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aol losing emails?
key person can't read my email

 1:03 pm on Aug 20, 2010 (gmt 0)


How do I go about diagnosing missing emails?

I have a very important person in my life who insists on using his AOL email account for very important emails.

Of course, he never gets them.

Of course, it is because he thinks I didn't send them.

Of course, it is REALLY because he insists on using AOL. Of course I sent him the emails. Many of them.

Somewhere along the line, probably in the handoff to AOL, these emails are getting lost.

I cannot risk annoying this person as he is a board member of a new organization we are creating together - besides we have many other things to talk about.

I suppose I could get an AOL email account just to insure that my email gets to him - but this just feels like a stupid work around.

Is there a way to trace LOST emails to see where they get lost?

Any suggestions?



 1:52 pm on Aug 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have only had problems with AOL over bulk mailings but they do seem to do their best to discourage messages from other email providers.

First make sure that your own filters are not rejecting bounce messages, you may be getting the answers already but are mistakenly throwing them away as "spam".

Is this all messages or do some get through? I know that when I ran separate customer and supplier mailing lists AOL didn't like me sending newsletters to both on the same day.


 2:13 pm on Aug 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

some emails seem to get through - others don't.

these are not "bulk" - however there may be 2 or 3 addressess cc'd on them.

MOST seem to not get through.

I get plenty of other 'bounce' type messages and unless these are being removed at the server, there appears to be no bouncing going on.

don't you wish there was a TRACERT like command for email that would ping you back for each hop - and then when you knew it wasn't pinging back, you could ascertain where the problem is.

I often speculate to friends "some significant % of email is lost and no one ever knows or cares about it - and no one will ever figure it out as the system was not designed for this".

surely there is a hack?


 6:30 pm on Aug 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

who sends your mail? Could be an issue with the IP your mail is coming from.


 7:21 pm on Aug 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

whenever I speak with my ISP - or any ISP - they always sort of duck any responsibility about lost email.

Of course, how do you prove it if you don't have both parties?

One odd pattern seems to emerge - that if I reply to an email, it seems to have a better chance of getting through, but if I originate it, it seems to have less chance.


 7:49 pm on Aug 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hey chewy -

Let me ask a question: do other people on your domain send bulk email?

For example, if your email address is chewy@domain.com, is there a bulk email being sent from sales@domain.com (or other address)?

Many domains do rate limiting on the from domain's. For example, I know if my company sends a marketing newsletter, for that day, any email I send to a yahoo.com email address will be delayed because yahoo.com rate limits the number of emails they will deliver from one domain.

AOL may be doing something similar, except instead of rate limiting, they may be deleting.


 8:13 pm on Aug 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

no, no bulk emails coming from this domain (from me).

there may be spammers using it, (in fact, I know they are) but there's nothing I can do about it.

why would some emails get through to mrbig@aol.com and not others?


 8:34 pm on Aug 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just have that person add chewy@example.com to his address book.


 9:32 pm on Aug 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just have that person add chewy@example.com to his address book.

Not a solution. AOL, like Hotmail, will reject certain classes of message without reference to the intended recipient. That appears to be the problem in this case.

Without bounce messages it is difficult to be sure what the problem is.


 11:56 pm on Aug 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

there may be spammers using it, (in fact, I know they are) but there's nothing I can do about it.

ding ding ding

your IP is probably sitting on some black lists.


 12:03 am on Aug 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Are you using your own domain?
Are you sending via your ISP or from your own server?
Do you have rDNS? SPF Record?

AOL has some pretty good postmaster documentation. If you haven't checked it out already, see:
Tools for Troubleshooting [postmaster.aol.com]
IP Reputation, the Whitelist, and Inbox Delivery at AOL [postmaster.aol.com]


 12:27 am on Aug 21, 2010 (gmt 0)


sending is via comcast (as determined by [whatismyipaddress.com...]

it then ends up going through Earthlink's SMTP and then on to wherever.

encyclo's links are really helpful - will revisit this when I have some time to wrap my head around it.

and I suspect this line found in the header matters most of all:

"3.0 RDNS_NONE Delivered to trusted network by a host with no rDNS"


 3:09 am on Aug 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

useful but still no real answer yet:


helps me find my IP address - but it is considered GREEN (probably because it comes from Earthlink)

any other suggestions WebmasterWorld peeps?




 5:31 pm on Aug 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

"3.0 RDNS_NONE Delivered to trusted network by a host with no rDNS"

AOL and many other major providers will drop email with no reverse DNS into a blackhole. The recipient never knew it existed and the sender doesn't get any returned email with error.

If you're sending through your own domain you'll need to contact your host.


 6:01 pm on Aug 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

So since I'm always on a different internet connection (who isn't these days) and have several domains I use for email (see above), I have found the only consistent way to send outbound email is by using smtpauth.earthlink.net.

I've never quite found another way...

This would seem to be the source of the occasional failed reverse DNS lookup.

I thought somehow that if it was "authorized" then no rdns check was necessary.

Apparently AOL and others are blackholing some emails as a result.

How do others get around this problem?

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