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Can't Put Variables in Bounced Email

Posted on 2009-04-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
When I send an email to the bounce address hits a catch-all mail-pipe (121-314-bounce@myaddress.com) using PHP with the FROM and REPLY-TO and RETURN-PATH variables set as 121-314-bounce@myaddress.com, that address is not in the bounced email. It simply uses popuser@myaddress.com.
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Question by:EMB01
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 24124252
I'm not sure of this, but I think you may need to speak with your email server provider about this.  Try to get all the headers and see if "popuser" is substituted everywhere.

Puzzled, ~Ray
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by:EMB01
ID: 24125546
If you're puzzled now, listen to this... I received spam from someone sending to "lagemarketbuildersbeh@emarketbuilders.com," an address which doesn't exist. On this bounced message, the $from variable in my pipe script returns "lagemarketbuildersbeh@emarketbuilders.com" as it should. But, when I send an email to "121-314-bounce@emarketbuilders.com" which is another non-exisiting address, the $from variable reads "admin@emarketbuilders.com," not "121-314-bounce@emarketbuilders.com" as it is supposed to.

What do you think I should do to solve this?
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 24125726
If you have cPanel available, you can look at the message routing for email.  Circa 2001, I used to put all the mis-addressed email into a catch-all bucket so I could get messages from people who accidentally misspelled the name, but that was before the advent of Spam.  Feh.  Now I just discard the mis-addressed email.  Anyway, all of those settings are in the "mail" section of cPanel.

It almost sounds like there is a REGEX or some other logic at work in the mail router.

If you don't have cPanel or a similar control tool, it may be a tech service call.
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by:EMB01
ID: 24125862
Yeah, I have Plesk... and my host doesn't usually support anything that even sounds "extra."
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by:EMB01
ID: 24132861
How about this... I get failure notices as attached, so what should I do to get the headers (such as Reply-To) from this message?
Hi. This is the qmail-send program at emarketbuilders.com.
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.
 
<email@website.com>:
Sorry, I wasn't able to establish an SMTP connection. (#4.4.1)
I'm not going to try again; this message has been in the queue too long.
 
--- Below this line is a copy of the message.
 
Return-Path: <admin@emarketbuilders.com>
Received: (qmail 15779 invoked by uid 48); 6 Apr 2009 12:29:36 -0700
Date: 6 Apr 2009 12:29:36 -0700
Message-ID: <20090406192936.15764.qmail@emarketbuilders.com>
To: email@website.com
Subject: My subject
From: EMB <admin@emarketbuilders.com>
Reply-To: EMB <admin@emarketbuilders.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-type: text/html;charset=iso-8859-1
X-Mailer:: PHP/5.2.6

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Ray Paseur earned 250 total points
ID: 24132998
You can use explode() to break the message apart into an array. Do it once like this and then var_dump() the array to see what you've got.  A little tinkering will get you the right stuff.

$array = explode('Reply-To:', $message)
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 25439468
Thanks for the points.  Coincidentally I am just now working on a project that uses this technology - processing fields out of email into POST data for an online app.  What timing! ~Ray
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