The ISP responded to my email of 26 April as follows:
I can confirm that I can see both "sent objects" and "sent".
You can click on the particular messages or click Ctrl and select multiple emails, then drag them into the appropriate folders.
You should also be able to delete the subfolder "Sent" by right clicking and deleting.
All of this can be done inside you webmail account.
The only thing I can advise with regards to the IMAP configuration is to double check all of the setting in the email client as we are unable to see what is on your end. We can only advise you on the webmail account.
Thank you for responding to my first question and confirming the account currently has two 'Sent' sub folders as well as a 'Sent objects' folder. Thank you also for your advice regarding my 4th and 5th questions.
Before I attempt to make changes within Webmail and to my email client, it would be extremely helpful if you could respond to my 2nd and 3rd questions, namely:
2) Is there an explanation why Webmail created these ('Sent') two sub folders since the connectivity issue of 2nd April? (I didn't create them).
3) Before the connectivity issue of 2 April, sent emails were all in one folder, 'Sent objects'. Since then sent mail has not appeared in the 'Sent objects' folder. Is there a reason for this?
Your comments will hopefully help me understand what's happened, and how the issue might be resolved.
ISP support has replied:
I can confirm that if the sub folder was not created by you or somebody at your end we are unable to determine any other way it could have been created.
I can confirm that messages should be appearing in the sent objects folder, can you please confirm if the messages are still not appearing in the folder.
Apologies for the inconvenience caused
Thank you for confirm that messages should be appearing in the 'sent objects' folder.
Unfortunately sent messages are no longer appearing in that folder. As reported before, my sent messages are now appearing in a sub folder of Inbox. (!!) This sub folder is called 'sent'. Since this sub folder wasn't created by me, we have to assume it was created by Webmail. (And it seems the connectivity issue of 2 April may have triggered this).
How can my account revert to the structure that existed before?
Can you advise what needs to be done so that sent messages can once again appear in the 'sent objects' folder?
I'm sharing with you all the information I have regarding this issue.
As you know, I simply want all the sent emails to continue to appear in the same folder in Mail, and the same folder in Webmail (as it was before 2 April). Currently they're not. How can that be achieved?
You don't seem to know. Is there someone in Apple Support who might be able to help? Someone whose expertise is in this area? I believe the issue is relevant to those beyond the Tiger camp.
ISP Support relied:
I have sent a test message and can see that the sent email does in fact fall into sent objects folder instead of the sent folder. I have escalated this to our 3rd line support team to investigate. As soon as we have an update we will inform you via this ticket.
Your patience is appreciated while we aim to resolve your issue.
Is this progress? If you recall, they originally suggested there was no issue!
I wrote back (and here use 'iHope' where appropriate):
Thanks for your message and testing.
Your test confirms something important. When a message is sent from your end it appears (correctly) in the 'sent objects' folder. When a message is sent from my end it appears in a sub folder of Inbox, called 'sent'. The two versions are mirroring each other in a strange way!
The connectivity issue of 2 April appears to have changed the folder structure in Webmail and my email client application. When normal connectivity returned Webmail and my email client did not revert to their previous the folder structures. That's the problem.
On 5 April I wrote to you describing what happened in my email client as follows:
"When the Webmail connectivity issue occurred on 2 April the Sent mailbox disappeared from the Mail application on my computer. The application (by itself) then created a new Sent mail as a sub-folder of something it named "@iHope". All the sent messages are in this new Sent sub-folder.
When the Webmail connectivity issue was cleared up the Mail application did not revert to its previous condition, and would not allow me to create a new Sent mailbox.
Today I sent an email, the first since this issue began, and the Mail application itself created a new Sent mailbox in the same place as before (and with the correct symbol). This new Sent mailbox contains just that one message.
I should like to transfer all the other sent messages (currently in the sub-folder of "@iHope") to the correct Sent mailbox, so things are back to the way they were.
However my Webmail account on your server presents a different picture. The email I sent today appears in a newly created sub-folder of INBOX, called "Sent". And all the previous mail sent is still in "Sent objects" - although in my computer's Mail application they're not in the right place."
I hope my description of 5 April clarifies what the issue is and helps in finding a solution.
I've not posted the further exchanges with my ISP. It seems they're determined not to be helpful.
It now looks like my remaining option is to setup a new IMAP account with the same name, something you suggested a long time ago. Can you tell me how I can do this?
Once set up, I'd naturally like to continue to have access to all the mail currently on the server and "On My Mac".
The Description is iHope (my name). Are you saying I'll have to use another name? That will be weird.
What's the actual procedure? My current IMAP account is called iHope. Do I delete it? Then set up another account with exactly the same configuration, except the Description?
If the old account no longer exists, why can't I use the old name in Description?
Or at a later date, can I change the Description back to my name?
I'm pleased to report this weird issue has been resolved - almost! This is is how...
I sought the help of a Mac specialist to delete the three accounts in Mail (which includes iHope) and set them up again. I didn't have the confidence to try this myself and risk losing everything!
Unfortunately, it made no difference, the same problem persisted. Which meant the issue was at the other end, on the Webmail server. We went there and carefully 'unknotted' the mess it had got itself into. Various folders were deleted (but not their contents!) in order to revert to the folder structure that existed before. This did the trick!
Mail and Webmail are now mirroring each other correctly. With one exception. The "@iHope" folder which Mail created on 2nd April is still there and houses all the old sent messages. And current sent mail is housed in the new standard sent mailbox. So looking up sent mail means searching in two places... which I can live with.