When I purchased my web domain, ‘disincorporated.me’, I was given the option to setup an electronic mail account using that domain. I chose ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ as my electronic mail address. I then found out that this mail service was facilitated by Microsoft with their Outlook product. I went through the various steps to login to my new electronic mail account through Microsoft and set it up to both forward electronic mail to my personal Gmail account, and to allow my personal Gmail account to send messages as though they are coming from email@example.com. Until January 27th, 2019, everything was working as expected.
It took until January 31st before I realized something had gone wrong.
While I was trying to setup payments for my donation page on disincorporated.me, I created new PayPal and Stripe accounts to link to the Chase Business Checking account I had set up for disIncorporated. When I tried to validate these new accounts, however, I was told that I had been sent an electronic mail (to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’) that had a verification link.
I never received these emails (and still have not to this day).
After logging in directly to my Microsoft Outlook account, I discovered that I could send email from the account, but I could not receive any email. I became furious with Microsoft, wondering how such a large company could produce a product that I believed, unquestioningly, that I could rely upon, only to find that important electronic mails were never making their way to my inbox.
What electronic mail had I missed? Was there an important financial notice that was lost in the ether? Would this ongoing outage delay all of my plans?
This certainly reminded me that I was going to die someday.
Ultimately, after negotiating with Microsoft’s Admin Center help tool, I found out that the issue was not Microsoft’s, but GoDaddy’s: they manage the DNS settings of the electronic mail accounts they provide. I went to my GoDaddy account and, after performing a DNS check, was told that my electronic mail account was not ready to receive electronic mail until I clicked a button, after which it could take up to 48 hours to start functioning.
I clicked the button and, some 15 minutes later, I started to receive electronic mail again.
There are two great mysteries to emerge from this set of circumstances: where are the electronic mails I never received?; why did GoDaddy allow me to receive electronic mail for a time, only to change its mind later?
I suppose I will never know the answer to either of these questions, but I offer my apologies to Microsoft for my misplaced fury.
If you would like to help me, ‘Prospective’ Ben, confirm that my electronic mail is working, feel free to reach out any time: