Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Unable to send emails through a BT Broadband account

Almost all of our clients have their own domain names, which they use for their own websites and email addresses. Many of those clients have set up their email system at home to check their work email accounts. 

Those who have a residential BT Broadband line, as opposed to a business line, may find that they are suddenly unable to send emails from their own domain from home. This may be the case even though they have successfully used their own domain to do just this for some time.

You may see an error message pointing you to a web address similar to http://www.spamhaus.org/query/bl?ip=xx.xx.xx.xx (where xx.xx.xx.xx shows your computers "IP Address". Going to that link shows that your IP Address is blocked. Going further into the SpamHaus pages gives an explanation (See http://www.spamhaus.org/pbl/query/PBL231589)

That page explains that BT Retail do not allow unauthenticated emails through their system. That is different to refusing to allow emails sent from authenticated domains other than BT Internet, of course, but let's skip over that issue.

Why they do not allow you to send emails from your own, authenticated, domain is hard to fathom, although BT claim this is an anti-spam measure.

The way round this would appear to be that you need to add your own domain email address as an additional account within your BT Mail system. 

When I sought help on this issue from BT, 3 different Techies spent some time telling me that they had no idea what I was talking about, but one of them did eventually send me a Help Document - see http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/10903 - which shows the solution, (although this is for their email system when it was linked with Yahoo!, so the pictures are different, but the principle is the same.)

I then discovered that you do not get a BT email address by default when you sign up to their broadband system. Why not, when you aren't allowed to use any other email addresses? (They obviously expect everyone to use a Web based email service, which would work.)

So, you have to contact BT Sales to ask for an email address to be set up on your account.

You then have to log on to your BT Portal, at http://www.bt.com, and choose the Email tab. Once in there look for Settings, Accounts and add a new account.

You need to know the settings for your own domain's email accounts, but once configured everything works again! Magic.

I have no idea why this is such a difficult proposition for BT, or why their Techies have never before encountered the problem. Even my old Dad has his own domain and unique email address!


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The IT Dept offers computer support services in Lancashire, including Monthly On-Site or Remote Support Contracts; Secure Online Data Backup; Domain Hosting; Server and Desktop Sales; Software Supply & Installation. We cover all of Lancashire, including Chorley, Preston, Blackburn, Darwen, Bolton, Wigan, Blackpool, etc.
© Michael Donkin 2014