Verizon Changes Email Service

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 email account. I used that email address ( 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 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 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.

Your chat ID number is 11261641250.

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 outgoing email server. Please fix! Thx… H

A Verizon Service Representative will be with you shortly. Thank you.

Agent N has joined. (18:29:32)

N : Chat ID for this session is 11261641250. (18:29:32)

Niranjan(18:29:42): Thank you for contacting FIOS repair support. My name is Niranjan. May I confirm your telephone number as 804*******?

Harry (18:29:49): yes

N(18:30:14): Thanks a lot.

N(18:30:19): Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you. But not to worry, I will definitely help you today.
N(18:30:19): In case we need to follow up with you, may I have a preferred call back number?

Harry (18:30:29): same

Harry (18:31:16): 804-***-****

N(18:31:31): Thank you, please let me know the email address you are facing this issue?

Harry (18:31:47): *****

Harry (18:32:10): The SMTP login ID is *********

N(18:34:16): I am so sorry to say that Effective November 15, 2016, the ability to change the “From” address or the ability to use a non-local “From” address on outgoing email will be removed.

Harry (18:34:44): It’s not non-local, it’s mine.

N(18:34:50): This also affects the your ability to use the Verizon outgoing server to send e-mail from a third-party e-mail address. You should use the server settings provided by the e-mail provider that is:

Harry (18:34:56): Same one I’ve been using for 20 years.

Niranjan(18:35:11): ***** is not a Verizon user ID

Harry (18:35:14): I AM the email provider. The network is VERIZON FIOS

N(18:35:35): So you may have to use the server settings provided by the e-mail provider that is: *****

Harry (18:35:39): I know, it’s my email address. One that I’ve been sending email from for 20 years, and for 7 years on verizon.

Harry (18:35:56): MY email provider is ME. It’s on the FIOS network.

N(18:36:07): I can help you with the: ********

Harry (18:36:11): How do I send out email from here?

Harry (18:36:34): I can’t send email with ********* either.
Harry (18:36:51): WHAT CHANGED!?!?! PLEASE FIX IT!!!!

N(18:37:16): I can help you to send and receive emails with the email: ********

Harry (18:37:30): You can’t just disable services unilaterally!

Harry (18:37:38): WHY?
Harry (18:37:52): How much is my discount for a disabled Internet service?
Harry (18:38:21): It will cost me. This will cost me money. I want a discount. You’re changing the deail.

N(18:39:26): I suggest you to check with the billing team, I will connect you to them right away.

This session is being transferred. (18:39:36)

This session is transferred to G. (18:39:41)

Agent G has joined. (18:39:41)

H(18:39:51): Thanks for using Live Chat Support. You have reached the FIOS Technical Support Department.

H(18:39:57): I can see the notes from the previous chat, give me one moment to review the information.

Harry (18:42:23): ok

G(18:47:44): I am not sure why you were sent to me. I am not in billing and sales. I am in tech support.

Harry (18:48:00): Can you fix my email?

Harry (18:48:30): That’s why I’m here. It seems I can no longer send email, and N indicated it was somehow intentional.

G(18:49:51): Yes on November 15 Verizon disabled the ability to use our outgoing email server to send emails on a non-Verizon email.

Harry (18:51:09): Why? Don’t do that. I’m still paying the same bill for less services. So I’m required to act as a free advertisement for Verizon by only using email address, which I will lose when I move?

G(18:52:35): I cannot tell you the why, it was just emailed to us last week as a service bulletin. I don’t have any control on what our email team does.

Harry (18:53:04): Can I talk to them? What solution is there?

Harry (18:53:36): “The agreement has been altered. Pray I don’t alter it further”?

G(18:54:46): The email team is an offline non customer facing department unfortunately.

Harry (18:56:42): So I’m just SOL? I will need a discount. This is going to cost me $$

G(18:59:43): Unfortunately no part of your bill has charges for use of Verizon email since its complimentary. Because of this there is no way of providing a discount. To further discuss billing related inquiries please contact the billing department at 1-800-837-4966.

Your session is now closed.

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