Bottom of a locked filing cabinet

Due to an ironic but entirely unrelated email problem of my own I hadn’t been getting notifications of comments posted on this site. So I’ve only just noticed the 26 comments on my post about BT Yahoo!’s dumb email security and the Register’s coverage which quotes it. But it gets better…

I went back to look at BT’s service status page, which now acknowledges the whole affair as a “security upgrade” and says that if you’re getting the 553 error you should visit a BT Yahoo! Mail Help page.

How helpful. Except if I click that link I’m asked to log in to BT Yahoo!

However, I’m a user of other Yahoo! products (that is the point of these branding “synergies” isn’t it, to make me use more of your products?). And what’s even less helpful is that because I have a normal Yahoo! account, the page has saved my Yahoo! login and pre-entered it in the space where I should type my BT email address.

If I type in the password for the Yahoo! account the page is suggesting I use, then the page reloads again. Not even an error message. And my Yahoo! account name is still displayed in the ‘email’ field.

Thankfully, if you log out of that account, then log in with your BT Internet email address you do get taken to the page with nearly-accurate instructions. Except it still doesn’t tell you how to get to the page it’s giving you instructions for. Doh!


  • It's a shame because the actual broadband service is reliable but I also got fed up with their email account. Firstly, they stopped allowing PDF attachments to be sent to other BTYahoo accounts which is just ridiculous because everyone else received them okay. Secondly, I was getting spammed to high heaven. Okay, the spam was redirected to my spam folder but occasionally some of those spam mails where actual emails I needed. So, everyday I had to trawl through the 50 or so spam emails I was getting to make sure they were spam.

    I've since switched everything over to googlemail.

  • Another variation on the theme.
    I have an email address, which I have been using happily for the past 9 months. Since mid-March I have been getting the '553' error and have proved it is to do with receipts I have allowed from emails received. However, when I try to follow the instructions on the Yahoo/BT pages, it tells me my email account already exists, so I can't add it. I therefore am unable to follow the problem resolution provided. I am luckier than some, as I am able to send normal emails, but there are always 4 additional messages that Outlook 2003 (non-SP3 version) tries to send every time I hit the Send button, which generate the '553' error, even when I haven't got any normal emails waiting in my Outbox to send. Oh yes, and they don't appear in my Outbox, so I can't delete them.
    Does anyone know of a way of clearing out these receipts, if they do not appear in the outbox? I would not like to remove and re-install Outlook. Is upgrading to SP3 likely to fix it?

  • I am so tired of this, BT has cost us so much time and money sorting this out. I would love to know how much damage this has done to other business. If there is a figure for time and money lost and of course the BT Brand!!. I would love to hear it. We use a TLD repoint which will be repointing away from BT. And yes I am...and a little bit more than angry.

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Tuesday 25 March 2008, 10:50pm

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25 Mar 2008 at Twitter

  • 11:28pm: Thinking that mid-17th century England sounds like volumes of a fantasy series: The Interregnum, The Protectorate, The Restoration.
  • 9:59pm: Wishing Muxtape would register listens with There must be a word to describe the wasting of metadata.
  • 9:54pm: Listening to Molly's muxtape, Meg's next. Wishing Internet would stop making wonderful things I want to spend time playing with. No time!
  • 3:57pm: Earned my red nose today. Now cycling to French's and maybe NT bookshop to find plays.
  • 9:57am: Dreamed I could just walk through an empty office, up a flight of stairs and emerge in San Francisco. Stayed in bed, missed first class.

25 Mar 2008 in Links