AT&T installed our AT&T Internet and AT&T U-verse TV but after install we could not send email. Then the AT&T Internet and TV went down two hours after install. So the next day after AT&T spent two hours trouble shooting and finally got our AT&T Internet and TV working our email still sat in the Outlook Outbox. Why?

We moved recently and had the option of either Timer Warner Cable or AT&T U-verse. One of our sons has AT&T U-verse so I decided to try it out.

It was not smooth. The order department got the directions wrong and the first tech worked for over four hours before he got us connected. Two hours later we lost service. The next afternoon another tech did trouble shooting for almost two hours and determined a transition connecter went bad and got us online.

Everything appeared to work until we attempted to send email and it errored out and sat in the Outbox. So I called AT&T Tech Support. For the first two Techs, English was not their first language and I could not understand them so I had to hang up and call back. Finally, on the third try I was connected to a Tech for which English was their first language.

At last, we are communicating. Or at least I thought we were. At this point it appeared all was good until the AT&T Tech informed me that there was a Tech charge for trouble shooting any email other than an AT&T Email Account.

So let me get this straight… I called to order AT&T U-verse and I informed them that we had home offices and used email (and since we were new customers that means we did not have AT&T Email accounts) and even with this I was assured they could handle our personal and business needs. But when our emails get stuck in the Outlook Outbox, and will not send, AT&T Tech Support informs me that there is an additional charge, above and beyond the install fee, to get it to work. In other words, I have to pay them twice, to do their work right once.

This makes no since. AT&T sold me a product they promised would meet our needs, but we cannot do one of the most important functions of our business – send email. This means AT&T did not fulfill their contractual work. Excuse me! But if my email will not send, you have not completed setting up the AT&T U-verse service.

Frustrated, I hung up on the AT&T Tech. I then Googled "Outlook AT&T SMTP Setup". When I did I found information on the AT&T site regarding how to setup an AT&T Email Account in Outlook. This did not explain why I could not send email. However, after some additional research I discovered the following:

AT&T blocks SMTP Port 25. SMTP Port 25 is the most common Port used by an ISP (Internet Service Provider) for outbound email. What that means is AT&T knows that most people with existing email accounts that access email via an Outlook POP3 Account will not be able to send email. And what is AT&T’s response?

  1. AT&T does not provide that information for free.
  2. The AT&T Field Techs, when they are installing their service, do not ask what type of email account you have nor how you access it.
  3. AT&T Tech Support does not ask if you are using SMTP Port 25.

So AT&T purposely Blocks SMTP Port 25 knowing that anyone who uses that SMTP Port will not be able to send email and rather than ask, they offer to fix it for a additional charge. This is a scam to make money.

Now for the fix.

Since I have a background in IT, as I did my research after I Googled "AT&T Outlook SMTP Setup" I noticed that the AT&T instructions to setup an AT&T email account on Outlook did not use the SMTP Port 25. FIrst I tried the same Port that AT&T listed for an AT&T Email Account. My emails still would not send. So I called our ISP and via a Chat Session told them AT&T had Blocked SMTP Port 25 and was there an alternate SMTP Port. The answer was “Yes, we run into this all the time with AT&T Customers. Use SMTP Port 587 and you can bypass the AT&T Block of SMTP Port 25.” I then made that change to my one personal email account and our three business email accounts and presto… the emails were sent.

Now for the best part… I did not have to pay the $50 AT&T Tech Support Fee. Nor did I have to sign up for the AT&T Monthly Tech Support Service for an additional charge of $15 per month.

So here's the lesson:

If you sign up for AT&T U-verse Internet and discover your cannot send email from a Microsoft Outlook POP3 Account, don’t pay for AT&T Tech Support, call your ISP whose is hosting your domain and email and ask them for an alternate SMTP Port. This will allow you to bypass the AT&T SMTP Port 25 Scam.

PS: I asked our ISP if this was a common problem and they said they run into this all the time with AT&T Customers. In fact our ISP said when a customer calls and says their email is not sending the first thing they ask is “Do you have AT&T?” That’s how bad AT&T is.

So why would AT&T block port 25 when the scammers know to use another port? Either AT&T is stupid or they did it on purpose as a scam to make money off of customers who don’t know any better. In other words AT&T is taking advantage of the vulnerable. Shameful.

© 2015, VoiceWind. . .Greg Loveless. All rights reserved.

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