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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Thumbs down AOL and their FBL reports getting out of control, so is AOL

    We have been having some issues and confusion about AOL mail and their FBL lately.

    Basically we received the reports just like any other. We know if we get enough of these per user/domain/server or whatever that the network may null route our ip address. We notice that nearly all we have received lately are for legit forum and newsletter email.

    So I had my tech send out a mass email to our users suggesting them to avoid sending mail to AOl and we explained the problems that can arise from doing so or if a malicious user abuses their system. One of my users had posted this on their forum and then for reasons I will never know pmed the link to AOLmail on twitter. Once AOL mail guy - Becker seen this he must have contacted out network right away and demanded the client's forum be shut down because it was.

    When I get online the client's ip was null routed and I got frantic emails from my network wanting me to contact them ASAP. It was all about the AOL mail thing. They did not like the email I sent my users and claimed it was all false. It turns out the only thing posted in the announcement that was wrong was about AOL sharing their RBL's, everything else was true.

    I had to send out a secondary email to my users which was basically a sanitized version of what I first told them. The truth still remains and was even verified from my network that if you get enough of these reports in a short amount of time or get lots over time then service interruption and blacklists can occur.

    Why would anyone risk outages and blacklistings just to send mail to AOL? I know I wouldnt. It also amazes me that AOL would want to shutdown a website and an entire hosting company because someone suggested their users not send mail to AOL because of their easily abused system. Instead of contacting me or the user of the forum directly AOl goes running to network abuse. How does such a thing even warrant that action? If he was genuinely concerned about user's views of AOL mail policy wouldnt he want to contact the users and/or hosting company? No, they want to demand shutdowns. Simply amazing such a big company would do that. Knowing that any network would be intimidated by them, probably threatening complete blacklistings when AOL wants something down it usually and has this situation has showed me - goes down.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Devon, UK
    That's pretty bad. Haven't had to deal with AOL fortunately, but have had problems with Yahoo! and Hotmail in the past.

  3. #3
    AOL maintains a postmaster site. You might want to take a look at it.

    None of the biggies are really interested in unwarranted blacklisting. This causes an increase in support tickets. Support tickets cost money.

    As you can imagine, we send out a *lot* of email and have never heard so much as a peep from any of them. They don't even mind a few dead addresses as long as it doesn't get out of hand.

    It's the little guys running the latest fad of the week in spam control that get out of hand.
    managed dns global failover and load balance (gslb)
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Try to get yourself unsubscribed from the Feedback Loop. Thats a special experience all of its own. I went as far as to start reporting the "scomp" emails to spamcop for a few weeks, when they poured in, several dozen per day, to no avail (after *many* unsubscribe attempts over every medium you could imagine)

    Needless to say, ours is still active, it goes to /dev/null, because we couldn't get removed. A FBL, where > 50% of the complaints are totally legitimate emails, and > 75% of the complaints are very mundane items (receipts, invoices, forum reply notices, you name it), makes the FBL in itself beyond worthless.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    We've had issues in the past with all the big free email hosts (AOL, Yahoo & Hotmail) regarding spam and blacklists and firewall bans.

    Most of the time it can be sorted by contacting the other provider and work on a discussion into a resolution. Because without any of this will incurr issues for customers from both providers. If this is the case then will be heavily published untill a workaround is settled.

    95% of the time, its easy, stright-forward and within days its solved. However AOL are known to be unhelpful and we've had to gone into changing IP addresses for mailservers to resolve blacklisting issues.
    NationhostUK - International Hosting Provider
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    The South
    Quote Originally Posted by porcupine View Post
    A FBL, where > 50% of the complaints are totally legitimate emails, and > 75% of the complaints are very mundane items (receipts, invoices, forum reply notices, you name it), makes the FBL in itself beyond worthless.
    This, this this this. I ignore them anymore, the crap to gold ratio is too high. For every dozen personal emails, invoices, shipping notices/etc you get 1 real honest to god spam. Of those "real spam" at least half of those are spam FORWARDED to an aol account from our server where someone has a forwarder setup! It's beyond useless.
    Gary Harris - the artist formerly known as Dixiesys
    resident grumpy redneck

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