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Plusnet emails blocked by Outlook.com

shermans
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Registered: ‎07-09-2007

Plusnet emails blocked by Outlook.com

Between March and June this year, I had really serious problems with email, and Plusnet staff tried very hard to get to the bottom of it, following discussion on this forum.  Eventually the matter had to be escalated to a Plusnet manager, [CSA Removed], who went to great lengths to try to resolve it.

Among other things, it was discovered that Outlook.com had flagged Plusnet servers as suspicious, and between Microsoft and Plusnet, the problem was eventually identified and a solution found.  The ticket Question #188614968 was finally at last closed at the begiining of June.

Unfortunately, the issue has raised its ugly head again, but this time with Hotmail.  No emails which I send to Hotmail accounts get through.  I receive no failure report and therefore I cannot give any more details, but it is obviously connected to the previous problem. Fortunately, I have few Hotmail contacts, but on the few occasions were I do need to contact someone with a Hotmail account, the mails never get through.  My work-around is to use a Gmail account to send emails to Hotmail accounts usually from a neighbour's computer to avoid any link with Plusnet, and they get through.  So that demonstrates it is associated with the previous problem as both Outlook.com and Hotmail are Microsoft products.

Just to make this clear, Outlook.com contacts are no longer affected.  It is only Hotmail when sent through Plusnet servers.  When sent through a third party server, there is no issue wih Hotmail accounts.

I need therefore to get in touch with [CSA Removed] again unfortunately, because he was outstanding in supporting me to get to the bottom of the issue before.  I communicated with him through the ticket, but as the ticket is now closed, I can no longer do so.  Please could someone at Plusnet put me back in touch with [CSA Removed] somehow ?  I appreciate it is unusual to have to involve a Manager, but after all the frustration which I had to endure with Plusnet support staff before [CSA Removed] became involved, you will appreciate that I do not want to have to start all over again with anyone else.

I would therefore appreciate advice from someone as to how I can contact [CSA Removed] again.

Many thanks.

 

 

Moderators Note: CSA name removed as per Forum rules

12 REPLIES 12
HarryB
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Plusnet emails blocked by Outlook.com

Hi @shermans, while I can't guarantee that I can get another member of staff to take ownership of an issue moving forward or guarantee being able to put you in direct contact with them, I have had a read over the ticket and the action that was taken previously, however as an initial first step I have also attempted to replicate the issue by sending a few emails from my plusnet (customer) email address to my hotmail email address.

 

The emails I sent did not appear in my inbox and I received no notification on my phone that the emails had arrived in my hotmail inbox, however upon checking further it appears these went straight in to the junk email folder. I then selected one of the email and marked it as not junk on the outlook webmail (As hotmail just redirects you back to the outlook login)

I then sent a further test email and this has appeared in my inbox and a notification appeared on my phone as I would expect.

 

It may sound like a silly question, but given there is no bounce back to suggest the mail has failed to be delivered, is it possible they're routing through to a junk mailbox and just need marking as not junk?

 

EDIT:

Just to clarify, moving the email out of junk to the inbox through the outlook app did not have the desired result.

I had to log in to the webmail online and click the 'mark as not junk' option as opposed to doing this through the app/client.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Infrastructure Operations Professional
shermans
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Re: Plusnet emails blocked by Outlook.com

I was actually already aware of your work-around, but it is in all fairness not a professional solution.  The main problems with it are :

1. There is no way for me, as a sender, to know that an email has not got through.  If I reply to a contact, I do not look to see what their email address is; it is just not practical.  Equally, if I initiate a message to a contact , I just click on the name in my contacts list and have no idea what their address is.  So therefore, I cannot reasonably be expected to ask my contact to identify me as an authorised sender, unless I ask everyone automatically to check their spam box, regardless of their email account.

2.  While the work-around might be a sticking plaster for one Hotmail account, it does not address all the other Hotmail accounts with whom I may or may not correspond.

3. It should frankly not be necessary for a third party to have to initiate this sort of action, and it makes me dependent on them.  I have no control over whether they take acrion or not.

4. From a purely practical point of view, how am I supposed to make that request ?  If they do not see my emails because they are in the spam box, how am I supposed to tell them ?  The only way would be to pick up the phone, hope the recipient answers, then ask them and hope they remember to do it next time they log into their email account !

Am I being fair ?  I hope I am not sounding unreasonable, but I have had this problem recently with two business contacts - one was a B&B booking and the other was a small engineering business fixing my mower !  Neither of them have done as I asked (because they have more important things to do) and I then have to resort to using my neighbour's computer whose ISP is EE - a Plusnet competitor.

I am sure that I am not alone in thinking that this is a Plusnet issue, not a customer issue, and it needs to be resolved professionally by Plusnet.  Surely as a matter of pride, Plusnet would not want to offer a more restricted service than its competitors like EE, whose mail servers do not get identified as spam by Hotmail !

I fear I am overlooking something so I hope other readers will make allowances !

dvorak
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Re: Plusnet emails blocked by Outlook.com


@shermans wrote:

  My work-around is to use a Gmail account to send emails to Hotmail accounts usually from a neighbour's computer to avoid any link with Plusnet, and they get through.  So that demonstrates it is associated with the previous problem as both Outlook.com and Hotmail are Microsoft products.

 

There is no need to use someone else's connection to use gmail - the email is sent through google's servers and not PN's so wouldn't be impacted.

 

 

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shermans
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Re: Plusnet emails blocked by Outlook.com

 

Thanks, that is interesting to know - I haven't tried Gmail from my home computer but I can try it.

I use the Outlook CLIENT on my computer (not to be confused with Outlook.com) and that of course goes through smtp.plus.net.   I would experiment with a benign Hotmail account if I could, but of course I can no longer subscribe to Hotmail, as Microsoft creates all new subscriptions as Outlook.com.  The problem with Outlook.com appears to have been resolved but it persists with Hotmail.

Anyone remember the good old days of Lotus Notes in the 90s before spam was even invented ?

MisterW
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Re: Plusnet emails blocked by Outlook.com

I've just noticed a similar problem with email to my daughters hotmail account ending up in Junk. Further investigation showed that I'd actually sent it from a different PlusNet mailbox to the one I normally use to send to her,  mobile@username... instead of <name>@username... 

So, I did some experimenting and got her to send me the email headers. Seems the crunch header that determines whether the email ends up in Inbox or Junk is 'X-Microsoft-Antispam-Mailbox-Delivery:'

For the original email it was

X-Microsoft-Antispam-Mailbox-Delivery: abwl:0;wl:0;pcwl:0;kl:0;iwl:0;dwl:0;dkl:0;rwl:0;ucf:0;jmr:0;ex:0;auth:1;dest:J;OFR:SpamFilterAuthJ;ENG:(5062000261)(5061607266)(5061608174)(4900115)(8390120)(8377080)(4920090)(6350004)(4950130)(4990090)(9140004);RF:JunkEmail;

Sending exactly the same email from an address which was set as as a recognised sender on her account resulted in

X-Microsoft-Antispam-Mailbox-Delivery: abwl:0;wl:0;pcwl:0;dwl:1;rwl:0;ucf:0;jmr:0;ex:0;auth:1;dest:I;OFR:TrustedDomainList;ENG:(5062000261)(5061607266)(5061608174)(4900115)(8390120)(8377080)(4920090)(6515079)(4950130)(580107);

Sending from a gmail account resulted in

X-Microsoft-Antispam-Mailbox-Delivery: abwl:0;wl:0;pcwl:0;kl:0;iwl:0;ijl:0;dwl:0;dkl:0;rwl:0;ucf:0;jmr:0;ex:0;auth:1;dest:I;ENG:(5062000261)(5061607266)(5061608174)(4900115)(8390120)(8377080)(4920090)(6515079)(4950130)(4990090);

It seems that the dest:J may be the significant bit , in that delivery is then subject to the Spam algorithm  whereas dest:I gets delivered to Inbox no matter what. Marking an email as not spam seems to effectively add the sender as recognised.

Googling 'X-Microsoft-Antispam-Mailbox-Delivery:' shows that PN are not the only people with issues sending to hotmail accounts but that Microsoft are a bit reticent in explaining why this is happening. This https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/OfficeDocs-o365seccomp/issues/442 seems to imply that the aforementioned header is quite new but no information seems to be forthcoming from M$

In my case I can, of course, get my daughter to mark all my domains as recognised senders and the problem goes away.

 

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

shermans
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Re: Plusnet emails blocked by Outlook.com

Thanks also for the detective work !  It does just confirm what I have been experiencing.  Again, the work-around acheives the right result but unfortunately it is just not practical.  It is just neither a professional nor an acceptable solution.  Sending emails from other ISPs does not encounter any issue, only from Plusnet and since starting this post, I have used my laptop now on other ISPs besides EE, also without trouble.  So it is only Plusnet, and I am disappointed that Plusnet does not seem concerned about this.

What makes matters worse, is that Plusnet have of course removed their ticketing system.  They have told me that issues raised on this forum - or even on Facebook, which I do not use - will be answered and result in a ticket automatically being raised instead.  But that does not seem to be happening either.

As this started with the same issue with Outlook.com and ended up being escalated to a manager, Mr. Hank Gloy followibng a formal complaint, I am really saddened at the lack of customer service from Plusnet and that t seems that I am going to have to make another formal complaint as I have no alternative.

MisterW
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Re: Plusnet emails blocked by Outlook.com

Sending emails from other ISPs does not encounter any issue, only from Plusnet

From my research on the net , I don't think that's true. Other mail services ARE having problems, you've just managed to find other ISP's that don't seem to have the problem. The main problem seems to be getting information from M$ to explain WHY the mail is going to Junk.

I have used my laptop now on other ISPs besides EE, also without trouble

To be clear here, when using other ISP's , are you still sending from a .plus.com address and are you using the ISP's mail server or the PN one (relay.plus.net) ?

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

shermans
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Re: Plusnet emails blocked by Outlook.com

Again thanks for the info.  I have so far tried three other ISPs, in each case using the smtp of the ISP concerned, NOT Plusnet's SMTP, and there have been no issues.  I have even tried doing this from abroad with no trouble.  Therefore I put 2 + 2 together and evidently made 5 !  I have myself not found an ISP with the same issue but of course that does not mean that there are not other ISPs who are experiencing the problem.

I wonder if it may be ISPs who actually route through BT servers, which I assume Plusnet does in reality as they are part of BT.  But that is just a suggestion, no more, and my premise may well be wrong.

But that does not xcuse the official silence from Plusnet.  What beats me is that Plusnet tell the World how wonderful their customer service is - if you can attract their attention, that is !  After Hank Gloy eventually became involved, that was indeed the situation; he could not have done more to get to the bottom of things, but is should not be necessary to have to involve a manager when there is a problem.

HarryB
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Plusnet emails blocked by Outlook.com

I've discussed this with a few colleagues throughout today (Including the TL you initially requested this be passed on to, who advised they didn't resolve the issue last time and weren't able to take any further action when they left it) and I have been advised that a form has been raised with outlook/hotmail, however we're not sure it'll achieve too much unfortunately and you may be better off raising this yourself Here.

 

I hope this (Or the form we've raised) helps.

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 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Infrastructure Operations Professional
shermans
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Re: Plusnet emails blocked by Outlook.com

Thank you for your action and response.

I have tried to completethe form as suggested but it is technically "beyond my labour grade" !  Please can you help with answers to the following questions so that I can complete the Microsoft form because I do not know what to put :

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Provide no more than 256 total IP addresses using any of the following formats:

- Ranges should be entered in CIDR format:
Example: xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/24
- Use a semi colon to separate individual IPs or IP ranges:
Example: xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx; yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy
Example: xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/28; yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy/28
Provide the URL of your web site: 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks for your help.
 

 

HarryB
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Plusnet emails blocked by Outlook.com

Apologies for the delayed response.

 

If you're able to obtain a copy of the email headers, the IP of the server it went through will show under the X-Sender-IP: section.

On the test emails I sent myself, this was 84.93.230.244

As there isn't an error, I just explained the problem in that box.

For the URL of the website, I just left this as plus.net

 

I hope this helps.

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 Harry Beesley
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quelquod
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Re: Plusnet emails blocked by Outlook.com

FWIW I don’t think this is anything like a unique PlusNet problem and I have taken to routinely checking the junk folder in my Hotmail account to see if there’s anything of value there. I don’t know what Microsoft uses to identify spam (aside from the various web lists) but it does seem quite aggressive. Sadly Hotmail accounts, especially mature ones, do seem to attract lots of genuine spam. I use a Hotmail account to protect my main email when contacting vendors etc. For details via their contact form and their reply as often as not ends up in junk - identifying it then as not junk enables a normal dialogue though whether it identifies the sender for other accounts too as ‘not spam’ universally to Microsoft I can’t say.

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