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Why would AOL block all emails from my company?

Posted on 2011-03-17
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
AOL started blocking all emails sent to any of their members from our companys mail server.  We have Small Business Server 2003 with Exchange Server 2003.
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Question by:captjcret
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Expert Comment

by:dtrance
ID: 35159094
Could be for a variety of reasons, or even a mistake if the IP of your mail server falls within a block of addresses they black listed.  They may think you are spamming.  Are you having this trouble with anyone else?  This questions is like going to a mechanic and asking him why your car won't start.

I can only speculate.  You need to get a hold of AOL support to find out why for sure.
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Assisted Solution

by:Jon Brelie
Jon Brelie earned 500 total points
ID: 35159157
Usually this is because your IP falls into a blocked range as dtrance stated, or because you do not have an rDNS entry for your IP, or your mailserver identifies itself (FQDN setting) as something other than what your rDNS address says.

If you do a ping -a xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx on your public IP, it will say:

Pinging <YOUR RDNS HERE>

that is what you should set your FQDN to in Exchange.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 35159166
Agreed, AOL, ATT, Hotmail and a few others can block sites due to not reverse DNS record or using dynamic IP's, or a block of IP's for some reason black listed.
The simple solution with SBS 2003 isusually to run the Connect to the Internet wizard and change from sending mail using DNS to using a "smarthost" by inserting the SMTP server of your ISP. This way the recipient sees the mail coming from your ISP, who islikelyy sure to stay off of any black lists, has a static IP and reverse DNS record.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Jon Brelie
ID: 35159209
Do you get any delivery failure notices returned?  If so, can you post them here?

Thanks!
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Assisted Solution

by:Alan Hardisty
Alan Hardisty earned 1000 total points
ID: 35159222
My article will give you a few things to check in addition to Reverse DNS which has been mentioned.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/A_2427-Problems-sending-mail-to-one-or-more-external-domains.html

The main problem with SBS is the FQDN on your SMTP Virtual Server is usually configured as an invalid FQDN e.g., server.local and should be mail.domain.com or similar and needs to resolve to the IP address you are sending from.  To check / change, look at the properties of your SMTP Virtual Server and on the Delivery Tab> Advanced Button you will see the FQDN.  This is the name of your server that you tell servers that you connect to and this might well be the problem.
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Expert Comment

by:dtrance
ID: 35159262
OP singled out AOL so I presume there are no other issues, hence I didn't bring up the pointer/MX record possibility.  That's why I asked if OP was having issues with any one else.
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Author Comment

by:captjcret
ID: 35160810
This is the message that is on the returned mail.  This happens to anybody in the firm and they are all AOL users we are trying to send to.

From:   System Administrator  
Sent:   Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:14 AM
To:     Rebecca Ward
Subject:        Undeliverable: E-mail

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

      Subject:  E-mail
      Sent:     3/15/2011 11:00 AM

The following recipient(s) could not be reached:

      melsway16@aol.com on 3/17/2011 11:14 AM
            Could not deliver the message in the time limit specified.  Please retry or contact your administrator.
            <mydomain.com #4.4.7>
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Author Comment

by:captjcret
ID: 35160824
I chnaged the FQDN on the SMTP connector from domain.com to mail.domain.com.
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LVL 77

Assisted Solution

by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 35160864
Do you have a reverse DNS record set up with your ISP? AOL does require a revers DNS (PTR) record to accept mail.
Do you have a static or dynamic public IP/
Have you tried using a smart host? You caeasilyly change back if you wish at any time.
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LVL 76

Assisted Solution

by:Alan Hardisty
Alan Hardisty earned 1000 total points
ID: 35160871
You should be good now - domain.com resolved to one IP Address for you and mail.domain.com resolves to another IP - the correct IP, so AOL should like you now - but you will probably have to request de-listing via their website:

http://postmaster.aol.com/SupportRequest.php
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Accepted Solution

by:
captjcret earned 0 total points
ID: 35160928
It looks like the RDNS is not set correctly.  I am having the ISP make the change and we should be good to go.  Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 35160934
It is when I checked a few moments ago.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 35160952
Are you sending from the 201.xxx.xxx.118 address?
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Author Closing Comment

by:captjcret
ID: 35187469
Thanks
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