Using Earthlink for SMTP

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Microsoft Exchange
Hi all - I'm at my wits end here. For over 1 month we have had an intermittent issue receiving EarthLink mail (only EarthLink). Our current set up is to use the smtpauth.earthlink.net for the outgoing mail on our traveling exec's laptops; we use our domain for the incoming. So let's get some history, about 3 months ago we upgraded our Exchange server's hardware - worked great. After about 3 weeks, we started noticing that email from the EarthLink accounts were taking 15-30 minutes to be delivered, that seemed to fix itself (I could only see that it appeared our secondary mail record was primary for EarthLink and nobody else) Things stabilized and then all the sudden in early October, we just stopped getting mail from the EarthLink account. Noticed because the COO sent a message to a staff member, then called the person and they never got it. He never received a bounce and it never hit the Exchange server. After monitoring the problem, checking with our consultant that upgraded the Exchange server and verifying all of our DNS records, I found that the problem was intermittent - some messages would get through and others wouldn't. We even had 1 message that was sent to 2 people here - 1 received it, the other did not. So I called EarthLink - got the standard ok so there's a problem we'll get it fixed in 48 hours and contact you. To make a long story a little shorter - they never did, and after yet another 3 hour stint on the phones with them, talking to 9 different people, (one of which actually saw the problem and added it to the ticket) 4 different departments I'm back to the wait for 48 hours we'll be in touch. Keep in mind this is over 4 weeks later. So I?m hoping that somebody out there has an idea on why this wouldn't be working and how to maybe fix it? I have tested with AT&T global and Gmail and both work without fail. Very frustrating Lirria
ASKED: October 18, 2006  4:52 PM
UPDATED: October 19, 2006  10:39 AM

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You have my deepest sympathies, and no envy whatsoever. Been there – still doing that. Seriously though.

Pardon me if I make some assumptions here about what you’ve done and not done – it makes the overall methodology go more smoothly.

First of, take names, numbers, times, dates and so forth.

For every single person you talk with, get their name (or as much as they’ll give up), and their geographical location (which Earthlink office), and make a point of telling them that you’ve been getting very frustrated by your inability to get a solution to the problem.

Just the simple act of taking names, locations and such, and making a point of it emphasizes the importance of this problem to the person at the other end of the phone. There are proactive, responsible and responsive people at Earthlink (and every other place) – I’ve spoken with them and gotten results -but it wasn’t always easy to find such a person.

Second – if you feel as though you are not getting results from any particular person, ask to speak with their supervisor – again – taking notes on names, locations, organizational position, etc. And make sure they know this as well.

Third – Do this along with the first two – GET A TICKET NUMBER, and make sure that every person you talk to is referencing that ticket number, and has logged the fact in that ticket that they have tried (and failed) to help you. Bring this up with every supervisor you speak with.

I fully understand that this all is a pain. But given the history of the problem you’ve cited, this is what it will take to get action. If – after speaking with one or two supervisors on this, ask to talk to THEIR supervisor. If they balk or refuse – note that as well.

This is what used to be called a “Pearl Harbor file” – meaning that when things went very wrong, you know how and where to place blame. But the point here is to make it clear to Earthlink management (or whomever) that YOU have exercised due diligence and you expect them to do the same.

Sad to say, but I’ve met many people whose primary objective seemed to be to make me (and my problem) go away and leave them alone.

Good luck!

Bob

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  • Lirria
    thanks Bob - that's actually what I started doing - and thanks for letting me vent. It's amazing that people are so willing to "make the problem go away" instead of fix it. I forget that some companies are going for volume not quality, it is really unfortunate. Thanks for the tips you pointed out some things I hadn't thought of. I'll keep after them. Lirria
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