I hate it when ISPs don’t use professionally maintained IP blacklists for e-mail, but try to maintain their own. Invariably they haven’t got as many resources or as much experience as people like Spamhaus, so they don’t do it as well.

This time it’s Verizon. On the few occasions I’ve had IPs end up on other RBLs I’ve had no trouble cleaning up. Most RBLs usually have a publicised route to follow, and once you’ve shown them that you’ve solved any issues that caused the blacklisting they remove you. Not so Verizon.

I thought I’d post to see if anyone has experience in how to clean IPs from their internal blacklists. I could do with some tips from those who have been there before me.

Here’s what happens: If someone tries to send an e-mail to a Verizon address, they reject the SMTP connection with the following message:

Quote:

SMTP error from remote mail server after initial connection: host relay.verizon.net [206.46.232.11]: 571 Email from {IP – redacted} is currently blocked by Verizon Online’s anti-spam system. The email sender or Email Service Provider may visit http://www.verizon.net/whitelist and request removal of the block.

So I, and two other support staff, have completed the form at the /whitelist address they gave. We’ve also sent an e-mail to whitelist@verizon.net, which I found somewhere as another communication channel for this. Wait a week. Nothing. No feedback. No rejection of the request to whitelist. No requests for further information. Yada. Silence. For 7 days. And the IP is still blacklisted.

Now here’s the thing: I know (and I’ve double-checked) that no spam has gone out from the server. A month back I had an issue with one client receiving backscatter e-mails, as e-mails on their domain were being used for spoofed “from” addresses on someone else’s spam campaign. They were bouncing those backscatters. That has been long-since fixed, and only occurred for a couple of days. A month-old issue like that shouldn’t trigger two weeks (and counting) blacklist from Verizon.

But here’s what’s so frustrating:

  • I’m getting no feedback from them at all. I get no information about why they’re blacklisting. So I can’t investigate whatever they think the problem is. I’m willing to work with them to eliminate actual or apparent spam – but I can’t do it in the dark. I need some kind of feedback loop on reported spam.
  • The problem has been going on for 7+ days, which means they’ve had no mail from the server concerned for that long. That means they’ve not had any spam for that amount of time. Eventually, you’d have thought the IP address would just drop off their blacklist: no spam for 7 days = clean. But again, they don’t give any indication of what they’ve looking for at that level.
  • They completely ignore my requests to whitelist. They may just be slow, but 7 days with silence from them is way too slow to work with. I shouldn’t have to wait for the IP address to drop off their blacklist. It should be possible to demonstrate that the problem mails have been stopped, and to get clean.
  • I can’t even find out if it’s actually my IP they don’t like, or if there’s a bad neighbour in a CIDR block and I’m caught up in someone else’s problem.

They’re extremely frustrating to work with, as they do not set up any kind of two-way communication.

Does this seem familiar to anyone? Did you find a way to contact them that was effective in getting the blacklist cleared?

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