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Calendar incorrectly reading .ics file, time and timezone are incorrect

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Darien Hallagan
New Contributor

Hello.  I'm stupid frustrated.  My wife uses ios, I use microsoft.  Both of us have all our settings to automatic Central Time, Chicago which is UTC-6.  When she sends me a calendar invite, I get an email from her with an attached .ics file.  Double clicking on it opens it up in outlook 365 calendar.   In this example, the email body shows the event starts at 2:00pm CST and ends at 3:00pm CST.  This is a recurring event.  Here is the relevant .ics file details:

 

DTEND;TZID=America/Chicago:20180918T150000
DTSTAMP:20180918T191409Z
DTSTART;TZID=America/Chicago:20180918T140000
LAST-MODIFIED:20180918T191409Z

 

Because the event is recurring, I cannot change the time in outlook when opening the .ics file.  In outlook 365 calendar (and all the oulook calendars) it shows as 3:00pm to 4:00pm CST instead of 2:00pm to 3:00pm.  The calendar invite also states, "The meeting has been adjusted to reflect the current time zone.  It was initially created in the following time zone: UCT-06:00 Central America."  When she sends me a non recurring event, I can change the time.  (That's strange in itself -- I can change the time to the correct one in a single event, but not in a recurring event.)  If I open the .ics file in notepad and change it to: (deleting the "Z" from TZID)

 

DTEND;TID=America/Chicago:20180918T150000
DTSTAMP:20180918T191409Z
DTSTART;TID=America/Chicago:20180918T140000
LAST-MODIFIED:20180918T191409Z

 

When opening in outlook, I still get the message "The meeting has been adjusted to reflect the current time zone." but now it says "It was initially created in the following time zone: UCT-06:00 Central Time US & Canada."  And the time is correct, 2:00pm to 3:00pm CST.

 

Outlook.com, Office 365 and the calendar windows 10 app has the wrong time.  I obviously can't go in and edit every .ics file I receive.  Any ideas on how to make outlook 365 open this correctly?  Just to figure out deleting the "Z" makes it work took me about 3 hours of my time...  I am just shocked that "DTEND;TZID=America/Chicago:20180918T150000" and "DTEND;TZID=America/Chicago:20180918T140000" means Central America 4:00pm/3:00pm to Microsoft.

 

thanks...  darien

4 Replies
Hi Darien,

I'm very sorry to hear about this frustrating experience. Could you please private message me the ICS file that you received? I would like to see what might be causing the issue.

--Julia

@Julia Foran - I'd love to understand the outcome of this investigation. 

 

My issue: Wife is a Mac user and I'm Windows... when she sends a cal invite, the email has the event info... date/time correct, however i can't accept/decline/maybe directly... there is an attached .ics file I have to open to accept/decline/maybe which adds it to my calendar... BUT the time on the ics file is 1 hour off (later) than the email time. I'm guessing it's a timezone or daylight savings feature, but we've checked all of our machines and all are set up for the current time. I'd love your assistance and if you were able to fix the gentleman's similar issue.

There wasn't an acceptable outcome. Microsoft told me to do workarounds which are all unacceptable such as have the iOS user share calendar. How is it that in 2019, sharing an .ics file is still an issue is far beyond me. Basically what i have to do is create a new calendar event in outlook. What's really screwed up is that i am still using windows phone and on the windows phone, the appointment times read correctly. How is it that the outlook app on the windows phones reads the .ics file correctly but the outlook app on windows 10 is beyond me. So here, if i accept the appointment, my windows phone shows one time and the outlook app in windows shows an hour off. And i am paying a ton of money to Microsoft yearly for outlook 365. So i am pissed and no one at Microsoft cares....
The issue is on Apple's side. They are not following the public RFC for how to specify timezones, as stated at https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5545:

"... The value of the "TZID" property parameter will be equal to the value of the​
"TZID" property for the matching time zone definition. An​
individual "VTIMEZONE" calendar component MUST be specified for​
each unique "TZID" parameter value specified in the iCalendar​
object. ..."

The only workaround until it is fixed by Apple is to create the event using another application.
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