Getting mail 1-3 hours late, what to do?
Thread poster: Christina Baier

Christina Baier  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:24
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
Mar 21, 2016

Dear colleagues!

It sometimes happens that I get mail with 1-3 hours delay. Not often, but as I want to be 100% reliable, I find it quite annoying. Example: An agency that is regularly sending me small jobs sends a request “Urgent: Can you do these 300 words until today, 5 PM?” I get the mail at 4:30, wonder why they send this so late, have a look at the mail history and discover that they originally sent it at 2 PM.

The last time this happened was last Thursday, round 3 PM.

I wonder if I can do something about it, if it is a general problem or a provider problem.

(My provider support says that it’s a general problem, that several big servers where “down” at that time. But as I can see in the mail history it is always the last server that takes a long time to “pass”.)


English to Russian
+ ...
time zone? Mar 21, 2016

If it's not something to do with your time zone, then possibly it may happen when there're a lot of letters, namely hundreds items at Inbox/Outbox/Drafts/Deleted/Archived and so on, yes?

Do you get mail directly or via forwarding from other boxes?

Do other mail servers (mailboxes at different servers) also fail miserably? Just check something new.

Note, that it's rather trivial to modify almost any credentials, let alone timestamps.



Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:24
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
@Christina Mar 21, 2016

A short-term workaround would be to inform the agency in question that you are having this problem, and ask that, until the problem is resolved, they contact you regarding jobs via Skype as well as e-mail. (All they would need to do is cut and paste the e-mail message into Skype. Documents that are not inordinately large can also be shared via Skype.)

If the problem persists, you might have to seriously think about changing your e-mail provider.

I have dealt with these kinds of issues myself (on both the receiving and sending ends) and it can be irritating (as well as costly).


Laura Mussutto  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:24
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
Automatic forward Mar 21, 2016

I have a set up an automatic forward to a gmail account, and this has saved my skin many a time. Some emails have completely disappeared into a black hole as far as my provider is concerned, but they were safely delivered to gmail.
Hope this helpsicon_smile.gif


MM^^  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:24
Member (2010)
Chinese to French
+ ...
Gmail Mar 22, 2016


I had the same issue with my old mailbox (mails coming a day later).
As professionnal translator, I opened an another mailbox which received mails on time (gmail does it).

Best regards,


Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:24
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
I can not recommend gmail Mar 24, 2016

My experience with gmail is not that good. I did receive several mails up to 2 hours late on my gmail account so that I would never use gmail as a business adress. Also two of my customers who do have gmail accounts do never receive the mails I send from an OVH mailbox. Everybody else does, so I really can not recommend gmail.

[Modifié le 2016-03-24 21:10 GMT]


TechStyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:24
Email services Mar 28, 2016

(My provider support says that it’s a general problem, that several big servers where “down” at that time. But as I can see in the mail history it is always the last server that takes a long time to “pass”.)

The last "hop" there will always be either entering their server from outside, or passing from one of their servers to another - it sounds as if *their* servers were down and handling mail slowly.

Gmail accounts are free and work quite well, with only the downside that it doesn't look so professional to be using a free public mail service like that.

Personally, I use a Fastmail paid-for account, with my personal domain. They compete with free services from the likes of Google and Microsoft by taking reliability really, really seriously. (They constantly duplicate your account across equipment from two different manufacturers, running two different server operating systems in two different buildings within NY, with a third backup somewhere else "just in case"!) Not free, but excellent - they even do genuine "push" email with the iPhone, which few other companies have managed. (They did that in conjunction with Apple to make sure it works properly and reliably.)

(Delayed mail when sending from OVH, I can understand: I get a LOT of spam from that particular part of the Net. Indeed, Andrea is probably the first non-spammer I've seen using them. It's possible Gmail have decided OVH is spammy enough they will just throw everything away - Fastmail won't: you control the filtering yourself, anything from "only people I know can contact me" to "even the blue pill rubbish gets through, I love the taste of spam".)


Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:24
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Mail to Belgium never arrived on Saturday before Easter - isolated incident? Mar 28, 2016

No countries are mentioned in your email. But I wonder whether others have had the same experience as me last week, when emails sent from England to several unrelated recipients in Belgium failed to arrive at all on the Saturday before Easter.
The mail did not bounce back, so as far as I was concerned, there was no problem - until both a translation agency and friends indicated that they never received my mail. My server company did not register any problems and my server has not been blacklisted. I wonder whether this could be due to recent security problems in Belgium and perhaps additional mail filters. However, my mails did not contain any words that could be considered suspicious or sensitive, and I only used Dutch and English. Mail sent on the same day to other countries arrived without problems, so I'm completely in the dark about what could have happened.


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