The lists I am talking about are no such beasts. My theory is that some ISPs blacklist any IP address (or range) they haven't received mail from in "X number of years" in the theory that someday it could pop up and start spewing spam. So block it and never have to worry about it. If someone legit pops up, make them jump through a few hoops to prove they aren't a spam ba$-tard, and we white list them. Great system if it works. Horrible system if you can't operate it correctly. You can see below who falls into which camp.
To start, any IP address you are given you should check against sites that check Internet blacklists for you.
Kloth.net has one
MXToolbox has one as well
Even though you might not appear on any of these lists (the two servers I own don't). You might still be blocked by ISP local black lists. How they come up with them, not a clue. Do you have a clue? Drop us a line.
Thank you for contactingWindows Live Hotmail E-mail Support Thank you for submitting your issue to Support. Your Support Ticket Number:1041240829 For reference, please print this page or write down your support ticket number. Use this number when communicating with Support about this issue. To make sure that you can receive a reply from Microsoft, add the "microsoft.com" domain to your e-mail "safe list". If you do not receive a response in your "inbox" within 24 hours, check your "bulk mail" or "junk mail" folders.One thing I did notice is that even in their help file they mention SenderID records. I'm not sure if they are tossing mail out based on this or not. It looks like I need to put SenderID (MS) and DomainKeys (Yahoo) on my todo list. Ugh.
SMTP error from remote mail server after RCPT TO:I couldn't find any mention of me being on a black list, so I tried sending mail from the same domain but a different mail server and it went through just fine. So I figure it must be my IP address. So I find a contact technical support page, and I tell them that I am trying to send mail to one of their users and I seem to be blocked. I got this as a response webpage to that submittal:
: host mx1.optonline.net [18.104.22.168]: 550 5.7.1 Your mail from IP 22.214.171.124 was rejected. We can't currently accept your message. : USERNAMEptonline.net
Your Question has been Submitted The reference number for your question is '070804-000254'. You should receive a response by email from our support department within three (3) business days.------------------- So I have received responses. Several of them in fact. They are getting pretty long, so I will summarize. First they told me that I need to send them a bounce message. I had already done that, but I did it again.
Then they told me that I was on large black lists. I was outraged at this. They referred me to: http://www.optonline.net/mailblocking
This is actually a pretty decent policy. I checked the 3 lists menioned, and I wasn't on any of them. Then I got this message from Loriann H:
Response (Loriann H) - 08/10/2007 10:48 PM Dear firstname.lastname@example.org: Thank you for contacting Optimum Online regarding your question about mail server. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and will be happy to assist. This IP address is positively and neutrally blacklisted at several sites located at http://openrbl.org/client/#126.96.36.199. This is an offset of the http://njabl.org/cgi-bin/lookup.cgi?query=188.8.131.52 site found when you choose the list to link other sites related to it. In order to send mail to our recipients, this would need to be corrected by whoever is in charge of your mail server. If you feel this is incorrect, please call in so that we can investigate and escalate this issue if necessary. The links below provide several contact methods. For additional information, please feel free to review our FAQ located at http://www.optimum.com/support . If you require further assistance you may contact us via: Email: http://optimum.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/optimum.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php Live Support: http://ool.hopto.org Phone: http://www.optimum.com/support/phone_list.jspOk, so I am listed at one black list in the openrbl.org URL. You know what, so are the other 127 hosts in my subnet. Want to know what else? So is the MX for the domain you are looking at right now. Oddly enough, this domain is getting through. When will people stop black listing an entire subnet just because one IP address goes haywire. I'm not sure what the person meant by "This is an offset .... link other site related to it." I have read and re-read that statment and still can't figure it out.
So I did as they said, and I tried calling. When you go to the phone page you are met with a TON of different phone numbers. I finally called one, and got through to a VERY nice customer support person.
The first response is one that I am used to (Thanks COX!) which was "You need to be a customer, have the customer call." My thought once again is that 1. The customer doesn't know they have a problem. 2. How many customers even know how black lists work, how to get off of them, and what an MX record is. Having cable modem customers call is just plain silly.
Once this customer service person understood this, she said she would forward the message onto the e-mail department for review. I sent her all of the information from the previous correspondance and she forwarded it for me. It is now 8/10/07 and this has been a problem for 6 days now. She will return on Tuesday and let me know if there was any status change.
At the same time I have replied to Loriann H's message letting her know that these are just excuses, that OptOnLine isn't even using the 1 BL that I am listed in, because HandyNerds is listed in the same list, and it works, and that there are many numbers, and none of the numbers know anything about incident numbers.
Ok, so I contact the helpdesk at Cari.Net. They said they would look into it. Not sure if they did or not.
The funny thing about this, is that OptOnline themselves are on this black list. The one black list they are giving me so much grief over, they are on themselves!
I don't really know what to do at this point. They should technically be refusing mail from themselves. They are using black lists that I am not on, but still saying that I am getting a bounce message (which I am not) saying I am on a blacklist.
The technician contacted the engineers department (his phrasing, not mine). I was told that we are not blocking you internally as you suspected. I was told that you are being black listed; please check the following link, http://sendersupport.senderscore.net.
So one server still gets through to OptOnline and one doesn't. They still insist that they don't have in internal black list, but I still don't buy it.
I finally found a great friend who is a Cox.Net subscriber to call this one in. So far...
Update! I have just been removed from their blacklist. I'm not going to publish the name of the gentleman who notified me of it, as it would just serve to get him more spam. But here is what finally happened. I got a customer to call and talk to them. We went past first line. Then we got to tier 2 support. They made a ticket and passed it to "Tech-Ops" who then passed it to the e-mail team. That was on 4/16. I called in today and there wasn't any activity. I e-mailed postmaster, abuse, thisisnotspam, and unblick.lists one last time with only the error, and I got off. Maybe my previous e-mails were too wordy? Not sure. But I'm off, and I am now sending Cox.Net subscribers e-mail. YAY!
So why am I not giving up? Well I just started my own company called Best4Men where we find the best products for guys, and sell them. Want to treat yourself to a great shave? Need to smell better? Need a father's day gift? Maybe you just have a Man question (check out "The Club") stop by, and check us out. Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom!