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vofsanity2
Recognised Expert
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Message 41 of 58

Re: Impossible to Manage Mail Options in Yahoo! Mail; Unwarranted [Bulk] Strings Prepended to Subjec


@FrustratedCustomer68 wrote:

The e-mail tech people tried to reach me yesterday but unfortunately I couldn't answer as I was driving.

 

Anyway, in case it helps, I had a look at the headers of one or two of the emails wrongly classified as [Bulk]. Obviously there's a lot of information in there, but in the case of one such e-mail, these two items - though not adjacent - stood out as apparently relevant:

 

X-YahooFilteredBulk: 65.20.0.226

X-Junkmail-Premium-Raw: score=8/50

 

The first item rather nails the suggestion that my mail client is implicated, though to reiterate, I wouldn't be concerned if my opting via a Mail Option on the server to have "Spam" delivered with no marking was being obeyed.

 

The second item, at least to a layman, suggests that the spam filters are up the creek, since surely a score of 8/50 would not merit (mis-)identification as spam, either true spam or supposed Bulk.

 

The only odd [sic] feaure of this e-mail was as follows. I had the temerity to initiate an exchange by sending an e-mail to two recipients, both users of btinternet. On downloading at their end a [Bulk] was apparently prepended to the subject. One of the recipients then replied to me, CCing the other. On downloading this reply via POP at my end I then saw two [Bulk] strings in the subject (i.e. [Bulk] Re: [Bulk] <The Subject>), despite having configured POP not to mark Spam.

 

Sorry if I'm using e-mail in a way that Yahoo doesn't like or didn't expect. Were  I a child I'd no doubt have used Messenger instead but I'm not.

 

 


In Outlook 2007, under Options you have the following :

 

JunkEmail.JPG

 

 

Other versions of Outlook have probably got similar facilities.

 

Note that [Bulk] and [Spam] are not the same thing as far as Yahoo is concerned.

 

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 42 of 58

Re: Impossible to Manage Mail Options in Yahoo! Mail; Unwarranted [Bulk] Strings Prepended to Subjec


@vofsanity2 wrote:

 

Note that [Bulk] and [Spam] are not the same thing as far as Yahoo is concerned.

 


Yes they are, what was previously annotated [Bulk] is now annotated [Spam]

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FrustratedCustomer68
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Message 43 of 58

Re: Impossible to Manage Mail Options in Yahoo! Mail; Unwarranted [Bulk] Strings Prepended to Subjec

Thanks for the further replies.

 

I'm using Outlook 2003 (yes, I know I shouldn't be). I've checked Actions/Junk E-Mail/Junk E-Mail Options and I'm using No Automatic Filtering. Blocked Senders' e-mail would be moved to the Junk folder but I only have three of these, and in any case the numerous e-mails erroneously labelled with [Bulk] do appear in my Outlook Inbox rather than in Junk E-Mail.

 

It's interesting that Bulk and Spam may not be distinguished by Yahoo since conventional wisdom is that these are different forms of Spam. This failure to distinguish is however somewhat comforting because when I configured the mail options for POP I opted for 'Download spam with no special indicators'. There was no option to do the same thing with Bulk and so one would naturally be concerned that [Bulk] wasn't configurable.

 

Anyway I did speak today to a member of the e-mail team. The circumstances were not ideal - unfortunately I was away from home when contacted and hence unable to log in to my machine - so they have said that they will ring back tomorrow to discuss further. My overall impression was however that I am unlikely to be helped much because of the following:

 

1. The person ringing knew nothing at all of the problems that I, and I believe many other people, have been having. He had not read the forum posts and did not have access to them.

 

2. I explained the problem - or rather the twin problems of false positives, and the apparent inability to use the offered GUI functionality on the server to turn off markings - as best I could, but he took a while to grasp even the basic details of what I was saying. He suggested at one point that I was attempting to send bulk e-mail and couldn't, which is wholly wrong.

 

3. The moment I mentioned Outlook he told me that Outlook wasn't supported and that BT would not be able to help. At this point I rather angrily pointed out that Yahoo's implementation of the POP protocol may be at fault and their end of this would surely be supported even if quite reasonably my end isn't. He retorted that Outlook has many hidden settings that might be responsible but did not elaborate. I said that I could see the Yahoo strings mentioned in my last post in the message headers, but the person ringing me seemed to take heart when I said that I was viewing these in Outlook because  . . .  they don't support it! He also seemed triumphal when I answered 'no' to the question 'is [Bulk] appearing in the subject of e-mails placed in the Spam folder on the server?', which suggested that he had missed the point.

 

4. The person said that I could take screen shots to illustrate the problem and forward them to an e-mail address that he would tell me. I was standing in the cold without a pen and paper so asked if the e-mail address could be e-mailed to my account and/or texted to me, but apparently it can only be given verbally. It was this that led to the promise of a call tomorrow.

 

5. The person said that when he calls tomorrow he can take charge of my PC and make sure that my settings - presumably on the server - are correct. I told him that I would not be willing to permit this, but was assured that all would be well because the mechanism used involves secure socket layer. Having thought about this further I have however decided that I will indeed not allow someone to remotely access my machine.

 

Anyway, I'll see what happens though and report back.

 

I still think it unlikely that there is a problem at my end, but I have to admit something, which is that I just located a <name removed> Spam Filter as a COM add-in in Outlook, with a tick against it. I have now removed it, and in any case I'd turned off <name removed> spam filter in the <name removed> application, but I wonder  . . . That said, this problem only started three months or so ago and I only used the <name removed> spam filter for a few weeks several years ago before deciding that it wasn't any good. The fundamental problem is Yahoo's spam filters issuing false positives.

 

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Distinguished Sage
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Message 44 of 58

Re: Impossible to Manage Mail Options in Yahoo! Mail; Unwarranted [Bulk] Strings Prepended to Subjec

A few points. The fundamental problem is the BTYAHOO mail system mis categorisation of mails as spam. The prepended [bulk] or [spam] is just a means of informing POP users that it has been categorised as such and is added by the mail server. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Outlook, any mail client would be the same. At some point fairly recently the facility to mark mails was withdrawn, I did post on the forum but can't be bothered to search for my post. Subsequently, the facility was reinstated, I suspect it is as a result of the changes that the facility is not working properly. All that said, I'm not entirely sure why you are so concerned about it. As far as I'm concerned it's just a minor irritation, I would much rather false positives are delivered to my inbox than just silently discarded or sent to the spam folder. Until Btyahoo sort out their spam filtering the problem will remain
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Distinguished Sage
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Message 45 of 58

Re: Impossible to Manage Mail Options in Yahoo! Mail; Unwarranted [Bulk] Strings Prepended to Subjec

Forum playing up this morning, not able to edit post. Found post about removing facility. https://community.bt.com/t5/Email/BTYahoo-POP-and-Forwarding/m-p/1670896/highlight/true#M47137 The whole point of the facility was just to add a string to allow clients to set filters against if required.
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FrustratedCustomer68
Aspiring Expert
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Message 46 of 58

Re: Impossible to Manage Mail Options in Yahoo! Mail; Unwarranted [Bulk] Strings Prepended to Subjec

Thanks for responding.

 

I agree that the fundamental problem is the BT Yahoo mail system mis-categorising e-mails as spam.

 

I also agree about what you've written concerning the function of the prepended [bulk] or [spam], though while these are almost certainly added by the server, I suspect that they may also be added by some mail clients under some circumstances. The person from the mail team to whom I spoke appeared certain that my mail client was responsible, and while I am still very doubtful, a bit of research online (re Thunderbird, in fact) suggests that his view can't be dismissed. I didn't like his general attitude but I have to be fair to him and go with what few facts can be elicited beyond doubt.

 

I'm concerned about false positives because e-mails so marked get shoved in the account's Spam folder. This means that they aren't easily seen if using IMAP, or by a POP user unfamiliar with the option to download them to the Inbox, and there is also a risk of them being lost if one were to delay downloading for while.

 

The markings themselves become problematic when conversing with other people similarly affected because a new [Bulk] string is inserted each time an e-mail is received, and this is preserved when that is replied to. The only solution is manual editing which is time consuming. I do wonder however if one could write a VB script to fix the problem (if using Outlook).

 

The bigger grumble is that Yahoo! purport to give one the ability to turn off the markings, but this appears not to work. It is unacceptable that the front end isn't connected to the back end. People waste time and effort attempting to configure options that don't work and this is immensely frustrating.

 

I was interested to read your post about the withdrawal of the facility to mark/unmark mails, and the fact that the facility was then reinstated. What happened was appalling, and I can only assume that it is related to the data breach(es). Perhaps Yahoo! feel it necessary to work on the assumption that everyone's a spammer because everyone's been hacked.

 

And I also agree with the sentiment of your other post that BT Yahoo! need to get a grip generally.

 

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FrustratedCustomer68
Aspiring Expert
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Message 47 of 58

Re: Impossible to Manage Mail Options in Yahoo! Mail; Unwarranted [Bulk] Strings Prepended to Subjec

I think I've proved that it isn't my mail client that is prepending [Bulk].

 

This morning I sent a test e-mail with the subject 'A Test Mail' to two btinternet users asking them to reply, telling me if there had been a [Bulk] in the Subject when they received it (via POP to a client). Each kindly did so, and I was able to see from my phone, which uses IMAP, that the response from one recipient went into my Spam folder, while that from the other went into my Inbox.

 

I then logged on to the PC and downloaded to Outlook using POP.

 

The e-mail reply that had gone into my Inbox did not have a new [Bulk] added on this occasion, and the Subject was RE: [Bulk] A Test E-Mail'.

 

The e-mail reply that had gone into my Spam folder did however have a new [Bulk] added on this occasion, and the Subject was '[Bulk] RE: [Bulk] A Test E-Mail'.

 

My conclusion is that the licquorice was right in saying that it is the Yahoo server that adds [Bulk] when it has identified an e-mail as Spam (whether or not it truly is), and not the client. It is certainly the case that removing the COM add-in from my Outlook instance has not changed the way in which e-mail downloaded from the Spam folder is presented, and this makes it more likely that the server is at fault.

 

In both cases the headers show X-Junkmail-Premium-Raw: score=7/50, but only in the case of the e-mail mis-classified as Spam was there also the "X-YahooFilteredBulk: 65.20.0.124" string in the header.

Anyway, we'll see what the person from the mail team says when we speak, but I now more convinced than ever that the mail team need some training.

 

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vofsanity2
Recognised Expert
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Message 48 of 58

Re: Impossible to Manage Mail Options in Yahoo! Mail; Unwarranted [Bulk] Strings Prepended to Subjec


@FrustratedCustomer68 wrote:

 

My conclusion is that the licquorice was right in saying that it is the Yahoo server that adds [Bulk] when it has identified an e-mail as Spam (whether or not it truly is), and not the client. It is certainly the case that removing the COM add-in from my Outlook instance has not changed the way in which e-mail downloaded from the Spam folder is presented, and this makes it more likely that the server is at fault.

 

In both cases the headers show X-Junkmail-Premium-Raw: score=7/50, but only in the case of the e-mail mis-classified as Spam was there also the "X-YahooFilteredBulk: 65.20.0.124" string in the header.

Anyway, we'll see what the person from the mail team says when we speak, but I now more convinced than ever that the mail team need some training.

 


Emails get [Bulk] added when "X-YahooFilteredBulk: ww:xx:yy:zz" is added to the header not when the email is classified as Spam. Most [Bulk] emails are classified as Spam but not all the time.  You can also get emails classified as spam when they are not identified as Bulk

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FrustratedCustomer68
Aspiring Expert
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Message 49 of 58

Re: Impossible to Manage Mail Options in Yahoo! Mail; Unwarranted [Bulk] Strings Prepended to Subjec

Thanks - that's interesting, though it appears to contradict what licquorice observed about there being no distinction between Bulk and Spam on the Yahoo platform.

 

I have yet to see an e-mail with [Spam] prepended to the subject, in the way that [Bulk] all too often is. Given this, and the fact that a literal reading of the available POP configuration options under Mail Basic is that one can only turn off [Spam], I wonder if the option of turning [Bulk] off is in fact unavailable, and we're in a like it or lump it situation, with no way of turning off [Bulk]. Hitherto I've been proceeding on the assumption that 'without marking' meant exactly that, but I may have been wrong. It would be nice to think that the mail team could hold their own in a discussion about this, but while I may yet be surprised, I have to say that at the moment I'm doubtful.

 

 

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Distinguished Sage
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Message 50 of 58

Re: Impossible to Manage Mail Options in Yahoo! Mail; Unwarranted [Bulk] Strings Prepended to Subjec

The spam/bulk string change is just a cosmetic thing. In the past it was 'Bulk' which I suspect was changed to 'Spam' to make it more obvious and possibly to allow less configurable email clients to filter on 'Spam' in the subject line where they might not be able to be configured to filter on 'Bulk'. The change is fact, the reason supposition. I think you are correct in your assumption that those of us that have configured the option as 'Bulk', no longer have the option to remove it or change it. That was the purpose of my post https://community.bt.com/t5/Email/BTYahoo-POP-and-Forwarding/m-p/1670896/highlight/true#M47137 when the facility was withdrawn completely.

 

I have now changed my settings to download with nothing appended, I will report in due course what, if any, effect that has had.

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