I had an interesting conversation with Verizon customer service today. The entire conversion is posted below (personal info redacted, including agent names – I just left an initial).
A little background. I got burned many years ago (MANY: I’m old!) when I had a comcast.net email account. I used that email address (email@example.com) for everything. When I moved to another ISP, I send a lot of folks my new email address, but inevitably, I lost a few things. I lost my Battle.net account (no big deal), and I lost access to my ICANN user name – HH92. That’s a really early ICANN ID, in case you’re not familiar with them. That was back in the day when you could get a IP address class and register a domain for free (imagine that).
So I learned my lesson from that. No more ISP-based email addresses. I registered my own domain (this very one), and set up a Linux server to handle that and a few other things.
It’s worked great for many years. I can have all the email addresses I want, help family and friends with one if they wanted, keep all my emails forever, easy backup, recovery, and encryption too. I’ve moved from ISP to ISP over that time, and it became increasingly difficult to get things set up to work correctly, as ISPs imposed more and more restrictions to help stop SPAM.
But what Verizon has now done has nothing to do with stopping SPAM. They’ve decided to block me from sending any email unless it says @verizon.net on the end. Seriously. Just check out the conversation below. As of November 15, 2016, you must be advertising with Verizon if they are your ISP and you want to send email.
“Well can’t you send your email directly” you ask? No, they blocked that capability years ago. “Can’t they just implement secure SMTP authentication” you ask? Already done, years ago.
I couldn’t help quoting Darth Vader from The Empire Strikes Back in the conversation with their Tech Support. Sorry tech support guys. I feel your pain. But you’re the face of Verizon. Apparently the email guys who decided to do this never have to face angry customers over it. But it was a little rude to hang up on me after your last comment.
Chat Subject:FiOS Internet (E-Mail)
Your Question:I am now no longer to send email. I’m getting: “550 5.7.1 From address not allowed” Every time I try to send email. I have made no recent changes on my client or email setup. The error is coming from smtp.verizon.net outgoing email server. Please fix! Thx… H
A Verizon Service Representative will be with you shortly. Thank you.
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