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Message 1 of 39

BT tell me I must change my POP3 protocol to IMAP NOW! Why?

Most recently I've been contacted (as a result of a direct complaint to BT) by the Newcastle Complaints, ECR Adviser, BT Consumer. They say the errors I've been experiencing with BTYahoo not synchronising to my Outlook 2010 are as a result of me using POP3 protocol. They threatened that I must change to IMAP now or they cannot support me as my  ISP in the future. They previously said, I should select Chrome as my default browser, not Int Explorer 11. This made no difference to my getting my emails through, the errors still recurred. 0x80042109 & 0x80042108 + other similar errors. 

I have Win 7 on a desktop pc and have no other devices which I use to access Outlook. My understanding is that IMAP is suitable for users with more than one device. I have used POP3 for some +20 years with MS upgrades, new pc's, software updates etc as and when they became out of date. I did get persuaded by BT some years ago to move to IMAP as I was experiencing errors on verifying my password, or cannot connect to the server (which I am still receiving every few weeks). In the process I lost all my folders in Outlook, plus my archives .pst file. I was then told by BT support that it was probably better to return to POP3, but it left such a mess behind.

I am now waiting for BT to call me as they said they would to change over to IMAP.

Help please,  I'm not convinced this is going to resolve the issue and I could go through the same headache again only to find that BT don't know how to help, but want me to do something so they can close the complaint.

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Message 2 of 39

Re: BT tell me I must change my POP3 protocol to IMAP NOW! Why?

You have been told a lot of rubbish.

You can use POP or IMAP and there is no way that BT would stop being your ISP because you chose to do so.   

It is more likely that BT will not offer you any further support/help unless you do as they say and move to IMAP. That would in my opinion reinforce that the person who told you that has no idea what they are talking about. There are thousands if not hundreds or thousands of people, myself included who use POP and IMAP without any issues. 

You can use which ever browser you want. It has nothing to to do with BT.

BT webmail will work with any of the browsers and it has no impact/bearing what so ever if you are using an email client such as Outlook. Again the person who told you that you must use Chrome would appear to be an idiot and does not know what he is talking about.

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Message 3 of 39

Re: BT tell me I must change my POP3 protocol to IMAP NOW! Why?

As @gg30340  says, you have been told complete tosh. The BT servers support both POP3 and IMAP, if they didn't there would be countless complaints including from me as I also use both systems.

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Message 4 of 39

Re: BT tell me I must change my POP3 protocol to IMAP NOW! Why?

My fear was that this was probably the case here re POP3 to IMAP.

I've just completed a call in the last 5 minutes from BT ECR technical support and they have asked me to set up a new account on Outlook 2010, but change the protocol to IMAP.  He, the techie says it'll test if IMAP works ok on my setup. So I now have my email folders in Outlook using POP3 at the top of my Outlook screen and have to scroll down to a not yet mirror image of my folders at the bottom of the screen.  

I'm advised to leave this for about a week and they will call me to check on progress. ie to see if I get any of the earlier error messages or fails to send/receive from Outlook. I now have to recreate all my umpteen folders into this IMAP set up and leave the original POP3 set up as is. No need they say for archiving or a ,pst file. I am advised to tick the box 'leave a copy on the server', which had been set up on POP3 in any event, but I can't seem to do that in IMAP? 

I'm not convinced this will resolve anything, but willing to give it a try just to prove if anything that there's nothing wrong with POP3. Although BT techie told me its old technology and is being phased out. 

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Message 5 of 39

Re: BT tell me I must change my POP3 protocol to IMAP NOW! Why?

With POP3 the only folder that synchronises with the server and thus webmail, is the Inbox and that only when you tick the box 'leave a copy of the message on the server', no other folders are synchronised. Your mail is basically saved on your PC as a .PST file. With IMAP, all folders are synchronised and the mail is stored on the BT server thus there is not an option to 'leave a copy of the message on the server' as it the fundamental method of operation of IMAP.

What exactly is the problem you/they are trying to solve?

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Message 6 of 39

Re: BT tell me I must change my POP3 protocol to IMAP NOW! Why?

So is the statement from BT technical support that POP3 is old and is being phased out untrue?

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Message 7 of 39

Re: BT tell me I must change my POP3 protocol to IMAP NOW! Why?

POP3 is old, so is IMAP for that matter (the current version for both was developed at about the same time in the early nineties), but it is not being phased out.

If you let us know what your exact problem is we might be able to offer help.


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Message 8 of 39

Re: BT tell me I must change my POP3 protocol to IMAP NOW! Why?

Do you in effect have both IMAP and POP3 set up on Outlook for the same BT email account?

If you do, that is not recommended and could in its self cause you problems.

There is no reason why you can not continue to use POP3. It is not going to be phased out as a world wide protocol unless BT are going to stop it from being used on their servers and if they do that there will be a massive out cry from its customers.

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Message 9 of 39

Re: BT tell me I must change my POP3 protocol to IMAP NOW! Why?

To moderators.

Please investigate this matter and get someone to listen to the calls. The person that said this needs more training or removing from this position in the helpdesk.


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Message 10 of 39

Re: BT tell me I must change my POP3 protocol to IMAP NOW! Why?

I use the POP3 server on Outlook 2010 (which I've used for over 20 years). I also now have as of Sunday 16 June an IMAP server for the same email address on Outlook. 

The original fault/s occurred in March 2019  (although I've experienced similar faults over the years from time to time with BT servers) in that an error msg 0x00080042109 & 42108 or variations of the same gets triggered. I have a BTYahoo account were the emails land and are  pushed through to my desktop Outlook 2010, Win 7. 

I call BT whenever these types of error occur ie 'Cannot connect to the server', or 'Your password requires authentication' etc etc. Occasionally it resolves in a day, week or upto three weeks. On this latest error in March, I made a complaint and got the usual speil from BT, It's not us its them (Microsoft).  I followed up the complaint as I'd been unable to get emails for 3 weeks & they allotted me a techie from Newcastle ECR Adviser, BT Consumer. Name of Daniel Norton. He led me to believe that by only opening a new email account on an IMAP server would resolve the breaks in service I'd been experiencing with POP3. He also told me POP3 was old technology and would be phased out soon.  

Based on this I agreed to BT setting up a new email account using IMAP & monitoring it to see if this would resolve /offer a solution. Todate I have found although my emails are coming through on IMAP (so far), I cannot create new folders in Outlook in this new environment, when I name them they do not embed. I also can't drag & drop messages from my email account on POP3 to the email setup using the IMAP server. It takes soooooh long to activate any normal functions such as opening, sending or deleting messages. Yesterday it crashed with two different error messages. One from Outlook which said, 'A connection to the server cannot be established. Mail to my email address....(not shown here for security reasons), is now disconnected. Try to connect again later.  The other  was the usual Outlook send/receive progress pop up error. 'Task: Synchronising subscribed folders for  my email address reported error 0x800CCC0E. Outlook cannot synchronise subscribed folder for my email address. Error: Cannot connect to the server. If you continue to receive this message, contact your server administrator or ISP.

I'm finding this situation less than productive as the BT tech guy gave me to believe I have no other option than to accept an IMAP server and leave my POP3 setup as is for the time being.  If I understand it, BT have said they will not offer support as my ISP if I continue to use POP3 because they will no longer be using it. They have already emailed me a letter outlining there T's&C's as their big stick to wag at me.   

Could anyone advise if:

1. I can continue with POP3 on Outlook 2010 and remove this IMAP server 'idiotic state' I find myself.?

2. Is BT Yahoo being withdrawn, therefore my emails will not synchronise to my Outlook and what are the options if that is the case?

A big thank you to  anyone who has  taken time to respond so far.


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