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Aspiring Expert
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Message 1 of 20

BT Yahoo! E-Mail: Spam Filters Being Over-Zealous

I am finding that BT Yahoo! Mail is repeatedly incorrectly classifying e-mail as spam, and since I download e-mail to a client using POP3 rather than access the rubbish web interface that has obviously been designed exclusively for children and teenagers this means that I frequently fail to receive e-mail.

I have repeatedly signalled that e-mails incorrectly classified as spam are not spam, but still the useless and idiotic BT Yahoo! Mail continues to classify future e-mails from the affected source addresses as spam.

One affected source address is the gmail address of a friend, and there is no hint as to why this is supposedly such a threat. Another sorce address is that of a daily e-mail from that well-known online criminal enterprise Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Someone at BT needs to get a grip. Those words have however been uttered on previous occasions to no avail.

Oh, and any reply should not include the words 'E-Mail is a value added service'. Why? Because this oft-repeated fig leaf of a phrase is manifestly ridiculous. The fact that I have an @btinternet.com address suggests that e-mail is integral to BT's service offering, but also even if the service was value-added this is no excuse for it being so poor.

In the good old days, two or three years ago, it was possible to disable the spam filters altogether but this facility was dropped (and in fact without any users being told that their settings no longer had any effect). I suppose these days the same server is used to filter spam and read one's e-mail in order to target advertising, and so users are forced to accept the rubbish spam filter being on, but this is indicative of the contempt in which users/customers are held.

What a company!

 

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 20

Re: BT Yahoo! E-Mail: Spam Filters Being Over-Zealous

What you will find, is if you use IMAP instead of POP3, you will see all of the folders, including the spam folder, and can take action to move them back to the inbox.

That saves the hassle of checking on webmail.

 

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Aspiring Expert
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Message 3 of 20

Re: BT Yahoo! E-Mail: Spam Filters Being Over-Zealous

Thanks for replying Keith, but really what you've written isn't very helpful.

IMAP is fine on a mobile device but no good at all on one's principal machine, on which I and I would imagine most people would wish to store their e-mail for a prolonged period.

You don't need me to tell you that IMAP mirrors locally the folders on the server and hence unless one deletes or moves to other folders the contents of one's Inbox periodically its size will grow ad infinitum. In contrast e-mail downloaded via POP3 stays where it is placed when it arrives, and is deleted from the server, albeit not immediately. I don't know whether only changes are reflected during IMAP synchronisation, but if this is not so then the amount of data exchanged during the synchronisation process would also grow, and it would take too long.

In principal I could use my phone, which does use IMAP,  to check for e-mail incorrectly classified as spam, but I use several accounts and on my version of Android one can only view the spam folder on a per-acount basis, whereas one can view the combined contents of all accounts' Inboxes. This makes the task of checking tedious and time-consuming, and I should not have to do it simply because the e-mail provider can't manage trivial aspects of spam filtering.

Since users have been denied the freedom to turn off spam filtering and thenceforth to use their own judgement in deciding whether, for example, an e-mail from some supposedly large-breasted woman in Colombia really is the start of a romance, perhaps BT Yahoo! could reconfigure their e-mail servers to download absolutely every e-mail to the Spam folders, whence users can manually select what isn't spam and move it to their Inbox. That way nothing would be lost.

Do you work for BT? If so then you've made a reasonable, though unsatisfactory attempt to excuse the poor service provided by a supplier, over which BT clearly has zero control. I would however suggest that outsourcing in this case hasn't worked for the benefit of BT's customers.

By the way, what has happened to the once much-vaunted BT Mail migration project? In fact that's a rhetorical question though, because I heard that this failed and was abandoned. Ought there however to be a successor project initiated?

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 4 of 20

Re: BT Yahoo! E-Mail: Spam Filters Being Over-Zealous

@FrustratedCustomer68

This is only a customer to customer forum, and I do not work for BT.

I use the email program Thunderbird on my computer, to fetch mail from multiple accounts. Its trivial to simply drag and drop email from one folder to another, and even setup filters to do that for me.

I have multiple folders which I put mail into, and very rarely leave mail in the inbox.

I mostly use Gmail, but I do fetch mail from the single BT Internet account that I use. I also just use Gmail on my phone.

Issues with BT Yahoo mail have always been there, and I cannot see that improving. If you are not happy with this, then use one of the free e-mail services like Gmail.

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Aspiring Expert
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Message 5 of 20

Re: BT Yahoo! E-Mail: Spam Filters Being Over-Zealous

Apologies for suggesting that you might work for BT, but I had wondered if you were a moderator.

What I don't get is that while issues with Yahoo! Mail have always been there, the means by which users could implement a workaround for this particular issue, viz. the option to turn off the spam filter altogether, was, a few years ago, removed. This was hardly progress, and as a major customer of Yahoo!, BT ought to have been able to influence their foolish thinking  and prevent this.

If however we accept that for some reason, perhaps not unconnected with their own corporate interests, Yahoo! simply won't allow disabling of the spam filter, the latter should at least respond to a customer indicating that an e-mail has been wrongly classified. One should not have to continue doing this for the same source e-mail address ad infinitum. Again, BT ought to be able to influence Yahoo! to ensure this functionality works. The fact that @btinternet.com e-mail addresses are involved must surely expose the BT brand to negative publicity.

Yes, I could change to an alternative e-mail service provider - though it wouldn't be GMail - but I have had my @btinternet.com e-mail address for 13 years and to do so would involve a lot of effort. Indeed the effort would be so great that I have decided that were I to be forced down this route I would on principle cease being a BT customer altogether. BT Yahoo! e-mail used to work, and I cannot see what in the environment has changed to excuse its failing to do so to the same standard now.

No doubt I could adopt IMAP on my e-mail client and change the way I work but I shouldn't have to. And there is an irony contained in this approach anyway: surely the whole point of a spam filter is to hide spam from users, and if one has to use IMAP in order to have convenient local sight of the spam folder one obviously has to look at the spam folder and hence see the real spam in order to identify that which has been wrongly classified!

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Aspiring Contributor
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Message 6 of 20

Re: BT Yahoo! E-Mail: Spam Filters Being Over-Zealous

Re: problems with BT mail spam and forwarding

OK Everyone, here is the real story.  BT is transferring everyone to their new BTmail from BT Yahoo.  Some idiot decided to add automatic SPAM filtering to their new software - BUT THERE IS NO SWITCH IN SETTINGS TO TURN OFF ALL SPAM FILTERING. BT YAHOO didn't do this.

What is as bad is that their SPAM filter is just based on whatever organisation may send out marketing data to a list of their customers.  This means that your genuine emails sent to your inbox go straight into a SPAM folder - Include HMRC, NORTON Symantec, and probably many organisations where you have genuine accounts.  Their attempt at a fix is to say that you can turn off SPAM filtering for any specific email host.  The problem is that you don't know who their are going to decide is SPAM next week.  I had a security code sent just to me by a government department with an unlock code, - and BT put it into SPAM despite it being sent just to me!

So in fact BT has no right to divert any communication sent to you by their as SPAM without your agreement UP FRONT. They should have made it where you can flag any organisation as SPAM and you then have their email communications automatically put into SPAM.

I have raised a complaint for escalation, and I suggest that more people need to complain as well.  They need a software solution. 

BTW POP3 users will only receive messages from their inbox and loose everything that BT has decided is SPAM so they need to check on the webmail page to see what has been put into SPAM. 

I also have a workaround solution, but I'm not making it public, because BT needs to fix it properly. 

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Distinguished Guru
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Message 7 of 20

Re: BT Yahoo! E-Mail: Spam Filters Being Over-Zealous


@faultyemailSPAMfiltewrote:

Re: problems with BT mail spam and forwarding

OK Everyone, here is the real story.  BT is transferring everyone to their new BTmail from BT Yahoo. 

The above sentence is false. BT stopped migration to BTMail in Sep 2014. It will not restart.

....

I also have a workaround solution, but I'm not making it public, because BT needs to fix it properly. 

The workaround is to use the correct method of access - IMAP. The main workaround is not to use BTinternet for email and use something else. However, checking in the relevant spam folder is still required for most services


 

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Aspiring Contributor
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Message 8 of 20

Re: BT Yahoo! E-Mail: Spam Filters Being Over-Zealous

Sorry to point out that you are missing the point - their faulty SPAM filter works on BT Webmail so it doesn't matter if you use IMAP, Webmail, or POP3 it is still wrong of BT to divert genuine emails from customers without their permission.  They need to change the software to add in a switch that stops SPAM filtering, especially for POP3 accounts. Customers should be the ones who designate what is SPAM for them. 

Actually there is a workaround that stops it, even for POP3, but I'm not making it public because BT needs to fix it. 

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Distinguished Guru
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Message 9 of 20

Re: BT Yahoo! E-Mail: Spam Filters Being Over-Zealous

I'm not missing any point.

BT don't say that their service is available 100% of the time, or fault free. They can actually also put emails into the spam folder the system thinks are spam or dodgy. It's not going to be 100% accurate.

I agree that end users should have the ability to turn off filtering (if it's not available) - it certainly used to have that option - and indeed choose what to prefix emails that were nominated as spam but sent to the Inbox.

However, BT do have the right to administer their email platform as they see fit.

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Aspiring Contributor
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Message 10 of 20

Re: BT Yahoo! E-Mail: Spam Filters Being Over-Zealous

Andy

BT may have the right to administer their email platform as they see fit, BUT NO RIGHT TO DIVERT GENUINE COMMUNICATIONS FROM SENDERS LIKE HMRC INTO SPAM WITHOUT THE CUSTOMER'S PERMISSION. They even diverted emails with security access codes from HMRC - the government. 

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