Why must Centurylink make all this so difficult?
May 13, 2012 6:43 PM   Subscribe

Anyone out there have any experience setting up Centurylink (q.com) email to work with the iPad native Mail app?

I gave my mother my old iPad, and she seems to be really enjoying using it. Right now her main frustration is with reading her email. She typically uses Centurylink's webmail portal to read her email. I finally got that to work by switching it from the Ajax client to basic HTML, but it's still kind of kludgy and stupid.

I really REALLY want to set up the Mail App on her iPad to work as it should, but nothing I've tried has worked so far.

I've gone to Centurylink's website and have tried all these different settings for the server information, but none of them work. (All return username/password incorrect.)

I've tried using both her user name and complete email address as logins. That doesn't make any difference.

I know I have her username and password correct because I can use them to log into the Centurylink webmail portal without any problems.

Centurylink Technical Support will not address iPad issues as an "unsupported device". So I can't call them and make it their problem.

Anyone out there have any experience or even possibly success with getting this set up? I could really use some help!
posted by hippybear to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Centurylink pretty much sucks. Is she willing to use an email provider that's not linked to her cable company (GMail, etc.?) I know, for example, you can have GMail set up to fetch her POP3 mail and then use the iPad's native mail app to just check the GMail.

Barring that, can you get help from Apple? I would think the folks at the Genus Bar ought to have encountered this problem before if Centurylink is a common provider in your area and may have an easy fix.

If all else fails, call Centruylink's customer retention and explain to them that you [your mom] can no longer be a customer because their email service is broken, and support refuses to help—watch them jump through a few hoops. (If they don't support your device, why support their bottom line?)

Best of luck.
posted by mikewas at 7:22 PM on May 13, 2012

Response by poster: Centurylink isn't their cable company, it's their telephone provider.
posted by hippybear at 7:35 PM on May 13, 2012

What platform you are on should not matter at all. IMAP / POP3 is IMAP / POP3 regardless of whether you are on Windows, Linux, Mac, or whatever. Have you tried an alternative mail client to see if it works? Have you tried a test account at Gmail to see if it can connect to the POP server at Qwest? Hell, you might just try telling tech support that you are on a Mac. I'm not a Mac guy but I assume the default Mail App on an iPhone or iPad looks very similar to what you have on a Mac.
posted by COD at 7:49 PM on May 13, 2012

Response by poster: Gmail is unable to connect to the POP server to import mail.

However, automated mail forwarding from the Centurylink webmail portal does send mail to the Gmail account.
posted by hippybear at 8:18 PM on May 13, 2012

One thing to try: are you entering the full email address as the username? If you are, try just the username portion (so 'janedoe' rather than 'janedoe@q.com'). If you've been trying that, try the reverse.

Otherwise, I second pretending you're on a different device. Given that the error is (or at least appears to be) authentication related, the iPad is at least connecting to the mail servers, so it might just be that Centurylink has to enable IMAP/POP access on their end.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 1:54 AM on May 14, 2012

Is it possible she only gets webmail access with her account? Maybe POP / IMAP is an extra charge feature? That seems like a really stupid way to do business, but we are talking about Qwest here...
posted by COD at 9:32 AM on May 14, 2012

Response by poster: Okay, well, I ended up setting up a gmail account for her, forwarding all the mail from the q.com account to that address, and then of course setting up gmail on the iPad is nearly effortless...

I told her that any email she wants to have on the iPad from that q.com address that was received before I set this up, all she has to do it forward that by hand to the gmail address. But that any email she gets from this point on at q.com will be on her iPad automatically.

She seemed pleased. It's certainly better than dealing with Centurylink's crappy webmail portal.

Thanks for the help everyone. I'm pretty convinced that, for whatever reason, POP is not turned on for their email accounts. Not sure what to do about that, but this is a solution that will work fine.
posted by hippybear at 4:37 PM on May 14, 2012

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