Question for UK readers - BT Internet Mail

I live in the UK and have mail accounts with my internet provider BT (British Telecom). I use Apple’s Mail app.
From time to time, the Mail app asks for my password, but then cannot verify it. I cannot then use BTInternet for a day or more until the problem resolves itself automatically.
Apple mail continues to work normally with the Mail app.
BTInternet mail works if I use the BT webpage. The problem seems to be between the Mail app and the BT account.
Any suggestions?

That sounds (“resolving itself”) like a failure on BT’s end. They are pretty notorious for it, and equally notorious for blaming every possible thing except themselves for the problem. I’d suspect that there are issues in their IMAP service or possibly authentication servers.

The fact that Apple Mail will connect without problems for some of the time says that there is not a problem between the Mail app and BT account.

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BT Internet doesn’t have a good historical reputation and it’s been years since I paid much attention to it. I think they have outsourced their mail service to Yahoo and if customised or further subcontracted, I don’t know.

Even though you may have BT Internet ISP services, as you have internet access you aren’t locked in exclusively to use their mail service.

At least you are not with VirginMedia

Virgin’s broadband in my city is quite good and cost competative. High performance and little downtime.

I have no experience with their email services as with full internet service, why bother? There are some really good paid-for and “free” mail services out there. Why have an email address that is “nailed” to your ISP? Anyone relying on an ISP’s email service is probably making a mistake, even if it does work.

The only reason I have a virginmedia address is it gives me access to the Sky Sports F1 channel. It has no other use.


So many other people, and I know some of them think they must use their ISP as their mail server. Hence when a new and better ISP comes along, or they move to a different address where ISP services are different, they do not tend to realise how to get out of the self-inflicted jam.

Thanks for the helpful responses.
Fortunately, I have not had this Mail problem since I posted, but have no doubt it will recur as it has over the last three or four years.
Virgin has quite a poor reputation where I live, but friends in my small village who use Sky seem to have no problem.
I have tested Spark as a Mail app in the past, so I may try that again if the problem persists.

there is no need to use your ISP for mail service. In fact best that you do not so that when you move or change ISP you do not have to change email.

Can you elaborate on how it helps you get Sky F1

I think geography matters because of the way Internet network was set up (though that is gradually changing). I’m in an area where Virgin were the first to run cables (actually they weren’t Virgin then, it was their predecessor). I can switch to another provider, of course, but I’ve shopped around several times and I’d still be almost halving my internet speeds if I switch away from Virgin because of the infrastructure on my street. I don’t consider the cost saving (Virgin prices are ridiculous) worth the reduced service (and as another has commented here, Virgin services are hardly ever down where I am).

I often suspect that those with issues have them because they’re not using the primary provider for their area, and that is usually a compromise you (unknowingly) make when you switch to someone who is bundling services via another firm’s infrastructure.

Obviously if I lived in an area where BT cabling was primary, I’d probably be saying the opposite. (In fact I did live somewhere where that was the case and was a happy BT Internet customer for 3 years.)

Interestingly a new company has laid cables on my street recently, so perhaps I will switch in future.

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