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Tiscali users face lengthy e-mail problems
Wednesday 30 May 2007 18:02:57 by John Hunt

Tiscali have recommended that its users use a free e-mail service, in place of their own, following a weeks worth of problems with their outbound e-mail platform, and the possibility of another week until the problems are fixed.

The issues arose after an influx of spam through their mail servers that has caused Tiscali to be blacklisted as a source of spam. Many service providers subscribe to 'spam blacklists' in order to help identify where spam is originating from, and to stop it from known sources. There is always a risk that legitimate sources can be blocked, but many service providers live with this in favour of receiving less spam mail for their customers.

Large internet service providers are regularly targeted, via their customers, to send spam, but unless there was a particularly large increase in the amount of spam being relayed via Tiscali, this seems like an unlikely cause for the problem. A spokesman for Spamhaus, an operator of one such blacklist, told the BBC that they were not seeing anything to indicate a need for major blocking, and speculated that a technical failure at Tiscali could be the cause. Tiscali, however, denied any technical problems.

A statement on the Tiscali website apologises and expects work to be complete today to implement new hardware and improved spam filters to reduce the problem. However, this will not bring an instant fix as it can often take some time to get off of spam blacklists once the problem has been curbed. This is one obvious flaw in the system, as the ISP in question who sends the mail has no control over who subscribes to these blacklists where they may be listed in error.

We are currently experiencing issues with outbound emails. We have been targeted by spammers using our service, which in turn has meant other ISPs have taken measures to block mail sent by Tiscali. This is not affecting all delivery addresses. Some mail continues to be delivered as normal. However some mail is being blocked by the receiving email servers.

Our engineers are taking urgent actions to block spammers abusing our email service. New hardware is being installed and spam filters are being updated. This work will be complete today. It is likely to take 7-10 days for these changes to take effect across receiving email providers. During this period, customers will still find some sent emails delayed.

Tiscali UK Status page

Homecall, a Tiscali wholesale partner, have also been affected by the problem. We suggest who people have issues keep an eye on the Tiscali status page and sign-up for a free e-mail account such as at Google or Yahoo if you need to send e-mail in the mean time.


Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Quotes "...has caused Tiscali to be blacklisted as a source of spam..."
I can think of better reasons to blacklist them ;)
quote "...speculated that a technical failure at Tiscali could be the cause. Tiscali, however, denied any technical problems..."
Ah some things at Tiscali never change ;)

Posted by cyberdoyle over 9 years ago
my tiscali friends have been using googlemail since Christmas, they say the problem has been happening since then.
Posted by nredwood over 9 years ago
How come mail sent using webmails get through then if Tiscali email is being blocked via SORBS etc..
Posted by bvpainter over 9 years ago
Just to add insult to injury today they e-mailed me offering a faster service in December.
Posted by steveo_from_NZ over 9 years ago
" It is likely to take 7-10 days " ... based on my experience with these guys and a recent house move this traslate to about 3 months!!!!
They need to sort there systems out
as bvpainter .. they are on the drive for more customers they need to sort out the customers service side so they can handle what they have already got!!!
Posted by hoodamanny over 9 years ago
Why are you guys not with Gmail? I can't fathom a reason... Send your address book a new gmail address or if you don't want to be tied to one get your own domain name? I got mine from, you pay 7 dollars and use google apps to send and recieve email... plus you can call them anytime... Screw tiscali
Posted by liamthom over 9 years ago
This business of being blocked by other servers is a red herring. I run six web servers that don't seem to be receiving mail from Tiscali and none of them run spam filters.

They have a serious problem which is in their own system, not in other people's email servers.

hoodamanny's comment about domain names is only valid if Tiscali allow routing of mail through 3rd party SMTP hosts - I'm not sure they are that brave. If you are forced to use their own SMTP host then there is no benefit.
Posted by ETEE over 9 years ago
Interesting to note that Tiscali has now gone head to head with TalkTalk offering Line rental, free phone calls and 8Meg broadband all in for £20 pm the same as TT charges for its free BB offer. I wonder why? [smile] [grin]
Posted by BillShacklock over 9 years ago
I terminated my contract with Tiscali last week and only regret that I did not do it months ago!


Posted by fillip333 over 9 years ago
I experienced frequent failures in sending emails by tiscali for many months. Outlook Express and Thunderbird would show emails as having been sent. Only by sending a copy of the email to myself using another email address could I be sure if the email was delivered. Tiscali denied it could be a problem in their system and in the end I gave up using tiscali to send emails. Philip
Posted by NiallTheSmile over 9 years ago
I have been using Tiscali for Broadband and phonecalls for over 2 years. I have had no problems during this time, and I am not aware of any loss of email service in the past week or so. Just wanted to post a positive message for a change - too much negativity is bad for you :)
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