Why? (Why couldn’t AT&T make sure their mail servers weren’t using old dialup IPs that are blacklisted….)

Why do I always wind up being the one to discover problems? …. Today in checking mail I found a mail that had bounced back from one of my clients that uses bellsouth… Now bellsouth has recently been bought by AT&T and it appeared as though the mail had been rejected because the mailserver trying to deliver it was in an email blacklist. *(What – a bellsouth mailserver in a blacklist?) Well, we’ve gone through this before with some of the passive blacklists where people might relay junk through their isp, but… on searching the AT&T outbound mailserver was in the dial up block lists at sorbs and nomorefun…. (as was These seem to be the new fmailhost04.isp.att.net and fmailhost05.isp.att.net outbound mail machines.

So, if you send mail via the old bellsouth, new AT&T you have around a 2 out of 5 chance that your mail is going out through a blacklisted server (the 01-03 machines are in a different netblock.) Ah… just discovered 06 at – so you might have a 50/50 chance at sending mail out through a blocked ip. Now that doesn’t mean that if your mail touches one of those machines it will automatically be rejected… only by those using sorbs or nomorefun blacklists and some only use blacklists to tag mail as junk, so your bellsouth mail may wind up in junk folders instead of rejected outright.

I’ve filed a delisting request at both the blacklists in question. (REALLY THIS IS SOMETHING AT&T SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR.) I’m afraid it would take me an hour through their tech support to get to somebody that had a CLUE as to what needed to be done though. (And I don’t think I can really stomach having someone tell me…. “I’m sorry sir, I can’t help you with your mail problem if your not sitting at a computer at the location using outlook or outlook express.” (I got that response once from bellsouth when I had a remote console open on a machine that was having trouble delivering mail and I was simply trying to verify outbound machine names such as mail.bellsouth.net, etc….)

Anyway, I don’t know when this started, but the first bounce I’ve noticed was this afternoon and the addresses were previously in the dynamic ip space. Maybe someone else online has noticed as well, but you would think if you were AT&T and provisioning a new mailserver you MIGHT contact maintainers of well publicized blacklists and say… “By the way, we’re about to put new mailservers online at the following IP’s….”

OK – just got the SORBS response back and basically the answer is NO -AT&T needs to contact SORBS


–update — 7-25-07–

OK – I’m seeing fmailhost03.isp.att.net at today – so I’m ASSUMING I’ll see 02 show up at tomorrow – they must be making the changeover this week – that IP block is STILL on the blacklist and I’m WHITELISTING about 30 mailservers as fast as I can. –Sorry 30 was an exaggeration – 10 certainly isn’t though. (Didn’t help that the first time through I forgot there was an fmailhost06……)

Gee thanks ATT – didn’t have anything else to do….

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