Email Troubleshooting with the EarthLink Email Answer Wizard

All EarthLink Internet access customers (cable, DSL, Freestanding DSL, Satellite, and dial-up) get up to 8 email addresses, with Web Mail access and built-in spam and virus blocking.

So email is likely to be very important to you.

That’s why we want to make sure you are aware of the Email Answer Wizard, located in the EarthLink Support Center. It’s a quick and easy way to troubleshoot any problems that come up with your email.

The Answer Wizard is currently on the Support homepage: the fourth bullet under New Articles heading. You can also get to it from the Email menu at the top of the page (it’s third in that list).

To get started with Email Answer Wizard, click the link to indicate what kind of email help you want: either for EarthLink Web Mail or an Email Program.

Web Mail

If you choose Web Mail, you’ll be asked if you want help with Receiving Email, Spam and spamBlocker or Signing In.

If you click Receiving Email, you’ll learn what do do if your mailbox is full or if spamBlocker is blocking valid email messages.

If you click Spam and spamBlocker, you’ll learn how to restore email that went to the wrong spam filter folder, how to change your spamBlocker settings, how to report spam or phisher emails, and how to block an email address or email domain from sending you email.

If you click Signing In, you’ll get our top four tips and tools to help you resolve sign-in problems for Web Mail.

Email Programs

If you’ve chosen to get help with an email program and not Web Mail, the categories of help you can get are: Setting Up My Email Program, Sending and Receiving Email, and Reducing Spam.

Email Setup help is organized by operating system (Windows or Mac) and then by email program (Outlook 2010, Windows Live Mail 2011, etc.). If you are using Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express, you are advised to try the EarthLink Setup Tool first (you can download the free Setup Tool here).

If you click on Sending and Receiving Email, you’ll first be asked to specify if the issue is sending, receiving, or both.

Troubleshooting tips in the Sending and Both Sending and Receiving categories are organized by operating system (Windows or Mac) and then by email program.

Tips in the Receiving section are for these common problems: I have stopped receiving new emails, I can’t get a certain email or I get several copies, and I get a username or password error or other problems.

If you choose the Reducing Spam category, you’ll have access to our top five anti-spam tips: How to stop an email message from going to the Suspect folder, how to stop an email message from going to the Known spam folder, how to change spamBlocker settings, how to report spam or phisher email, and how to block an email address or domain so you don’t receive any more email from them.

Here’s to trouble-free EarthLink email. And easy troubleshooting if you ever need it.

Get What You Want from Customer Service

Contacting customer service is rarely a fun task, since it’s usually to solve a problem or issue that you can’t solve alone.  Recognizing that it can be nerve-wracking (“What if I don’t get the solution I need?” “What if they don’t understand what it is I need?”), this article outlines the three things needed to help you get the most out of contacting customer service.

1) Call the Right Number

Most companies have phone numbers for sales, and numbers for customer service.  Usually, the number on their home page is for sales, and they have a “contact us” or “support” page that lists their customer service line.  Using this line will save you the headache of being transferred once you do call.

2) Have a Specific Goal in Mind

Stating only your issue can make the situation confusing on both ends, so be sure to first state the goal, and then explain the back story of your issue.  If the first thing they hear (or read, if using email or chat) is the goal you want them to help you reach  (“I need to receive the order I purchased; receipt number: 12345″) instead of the issue you’re facing (“I saw this product online, so I went to buy it with my AMEX, but then I…”) they will have an easier time paying attention to the back story because they will know how it plays into the problem.  If you don’t present your goal first, customer service agents will be listening to details they assume help you reach your goal (“I went to buy it with my AMEX card”) but they may be incorrect and miss the actual issue (“I wasn’t home when it arrived, and I need it sent again”).

Support people assist customers all day…make it as simple as possible for them to help you reach your goal!

3) Walk Them Through It

If you’re on the phone, walk them through the situation in time order after you state your goal (“I visited, and clicked on…” or “My order number is 12345, and I’m not seeing it when I track it online”).  If you’re text chatting or using email, do the same (HINT: making lists is a great way to make sure the agent is following along and to make sure you say everything you need to in order!).  If possible, screen shots (which we’ve talked about before!) are a great way to give examples of your situation.

4) Niceness Is Everything

If they’re not following along with you as much as you’d like, or there is a barrier to communication (language/accent/technical knowledge), being as nice and patient as possible is key.  Agents want to help you (it’s their job!), so be understanding and kind.  They may even be able to help you more than you’d hoped, but chances are they’ll only go that extra mile if you are polite.  (NOTE: This DOES go both ways!  If a customer service person is rude to you, feel free to politely ask for their manager.  If they decline, feel free to hang up and call again!)

Dial-Up Internet Connection Tips

Sure, EarthLink’s Dial-Up Internet service is fast and reliable. But at some point you may experience a problem connecting.

The good news: most dial-up connection problems are very simple to resolve. The following 5 tips may even seem too simple, but you really should try them if you ever have trouble connecting, because they quickly fix the majority of dial-up Internet connection issues.

  • Wait a few minutes

    If you’ve been able to connect to the Internet before and haven’t changed anything, then the problem may clear up on its own after just a few minutes. Trust us, it happens.

  • Undo what you just did

    If you did recently make a change to your computer (installing software, changing cables, etc.) or Internet settings and you can no longer connect, undo those changes and try again.

  • Check all cords and cables

    Is the phone line you use for your dial-up Internet connection securely plugged in to both the modem and the wall jack? Are all connections to your computer and the modem’s power source snug? Even if you know they were secure before, check again because sometimes cords get pulled out accidentally.

  • Double check your email address and password

    Your email address and password are both case sensitive, so ensure that your Caps Lock is off and retype both before you try to connect to the Internet.  If you’re an EarthLink customer and have forgotten your password (and can connect to the Internet on another computer or mobile device) you can reset reset your password here:  Please note that your new password may take up to 20 minutes to activate in our system.

  • Restart your computer

    Turn your computer off, wait for 30 seconds, then turn it on and try connecting again. This simple strategy is called “power cycling” and is quite effective at resolving connection problems.

 If You Still Can’t Connect

  • If you can get on the Internet from a different computer, mobile phone or other device, visit our Network Outages page to see if there are known problems with the network. If there is a known outage you will often see a timeframe posted to let you know when you should try again.
  • If you’ve tried the solutions above, but your dial-up Internet connection still isn’t working, try using a different computer to chat online with a live EarthLink representative at: