UPDATE: The Mass Email Change Tool IS Now Available.  Read more if you fancy a grin. 

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What can you do to prevent Fasthosts re-setting your email passwords if you have already changed them? You might spend the next week changing passwords, only to find that another Fasthosts blunder forces you to do the whole thing again, this time with irate users/customers.  Is there anything we can do to inform Fasthosts that passwords have been changed and insist that your account is exempt from the great password scramble – well there might be:

The Data Protection Act gives you a limited right to prevent significant decisions being taken about you solely by automatic processing. This affects only those decisions made by a computer where there is no human involvement in the decision.

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You have until December 13th to change the email passwords on your account, otherwise Fasthosts will scramble them.  If you have customers with email hosted with you, and their passwords are scrambled, you will receive a phone call for each email address, and will have to change these manually and talk your customers through changing the password in their email client.

Bear in mind that you won’t be able to send your customers an email after this time, because they can’t retrieve it without their passwords.

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The letter was dated 3rd December, yes that means it was printed on Monday.

Now forgive me if I seem a little sceptical, but if I had just locked my customers out of the system on a Thursday evening, and promised them all passwords by snail mail, I would have every person back in the office as early as possible the next day, and have them all stuffing envelopes until the last post had gone.

This would seem to be the normal thing to do, just to make sure my customers interests were covered.  I mean can you think of any reasonable reason why you would not do this?
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I haven’t heard of anyone who has received their postal password yet.  If you have, please post a comment here so we can guage how many have actually been sent out.

We’ve had quite a few reports of people being given access to their control panel over the phone. 

If you do manage to get through on the phone, insist on identifying yourself for your password.  It is possible for Fasthosts to do this, so crack on.  I’m on hold (again) at the moment.