Bigpond blocking emails

Bigpond is blocking/blacklisting my emails, which are often replies to emails received from bigpond users. I use Apple Mail and my service provider is mail.com. I complained to mail.com and this is their response is below.
Does anyone have a suggestion as to how to prevent this from happening? I am now using ymail, which seems to have no problems.

Dear XXX,
Thank you for contacting the mail.com Premium support team.
We understand that you are currently having problems sending emails to bigpond. According to our Mail Security team, our emails are being rejected by some email servers of bigpond. We truly apologize, however, we do not have any alternatives that we can provide right now. Please try to communicate with your bigpond contacts by other means.
Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely,
GD
mail.com Premium Support

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Welcome to the .community @Pedro1,

Note this is not a tech support forum but some of us may be helpful from knowledge or experience.

I had a period where microsoft email servers were rejecting everything from my ISPs email SMTP server (via thunderbird) and was never able to find a resolution excepting using googlemail directly. That was long enough ago and an ISP/RSP away.

At the time it was attributed to the amount of spam coming from the iprimus network; iprimus tried to clean up their network and after many months microsoft stopped blocking email originating from it.

Between mail.com and bigpond you should have codes in your bounced email headers indicating why they got bounced, and thus what bigpond ‘sees’ as the problem. FWIW your ‘premium support’ seems anything but as they should have at least told you why, not just ‘yes it is happening’.

In thunderbird it is ‘view->message source’. I am not familiar with other interfaces except google’s web.

@grahroll is often atop such stalemates and perhaps he will add some helpful hints. Also join and post on Whirlpool if you are not a member - it is more relevant for problems such as yours, while Choice.community is a consumer issues forum.

edit: try using mail.com from its own interface and see how it goes. It would be a data point. From memory my using a gmail address via thunderbird->iprimus (SMTP) server with the non iprimus return address was something that triggered problems.

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Many thanks BBG for your advice. I shall persevere with mail.com and also search in Whirlpool. Hopefully there’s a solution other than switching over to ymail which gives no problems.

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Sadly the reasons for the rejection are not able to be seen from the email headers in the Win 10 Mail app and I believe the Mac Mail app. Viewing email headers is certainly not supported in Win 10 Mail. You can use many other email apps eg as @PhilT suggested Mozilla Thunderbird. But other choices such as Outlook, or Ymail which you have used will also allow this interrogation of the headers.

It is however likely that mail from certain Mail.com servers are being blocked by Spam filters at Bigpond as they have lists of IP addresses that have been associated with spam previously and so proactively block any with these addresses. If you can find your header info you may be able to put the various addresses into a Spam Blocklist provider to see which addresses may be being blocked, this is not always going to show which ones as Bigpond also maintain their own filters.

The reason why Ymail will be working is that those mail server addresses are currently not blocked, this may change in the future.

Some blocklist & toolbox providers you may be able to interrogate are:

https://mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx

https://www.spamcop.net/

http://www.anti-abuse.org/

https://multirbl.valli.org/

https://www.spamhaus.org/

A bounce due to a Spam blocklist may look something like this in the header detail:

2020-01-30 09:57:10 H=o897.em.app.postmates.com [167.89.54.194]:18898 I=[198.15.70.42]:25 X=TLSv1.2:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:128 CV=no F=bounces+3633940-e5d9-admin=attorneysrealty.com@em.app.postmates.com rejected RCPT some@somehwere.com: "JunkMail rejected - o897.em.app.postmates.com [167.89.54.194]:18898 is in an RBL:
Blocked - see https://www.abuseat.org/lookup.cgi

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Hi & welcome to the forum community @Pedro1.

This happened to me years ago back when we had a small business. Many of our clients were with Bigpond, and they weren’t getting our emails.

I wrote a formal but polite email of complaint to telstra. I never heard anything back (as is usual for them), and I resent the email a couple of times. Exasperated, I then rang up a couple of times citing my emails and phone calls, and eventually one more helpful operative untertook to look into it.

Apparently, if for any reason your email address is flagged (as ‘spam’ etc.) then your address will automatically be blocked by their system. In our case we were sending out emails to multiple clients, so perhaps that is why??

Eventually the problem did disappear … eventually.

I never did find out exactly why we were blocked.

So, use the complaints contact page, and perserve until it is fixed. :slight_smile:

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TLDR:
Ask bigpond.com why was mail.com is blocked if you got a bounced email forward the email headers to mail.com support for them to review.


@Pedro1 It is disappointing and frustrating when this occurs because mail.com (I use them too) is a 3rd party email provider. A few spammers using their service can trigger the entire domain (= all mail.com users) to be treated as coming from a spam provider. This is a rather simplistic approach, a better method is to check email items individually assign them a SPAM score and block per user. Even with that setup often mass spam flooding will trigger domain blocking. Per email item blocking is not 100% reliable but is the method good mail servers use.

You might be wondering why individual users do not get banned, so consider a PC that is infected with malware/PUP/virus and sending spam directly to the mail.com mail server. What should happen is receiver bigpond.com block that particular user and mail.com likewise suspend that particular user. The problem is neither bigpond.com or mail.com sender can easily block a specific user. Malware/etc on my PC could go through my address book and forge the sender’s identity and make it look like a friend is responsible for the SPAM when the email came from my PC, so the wrong person would be banned. IP addresses are often used to ban senders, but this only works if you have a static address and only one user is connected to your Internet IP address. Not all NBN providers assign static addresses, so the method is not reliable and innocent people can get blocked using that method too.

The suggestion to use mail.com’s web mail page is a good one because it may add extra headers that assert that the email is more trustworthy. Will bigpond.com look at the mail item and then the headers or just block mail.com entirely - I don’t know, so best to test.

All you can do is verify mail.com is blocked complain to bigpond.com and mail.com. If bigpond.com is using a 3rd party block list then mail.com and contact the 3rd party to get off the list. However if bigpond.com are using their own list, mail.com will need to contact bigpond.com directly. How quick everyone moves to fix the issue is anyone’s guess.

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Welcome to the Community.

Thank you for your response particularly as you are also a Mail.com user and so have some experience with them.

There is no guarantee that Bigpond will alter their Blocklists or that even a 3rd party Blocklist supplier will do so. Mail.com are probably best placed to get a change made, but even if they do it, if more errant emails are sent through their service it is likely they will be blocked again. From the response received from Mail.com it would seem they are reluctant or cannot get this situation addressed and their advised option is to contact the Bigpond email recipients by other means.

So it becomes a choice of trying to get Bigpond to respond favourably to a personal request (very small chance of success) or using another email service provider eg Ymail, Gmail, Outlook/Live/Hotmail as the big players or seeking a smaller niche type provider eg ProtonMail.

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Personally, I’ve always felt this is the only viable option … or do it yourself.

Administrators of mail infrastructure tend towards the ‘more fascist’ end of system administrators in general … because that is really the only way to survive. Running spam-spewing systems is not just in the realm of SME, some of the big names are the worst offenders and across the board it is quite common for mail admins not to care that their systems are the source of spam and other undesirable content, even when there is clear misconfiguration, even when you helpfully point that out to them - just getting a response, admin to admin, is difficult - for an end user, generally forget it.

Being an administrator for a corporate or government entity is even more frustrating. One deals with requests from internal customers on a regular basis asking for white-listing because ‘critical mail can’t get to us’ - the subtext being that it is critical enough for us to white-list a bad server, but not critical enough to them to fix their server or user problems or move to a provider who is competent (or sack their internal mail admin :slight_smile: ).

Methods of blocking mail are many and varied and seem to often elude the understanding of even the systems own administrator, sadly, so it never surprises me when a response (useful or otherwise) is not forthcoming - I wonder sometimes if they even understand the problem.

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Some years ago I had this issue, could not successfully send email from home to a particular business contact. The IP assigned by Bigpond was on a blacklist. Turned modem off and back on and with different IP assigned the next try at email transmission was fine.

Over the years I have had issues with Bigpond and spam blocking of outgoing emails. Like the original poster, this problem came up again recently. Bigpond’s 3rd party spam service company was blocking outgoing emails when I used my bigpond.net.au address. The same email could be sent using my gmail or iCloud email address without any blocking.

I called Telstra, and after the usual 40plus minutes, someone answered and told me that I would be contact the spam service company and request my bigpond.net.au address to be removed from the spam list. In response I said that Telstra needed to contact its service company as it was blocking bigpond emails and not me.

So my complaint was escalated. (I was concerned that I would be lost amongst Telstra’s switchboards and I would have to start all over again but this time it was okay.) Still it took a while to convince the supervisor that it was a Telstra problem and not one of mine. I indicated I would be seeking a refund for every email that was rejected as bigpond was not providing a full service for the fee being paid. Soon after this problem, which was suggested to be mine, was fixed.

But another problem remained. Bigpond would not send outgoing emails if the VPN is turned on. Telstra simply refused to adjust settings to make this work. I saw this as Telstra being uninterested in helping its customers get some internet security.

NBN has given me the recent opportunity to move to another ISP and this is working out. No spam blocking; no VPN blocking.

When one has a VPN enabled and on, unless you have a worm hole to bypass the VPN for your RSP’s email servers, your RSP (eg Telstra) does not ‘see’ your email connection as being on its own network. Telstra might block connections from known VPN hosts rather than ‘foreign’ networks. It appears you found your solution on your move to the NBN, so good on you, problem solved.

It is probably the right thing for them to protect their network and reputation from becoming a source for spammers that ‘want in’ and flood with their rubbish.

If it was only a username+password rather than ‘being on their network, and sometimes also with a username+password’ to get into their SMTP server, crack that and it becomes you who is the spammer. That would be far harder for you to ‘fix’.

Google (and other generic email services, free and paid) is not as picky since all connections are validated by username+password, Kerberos, or oauth2 and are network agnostic. They are not RSPs so it is a different problem for them as compared to an RSP.

Another issue of over-zealous security can be when you use eg a gmail address but send it via an RSP’s network rather than from google itself and it is classified as spam by the receiving systems for that reason alone. Had it happen to me and the only solution was to use googles servers. Life can be fun and entertaining, for masochists :wink:

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TPG does. When we travel we can still email remotely through non-TPG network connections to send mail through TPG’s STMP server.

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Just after posting I thought about travelling and edited my op a little. Perhaps Telstra has a list of known VPNs or at least can detect them and special cases a block?? Then there is my added paragraph about gmail addresses sent from RSP networks…

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Telstra does indeed blacklist known VPN IP addresses, experienced this yesterday “… mail not sent, IP address xxx is blacklisted”.

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That might explain my experience traveling last year and trying to access Telstra web mail from OS while roaming (not Telstra) and using a VPN. Able to read mail but not send replies.

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