SMTP outbound blocked

Teacher

SMTP outbound blocked

Got U-Verse + Internet.  Specifically asked if it was ok to run my own e-mail server (sendmail: personal use, personal domain, no hosted, no relay).  Was assured it was fine to do so, and that AT&T would setup my DNS PTR record for my static IPs.

 

Had to call in to remove the block on outbound SMTP (tcp 25).  They removed it, no problems for months.

 

Recently lost connectivity all day, think nov 2nd.  Outbound SMTP has been blocked again since.  Obviously an AT&T network problem.  "telnet <remote MX> 25" times out.  tcptraceroute dies at the AT&T 2wire router.  Remote mailservers never see any traffic from me when doing a packet capture on them.  My own equipment has been testing without any firewall at all beyond the at&t provided 2wire modem/router.

 

Uverse tech support level 2 tells me that outbound SMTP is not blocked, and that I should call Connect Tech.

Connect Tech tells me that it's an obvious network problem and I should call DSL tech support.

They refer me back to connect tech, who refers me back to tech support.  Over and over... all darn day.

 

What can I do?  I can't get anyone to escalate this issue to anyone that even knows what "SMTP" is.  I've had people try to walk me through setting up 'the outlook' (*sigh*... I don't even use windows let alone 'the outlook').  I had one tech insist that I *HAD* to use Yahoo webmail and that makes port 25 work.  (Really?)

 

So frustrated.

 

I know my stuff, I'm a high-end Linux and Network guy by trade.

I know AT&T is still blocking SMTP out.  I can't seem to convince anyone of this and just get the constant ping-pong between dsl tech and connectech.

 

There's just GOT to be some way to get this escalated beyond all these low-end call center reps.  Suggestions?  Anyone have a magic phrase that gets you past the connect-tech <--> dsl support loop?

 

Message 1 of 67 (38,972 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: SMTP outbound blocked

I'm sorry that you had such a rough experience.  Others have gotten port 25 unblocked on a residential account.  However, they did have to be persistant.

 

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 31 of 67 (4,034 Views)
Highlighted
Teacher

Re: SMTP outbound blocked

Just took one call for me to get my port 25 unblocked.  I just had to explain it and ask they contact tier two.  I was also able to get my reverse dns changed, but that took an email to a fellow named Ron at ATT.  Took about 24 hours to get it all sorted.  Now I can email back to craigs list and others that do reverse lookups.

 

Message 32 of 67 (4,001 Views)
Mentor

Re: SMTP outbound blocked

So just spoke with AT&T via chat and also Matt via eMail. They all want to charge $29 via that other service...

 

How can they say me requesting a port unblock is UNSUPPORTED via AT&T and I must use that service? That company is for unsupported help like Virus, Wifi setup, other troubleshooting not service related.

 

My request to unblock a port is service related. What is wrong with this company? Either they are greedy as heck or dont know how to train people what the additional support service is REALLY for...

Message 33 of 67 (3,951 Views)
Expert

Re: SMTP outbound blocked

Call back and ask to be escalated to Tier 2; they can do it for you.

Message 34 of 67 (3,943 Views)
Mentor

Re: SMTP outbound blocked

Isn't Matt in Lvl2? He is on the list of people doing this...

 

I spoke with a manger even and they said no I have to pay.

Message 35 of 67 (3,938 Views)
Expert

Re: SMTP outbound blocked

Yes, but I thought maybe his email might have said otherwise.  You are looking at Port 25?

 

Look at this post here, they got it done by Tier 2; took 24 hrs. to take hold.  This is how it has always been done.  If they're charging for it, that is news to us.

 

I know they are pushing ConnecTech, but that's what this free forum is for!

 

You might wait and let others chime in later who have had this port unblocked (at no charge).

Message 36 of 67 (3,930 Views)
Mentor

Re: SMTP outbound blocked

Here is first response:

 

" I can get this done for you, in order to unblock port 25 there is a onetime $29 fee, however there are other things on the U-verse network blocked at the CO end that we cannot turn off, the only way around this would be to purchase a block of 8 static IP’s which would be $15 a month reoccurring."

 

Here is response two when I ask to not have the fee and ask about what other ports blocked

 

"We block port 25 by default to keep down on spam circulating our network, unfortunately I cannot unblock this port unless you pay the onetime $29 fee that would show up on your next bill.... The only other port by my knowledge that I know that is blocked is port 143 which is commonly used for Microsoft Exchange Server...."

 

I am sure other ports are blocked they dont know or wont tell, maybe why others have issues with media streaming ect.. but in a nut shell AT&T is greedy and dont seem to care anymore.

 

I asked the chat reps to show me terms or something that says port 25 is blocked and we must pay a fee to unblock and none could, said no documentation exists.

 

So you can make up this policy but cant show it because it does not exists, than how do you follow it?

 

I think I am going to just cancel. Simple things are a hassle with this company. They worry about more money but lose more customer to crappy CS than anything....

Message 37 of 67 (3,917 Views)
Tutor

Re: SMTP outbound blocked

Call direct to Tier 2 to get the unblock done.  See the 2nd message in the thread http://forums.att.com/t5/High-Speed-Internet-Access/static-ip-addresses/td-p/2553697 (I keep this page bookmarked) to see a direct number to Tier 2.  This is the number I called back in Dec. 2010 to get port 25 unblocked on my residential account.  All I asked for was for outgoing port 25 to be unblocked.  No hassle at all from the tech.  I would note that even after it was unblocked, I was unable to send email out.  Resolved this by emailing Tier 2 (required having my account un-provisioned and then re-provisioned).  You can read about this in the thread http://forums.att.com/t5/High-Speed-Internet-Access/anyone-else-trouble-with-att-connec-tech-and-por... (my message is #8).

 

Brian

Message 38 of 67 (3,871 Views)
Expert

Re: SMTP outbound blocked

Any luck with those suggestions in the last post?

 

I cannot believe they are going to start charging for this, and are constantly steering people to PAID support!

 

 

Message 39 of 67 (3,846 Views)
Mentor

Re: SMTP outbound blocked

[ Edited ]

Nope 3 people tell me same thing, 1 manager, and 2 different level two... They claim and I will quote Matt "   As of last year the company has decided that unblocking port 25 is out of Tier 2’s scope of support due to it having to do with dealing with Outlook and 3rd party applications. Again I do apologize but this is the companies standpoint, and I cannot change it or else I will be in trouble."

 

What the heck an unblock request has to do with apps and other steps heck if I know, I even clearly stated on phone and in chat and in email I do NOT want to troubleshoot or get help with ANYTHING, just a port unblock and I would handle reset.

 

"No Sir we cant, that's outside my scope." Pay the other side of the company who can do it, when whats funny is they send you back to AT&T if its ANYTHING else other than port 25 saying "sounds like a service issue" LOL... So they are "Advanced Support" but have to say I need to call AT&T. guess that confirms they are not really AT&T, just as TOS say its subcontracted and affiliated companies... Yet AT&T claims it is them.. My butt it is... Its a company you get a cut from for people using and an easy skate goat...

 

What happened to companies that care for customers? I understand not going way outside your scope like helping with a virus or something but even IF I wanted help using port 25 they should do it, a mom and pop shop will do anything for its customer, a big greedy company looks for more ways to make money and while doing so does not even help with what they should.

 

I cant wait till comcast is done here, screw it even with 250GB cap, I rather pay for 2 accounts or a business account at 2x the cost than pay a company who cares jack for its customers.

Message 40 of 67 (3,818 Views)
Teacher

Re: SMTP outbound blocked becas

Maybe mine was easy because I already have the fixed IP package??  I just called in and asked for tier 2 support to have port 25 unblocked.  "Will you hold sir while I check on that?"... 2 minutes later it was done.  No charge or even an attempt to charge me.  What was only 2 weeks ago.

Message 41 of 67 (4,160 Views)
Expert

Re: SMTP outbound blocked becas

I'm not doubting you, Big-B.

 

Anyone else here who had luck getting Port 25 opened in the past few weeks, with no fuss?

Message 42 of 67 (4,148 Views)

Re: SMTP outbound blocked becas

[ Edited ]

Wish it were good news, but...earlier today I:

 

1.) Called CS, wound up with clueless tech who only wanted to discuss setting up my email client (NOT the problem).  When I heard her start hemming and hawing when I said I use a Macintosh computer (many low level techs will immediately insist things won't work on Mac when they're simply too lazy or uninformed to gather the correct information), I asked to be transferred to higher-level support.  She sent me to Connect Tech, which asked for its $29.99.  The justification is that I'm using a "third party client" and not AT&T Webmail, which is the only email option AT&T is prepared to support.  I literally laughed before I more or less hung up on them (not rudely, but I don't see why I should pay $30 to use my work email address on DSL service I pay for).

 

2.) Tried online chat.  The tech said I had to upgrade to a business account to unblock 25 but couldn't tell me how much it would cost and said I had to call Sales.

 

Here's the backstory:  Sometime last fall (how I wish I had recorded when/who I spoke to) I called AT&T to register my two or three Yahoo/Comcast/Secureserver email addresses so I can send mail from 'em.  At that point I was told that was an option and that I needed to register said addresses to be able to use them.  I get that they need to battle spam, and can live with this as a compromise to having a blocked 25 but...only one of the three addresses (the Comcast one) will send mail.

 

I can't seem to find the proper bit of information I need to request this over again.  Guess I could call Tier 1 again, but the last tech didn't understand even what I was talking about...the web "help" pages have been redesigned and I can't find anything to do with this issue, just dum-dum information on what email is, how to press the "send" button etc.

 

Sigh.  Any info on where to go from here appreciated.  My issue is that I have to design a complicated email newsletter, with graphics and special fonts, and I simply can't do that using (anyone's) Webmail.

 

I think what I'll do is call back, record the Tier 1 agent's user name/info number or whatever and keep a paper trail so I can try every option to get hold of someone in Tier 2.  By the way, when I called I wasn't told there was a Tier 2 - was transferred directly to Connect Tech, which immediately asked for money to solve the problem.

Message 43 of 67 (4,119 Views)
Teacher

Re: SMTP outbound blocked becas

[ Edited ]

Wow, this thread blew up here recently.

 

I'm really bummed out to see all the problems people are having trying to get SMTP unblocked.  I too had no problem at all the first time, took a couple minutes.  The first person I spoke to had it done and it was immeadiate.  No sweat at all.

 

This thread I started was because there was some crazy problem where their system SHOWED that 25 was already unblocked, but it wasn't really.

 

And what's with 143 now?  Wha?  Blocking 143???  That's ridiculous, AT&T!!!  That's just standard IMAP, not specific to exchange.  They aren't trying to block IMAP now, are they?  How the heck does that help fight spam?  Stupid.

 

Man, I'm really starting to regret giving up Comcast in favor of U-verse.  My connection was faster, and way more reliable.

 

Well, only thing I could suggest is continue being persistant.  I'm very interested to know if AT&T actually did change their policy regarding unblocking port 25 on request.  I'd have to drop AT&T if they stopped letting me run my own mailserver.  That'd certainly be the straw that breaks this camel's back, considering the very unstable service I've had so far.

 

I'm just not very happy with my service.  Having another service tech come out today to try to fix my unstable internet issues, fix my non-working 2nd ipTV receiver, and replace the dead PSU battery.  I'm a bit anxious over it, because the last time a tech came out to my house, he replaced some equipment, and that's when all this mess with SMTP being blocked again all happened.

 

But no, I would NEVER speak to Connect tech and pay money to have someone give me incorrect info.

Message 44 of 67 (4,090 Views)
Teacher

Re: SMTP outbound blocked becas

Well, tech came and left.  He got my 2nd receiver working again, and showed me how my bonded pair install shouldn't be necissary.  He said he can't see why they even set me up with a bonded pair in the first place, and said the bonded pairs can be kind of flaky.

So I'm trying running with only one of the links up, and I'll see if that improves stability.

 

The important thing is that this time, my smtp outbound is still working.  Yay!  I was worried about that.

Message 45 of 67 (4,070 Views)