Have you been locked out of your Microsoft Account? Consider reading this long message

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richard...@comcast.net

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Jan 18, 2022, 5:35:06 PMJan 18
to vip...@googlegroups.com

Greetings,

This is going to be a long message, so feel free to stop reading if this doesn't apply to you.  If you want to jump to the meat of the issue, search for two asterisks ** and you will get the main information without the background story.

 

On December 15th, my Microsoft Account was locked.  I was given the standard information about going to a link to unlock it by having a code texted to me, enter that code and supposedly then it would have verified that I was me and gotten the account unlocked.

However, as soon as I entered the code I got the message first, your account is now unlocked.  Moments later, it was locked again.

I tried to repeat the steps, only to be told I'd tried too many times and had to wait 24 hours.

I called Microsoft Accessibility, and they basically said the same thing.

I waited 28 hours, just in case, and the same thing happened.

I  waited another 25 or 26 hours and got the same thing.  so, this is three days without access to my OneDrive, etc.

I called again, and got the same answer.

On the 5th day,  I was rather stern without using any foul language, and insisted that they get me unnlocked because each time I only had one try at it, did everything correct, and was locked out again.

This guy actually took the time to walk through the steps and saw that yes, it wasn't working as it should.

He went to a different link with Microsoft and got me unlocked and said now, "this won't happen again, you are set."

Eight days later, I was locked out again.

I wrote someone I know personally that works for Microsoft and spelled out the situation and asked if there wasn't someone higher up I could talk with.  This was December 28th.  He was on vacation.

On January 31st I shut off my computer, and had already turned off my Microsoft email on my iPhone, so that on Monday, January 3rd, I could call them and assure them I had not tried at all for 3 days, and didn't turn on my computer until I had them on the phone ready to connect with Quick Assist so they could see first hand how it blows out on the first attempt to unlock.

After getting it unlocked with the nice ladies help, I strongly insisted I talk with a supervisor about this whole process.  I was first told there were no supervisors ... but I said there had to be someone to handle customer complaints ... and after 40 minutes of being put on hold while she looked into who I could talk with, and her saying it is probably the groups I belong to that are triggering the spam warnings/suspicious activity, she put me in touch with her supervisor... Note, she did have a supervisor.  He in fact, told me he was the one to give her the theory that the groups I belonged to were causing the problem.  More on that soon.

They got me unlocked again, but he theorized that it would be locked again because of the groups.

He did say he would put in a ticket to the developers about this situation ....

 

So, at that point, I changed my groups subscriptions to a Gmail address rather than my Microsoft Account address.

I didn't like the way Gmail sorts things into the Inbox, and the "Important" box, so I created a new Comcast.net address, which I am now using for all my group subscriptions.

 

While some emails end up in the Junk folder, because I'm not using my Microsoft Account Email, it hasn't resulted in my Microsoft account being locked.

 

Back to my contact at Microsoft, I heard back from him later that day,  and gave him the update as to where things stood.

I requested access to someone higher up again to try and deal with this issue.

He forwarded my email to someone much higher up the chain than him.

Because that higher up person took this seriously, I was put in touch with two of their Microsoft 365 Office App Rangers.

I had a conference call and spent a lot of time going through the issues and explaining how I no longer am using the Microsoft Account for these email groups, so the unlocking the account is not the prime issue; but am still having random emails from the groups ending up in Junk.

Their solution, is below.

 

**

I received the below from a Microsoft Support person whose title is:

Microsoft 365 Apps Ranger

<Deployment/Servicing/Activation/Accessibility>

 

*from the App Ranger:

 

The emails are ending up in the Junk folder because the "From" and "Reply To" email addresses don't match so Outlook treats it as a junk item.

 

Adding the group emails Grou...@groups.io to Outlook's safe senders list will not stop them from going to the Junk folder. You will need to add the email address in the From field to the Safe list

Example from the header of a groups.io email:

From:  x...@gmail.com"

Reply to: orbit-...@groups.io

 

* my comments:

It doesn't matter the group, and it applies to googlegroups.com as well; if the from and reply to fields do not match, Microsoft flags that as spam. 

If you are using your Microsoft Account email address for any groups.io or googlegroups.com email lists, this may indeed end up with them locking your Microsoft account.

Microsoft sees these emails as spam, and it determines that you are engaging in suspicious activity that violates their privacy agreement because you are sending out spam...

 

I think this is monumentally stupid on Microsoft's part, but they are being overly protective and do not seem to be able to determine that these are really from the group. 

If the group owners could do something to make sure the from and reply to fields read the same, that would solve the issue. 

In my experience, the emails that end up being treated this way are mostly Gmail addresses, and so perhaps groups.io and googlegroups.com cannot do anything to resolve this.

 

The moral of the story: Do not use your Microsoft Account email for any email lists.

 

And remember, the world is depending more and more on "Artificial Intelligence" to accomplish things.  I think "Artificial Intelligence" is like Artificial Nails, they look like nails, but aren't.

 

 

 

Richard

“One can’t be angry when one looks at a penguin.” ~ John Ruskin

 

My web site; https://www.turner42.com/

 

Simon A Fogarty

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Jan 18, 2022, 5:47:49 PMJan 18
to vip...@googlegroups.com

Hi Richard,

 

I’ll put this in one simple word for you to think about.

 

“BullShit”!

 

I have 2 microsoft 365 exhhanged based email accounts,

 

The one I’m sending this fom to the list being one of them.

 

I am a member of 6 or 7 different groups.io mail lists,

 

And at no time have I had my Microsoft account locked due to email relating to any of my list memberships.

 

 

I have had groups.io block emails due to bouncing messages,

But that was groups.io not MS 365

And my personal mail still goes in and out as required.

 

My personal thought on your situation would be to investigate what devices or products you have signing in to the Microsoft account

And go through each of them putting in a new password until you figure out which one has been trying to access your account

 

My thoughts on ms rangers,

Well they have come up with an answer that sounds interesting but baffles the user.

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Christopher Chaltain

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Jan 18, 2022, 6:00:40 PMJan 18
to vip...@googlegroups.com

Richard,

 

I had the exact same experience starting on Monday January 3. Did you submit a ticket to have your Outlook account reinstated? The person I talked to at the Disability Answer Desk said they’d take care of that for me, but after not hearing anything for 48 hours, I submitted another ticket myself. I was finally able to verify my account on Saturday January 8. It’s been fine ever since. I don’t get a lot of group messages sent to my junk folder. I also checked my recent activities, and I didn’t see any suspicious activity. I also have multifactor authentication enabled.

 

I was tempted to go back to using my Gmail account, but it was a lot of work switching everything over to an Outlook account, so I wasn’t looking forward to going through that again. Since it’s been working for a few weeks now, I’m just keeping my fingers crossed!

 

--

Christopher (AKA CJ)

Chaltain at Outlook

 

From: vip...@googlegroups.com <vip...@googlegroups.com> On Behalf Of richard...@comcast.net
Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2022 4:35 PM
To: vip...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Have you been locked out of your Microsoft Account? Consider reading this long message

 

Greetings,

--

richard...@comcast.net

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Jan 18, 2022, 6:18:33 PMJan 18
to vip...@googlegroups.com

I went above and beyond the ticket submission.

 

And, I’m not going to tempt fate by switching all my groups back to outlook.

Comcast.net is working great!

 

Thanks,

 

 

 

Richard

“One can’t be angry when one looks at a penguin.” ~ John Ruskin

 

My web site; https://www.turner42.com/

 

Christopher Chaltain

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Jan 18, 2022, 6:33:34 PMJan 18
to vip...@googlegroups.com

Yes, I saw you went way above and beyond, but did you open up a support ticket or a ticket to have your account reinstated or both? I’m just wondering if I did anything different. You can have your account reinstated at Microsoft-Services Account Reset

richard...@comcast.net

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Jan 18, 2022, 9:01:09 PMJan 18
to vip...@googlegroups.com

I didn’t need to go the ticket route as while talking with the Microsoft person, they unlocked my account.

 

If all goes well, I’ll never have to deal with that again.

Sieghard Weitzel

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Jan 19, 2022, 12:23:56 PMJan 19
to vip...@googlegroups.com

Hi Richard,

 

The same thing happened to me first with my sieg...@live.ca email which I have been using for all my groups for the last 10 years or so, then I temporarily changed the Viphone email to my main personal address, sieg...@outlook.com, and at first it was fine then I was also locked out.

I can confirm exactly the same experience, I would unlock my account and all was fine, but as soon as I sent a single email whether it was to a list or just my business address it would lock again.

I also called Microsoft Accessibility and was referred to the "Accounts and Billing" team, the guy I spoke with there could not help me and said I should call either Windows or Office technical support and he gave me phone numbers.

I didn't have time right away and just left it for several days and as of I think 2 days ago all was suddenly working again and I haven't had any issues since. I started by once again unlocking my account and as I said, after that all has been fine.

I had the same experience also with trying to unlock my account, after I did so a few times using my mobile number I was told that I had exceeded my limit, then I used my wife's phone for the code and at times when I had exceeded the limit for her number I used numbers of my staff, but all to no avail until it decided to work again. In my case I think it started around January 5 or 6 and it was working again on January 16, 3 days ago. I assume this happened to other people and Microsoft had a lot of complaints, either that or they discovered a glitch with their Microsoft Id email addresses and fixed it. So far everything has been working as always with no issues. I rarely if ever have the issue that group emails go to the Junk Mail folder.

 

Best regards,

Sieghard

 

From: vip...@googlegroups.com <vip...@googlegroups.com> On Behalf Of richard...@comcast.net
Sent: January 18, 2022 2:35 PM
To: vip...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Have you been locked out of your Microsoft Account? Consider reading this long message

 

Greetings,

--

Sieghard Weitzel

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Jan 19, 2022, 12:29:02 PMJan 19
to vip...@googlegroups.com

Hi Christopher,

 

I agree and it may have been January 3rd for me as well, can't remember. But just as you I had authentication enabled and was using the Microsoft Authenticator app, in fact, for some reason which may or may not have been related I set up my sieg...@live.ca email account as a passwordless account I think the day before or even the same day this started happening. It may have just been coincident, but who knows.

For my sieg...@outlook.com account I actually went ahead and removed the option not to use a password for signing in and removed the 2-factor authentication and went back to just a simple password. I generated a random 16-character password with Roboform, my password manager, and used it and for now I haven't yet taken the time to change it again, but I will since I do believe using either 2-factor authentication or the option without password is safer. It seems like in my case it did take longer for things to go back to normal, but they did go back to normal a few days ago.

 

From: vip...@googlegroups.com <vip...@googlegroups.com> On Behalf Of Christopher Chaltain
Sent: January 18, 2022 3:01 PM
To: vip...@googlegroups.com

Sieghard Weitzel

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Jan 19, 2022, 12:33:34 PMJan 19
to vip...@googlegroups.com

I asked both Microsoft Accessibility and the Account and Billing guy about this and said that there must be a way for Microsoft to reinitialize an account or whatever it is you may want to call it, but I was told both times there is nothing Microsoft can do and if I couldn't get it to work again it might simply be necessary for me to set up a new Microsoft Id/email and quit using the old one. I told them this was ridiculous because it would literally take days of work to go to all the websites and change my email address to a new one and of course there is the fact I have a Microsoft 365 subscription associated with my main Id/email address, but apparently this really is what somebody needs to do in a case where their account doesn't work any more even if it is for a reason which has nothing to do with them or the way they use the account. I use my sieg...@live.ca address on a single laptop for groups and my other Microsoft account on my laptop, my main office PC and my iPhone, nowhere did I see any suspicious activity when I checked it after unlocking my account.

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