Eskimo North

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AOL Simply Amazing!!!

     Well, it appeared the block was lifted earlier today BUT e-mail to some
Netscape addresses (Netscape is owned by AOL) going through AOL servers is
still failing.

     I contacted AOL's postmaster again, was told that a block was still in
place on our client e-mail server and they had to send me to "Tier 2" to get
it resolved.

     Send me they did.  The guy there told me that there was a "fixed block"
for their server in place and so they'd need to send me to "Tier 3" postmaster
to get it removed.

     In order to do this they had to create a ticket.  But his computer was
down.  So I sat on hold for five minutes while he rebooted it but then he came
back online and said he couldn't get his computer running so I'd need to call
back later.

     I pointed out to him that the block was behaving differently.  When I had
called on Saturday, their server would IMMEDIATELY disconnect with an error
message referring to a website URL that gave an explanation.

     Now, it takes the EHLO command, the "mail from" command, the "rcpt to"
command, and the "data" command, but after terminating the data phase with a
'.' on a line by itself it gives a different error which says that the
originating address format is invalid.

     Upon hearing this he said, Oh, we've been having problems with our routers
and mail servers starting friday evening.

     So at this point I'm not really sure if AOL has us blocked or AOL's
systems are just hopelessly screwed up, and since they can't even get their
ticket system to boot, I can't even submit a trouble report at this time.

     And if that weren't enough...  One of the things I did as part of the spam
resolution was to sign up for their "feedback loop".  Apparently, AOL can't use
data in like the rest of the known world, as an ISP, you have to
specifically sign up with them to receive feedback regarding any spam
originating from your site.

     So I signed up for this, and so far I've received three forwarded messages
they consider spam.  None of the three come from the server they blocked, they
come from servers used to process incoming mail here and list mail.

     In all three cases, none of them appeared to be spam but valid list mail
and apparently these people just didn't want to be on the list(s) in question.
Problem, their wonderful spam report does not include the address of the user
that received the spam and these lists have 30-50 aol customers on, the bulk of
which WISH to be on them.

     I guess we could adopt a policy of not allowing any AOL customers to
participate in mail lists hosted here.

     I hate to punish end users though for their providers faults, no matter
how annoying they might be.