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  1. #1

    Hosting email - 554 Message Refused

    I have a dedicated server with godaddy (I know) and have used a pre-installed mail server product to host a few email accounts. Nothing fancy. My mail server is required to relay through godaddy's servers. A few of my users began complaining about email bounces - specifically "554 message refused". I opened a support ticket 2 weeks ago. Initially godaddy insisted that the emails contained suspicious phishing links - which they didn't. I incrementally stripped the content of the emails and discovered that it was two simple characters that caused the bounce - left and right square brackets []. I presented this information to godaddy and their response was:

    "When sending emails in the future, please make sure that these two brackets are not placed in succession to avoid the email from being bounced"

    The problem is that my users are trying to forward or respond to email with embedded content that sometimes contains []. I cannot expect them to strip down their emails.

    While acknowledging this issue, godaddy has refused to correct it. Sorry for long-winded explanation but I'm interested in some of your feedback - Does this policy make sense? Why can't they correct it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    The rejection is may be caused by your server or your user's ISP's server. Let's check your server, since you have access to that one.

    Send an email to an address in you mail server. If you get the error check your mail server's problem smtp logs (do a text search on the FROM address your used and note the entry with the correct timing). Copy and paste the log entry and tell me the mailserver you are using. Edit domain names and IP addresses for privacy

    -- Mike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    575
    Outstanding support there. What Mail Transport Agent is your server using?

  4. #4
    I have no problem sending the emails to local domains. And godaddy has already confirmed unambiguously that their relay servers specifically reject emails containing [] on a single line.

    My server is using MailEnable. Here is an excerpt from the SMTP logs (email addresses changed). 64.202.189.86 is godaddy's relay server (k2smtpout.secureserver.net)

    64.202.189.86 MAIL MAIL FROM:<info@mydomain.com> 250 Sender accepted.
    64.202.189.86 RCPT RCPT TO:<user@otherdomain.com> 250 Recipient accepted.
    64.202.189.86 DATA DATA 354 End your message with a period.
    64.202.189.86 DATE 554 Message refused.
    64.202.189.86 QUIT QUIT 221 Good bye.

  5. #5
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    I am assuming here that you are sending from a client such as outlook outside of the godaddy network.

    If godaddy (or your ISP) was rejecting the mail it would never make it to your server and there would be no entry in the log file.

    Additionally the fact that you can send to your own domain further supports the notion that godaddy is not blocking the mail, but your ME is not relaying.

    Is that making sense with what is happening? If so, Look to ME on this one. What version are you using? ST has some MTA hotfixes, etc.

    That doesn't look like the entire Activity. Use the timestamp or message ID in the Activity log and find the corresponding entry in the SMTP Debug log. The MTA activity will be found there.

    --Mike

  6. #6
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    oops. I was thinking of SmarterMail during some of that post. Can you find a detailed smtp log showing the MTA activity?

  7. #7
    I'm not using a remote email client. I am using MailEnable's web client - which should mean the email is already at the mail server. (By the way, the same thing happens with mail client like Eudora).

    Just to be sure, I also opened a support ticket with MailEnable and sent all of the logs. Their response was:

    "This bounce does not seem to be getting generated by MailEnable..."

    It does sound crazy and for a while I was sure it was an issue at my end. Again, godaddy performed their own tests and duplicated my issue. They have acknowledged the problem - but just don't care to fix it.


    Here is the corresponding SMPT debug data:

    04/03/09 09:34:01 ME-I0024: [FE4CD896374F454E93CE613939424131.MAI] SMTP Server is forwarding all mail (directly) to SMTP Hosts [k2smtpout.secureserver.net].
    04/03/09 09:34:01 ME-I0026: [FE4CD896374F454E93CE613939424131.MAI] Sending message
    04/03/09 09:34:01 ME-IXXXX: [FE4CD896374F454E93CE613939424131.MAI] Remote server returned a response indicating a permanent error. Server Response: (554 Message refused.**)
    04/03/09 09:34:01 ME-I0148: [FE4CD896374F454E93CE613939424131.MAI] DATE (DATA Termination) command failed.
    04/03/09 09:34:01 ME-E0146: [FE4CD896374F454E93CE613939424131.MAI] DATA Command Failed.
    04/03/09 09:34:01 ME-E0033: [FE4CD896374F454E93CE613939424131.MAI] DATA Transmission failed.
    04/03/09 09:34:01 ME-E0060: [FE4CD896374F454E93CE613939424131.MAI] - Message could not be delivered to target domain (). Message returned to Sender.

  8. #8
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    Got it. Thanks

    I doubt the problem is with godaddy. If it was they would be getting a few hundred calls an hour haha. Maybe its a client issue? If your're bored there are a couple things to try while waiting for ME to respond. Try sending the mail in Outlook or using command line and telnet and check results. There may be some RFC compliance issues involved.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Collabora View Post
    Got it. Thanks

    I doubt the problem is with godaddy. If it was they would be getting a few hundred calls an hour haha. Maybe its a client issue? If your're bored there are a couple things to try while waiting for ME to respond. Try sending the mail in Outlook or using command line and telnet and check results. There may be some RFC compliance issues involved.
    I don't get it, do you have selective reading or something?

    Right in the first post, the OP said that GoDaddy acknowledged the problem on their end and told him not to use [] on one line after duplicating the issue.

    ME has already responded and said it's likely not a bug on their end.

    He has already tried Eudora and checked the results, why do you suggest Outlook?
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  10. #10
    My mail server is required to relay through godaddy's servers.
    Considering their highhanded policies with respect to confiscating domains when accused of spam, this sounds like par for the course with them. And, completely ludicrous.

    Now, with respect to the [] problem, it may be that they are also normally found in the message headers. It is possible that they are parsing for [] and looking for relay addresses. But, have a problem figuring out where the headers end and the body begins.

    It would be helpful to yourself if you were able to completely dump what is sent as the data portion of the smtp session. That way you can be absolutely sure of the exact contents as seen by the relay server.

    Don't like this though:

    04/03/09 09:34:01 ME-I0148: [FE4CD896374F454E93CE613939424131.MAI] DATE (DATA Termination) command failed.
    DATE?

    Anyways, since you can't get out on 25, try sending from one on box account to another on box account and see what happens.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
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    If you are required (as in forced) to relay your mail, just drop Godaddy and choose another hosting company. There are loads of other companies that treat customers correctly and are capable of helping them better when needed.

  12. #12
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    Moved > Technical & Security Issues.
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    JoneSolutions.Com is on the net providing web hosting services and support 24/7 since 2001.
    .

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nich View Post
    I don't get it, do you have selective reading or something?

    Right in the first post, the OP said that GoDaddy acknowledged the problem on their end and told him not to use [] on one line after duplicating the issue.
    The selective reading is being done by you. There is no acknowledgement by godaddy that there is a problem with their servers. They merely transmitted to the OP what was occurring on their servers. The servers may be acting as designed. As a matter of fact I have a sneaky suspicion it might be their AV server.

    He has already tried Eudora and checked the results, why do you suggest Outlook?
    More selective reading (or is it inability to read) on your end. Do you see the part about RFC compliance. Not all clients act alike.

    I am going by the facts on the ground, not some prejudice regarding the provider.

    1) only a few of his users are experiencing problems
    2) the rest of the gd universe is not experiencing this problem
    3) the problem is in the message data
    4) differerent mail clients behave differently and use slightly different data commands.

    This indicates there might be something going on at the client side.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by plumsauce View Post
    Anyways, since you can't get out on 25, try sending from one on box account to another on box account and see what happens.
    Thanks for the replies. How would I try this?

    Anyway, strangely enough, any attempt to telnet email through the relay server is refused. Maybe I did something wrong. I've provided the telnet session below. And again, just to be clear, any of my users can send any email except when it contains [] on its own line. And yes, godaddy has acknowledged this.


    220 k2smtpout03-01.prod.mesa1.secureserver.net ESMTP
    HELO mydomain.com
    250 k2smtpout03-01.prod.mesa1.secureserver.net
    MAIL FROM:user@mydomain.com
    250 Sender accepted.
    RCPT TO:user@otherdomain.com
    250 Recipient accepted.
    DATA
    354 End your message with a period.
    Subject:-test-

    Hello world
    .
    554 Message refused.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CELMER View Post

    Anyway, strangely enough, any attempt to telnet email through the relay server is refused. Maybe I did something wrong. I've provided the telnet session below. And again, just to be clear, any of my users can send any email except when it contains [] on its own line. And yes, godaddy has acknowledged this.


    220 k2smtpout03-01.prod.mesa1.secureserver.net ESMTP
    HELO mydomain.com
    250 k2smtpout03-01.prod.mesa1.secureserver.net
    MAIL FROM:user@mydomain.com
    250 Sender accepted.
    RCPT TO:user@otherdomain.com
    250 Recipient accepted.
    DATA
    354 End your message with a period.
    Subject:-test-

    Hello world
    .
    554 Message refused.

    That's strange. For giggles try sending bracket mail in Eudora with outgoing server configured for your ISP's smtp server (if that works and you cannot resolve the 554 issue, it will be a good workaround)

    Also check your spf records

  16. #16

    Same issue here

    I had the same issue today. I use outlook 2003 for such a long period now, never had such an issue before. The funny thing is it isnt happening to every other email, but only specific to some IDs. I tried the same from webmail also, same result. Hence I did a research over the issue, here is the outcome:

    This 554 error is a problem with the ISP, mine is GoDaddy. I tried using without [] also, still the problem persists. But when I tried sending mails to the rejected IDs from a different ISP, which is also configured to my outlook, it worked. So, it is clear this is a problem with the ISP. As an effort of reducing spamming by Go Daddy, based on some rules, it is back firing on the regular users.

    Anyways, I have opened up a ticket with GoDaddy. Lets see what the Daddy says!

    Cheers
    Abi

  17. #17

    Talked to GoDaddy- Blacklisted links in msg body

    I had this problem last night also. I just got off the phone with GoDaddy support. It turns out that at least in my case, it has to do with blacklisted links in the body of the email. There was a single site link in the body of the email (that was the web site of the recipient). For some reason, their site got on a blacklist. GoDaddy compares the content of the outgoing mail to their blacklist, and if it hits, you get the "554 Message refused" rejection.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by abiman_111 View Post

    Anyways, I have opened up a ticket with GoDaddy. Lets see what the Daddy says!

    Abi
    Good luck. I had this issue elevated multiple times with no resolution. Each godaddy operator was mostly friendly but also shocked that this was an issue. Highler-ups verbally acknowledged the issue but refused to give me a formal statement (that I could pass to my users) that the two empty brackets [] would result in a bounce.

    -Celmer

  19. #19

    Thumbs up Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by SNor View Post
    I had this problem last night also. I just got off the phone with GoDaddy support. It turns out that at least in my case, it has to do with blacklisted links in the body of the email. There was a single site link in the body of the email (that was the web site of the recipient). For some reason, their site got on a blacklist. GoDaddy compares the content of the outgoing mail to their blacklist, and if it hits, you get the "554 Message refused" rejection.
    Thank you, SNor! I just had the very same problem today. No empty bracket in my message (which was just a reply to someone's mail), but the sender who I was replying to wrote a link in his initial mail. I'm with GoDaddy for my mailing account, and it seems that they are indeed blocking the sender's website.

    Anyway, your information helped me a lot because I did not understand what happened before reading it. Thanks again!

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