Massive Yahoo Email Server Fail Made An Angry Thunderbird!

Yesterday morning, I got a rather nasty surprise. Early in the morning, I was happily able to send mail. Then at about 10 or so, I tried to send a reply to a message on a mailing list and got the following rather unhelpful error message.

An error occurred while sending mail. The mail server responded: Transaction failed : Cannot send message due to possible abuse; please visit http://postmaster.yahoo.com/abuse_smtp.html for more information. Please check the message and try again.

Buh? Abuse? What the hell? I’m not a spammer, nor a phishing fiend, nor anything else bad.

I went to the link, and it’s helpfully not available. All you get is the general yahoo customer service page. At least that’s all I saw.

So, I fired off a message to Steve, and one to Ro. Both went out without a hitch. I also fired off a new message to the list where I’d been told no by the server. It went, which made me think there was just something about that last message that had the server’s shorts needlessly in a twist. Then I tried to reply to the list again. Fail! Fail! Fail! Fail! said the server.

What made things extra fun was I could reply to Steve, Ro, and any listers that might write me off list. And then I discovered I couldn’t reply to mail on a Google group I’m on. But again, I could send new messages just fine. Whaaa? Buh?

Somebody thought maybe Rogers had gotten silly and had thought I was spammy until I logged into the web interface, which should reside in the ninth circle of hell by the way. So I logged in and was able to reply all I wanted. Even weirder, after I did that, I was able to send a message or 2 from Thunderbird ok. But after that, it would tell me off again.

So then I fired up Outlook Express to see if I could send from there…and discovered I could. I could send all the mail I wanted from that poor antequated old thing.

So…the problem is something with Thunderbird and Yahoo’s servers. Yes, Yahoo’s. Rogers mail is handled by Yahoo mail. Yahoo seems to like to do that with a lot of ISP’s across the globe. But so many people don’t realize that and think I’m crazy for believing that a Rogers address is actually a Yahoo address. But it is true.

So after lots of googling, I found this forum thread. Just look at all the angry Thunderbirders! Would that make them angry birds? Har har. And just look at all the horror stories of techs charging poor shmucks 50 bones to direct log into their computer, only to not be able to fix it and say they don’t support thunderbird. Total customer service fail.

Anyway, one of the forum folks discovered that somebody broke something in Yahoo land, and it suddenly didn’t like any messages sent as html from Thunderbird, but only Thunderbird. If you send as plain text, you’re good.

So, I went into tools, accounts and unchecked send as html. But that wasn’t all I had to do. I had to go into tools, options, compose, send options, and enter yahoogroups and googlegroups into the plain text domains tab. This means that whenever I send there, it will send as plain text.

And twas a miracle! All my unsent messages were sendable and I was not being all abusive and stuff!

I may not have needed to uncheck html sending on a global scale, I may have only had to put those domains in plain text, I don’t know and don’t feel like angering the dragon to find out. But I hope this post helps someone else who suddenly finds it impossible to send to mailing lists or some such.

Silly Yahoo for having a hate on for Thunderbird. I hope they fix the problem soon. Until then, though, I can reply to email again! What a beautiful thing!

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