thousands of spam emails were sent from YahooXtra customers' accounts when hackers accessed about 80,000 account details.

Telecom spokeswoman Jo Jalfon said an extra 107 staff had been brought in to help customers still having issues with their account after wait times of up to an hour and a half over the weekend.

Customers needing support to change their online password are now only waiting about 5 minutes for assistance but the queue remains much longer for people with broadband issues.

About 20,000 account holders had reset their security by Saturday, but the passwords of the remaining 60,000 compromised accounts were cancelled at short notice by the internet provider.

Ms Jalfon said about half of those accounts have successfully changed their password - 90 per cent of which were able to do it themselves.

"People are still calling us and we're encouraging where possible for them to do it themselves,'' she said.

"There's a lot of information on the website that explains how to change the password for everything including mobiles, tablets and androids.''

Of the 60,000 compromised accounts Ms Jalfon said about one-third had been idle for more than 90 days.

"It's likely these are people that won't change their password in the immediate future as they don't use the account frequently.''

The bulk of Telecom's YahooXtra customers are residential so there wasn't a spike in calls when people returned to work this morning.Telecom is undertaking a review of the YahooXtra service and Ms Jalfon said exiting the contract with Yahoo is still a very real possibility.

"It's a genuine concern that people may choose to cancel their account with us because of this,'' she said.

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- The Dominion Post

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