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Long delays receiving emails in Gmail from plusnet address via BT

FIXED
chipbarm
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: a week ago

Long delays receiving emails in Gmail from plusnet address via BT

Hi

I have a plusnet email only service and BT broadband. For years I have had no issues sending and receiving emails but over the last month I have seen some strange behaviour with sending emails to xxx@gmail.com.


Receiving emails (from any domain including gmail) on my plusnet email without any issue when on BT broadband. I use incoming mail.plus.net.


Sending emails (sourced with my mailbox@username.plus.com email address) using mail.btinternet.com as outgoing SMTP server with my btusername@btinternet.com as authentication credentials to any domain including plus.com works OK.


The issue is if I send an email to username@gmail.com it sends OK, but it is delayed or never received on Gmail. The email doesn't come through for days. Sometimes it doesn't come through at all.


I tried sending an email using my bt email address as source email which uses outgoing and incoming servers as mail.btinternet.com and this arrives straight away on Gmail.


I tried using Plusnet webmail to send to Gmail and that works straight away.


Its only when i'm sending via email clients with source address of mailbox@username.plus.com using the SMTP authentication with BT that I have the issue and only to Gmail addresses. I have tried using different email clients but I get the same result.


This has been working for years without issue and I haven't changed anything on my email client.


I did a message header analysis of an email that was severely delayed arriving at Gmail as follows:


MessageId    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@plusnetusername
Created at:    11/24/2019, 1:42:46 AM GMT ( Delivered after 33 hours )
From:    xxxx <mailbox@username.plus.com> Using Microsoft Windows Live Mail 16.4.3528.331
To:    <TEST@gmail.com>
Subject:    test sent sun 24th 1:42am
SPF:    neutral


#    Delay    From *         To *     Protocol    Time received    
0    2 sec    re-prd-rgout-005.btmx-prd.synchronoss.net    →        re-prd-fep-043.btinternet.com        11/24/2019, 1:42:48 AM GMT    
1    33 hours    mailomta3-re.btinternet.com.    →    [Google]    mx.google.com    ESMTPS    11/25/2019, 10:55:15 AM GMT    
2    
    →    [Google]    2002:a5d:4acb::    SMTP    11/25/2019, 10:55:15 AM GMT    
3    
    →    [Google]    2002:a0c:c98c:0:0:0:0:0    SMTP    11/25/2019, 10:55:15 AM GMT



Then I did a similar test that used BT email address as source which worked straight away with the following results:

 

MessageId    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Created at:    11/25/2019, 2:16:41 PM GMT ( Delivered after 7 sec )
From:    x <myusername@btinternet.com> Using Microsoft Windows Live Mail 16.4.3528.331
To:    <TEST@gmail.com>
Subject:    sent using bt email account 25-11 14:16
SPF:    pass
DKIM:    pass
DMARC:    pass


#    Delay    From *         To *     Protocol    Time received    
0    6 sec    re-prd-rgout-001.btmx-prd.synchronoss.net    →        re-prd-fep-042.btinternet.com    
    11/25/2019, 2:16:47 PM GMT    
1    1 sec    mailomta29-re.btinternet.com.    →    [Google]    mx.google.com    ESMTPS    11/25/2019, 2:16:48 PM GMT    
2      
    →    [Google]    2002:a5d:65c5::    SMTP    11/25/2019, 2:16:48 PM GMT    
3    
        →    [Google]    2002:a0c:c98c:0:0:0:0:0    SMTP    11/25/2019, 2:16:48 PM GMT


I can see SPF says neutral on the plusnet sourced email. Also I sent to my work emal from plusnet email address and the SPF result says none. The email using BT email address shows SPF as pass.


Any ideas why this has started happening or how I can troubleshoot this more? This has been working without issue for years.


Thanks for any assistance.

5 REPLIES 5
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 7,724
Thanks: 1,485
Fixes: 95
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Long delays receiving emails in Gmail from plusnet address via BT

Fix

@chipbarm 

'Its only when i'm sending via email clients with source address of mailbox@username.plus.com using the SMTP authentication with BT that I have the issue and only to Gmail addresses. I have tried using different email clients but I get the same result.'

Email sent from a username.plus.com should be sent using the plusnet server , relay.plus.net , using smtp authentication with your p,plusnet username and password. That way it should pass spf checks and be more likely not to be rejected by gmail etc

chipbarm
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: a week ago

Re: Long delays receiving emails in Gmail from plusnet address via BT

@MisterW Thanks. Has this always been the case when sending through BT? I seem to recall ages back that you had to use BT SMTP servers for outbound email because they wouldn't let you go direct to any other server.

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 7,724
Thanks: 1,485
Fixes: 95
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Long delays receiving emails in Gmail from plusnet address via BT

@chipbarm  some ISP's block access on port 25 to other than their own smtp servers but port 587 is always accessible. It didnt used to be a problem sending mail from a 'foreign' server , but with the increased use of spf checking, it's now more necessary to send from a server that's listed in the spf record for the domain. In the case of any .plus.com domain , that means they must be sent via plusnet servers since they're the only ones listed in the spf records for the .plus.com domain.

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 14,785
Thanks: 5,763
Fixes: 33
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Long delays receiving emails in Gmail from plusnet address via BT

Both yes and no!

What is certain is that if you are not connected to the Plusnet network you cannot use the Plusnet relay service WITHOUT authenticating. Back in the days when smtp authentication was largely optional (incomprehensible!) users were usually advised to relay through a smtp server on their own network.

When people became more mobile, using WiFi hotspots etc, that became unviable and authenticated smtp connections became vogue.

As an aid to combating spam Plusnet implemented SPF for myaccount@plus.com email addresses, which essentially means all plus.com email should be sent ONLY via the Plusnet relay service.

Users were sent email notification of this change.

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Tag fixed/edited
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 14,785
Thanks: 5,763
Fixes: 33
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Long delays receiving emails in Gmail from plusnet address via BT

MisterW and my reply have overlapped.

Indeed the propensity of incorrectly using port 25 for email SUBMISSION did drive people to using an on-network SMTP server rather than the one associated with the email address.

I recall the days of when one had to change the smtp server details each time you changed network connections. Such considerations might explain why the iPhone mail app allows a multitude of smtp servers to be associated with a mail address.