Email issues with Telus webmail - This is really BAD - Don't use Telus email for anything important

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FuzzyLogic
Connector

My wife has had intermittent issues with recipients not receiving her email. Most recently last Friday afternoon (March 30) she sent out some messages which were never received. I contacted Telus and they eventually got back to me saying that Telus mail servers had been listed on Spamcop and any servers using this service would reject the email. This is pretty normal as many ISP use Spamcop, Spamhaus and various other IP based blocking lists to minimize spam. Normally these would send a message back to the recipient stating the message was blocked. The only problem is that there was no notification received that the messages weren't delivered. The Telus person I talked to said you should get notifications if you used another client other than Webmail. This is simply not true as I did some testing during this time with Webmail, Mail on IOS and Outlook and none of my messages were delivered and I received no notification that there was any problem. My wife is self employed and has been using her email for time sensitive communications such as grant applications and not getting notifications of messages not being delivered is a real problem. I have gone to Telus' problem escalation page to find out if there is anything to be done about this but so far I haven't heard back (requested a phone call, got a generic email).

 

FWIW I'm a mail administrator for the company I work for and find this very troubling that people assume their messages are being delivered and are not notified when there are issues with mail delivery.

rc
Ambassador

The advice that you were given that you would receive the rejection emails on other clients was incorrect, as you found.

 

A lot of ISP no longer send rejection emails to spam emails or other undeliverable emails, they just delete them. Some will send one message  to the site admin advising that they have blacklisted the sending ISP.  Since a lot of spam email headers are forged, then the response goes back to the wrong address etc so some ISPs find it easier to delete and ignore. Spamers like to forge email headers associated with major ISP as they expect the emails to pass through spam filters. Good spam filter products have a white list for large well known ISP, such as TELUS, and apply more sophisticated spam detection rules for the majors. 

 

 

 

 

FuzzyLogic
Connector

At least 2 of messages my wife sent yesterday were not received by the recipient. Fortunately she followed up with phone calls. I realize spammers often use spoofed addresses to send email but I'd rather know that this is going on then not. Without getting  NDR's it's assumed the message was received and implies there are no issues. Again not a serious problem with casual email but if you are trying to correspond with people/companies that contribute to your livelihood this is not good. The fact that messages often go through, but not always, means you must follow up on all important correspondence which is really annoying. I'm all for an option to enable/disable NDR messages but as a user without that information it seems that Telus is giving the impression there are no issues when in fact this is going on all the time and while most of your messages likely are getting delivered it's not always the case and as a user of the service I have no way of knowing short of using other methods to confirm my message was actually delivered.

rc
Ambassador

Typically email servers will return undeliverable email, to the sender after,  trying to send the email. The default time range for this is two days (exchange) to 5 days for unix email.  Since it takes a couple of days to get off of the spam block lists then a time out of 3 to 4 days would be ensure that the mail eventually gets sent.

 

Your wife probably should use Google or Microsoft email services as their ip addresses will not get blocked by any of the spam block programs.

FuzzyLogic
Connector

Retries for delivery are a per server setting. Unfortunately most IP based blocks do an outright rejection so no retries are attempted (it's generally spam after all). The servers I manage reject the message and return a NDR with a message containing a URL to get off the blocklist. Most blocklists drop IP addresses after 24 hours of no activity.

 

My concern is that the impression is given that everything is working fine when in fact messages are being dropped all the time and the sender is not made aware of this.

 

My wife has recently starting using Gmail due to the issues with Telus. With the recent Facebook fiasco it's a bit concerning what Google may be doing with her mail. <https://www.activistpost.com/2018/03/the-personal-data-google-has-on-you-is-shocking-dwarfs-that-of-...>

 

I'm curious if business customers get NDR's or not? My wife would be willing to pay for a more reliable service but so far Telus has not followed up on my escalated incident to clarify this.

 

 

 

rc
Ambassador

I don't think it matter if you subscribe  to a TELUS  business  or consumer email service, if the target of the email does no whitelist TELUS email  servers then you will looking at similar  situation. Your wife may have no option but to use a email provider that everyone  must whitelist, such as Microsoft  or google.

Community Power User
Community Power User

She could also get her own domain, wife@fuzzylogic.ca and create her own identity for about $10 per annum. Then she can manage her identity independent of problem services.

 

NFtoBC
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canucks4life
Ambassador

Curious if anyone had missing Email from Tue April 10th?

 

Our strata manager sent one out for council and had to get a neighbour to forward me a copy...headers appear fine just never arrived?

rrodica6
Resident

i have the same problem sending emails but they are not received

FuzzyLogic
Connector

I've talked with Telus and they say they have no plans to fix this. They no longer offer email as part of the home Internet package.

TNFC_office
Resident

We have been experiencing this blocking issue for the last several months with incoming mail from Telus customers getting blocked by our mail server since it uses SpamCop to filter emails on the way in.  I am able to log into the control panel of our website/email host and go to an email tracking list which shows all the incoming mail that has been blocked by SpamCop.  Most of them are truly spam, but once in a while there is a rash of valid incoming emails from our clients and associates that are being blocked based on IP address - and multiple people sending us emails quite often show the same IP address.  There are about 4 IP addresses that I have seen on the list that vary just by the last digit and they all seem to be Telus customers.   When I search one of the IP addresses on SpamCop's blocking list search, they do show up as blocked for a certain number of more hours into the future.   Most recently, this morning I sent MYSELF an email to my work email address from my personal email address using my iPhone - it was blocked, and the IP was one of the familiar ones, and SpamCop said that IP was going to be taken off the blocked list in one more hour.   But now I see another incoming email from one of our associates and his IP address is the same one that my email was coming in on - and now SpamCop says it's going to be another 19 hours before that IP gets taken off the blocked list!!  I have asked our website host for help but they just point to SpamCop and can't help beyond that.     I haven't called Telus about this yet, partly because I don't want to spend hours on the phone and partly because I don't know if it is a Telus issue - but now that I found this forum thread, it does sound like a Telus issue but it also makes me wonder if there is any point calling Telus?    Is Telus not big enough to be able to tell SpamCop to put their IPs on the whitelist?   It sure is frustrating having to watch for rejected emails and then tell people that we didn't get their email and to try sending again.....

Community Power User
Community Power User

@TNFC_office,

 

In my opinion, this is a SpamCop issue. Their algorithm is clearly blocking non-spam emails. You could also send your query to Telus through their social media presence, and they should be able to pass it along to the right folks.  Reach out to them via  Facebook Messenger or Twitter by tweeting @telussupport. You can also call using the numbers in the ‘Contact Us’ section at the bottom of the page, or, if on a computer the Chat function listed there as well.

 

NFtoBC
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jrueger
Ambassador

It could in fact be a Telus issue.  The limited number of IP addresses indicates that these are probably Telus mail servers - and SpamCop puts one or more of those addresses on the spam list because there is in fact spam coming from that ip address.  This can happen if Telus doesn't properly configure their servers to prevent mail relays and other sorts of things.  It probably is worth contacting Telus if it continues to be a problem because I doubt that Telus wants to be known as an ISP that allows spam.

rc
Ambassador

@jrueger wrote:

It could in fact be a Telus issue.  The limited number of IP addresses indicates that these are probably Telus mail servers - and SpamCop puts one or more of those addresses on the spam list because there is in fact spam coming from that ip address.  This can happen if Telus doesn't properly configure their servers to prevent mail relays and other sorts of things.  It probably is worth contacting Telus if it continues to be a problem because I doubt that Telus wants to be known as an ISP that allows spam.


A possible cause of telus email servers appearing on spam list is a telus customers computer being infected with malware, and becoming a source of spam emails. 

 

Another reason would be spam sent with forged email headers.

 

Insecure email servers with open relays was an issue 20 years ago and no major email software package ships with relays enabled. 

FuzzyLogic
Connector

There are 2 issues in play here. First Telus is getting on various black lists such as SpamCop and Spamhaus. These people don't blacklist major mail providers such as Microsoft and Google but Telus unfortunately doesn't appear to make the cut so this happens for whatever reasons. Most of these lists will drop the IP's after 24 hours if there are no further reported spam messages. Telus can request to be removed sooner but this doesn't appear to be happening.

 

The second issue is more troubling to me in that senders using Telus that are blocked do not get a non-delivery message back stating the message wasn't delivered. As a mail admin for our organization we send out NDR's if we block a message and unfortunately Telus doesn't seem to pass this on to the sender. This breaks the chain and the sender assumes the message was delivered as they don't receive any indication otherwise. When a message is time critical or important and it's not delivered I want to know about it. Unfortunately this is not the case and I would not count on Telus for any important email. This may be different for business subscribers.

 

TNFC_office
Resident

Thank you everyone.  I did contact Telus via Messenger today and this was the response: 

"I've heard back from our tech support team. They reached out to our internet abuse/security team for advice and we've been advised that Spamcop doesn't whitelist IP addresses. Unfortunately since people keep reporting things as spam the addresses may continue to be blacklisted by them. Your domain provider should be able to add an exception so that those IP addresses are not blocked. The recommendation is that you contact your mail provider."

So I have contacted our mail provider and have asked them to check into it further.   There is a whitelist option on our email filters but I didn't think it had an effect on SpamCop.  If it does, I guess that's our workaround for valid email addresses once somebody's email is blocked once.

Banff
Resident

this happens to me as well. I used to be able to send emails to a Chinese company domain, but it stopped sending emails to them and I didn't know until they told me a week later. I never received any sent failure notifications. I can still receive their emails. I called Telus for the help. the tech assistant can send to the same domain and the emails can be received. I bought a brand new laptop, still the emails sent cant be received. don't know what to do now.

FuzzyLogic
Connector

On a related note. It seems the big guys don't care for the smaller mail providers. Google appears to be blocking email as well. Check out this interesting blog post:

 

https://www.tablix.org/~avian/blog/archives/2019/04/google_is_eating_our_mail/

 

It seems that everyone wants us to use the big providers like Google and Microsoft and the smaller guys are getting treated like second class citizens.

 

Administrators need to at least send an NDR so the sender knows that the messages are being blocked. It's very disconcerting when you send a message and the recipient doesn't get it and the sender isn't notified.