Failed to connect to SMTP host

I have an exchange 2003 server which I know very little about. Nothing on my end has changed but occaasionally we receive a phone call from some of our vendors saying they tried to send an email and receive the following msg:

Failed to connect to SMTP host @@@@@.com becasue remote system no longer responding. This strange thing is that this does not happen for all messages. Can someone provide some guidance as to how I go about trouble shooting this (in simplest terms possible)?
tmaususerAsked:
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waleedaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
check the SMTP service is running on your exchange server
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tmaususerAuthor Commented:
Yes. SMTP services are running. I also restrating just in case as well
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waleedaCommented:
can you telnet to your exchange server on port 25
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GundogTrainerCommented:

If you open a command prompt on your PC can you telnet to your exchange server on port 25
Telnet Servernamehere 25

this should get a response from you e exchange like:
220 SERVERNAME.something.com Microsoft ESMTP MAIL Service
This would prove your SMTP service is actually listening.

The address @@@@@.com (I know its just obscured to protect your identity) but does that resolve you your own server,gateway or firewall ?
If that address is your firewall then I would expect it to forward the port to your exchange server.
You may be able to look at the logs on the firewall to see if it is passing traffic OK.
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tmaususerAuthor Commented:
Yes
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tmaususerAuthor Commented:
Strange. When I telnet from my pc my command window goes blank with a blinking cursor and does nothing. I have to press a key to return to a dos prompt. Telnet from the exchange server works with no issues.

Yes, it appears my asa is passing traffic correclty or at least from what I can see since I am not that well versed with the asa.
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tmaususerAuthor Commented:
I restarted smtp services even though it was running and that appeared to work. Strange.
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