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Maddening timeouts trying to connect to Verizon FIOS email servers

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by LuigiVercotti, Jan 25, 2010.

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  1. LuigiVercotti

    LuigiVercotti Thread Starter

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    I am a Verizon FIOS user, have been for about 2 years. I have multiple Verizon emails accounts which up until about 3 months ago I never had any problems downloading/uploading msgs via OUTLOOK EXPRESS on my PCs.

    Starting November of last year however, I constantly get "stuck" trying to connect to any/some/all of my Verizon mailboxes via either OUTLOOK EXPRESS or via a program called MAILWASHER.

    Both MAILWASHER and OE used to be able to connect to the Verizon mail server and initiate downloads/uploads to my accounts in seconds. Now however, almost every time I try to connect to get my mail, one or several of the mailboxes gets stuck and times out. Sometimes they all work fine. Most of the time one or another get stuck. So I have to keep stopping then reinitiating the mail connections to eventually get my mail, over and over again.

    Note that I have 2 different PCs with the exact same problem. Also that I have a Yahoo business mail account also defined for both OE and MAILWASHER and that account NEVER has a problem - it is only with trying to download the Verizon emails.

    Whatever the problem is it appears to be related to Verizon FIOS itself or their mail servers. I have asked Verizon for help and it was a complete waste of time. I have also posted on a FIOS related forum (back in November) but have still not been able to figure this out, although someone else there said they were having the same problem.

    I get errors like this in OE:
    "Operation timed out, no response from the mail server", or "Your POP3 server has not responded in 60 seconds would you like to wait another 60 seconds", or "A timeout occured while communicating with the server Account 'xxxx", Server incoming.verizon.net, protocol POP3, port 110, secure SSL, Error no.0x800CC19".

    I have tried a bunch of things like increasing the wait time (to even 5 minutes) but it still gets stuck (and increasing the wait time is not the solution anyways). I've tried changing my DNS servers. I've looked at the "stats" on my router (an Actiontec MI424-WR). I'm at my wits end trying to figure this out and it is driving me crazy. Occasionally things work fine and I think "Hallelujah!! They fixed it!!" but then next time I try to connect something gets stuck.

    Both of my PCs are running XP SP3 (one is running XP Pro, the other XP home). I am using my Actiontec router hardwired into both machines and the wireless feature is disabled. Also, neither of my PCs are infected by any malware, as near as humanly possible to know.

    Not sure what other info I can relate that might help me figure this out but just ask & I will give whatever details I can. I work in IT and I am used to figuring this type of thing out, but this has me stumped.

    Thanks very much for any clues.
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    I don't know anything about this but two things occurred to me as I was reading your post.

    Maybe you don't delete messages from the mail server and there are a whole boatload of messages there, slowing the server's response.

    Or maybe there is one corrupt or particularly large (maybe with attachments) message that is giving the server headaches.

    Assuming you have web mail access login that way and nose around.
     
  3. LuigiVercotti

    LuigiVercotti Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the suggestion Terrynet, but it's not that.

    I get stuck trying to do the initial connect/login to individual mailboxes which don't even have any messages on them to download. I don't leave a ton of messages up there or anything like that, and there are no large messages in my accounts mucking it up.

    I wonder if perhaps you hit on it in a roundabout way though - that the Verizon servers are busy/stuck responding to other customers at the instant I am trying to connect thus I can't get a response. It shouldn't be that way, but behaviorally it suggests something like that.

    I can't get Verizon to look into it though, they just tell me "it is a known bug with Microsoft Outlook Express" or some such excuse, despite my telling them that it also happens with other mail clients in addition to OE, that it never happens with OE or MAILWASHER downloading my yahoo email, etc etc.
     
  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    It was just a couple ideas, since you seem to have eliminated all possibilities other than something with this specific account. You did login by web mail to check, right?
     
  5. LuigiVercotti

    LuigiVercotti Thread Starter

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    Yes.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  6. cib258

    cib258

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    Hey LuigiVercotti, guess what? I'm having the exact same problem. I've got FIOS help the phone. (Listening to music at this moment.)

    (I found your post via google typing in "FIOS an operation on the server timed out.")

    Verizon rep Rebecca is on the line. She took over my screen, and found I was fine. Then she signed on to the web mail. It worked fine.

    But, I had a screen print of the error messages.

    We have an email issue on two different computers on our FIOS system. Operations on the server have timed out several times. (I provided exact data; today at 2:03, 3:00,5:31 and 6:43 pm).

    The Verizon email server again appears to be overloaded. There are no other issues. The rep says she cannot do anything without more information; she is asking for me to check the Verizon web email "next time this happens." She checked my system, saw it was working fine, saw the error messages but will not file a trouble ticket.
     
  7. LuigiVercotti

    LuigiVercotti Thread Starter

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    Hey cib, thanks so much for posting. Misery loves company.

    I wish there was something we could do to get them to acknowledge and fix this problem. I've been going crazy with this issue now since November. How long has this been a problem for you?

    In my case the problem is probably worse than most people because I have 6 different Verizon email accounts. So everytime I try to download my messages instead of just having to connect to one mailbox that potentially will timeout, I have 6 times the number of likelihood that one of the mailboxes is going to get stuck (and when one gets stuck it never gets to process the remaining accounts in the list). It's gotten so bad that I've removed all of the accounts except for my main one on my laptop, so I have a better chance there of at least getting mail for that account. On my other PC though I just suffer through and have to keep canceling the mail when it gets stuck then trying again and hoping to get lucky.

    Working with their support people is a complete waste of time. And something to warn you about, DO NOT let those morons "take control" of your PC and nose around for the sake of "diagnosing the problem". I know you already did, but in the future - don't do it. Most of them probably know less about PCs than you do and will more likely do more harm than good, as well as exposing your PC to god knows what type of security or privacy risk.

    One of the times I called in about this problem I was able to get the tech to *supposedly* report my problem higher up the chain to their mail server team. I never heard any more about it though.
     
  8. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Maybe the only hope for either of you is to request, and then insist, on speaking with a supervisor or tier 2. Not a call back, but "right now." It helps if you have data such as an open trouble ticket, name of tech(s) you've already spoken with, date(s) and time(s) of previous calls.

    And then you may have to again request/insist on talking to the next level up.

    As you have both already said, and I firmly agree, this seems to be an issue that is beyond the ability of the tech support department (I'm not casting aspersions on their ability, but tech support has definite limits on what they are even permitted to do) and must be addressed by development and/or server administration.

    EDIT: If that doesn't get anywhere, and if there are different "tech support" and "customer support" numbers, try the latter. Explain that you have had no resolution from tech support and want to know how to contact, directly or indirectly, the software development or server administration teams.
     
  9. msswiffer

    msswiffer

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    I've been experiencing something similar but with the web mail client. It's been going on for a couple months now and currently, I can't get into my inbox. Logging in isn't a issue for me just opening my inbox. Last month, tech support said that the mail stores appears to be having a hard time communicating with the web server and didn't provide much of a solution except try back later.

    Verizon use to be reliable not any more. Wonder what's going on...
     
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