Then you are probably not getting all your email. Below is the FAQ they finally put online, way AFTER they began their spam fighting initiative about 1 year ago. I argued with them for months. Initially, they had absolutely no controls at all on the user side to opt-out of their spam filtering. Around August or September of 2004, they finally implemented some controls.

When you go to your control panel page, there is an option to "Disable spam filtering", which I was led to believe by support would bypass their spam filtering. Sounds plausible right? WRONG!

This option, as I have marked off with "************" in the FAQ below, ONLY applies to email that manages to get through their first-line filters. Mail that doesn't get past their pre-filtering (before it reaches their email servers), gets returned to the sender (but no copy to the receiver!) with the cryptic message:

5.0.0 X-Postfix; said:
554 Denied (in reply to end of DATA command)

It is impossible to run a business when your ISP is making the decision as to what email being sent to you is spam or not, and then rejecting mail that offends their filters without notifying the receiver (subscriber).

Please copy and post this message around the web. Anyone using SBC hosting needs to get off of it.

Actually, the more that leave, the more it will help them. With less clients, they will have less email traffic and therefore less potential spam mail to deal with. Then SBC can concentrate on what they do best, delivering POTS service.

If I were a hosting provider, I'd be offering specials for people who transfer SBC hosted domains and services!

FAQ - Anti-Spam Update
Anti-Spam Update

Dear SBC Shared Web Hosting Customer,

Email SPAM, Viruses, Trojans and Worms are a growing problem on the Internet. In an effort to combat these problems, SBC Internet Services is implementing an Email Defense Service. This service provides inbound and outbound email protection from Spam, Viruses, Trojans, Worms, and Phishing.

Email Defense Service Protection Features

Spam Blocking
Fraud Protection
Virus and Worm Scanning
Content & Attachment filtering
Email Attack Protection
Outbound Message Filtering

The first phase of Email Defense Service is scheduled to be implemented over the July 4, 2004 weekend. This initial phase will include inbound Spam Blocking only. No action is required on your part to start using the service, and you should expect to see a decrease in the amount of spam you receive.

Reverse DNS (rDNS)
With this implementation, we have now removed the reverse DNS (rDNS) tool that was implemented on June 11, 2004.

At SBC Internet Services, we appreciate your business and strive to bring you the very best Internet technologies available. If you have any questions about your new Email Defense Service, please call us at (888) WEB-HOST (888-932-4678).

Thank you,

SBC Internet Services

This FAQ provides information on how to use your "Configure E-mail" spam filter options.

Email SPAM is a growing problem on the Internet so in an effort to combat these problems, SBC Internet Services has implemented an Email Defense Service. This service provides inbound email protection from all forms of Spam.

The first phase of Email Defense Service has been implemented over the July 4, 2004 weekend. This initial phase will include inbound Spam Blocking only. The Email Defense Service will automatically Scan and deny delivery of messages with a "High Probability" of being spam. This scan is done at the mail server level before it ever reaches you In Box.

Who is supplying this solution?
Our spam solution is based on powerful Email Defense Gateway platform within SBC. The options are integrated into the Configure E-mail program.

How does SBC determine what messages are spam?
Using a complicated set of formulas, the e-mail defense system checks message headers, subject lines, and email message text to determine if the message has spam characteristics. Based on the results of these checks, it will either be rejected at the mail server level or delivered to your domain.

Do I need to modify the systems backend to determine how my spam settings will work?
No. Simply set the spam filtering options for your domain; SBC manages all other spam detection functions.

What is the difference between the filtering done at the Email Defense Gateway platform and the filtering done at the Control Panel level?
All mail is first scanned at Email Defense Gateway platform and is either rejected as Spam or accepted and passed on to your domain. The Control Panel will allow you to further filter the messages that we have delivered to your domain.

What spam settings are available in the Configure E-mail tool?

As of July 19th, our customers will have the ability to modify the filters AT THE DOMAIN LEVEL. This only applies to the mail that has made it through our Spam filters and has been delivered to your domain. You now have the option of further filtering beyond what we have already done.

Enable Spam Filtering turns inbound spam filtering on and Disable Spam Filtering turns inbound spam filtering off. If you choose Enable Spam Filtering, two options are available; marking the inbound messages as spam and having them delivered to you, or denying all inbound messages previously identified as spam. Denied messages are returned to the sending mail server with an error message.

How is spam filtering set up when I buy an account?
The inbound spam filtering option is set to scan, mark, and deliver spam email messages. When you access your Configure E-mail tool for the first time, you see that the Enable Spam Filtering and Mark as [SPAM] and Deliver options are checked by default.

How are spam messages marked?
SBC places the letters [SPAM] at the beginning of the subject line of email messages it determines to be spam.

What happens to email messages after SBC determines them to be spam?
The Configure E-mail tool provides two choices; you can instruct SBC to mark messages as spam and deliver them to you, or deny messages and return them to the sending mail server with an error message.

How do I handle spam messages that are delivered to me?
You can set up your email client to delete them, send them to a bulk or trash folder, or whatever other spam-handling options are available in your specific email client.

Can I set up spam filtering for individual email accounts?
No. Spam filtering is set for your domain. All individual email accounts are protected identically.

How do I set my spam filtering options?
Access your Configure E-mail tool in your control panel (

Figure 1 - Control Panel > Configure Email

From the Configure Email screen select Spam Filtering to navigate to the relevant portion of the screen.
From the Spam Filtering section, select the preference to "Enable Spam Filtering" and "Mark as [SPAM] and deliver."

Figure 2 - Set Spam Filtering Preference

Select [Change].
The system submits the changes and redisplays the Configure Email screen with a confirmation message, '"Your changes have been saved.'

Figure 4 - Confirmation

Messages evaluated as "Spam" are marked in the subject line as [Spam] and are delivered according to the customer's delivery options.
Can I change my spam filtering options?
Yes. Just access the Configure E-mail tool again and make the changes you want.

If I have customized my MX records in the Zone Editor, can I set up spam filtering in Configure E-mail?
No. Configure E-mail checks to see if you have custom MX records in your zone file before it displays the Configure E-mail form. If your zone file contains custom MX records, Configure E-mail displays a message informing you that you must reset your MX records back to our default mail servers if you want to use our spam filtering tool. If you have a custom MX record you will no longer be able to receive [email protected] unless you make the change.

Default Mail Servers -

Do You scan outbound messages for Spam as well?
At this time we are only scanning inbound mail. Outbound scanning is an option we may implement at a later date.

Can I opt out of this filtering service?
No. All email is scanned and accepted or rejected before it is passed on to our mail servers.