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Emails bouncing back....


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Before we get started, I have NOT had any problems with undeliverable emails until my upgrade to 6.0.10. I understand that this could very well be a server hosting issue, but I have contacted them and they're telling me that it's because of invalid email addresses, however, the emails are verified as I have been communicating with them because the customers are contacting me from these same emails asking for status updates (they're not getting those emails).

So, I have contacted Dreamhost they were no help, they insist there are no issues.

I am receiving bounce backs for emails (see below). These emails are not specific to any one email service provider. It is occuring with mostly Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, Hotmail services. If I create test accounts with fake domains, the emails go through.

Is there a way to see what's going on? Where the issues really are? I need some sort of evidence besides the undeliverable emails to go back to my hosting company.



This is the mail system at host iad1-shared-relay2.dreamhost.com.

I'm sorry to have to inform you that your message could not
be delivered to one or more recipients. It's attached below.

If you are a current customer of DreamHost, please contact our
technical support team here


If you are not a customer please use our contact form at.


If you do so, please include this email in your support ticket. You can
delete your own text from the attached returned message.

                DreamHost Email Support

<********@aol.com>: delivery temporarily suspended: host
    mailin-04.mx.aol.com[] refused to talk to me: 421 4.7.1 :
    (DYN:T1) https://postmaster.aol.com/error-codes#421dynt1

Final-Recipient: rfc822; *****@aol.com
Original-Recipient:rfc822; *****@aol.com
Action: failed
Status: 4.7.1
Diagnostic-Code: X-Postfix; delivery temporarily suspended: host
    mailin-04.mx.aol.com[] refused to talk to me: 421 4.7.1 :
    (DYN:T1) https://postmaster.aol.com/error-codes#421dynt1

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The error mentioned in the non-delivery report says:

"The IP address you are sending from has been temporarily rate limited because it is not Whitelisted, unexpected increase in volume, or poor IP reputation."

Meaning (and this is typical for domains such as Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail), these domains have seen an increase of emails from this IP range (that includes the IP address of the server where your site is located) that cannot be explained for reasons other than being intentionally bombarded with junk.

In other words, it is not the case that the destination emails do not exist. It is that AOL has flagged DreamHost as as being the source of out-of-bounds amounts of emails.

It is temporary.

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In a previous life, I sent emailed newsletters to a certain constituency. They were sent from an in-house server instead of a third-party (constant contact, mailchimp, etc). I had to engage a throttle for AOL that was ridiculously tight. With AOL, it is not so much a domain getting blacklisted*, as it is exceeding their rate threshold from the same IP.

(AOL people have use of a "This is JUNK/SPAM" button. They tend to use that button instead of appropriately moving it to their trash folder - that is, delete. Thus, the IP and/or domain gets blacklisted - for 24 hours -  because of AOL user error.)

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  • 1 year later...

Firstly, this is an issue that Dreamhost should be sorting out as it is their issue - but their support dept is not known for anything approaching good support !

AOL are especially bad for this type of thing (but all of the big free email providers do it to a certain degree) as they can block an IP address simply because (as Brian said) one single user has marked an email as spam/junk - so if you are on a shared IP address and are one of several hundred or more on that same IP address, then you can be affected and blocked by another user. This is one of the big reasons we always recommend anyone running a business using CubeCart or any other software, always has their site on a dedicated IP address.  Worse still, many companies can block a whole /24 class of IP address (255 addresses) for problems from one of the IP addresses within that group.

A block can also be caused by sending too many emails too quickly, even if they are legitimate but your hosting company will probably rate limit the sending anyway.  It can often be caused by sending too many (and too many actually isnt a very high number) emails to addresses that dont exist - this is due to this being a symptom of sending to purchased email lists.  It is therefore extremely important that mailing lists are cleaning on a regular basis so when sending emails out, collect any bounces where it says the mailbox doesnt exist and delete them or at least stop them being sent emails


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Using MXtoolBox, it seems that your IP is listed on at least 3 RBL's,  Lashback being one of them, and is truly an awful RBL.

As Ian says, you probably share your IP with many other users, if any one of those other users have been sending spam or been compromised and is sending spam unknowingly, then the whole server will get blacklisted.

You'll need to contact your hosts and get them to do the leg work.

For these exact reasons, I bought my own dedicated server.


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