Changed ISP unable to send email with e-mail account of old ISP
February 7, 2013 7:35 PM   Subscribe

I have a friend who has become totally reliant on an e-mail account, which was provided by an internet service provider which she has just left to go to a new ISP. She uses Outlook 2003 as her e-mail client program. Unfortunately, she is now finding that after moving to this new ISP that although she can receive e-mails absolutely fine, she cannot send e-mails.

Her old ISP was and she has become dependent on the e-mail account provided by this ISP. However, after connecting her computer to her new ISP's intenet connection, which is BT internet; it has become apparent that her e-mail client: Outlook 2003, can receive but not send e-mails. The error message on attempting to send e-mails as shown by Outlook 2003 is:

"Send test email message: Outlook could not logon to the outgoing mail server (SMTP). The problem could be the server name, your server may require authentication, or your server may not support SSL. Verify authentication and SSL options under more settings."

I have tried changing the SMTP address in outlook 2003 with tools > email accounts > view or change e-mail accounts> change> from: to, without any change in outcome. Any suggestions as to what I should do next? Many thanks!
posted by conrad101 to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: sorry! bt internet smtp should read ""
posted by conrad101 at 7:37 PM on February 7, 2013

has she called talktalk support?
posted by empath at 7:42 PM on February 7, 2013

Also, they're not going to keep her email account active forever if she isn't paying them.
posted by empath at 7:42 PM on February 7, 2013 [4 favorites]

It's likely that the new ISP is blocking port 25 (the standard email port). Here is some more info.

Have her call her old ISP's support and find out if they support another port for sending (sually some sort of a secure or authenticated sending)
posted by pyro979 at 7:43 PM on February 7, 2013

Try as the SMTP server. It's possible that, for anti-spam purposes, the server will refuse a From: address that's not, though, or maybe more generally an address that hasn't been registered with them. I'd also not expect the talktalk address to continue working for long, so I'd take steps to get a new email account somewhere.

If that doesn't work, phone support, they'll know.
posted by Spanner Nic at 7:44 PM on February 7, 2013

Ah, it's standard practice for SMTP servers to refuse sending mail that's not coming from their network, so contacting TalkTalk will not help. As far as I know, BT does accept mail on port 25. Phone BT.
posted by Spanner Nic at 7:46 PM on February 7, 2013

If she is trying to send email on her old TalkTalk account, she will probably need to use TalkTalk's SMTP server.

I don't know anything about TalkTalk's specific setup, but I do know from mail servers, and it's likely that TalkTalk blocks unauthenticated SMTP submissions on port 25 that do not have an destination. Outgoing mail, in other words, should not go to port 25.

Outgoing mail should go to port 465 with SSL encryption or 587 with TLS encryption. A username and password will be required. TalkTalk support will provide the specific connection details (assuming, per empath, that they're still getting paid), but encrypted submission port + username + password = success for 99.99% of sanely-configured SMTP servers.

That all said. It is 2013. Nobody should be using ISP email, for exactly this sort of reason. ISPs come and go, but online identity is forever. Sign her up for a gmail account, then activate IMAP and configure Outlook.

Set her email signature for a few months to call attention to the new address and ask people to update their contact information. Change website accounts configured with the TalkTalk address to use the Gmail address instead. When emails come in on the TalkTalk account, only reply on the Gmail account (this will be easy, since replies on TalkTalk don't currently work). After three or four months, cancel the TalkTalk email. She will never have to deal with this again.
posted by zjacreman at 9:39 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

As soon as she changed ISPs TalkTalk no longer had any obligation to maintain her email account. I changed ISPs recently and my old one (NDO) warned me that access to my old email address would cease on the day of the switchover. I suspect that's what's happened here. As zjacreman has suggested, sign her up for gmail (or and run it through Outlook.
posted by essexjan at 2:04 AM on February 8, 2013

Your friend has an e-mail account with a company which she no longer pays for, and she wants to know why it doesn't work any more? Is this really the question?

I guess that there's some information missing: has she arranged for them to keep her old e-mail account, and is paying them for that - can you confirm?
posted by devnull at 2:08 AM on February 8, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for all the replies!

As far as migrating away from the e-mail account of her old ISP, I totally agree. She needs to do something about this and migrate away from this account or carry on paying them - Gmail would be my choice as well - but in the immediate term, there is nothing much that can be done to fix that.

As others have pointed out, I does seem like some anti-spam thing. An outgoing message for one ISP's e-mail account, originating from a different ISP network. I will contact's customer support first. As others have pointed out, hopefully, by changing port numbers and changing a few encryption options on Outlook 2003 - this will do the trick.

posted by conrad101 at 3:07 AM on February 8, 2013

Best answer: Switching away from an ISP pretty much always means switching away from that ISP's email service. Since she's already experiencing the pain of that cutover, now is the right time to make sure she switches to a free public mail service like Gmail or a paid one like instead of starting to use her new btinternet address. That way, she won't suffer a similar disruption next time she switches ISPs.

If I were you, I'd do the following:

1. Set her up with a Gmail address.

2. Set her new Gmail account up to pull mails from her existing talktalk inbox via POP3. Turn on the setting that makes Gmail automatically apply a new label, "talktalk", to anything pulled from talktalk via POP3, and archive it (skip the inbox). That way, anything that people send her at her old address will end up in its own folder in her new mailbox, making it very easy to see who is still using the old address. This will keep working for as long as talktalk keeps the old address alive, so there's no downside compared to having her Outlook connect directly to talktalk.

3. Set her new Gmail account up to be able to send mails as her old talktalk address (this is easy once you've set up the POP3 thing; it just requires clicking on a link in a confirmation mail sent to the talktalk address).

4. Set Outlook up to talk to her new Gmail account via IMAP. Have it send outgoing mails via Gmail's secure SMTP server; don't bother fooling about with talktalk SMTP. Yes, you probably would be able to make that work via port 465 or 587, but there's really no point given that the Gmail one will work equally well and it's the one you're going to keep.

The end result is that she will still be using a familiar email client, her workflow for sending mails will be unchanged, she will be able to receive mails on both her new Gmail address and the old one (for as long as the old one stays alive anyway) and her contacts will have as much time as possible to start using her new address before talktalk goes byebye.

I'd do all of the above as well as making whatever business arrangement needs to be made with talktalk in order to keep her talktalk address alive, assuming that's feasible. She can then stop paying for her talktalk service when no mails have turned up in her new account's talktalk folder for a couple of months.

Incidentally, zjacreman's explanation of why you're seeing what you're seeing is right on the money.
posted by flabdablet at 3:23 AM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

One last thought: her new btinternet service will presumably come with its own btinternet email address, and although she should mostly just ignore that, it does have one legitimate use: as the backup/recovery address for her new Gmail account.

Btinternet may also want to use it themselves to send bills and whatnot, but she should be able to log onto her customer page there and redirect all that stuff to her Gmail address. Having done that, don't hook the btinternet mailbox up to Gmail via POP3 - if the only thing you're using it for is recovering access to a busted Gmail account, it would be sad to have that busted and therefore inaccessible Gmail account slurping up all its mails. Don't connect it to Outlook either. Since the only thing that should ever turn up in the btinternet mailbox is password recovery mails from Gmail, btinternet's own webmail should be quite sufficient.

Having made those choices, the only mail-related jobs you'd need to do on an ISP switch are logging in to Gmail on the web and updating its recovery email address setting, then logging onto the ISP customer page and making sure their billing stuff goes to the Gmail address. Easy peasy.
posted by flabdablet at 3:48 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have tried changing the SMTP address from: to, without any change in outcome.

Generally, I would expect this to work, assuming you have the right SMTP address for the new ISP. The SMTP server might require username/password validation, though, and I suspect this may be where your friend is getting tripped up since the account has been cancelled.

I have something similar set up for my mother. She switched away from an ISP but really wanted to keep the address, and they let her do so for $25 a year. (Yes, there are other options, but this is what she wanted.) I have her account set up so it looks like it sends from her old address, but it goes through the SMTP of the new ISP. Works like a charm.

If your friend must have this address, why not talk to the old ISP about paying for it?
posted by Georgina at 4:24 AM on February 8, 2013

Since the only thing that should ever turn up in the btinternet mailbox is password recovery mails from Gmail, btinternet's own webmail should be quite sufficient.

Yes, exactly. Or set up a second identity on Outlook, or use Thunderbird.

But the explanations above are exactly right. ISPs (should) only allow mail to be sent from inside their network. (Kind of like how you should only be able to log in to your router's admin page from inside you own network, or should only be able to make outgoing calls from telephones plugged in at your house.)

Using the new ISP's smtp server will sort of work, but you have to make sure the from and reply-to addresses are set up correctly. Also, if a recipient looks at the headers, they may be able to see the new ISP's email address in the headers and this might look like spam to some spam filters. Because email coming from one domain, but acting like it is coming from another one is a big time spam indicator.

So yeah, step one is to arrange with the old ISP to find out what their transition policy is. A lot of ISPs will forward mail for a while, or allow you to set up a bounce message.

I did maintain a $4 a month dialup account with at&t forever so I could keep my easy to remember email address. And accessing it was how zjacreman detailed.
posted by gjc at 4:34 AM on February 8, 2013

Yes, exactly. Or set up a second identity on Outlook, or use Thunderbird.

Those last two options involve work that would need to be undone or modified after every ISP switch. Given that every ISP that provides email also provides some form of webmail, and given the likely rarity of needing to use password recovery, I can't see how setting up local clients just for that is worth the trouble.
posted by flabdablet at 2:43 AM on February 9, 2013

Response by poster: Just the wrong ports set up ... thanks to everyone who posted!
posted by conrad101 at 9:11 AM on February 27, 2013

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