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Old 1 Jul 2022, 04:51 PM   #1
misc
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Germany
Posts: 245
Mail fetching disabled without notification

I’m using the “Mail Fetch” feature to collect mails from a number of external accounts, which basically works pretty well. Only by accident I just discovered that one of those fetching services was disabled in April.


I remember that Fastmail used to send you notifications when an external mail account wasn’t available, and another one when fetching an account was disabled (after 5 unsuccessful tries). This time I didn’t get any notification.


Anyone else having this trouble?
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Old 2 Jul 2022, 02:09 AM   #2
JeremyNicoll
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I don't use that facility, so have no idea.

But, if I did, and messages going to those external accounts were sparse enough that I couldn't tell if the fetching process had stopped working, I'd send a test message to each of them every few days / week / couple of weeks / month or whatever and then expect to see all those test messages being fetched.

I have a handful of situations where I regularly send messages between different mail providers' webmail systems. In each case if I want to send another I merely find the last one, edit it "as new", and send that. I keep the template messages in separate folders so there's no difficulty finding them, and - lastly - use my day-to-day reminders system to tell me to send such a message as required.
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Old 2 Jul 2022, 05:37 AM   #3
TenFour
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Join Date: Feb 2017
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One trick I do is have some newsletter that comes out maybe once a week or so go to an odd email address I don't normally check regularly. If I don't see the newsletter come in it alerts me that something is up. Of course it has to be something you actually read and look for!
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Old 2 Jul 2022, 05:59 AM   #4
xyzzy
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Join Date: May 2018
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When I first switched to FM some years ago I had set up a mail fetch to my old server. Back then that server server seemed to often report timeout errors back to FM.

Somewhere along the line FM changed their error reporting and just would report it as a "Mail fetch retrieval error" with no indication as to why? But I assumed it was still just timeout errors.

In these cases eventually FM would do repeated mail fetches at intervals until it succeeded.

I got tired of seeing those failure messages and "solved" the problem by just switching that mail fetch account to redirect to FM. So problem was solved until somewhere along the line that other service disabled redirecting outside their system so it was back to using it with a mail fetch. Note, I don't expect mail to that old account anyhow but I wanted to monitor it just in case.

Oddly since then I never saw any of those errors. So either that other server was "fixed" or the errors are not being reported by FM.

As JeremyNicoll mentioned I do occasionally send a test message to that other account just to see if it's still working. Also I try the FM mail fetch "check server settings" for that account too to see if that is still "happy".

Last edited by xyzzy : 2 Jul 2022 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 2 Jul 2022, 11:58 PM   #5
hadaso
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Holon, Israel.
Posts: 4,658
When mail fetching is disabled I get a notification from FastMail.
The last time it happened was less than two weeks ago and the email said:
Quote:
Could not log into POP server: Could not connect to server: unknown reason

THIS SERVER HAS NOW HAD 5 ERRORS IN A ROW AND HAS BEEN
DISABLED. PLEASE LOG IN TO YOUR ACCOUNT AND GO TO
Settings -> Import & Setup -> Mail Fetch -> View and edit
TO REVIEW THE DETAILS OF THIS SERVER AND TO RE-ENABLE IT.
In the past they used to send a notification for each of these 5 failures and then a notification about disabling the link.


Until the end of August 2011 these notifications came from "Pop/Hotmail retrieval system <[email protected]>" (with "Reply-To:[email protected]") and the subject line said "linkname (Err#x) Pop/Hotmail retrieval error" (where linkname is the name of the fetch link and x a number between 1 and 5).
At the end of August this change to notifications coming from "FastMail.FM Administrator <[email protected]>" (with "Reply-To:FastMail.FM Support <[email protected]>") and subject line saying "linkname (Err#x) Pop retrieval error".
In August 2013 this change to just sending "From: The FastMail Team <[email protected]>" (no Reply-to, and the same subject line as before).
All of this time there where also messages with subject "linkname LINK DISABLED. Pop retrieval error".

Some time between September and December 2018 the Subject line was changed to: "linkname (Err#x) Fetch mail retrieval error" or "linkname FETCH MAIL DISABLED. Mail fetch retrieval error" (also some words inside the message).
Some time between june 2020 and august 2020 the notification messages changed from plain text to html. I was still getting notifications for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th errors (no disabled link for me during that time).
Since January 2021 I do not get any of these numbered errors. Only "DISABLED" notifications that state that there have been 5 errors in a row and the link was disabled.
My POP retrieval from Hotmail was disabled 5 times during the past 10 years, and received more than 200 messages about retrieval errors.

Last edited by hadaso : 2 Jul 2022 at 11:59 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 4 Jul 2022, 06:38 PM   #6
misc
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Thank you all for your comments! What hadaso describes is actually exactly what I’d like to have – I don’t care about retrieval errors, but I need to know when a service is disabled.

I’ve checked all my rules if I’ve set up one by mistake causing notifications to be discarded, but everything seems to be fine there. I’ll open a support ticket.

Again, thank you all!
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Old 4 Jul 2022, 08:44 PM   #7
JeremyNicoll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misc View Post
... I don’t care about retrieval errors ...
Do you really mean that? My view would be that a retrieval error once in a while (say, one every 2-3 months) might not be a problem, but if they were happening every couple of days it would be.

Moreover, I'd want to know whether, if there's a retrieval error one day, the FM process retries the retrieval at - say - hourly intervals on that same day, or if the next attempt will be a whole day later on.
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Old 4 Jul 2022, 08:59 PM   #8
misc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyNicoll View Post
Do you really mean that?

Sure! 😎 In most cases they are temporary errors and fetching works again on the next try, so you don’t have to do anything.

By the way, accounts are fetched every 5 minutes when you are logged-in and every hour when not. So some “missed” fetches are okay for me as long as Fastmail keeps trying.
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