(un)Helpful Errors
By: Date: April 9, 2014 Categories: Business,Technology

I sent an email to our BT account manager. I attached two call recordings. The message size in total was only about 30MB. Our mail systems regularly deal with multi-hundred MB attachments. I’m not even sure they have a limit as such.

SMTP error from remote mail server after MAIL
FROM:<alex.bloor@aa.net.uk> SIZE=44091640: host smtpb1.bt.com 
[]: 552 5.3.4 Message size exceeds fixed maximum 
message size

Well thank you so much for that helpful, informative message, BT. Tell me it exceeds some mythical maximum size, but don’t tell me what that magical size is. Sigh.

3 thoughts on “(un)Helpful Errors

  1. MS Exchange has a default of 10mb maximum message size. I normally limit to 20 / 30mb. Email is a very, very inefficient way to send files (around 33% larger thanks to base64 encoding), for anything about 10mb, imho, you should use a different method to send.

    1. This is one of those situations where theory and practice diverge though. I know email is hideously inefficient as a means of sending a file. However, if you are wanting to send something to a specific person with whom you’ve been conversing, and especially if they are on a corporate (probably filtered) network = no FTP, maybe no dropbox, almost certainly other file distribution sites blocked, sometimes it is just easier to dump an attachment on the email. Even if it’s a hundred MB or so…. It’s crappy but it does solve the problem … 🙁

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