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BlackBerry sending blank e-mails on Replies or Forwards; specific circumstances

Posted on 2011-04-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
This issue has been driving us crazy ever since we implemented BESx (Express) 5.0.2.29 in our Exchange 2003 environment and migrated to BlackBerry.

I stated specific circumstances because the issue needs a full explanation.

Here is the full scenario:

1.) User receives an e-mail from outside our domain/company (English or Japanese).

2.) User attempts to reply or forward said e-mail from BlackBerry (9800 Model, OS 6), but having entered Japanese characters in the e-mail; sometimes a combination of Japanese/English; Hiragana and Katakana Japanese characters.

3.) Sent e-mail has the appearance of a successful send on the BlackBerry; however the recipient(s) of the replied or forwarded e-mail receives a blank message with a light blue line running across it. If someone within our company is copied on the e-mail, they also receive the blank message.


The message arrives completely blank with the exception of the line, no previous e-mail message or history, not even the English or Japanese characters the user had entered from the BlackBerry.

Now, replying and forwarding e-mails with Japanese characters to and from company e-mail addresses on our Exchange server works fine, no issue with blank e-mails occurring.

At first we suspected the issue was with the message type, RTF/HTML/Plain Text, however after many tests using different setups (Plain Text only, HTML only, etc.) the issue still occurs with e-mails received from outside the company.

Next, we tried restricting the full-width or half-width character set they were typing in Japanese, Hiragana or Katakana (Full/Half-Width). Issue occurred regardless of the set we used.

The latest attempt has been to turn off HTML e-mail from the BlackBerry device, forcing it to send these e-mails in Plain Text, but unfortunately the results are mixed and sometimes the device fails to convert to Plain Text and sends the HTML e-mail.

Some outside e-mails are capable of being forwarded or replied to, using Japanese characters, with success... but other e-mails will suffer the blank message.

One interesting thing I've noticed is that sometimes a particular e-mail with a long history or thread, will all of sudden result in a blank send from the BlackBerry when a user attempts to reply or forward an e-mail from the thread that was sent from an outside address.

The issue is very mercurial and occurs on any device being used under those circumstances; I recently tested loading a user's account on a Curve running OS 5 and issue still occurred, so I cannot completely say that its OS 6 related either.

Any insight or help would be extremely appreciated as I cannot find any information on the web that pertains to the situation we have here.
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Question by:Njustice4all
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Author Comment

by:Njustice4all
ID: 35447158
Update: Confirmed that issue is still occurring even with Curve 3G running OS 5. Occurrence is not as blatant but happened when replying to an e-mail that had a long message history.

At this point, could possibly be some setting on our Exchange or BES server, however everything is provisioned properly.
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Accepted Solution

by:
junaidIT earned 1200 total points
ID: 35459381
how about starting with checking the blackberry messaging agent logs during the time when the issue happens. also the blank emails being received, do they show the same behaviour irrespective of the client.

something from the logs would be always useful to look at .

also about support for unicode langauges on the bes server?http://docs.blackberry.com/en/admin/deliverables/18764/Configuring_support_for_Unicode_languages_1096710_11.jsp

not sure how far this would be useful for you? keep posting the results. would be interesting
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Author Comment

by:Njustice4all
ID: 35460031
Thanks for the comment.

The logs do point to an encoding error on these e-mails, however we also see the same error message whenever a Japanese e-mail is sent from the Berry... apologies but I cannot secure a sample of log at the moment.

The issue occurs no matter what client is on the receiving end, but only when the Japanese characters are sent from the BB.

I may have a lead though, I forgot the other variable in our e-mail system is our Spam filtering which is handled by a third-party.

I spoke with a colleague of mine and he mentioned it could be a header issue since all our outside e-mails pass through the filter and receive additional header lines from the third party, prior to hitting the user's inbox.

Examining the header did reveal multiple lines of additional HTML code being inserted at the Spam filter point.

My next step is to work with the provider on finding a way to test this.
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:lucid8
lucid8 earned 300 total points
ID: 35746577
Are you using "Exclaimer Mail Disclaimers".
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Author Closing Comment

by:Njustice4all
ID: 36003222
Further of the messaging logs revealed a certain pattern when we could replicate the issue in a controlled test. All Japanese emails sent from BlackBerry were generating an HTML error which led us to further investigate the Exchange server.

It was at this point that we realized East Asian character support was not properly configured on the Exchange box.

Enabling the correct character settings cleared all the messaging error logs and so far we have not experienced the issue.

Thanks for the help, both of you.
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