Like most people I have friends who send me email from Hotmail accounts. In many cases the emails I get from them are in HTML. Now, I've configured my email system so that I don't get to see HTML emails. This is generally a good thing. But occasionally it prevents me from seeing an email from a friend.
So I decided to investigate a bit. I set myself up a Hotmail account and tried to work out what's going on. It seems that if you use Hotmail from IE you get the option to turn on the "rich text" editor. This allows you to add stuff like bold and italic fonts to your email. This is then converted to HTML as it's sent.
Now there's a similar feature in Outlook. The difference is that if you send a "rich text" email from Outlook then you get a plain text version sent as well. Hotmail doesn't do that. You just get the HTML version.
So here's the email I sent to Hotmail customer support. I sent it from my Hotmail account.
If I compose an email using the "rich text editor", there are certain people who complain that I am sending them HTML email that they can't read. Actually I don't think that it's that their email program can't read the HTML, rather that they've set it to delete HTML sections in MIME emails because of the security implications.
When I'm sending emails to the same people using Outlook, I can send "rich text" messages which they can read quite happily. Apparently the difference is that Outlook includes the HTML part along with a palin text part which they can read. It seems that Hotmail doesn't send a plain text version along with an HTML version.
Or am I missing something? Is it possible to set Hotmail to work the same way as Outlook? If so, why isn't it the default setting as it seems to be in Outlook.
Today I got a reply. Here is it.
Thank you for writing to Hotmail Support.
I can understand your difficulty some preson's receive your e-mails in the form of the HTML. I look forward to provide you with assistance today.
Dave,I would like to inform you that the problem that you are facing is not because of Hotmail. It is just because you might be sending the mails before your RTF tool gets loaded.
I also would like to inform you that the RTF tool takes time to load. So you have to take proper care while composing and sending the mails. The issue has not the do any thing with the Outlook Express.
Dave,I hope that the support help will be able to resolve your issue. In case if you need any further assistance please feel free to e-mail us again.
Remember that MSN Hotmail also has comprehensive online help available--just click Help in the upper right corner.
Ignoring the fact that Microsoft have obviously contracted out Hotmail customer support to somewhere where English isn't their first language, that answer is stil clearly nonsense. They are saying that if I left the rich text editor to load completely before sending my email then everything would work fine.
So I tried an experiment. I loaded up the Hotmail "compose" window and turned on the rich text editor. I then left if for 20 minutes to ensure that it was completely loaded. And then I sent a rich text message to one of my other email addresses. And guess what. There was no plain text version. Hotmail customer support have no idea what they are talking about. Is anyone surprised?
Has anyone else come across this problem? Has anyone solved it?