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Incoming email being rejected...

Team Player
Message 1 of 117

I'm using Pipex DSL email and processing Microsoft Office Pro 2016.

Using Outlook, I have one important email sender who, suddenly is unable to send emails to my email address, it has been working for a long time.

The error - 503 Bad sequence of commands.

I have made various changes to my email settings, I believe they are correct and up to date. The sender has spoken to his support and also believes his system is correct and up to date.
This error only occurs with this sender who lives in France.

Any help and advice would be very useful. Thank you.

116 REPLIES 116

Message 101 of 117

Hi Teapot, what you've provided should be enough for now. If the team ask for more I'll let you know. 




Please log in to My Account if you need to view or pay your bill, manage boosts and track your usage. From My Account you can also check your connection and test your line for any issues in the Service Centre.

Message 102 of 117

To all the Pipex contributors to this ongoing error, I sent an email to the CEO of TalkTalk on Thursday 20/2/2020 the contents of the email are below...

Good morning Tristia Harrison

I understand from TalkTalk that in the near future the Pipex email system will be replaced by TalkTalk email which will be more secure and faster, I have had a number of emails indicating that the conversion will be seamless apart from one or two pieces of data which the conversion is unable to take into account.

Pipex email, as you know is an excellent email service and has performed faultlessly, apart from the odd failure, which has been resolved quickly and professionally by the TalkTalk support team.

As you can see by the subject matter there is a very troublesome error in the email system; this error was first reported on the 16th January 2020, I have supplied various requests for information; the incident now appears to have no further action, no replies or updates as to the progress, if any, have been made.

I would be grateful if you could ask the support team to post a current update and resolution to this error. I have supplied the web link to the community page where you will find the messages to and from support.

I now have a reply which arrived yesterday at 15:55, the contents are below...

Subject: I've taken out this information
Question Reference #: 200221-000668
Date Created: 21/02/2020 03.54 PM
Response By Email (Joshua) (21/02/2020 03.54 PM)
Dear ****

My name is Joshua and my role is to resolve customer issues on behalf of the chief executive office at TalkTalk.
I am emailing to let you know that I will be handling your recent complaint regarding the email issues you have been experiencing.
If you would rather discuss the matter via telephone, my contact number is *removed for security.
I am very sorry for your recent experience. I aim to have this resolved as quickly as possible.
Kind regards,
Joshua Crick
CEO Case Manager

I wonder how long the error will stay in the system now, watch this space


Message 103 of 117

I wish you success with your CEO Office complaint @teapot but if my experience, and those of others I know of, is anything to go by I wouldnt hold your breath. I raised a complaint many months ago with CEO Office which was partially resolved after about 3 months of fruitless chasing by email and phone. This past month I have been trying to contact my Case Manager again (as she said I could if further issues arose) and I have not had a single response to my many emails and phone messages. I hope you fair better than I did.

Eureka! Pipex mailboxes have migrated!

Community Manager
Message 104 of 117
Hey Teapot, i believe some changed have been made, are you still experiencing these issues? thanks

Community Manager

Message 105 of 117

The error is still there from my end. I've asked my friend in France to test his end.


Further to above, the error still exists from France.


Message 106 of 117

@StephenF wrote:
Hey Teapot, i believe some changed have been made, are you still experiencing these issues? thanks


The MX records are still invalid, so 1and1 customers (and others) will still be unable to email


It would be useful if someone actually had facts, rather than just mistaken beliefs.


Message 107 of 117

Just to keep all the contributors to this error in the loop, below an update from the CEO Case Manager...



Dear *****


Further to my previous email, I am corresponding with other departments internally to find a resolution to your issue.


I appreciate your patience and apologise for the inconvenience.



Message 108 of 117

@teapotLooks like your CEO nuclear option has produced results.  The MX records for and are now A and not CNAME. 


I've just received an email from one of my senders who previously were getting 503 all the time.  Not sure whether that is due to the above or if they have made some other change as well, but looking hopeful.  Checking with the others who were having problems now... 


** update ** I can confirm messages from both the sender domains I was having trouble with are coming through.  At last!


Message 109 of 117

It's now working for my GMX mail addresses too (which could replicate the problem at will).


So only 17 days from the solution being given to TalkTalk implementing it. But t least it's progress....


Message 110 of 117
Just the issue of the IMAP/SMP mail servers occasionally rejecting all calls (usually in the early hours?) to go.
Or are there still other issues left now?

Conversation Starter
Message 111 of 117

I was very pleased to find that mail to 2 of my contacts has resumed in both directions all of a sudden.

I don't know how many swallows it takes to make a summer - but someone has clearly done something at last. 


Message 112 of 117
Sorry for the delayed reply I did get a note earlier today to say some changes had been made but only just now getting to reply. Glad to hear things have improved.

Community Manager

Message 113 of 117

FYI: This is now fixed. Mail is now moving in both directions again between this account and Pipex email addresses.


Not sure why invalid MX records should have prevented sending mall out from TalkTalk, but it looks like it did.


@gmlack wrote:

Ah. So this thread isn't about the (all to frequent now) issues of the mail service becoming unusable for a few hours at a time?


I (well,my wife...) has a problem trying to mail a 1and1 address (and address whose MX record points at and This is a permanent problem. They can't ever mail her and she can't ever mail therm.


Here's a recent bounced message when I was testing:



This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.


Delivery to the following recipients was aborted after 0 second(s):




Reason: The following message to was undeliverable.The reason for the problem: 550-Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable



Super Duper Contributor
Message 114 of 117

It's happening again ...
Or rather the "other one"
Some of my posts are failing after over a day
Delivery to the following recipients was aborted after 13.9 hour(s):
Reason: The following message to $_Name"AT" was undeliverable.  The reason for the problem: Maximum Retry Queue Age Reached
I thought we'd had the last of this


Message 115 of 117

But if that isn't (or some other TalkTalk domain) then the problem is at the other end.


Message 116 of 117

The last time we had this problem was because receiving ISPs, notably Yahoo, Sky, AOL etc etc, were blocking or rate-limiting emails from the Pipex domain owing to excessive spam. It was Pipex's poor reputation that led to emails being blocked. So it was down to TalkTalk to fix.

Eureka! Pipex mailboxes have migrated!

Message 117 of 117

Hi GregTingey,


How are you getting on, are you still experiencing this issue?