AOL a bit cavalier with mail delivery.

  [DELETED] 00:20 05 Nov 2003

Or, have AOL joined the postal strike?

Know of 23 e-mails being sent this week to 3 diferent AOL recipients, and only 4 of these messages have got through.

The AOL recipients can all mail out, it's just the ingoing mail that falters.

The faltering mail has been sent on 4 independent PC's, and involves 3 different ISPs -- Freeserve; Beeb ; Glowinternet.

The fault would seem to be laid at the door of AOL.

Anybody else got similar experiences?

  [DELETED] 00:26 05 Nov 2003

This is a copy/paste of my reply to another thread the other day regarding AOL and mail problems, hope it is of some help. j.

I'm with AOL and contacted them some weeks back regarding their policy of dealing with "Spam". AOL are determined to cut down on the amount of spam passing, not only through their servers but the internet as a whole. I was informed that AOL deal with 3 billion e-mails per day world wide. [3 billion] and approximately 2.1 billion of these are Spam.
If a large amount of traffic suddenly comes from any one particular ISP, then a temporary block is put on that ISP. The Postmaster from the ISP that has been blocked only needs to contact AOL and the temporary block is immediately lifted. But according to AOL, Other ISP's are a little slow at times to do this, and the block stays on longer than necessary.

I was informed that other ISP's know that the mail is being returned from AOL and should contact them. AOL's policy is very strict to-ward this abuse of the internet and will do all in it's power to protect it's members from this abuse.

Unfortunately on occasions, genuine e-mail will be blocked for the reason explained above, and they are addressing this issue as quickly as they can. The senders ISP is aware of this and also in full knowledge of how to lift the blocking.

I have placed part of the e-mail I received from AOL giving this information, just to confirm that it was not a confidential mail, and I was free to discuss in the forum.

Regards. j.


Head of corporate media relations.

As regards my response to you - please feel free to pass on wherever you choose - we are very comfortable with our position on this issue and quite happy for it to be in a public forum.

  [DELETED] 07:21 05 Nov 2003

The FE posted a thread about AOL some days ago click here

  [DELETED] 08:25 05 Nov 2003

Djohn tx for the information.

Am SERIOUSLY UNIMPRESSED with AOL, now that I discover it is wilful policy on their part. Not just blocking the mail, but actually dumping it -- suppose electronically, just shorting it out. It's a bit like Royal Mail suddenly deciding to economise and to heat their depots by arbritarily burning 25 tonnes of mail at a time! It would tend to erode consumer confidence!

2 of the 3 AOL recipients in my example use their addresses for business. Shall suggest to all AOL addresses I know, that if they value my communications they should switch ISPs pretty bloody quickly!

I shall copy this thread to everyone on my address list at least, and as you have an inside track to AOL, perhaps you could copy it to them also, Djohn!!!

  Diemmess 09:18 05 Nov 2003

My smug feeling sitting here month after month using Aol without bother, is now disturbed. Occasionally a single spam or potential virus was the only ripple on my pond.

During the last week have had 50 odd spam messes dumped on a seldom used screen-name, and the possibility that an attachment was removed from an email I sent. In this case it was the first and so far only attempt to send an attachment to this recipient of unknown skill!

So what? The Jury is out for me at the moment. but Aol has served me very well fo years.

  [DELETED] 09:50 05 Nov 2003

Does anyone know what British ISP`s are currently being blocked by AOL?.

  [DELETED] 13:42 05 Nov 2003


On top of the dishonesty of AOL in interfering with, and dumping e-mails, your comments suggest that its not working either as a spam reducing policy.

Sorry! Wouldn't tolerate it myself, would have no compunction in dumping AOL completely.

If they are that concerned over spam, why not issue all their clientelle with anti-spam software.

Could understand it if they blocked the e-mails and refered back to sender -- but to just dump the e-mails is DISHONEST!!!

  [DELETED] 15:58 05 Nov 2003

Couple of points I need to make. I'm not happy with the fact that some of my legitimate mail may not be getting through to me. But in my first post I did say that AOL are addressing the problem.

They do have a "Spam" control button on the email page and sometimes over zealous, or mistaken use of this control by the individual user can block legitimate mail.

I accidentally used this button to block both PCA and AOL themselves, I phoned them to have the block removed. [I now realise that this can be done from within the controls of the email program].

Again, as I point out in my first post. It was explained to me that they do not just dump the mail, they inform the "Post Master", or is it the "Web Master" of the senders ISP, that a temporary block has been placed on the ISP. The ISP concerned should inform the sender of the mail by returning the mail as, "Undelivered"

The ISP that has been blocked is aware of this instantly and needs only to contact AOL and the block is lifted. If they are slow to do this, then the block will stay on longer than is necessary.

[I don't know if this is done by phone, or something that is taken care of my an automatic mail response]

AOL are trying to reduce this vast amount of spam that is slowing down the servers and the Net as well. Other ISP's are also using some form of control themselves, but I'm not aware of what method they are using.

My brother-in-law, using "Virgin" tried to send me a test mail over the weekend, [We were both in contact via the phone at the time] Within a few minutes he informed me that they were being returned to him, I was not receiving them. then some fifteen minutes later he tried again and they came through almost instantly.

I don't know the answer to this, it's a little above my head as to how the control, and/or blocking is done, or what the target figure is, before any ISP decides that the large volume of mail received from any particular ISP may contain Spam, then is blocked.

I too would like to get the full information on this policy of dealing with Spam, because even though I use, like and have a lot of praise for AOL, I'm also feeling a little uneasy that some of the mail sent to me may not be coming through. J.

  [DELETED] 17:06 05 Nov 2003

I have just phoned, Jonathan Lambeth
Head of Corporate Media Relations for AOL and his department have promised a return call by tomorrow to discuss this issue again.

I will update the thread as soon as I can. j.

  [DELETED] 18:58 05 Nov 2003

Djohn had answered my post which he mentioned earlier. I sent it on to my brother in law via Hotmail as AOL was rejecting Freeserve. He replied that AOL was indifferent as was Freeserve when I contacted them. It appears everyone knows what's going on except those who matter, namely us. By the way, my brother in law received a mail from me Via Freeserve today so it looks as if their Temporary ban is lifted................temporarily, I suppose.

  [DELETED] 21:11 05 Nov 2003

During the course of the day, the 4th send of one e-mail, and the 3rd send of another have gotten thro' the AOL net. Suggests that it is not content but general 'conditions' at the time of send.

Spam may be a general problem, but AOL's approach is fundamentally flawed, and by interrupting legitimate e-mail it will rebound on them. It's 10 days since my first 'dumped' e-mail and have not yet had any 'undeliverable' notification. Can't comment on whose fault that is, but the cause is obviously AOL.

Expect them to do better analysis and source identification than that -- still defend my earlier comment that their approach is dishonest.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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