Winning friends and removing blocks


I do a lot of negotiating with blocklists and ISPs on behalf of my clients and recently was dealing with two incidents. What made this so interesting to me was how differently the clients approached the negotiations.
In one case, a client had a spammer slip onto their system. As a result the client was added to the SBL. The client disconnected the customer, got their IP delisted from the SBL and all was good until the spammer managed to sweet talk the new abuse rep into turning his account back on. Predictably, he started spamming again and the SBL relisted the IP.
My client contacted me and asked me to intercede with Spamhaus. I received a detailed analysis of what happened, how it happened and how they were addressing the issue to prevent it happening in the future. I relayed the info to Spamhaus, the block was lifted and things are all back to normal.
Contrast that with another client dealing with widespread blocking due to a reputation problem. Their approach was to ask the blocking entity which clients they needed to disconnect in order to fix the problem. When the blocking entity responded, the customer disconnected the clients and considered the issue closed. They didn’t look at the underlying issues that caused the reputation problems, nor did they look at how they could prevent this in the future. They didn’t evaluate the customers they disconnected to identify where their processes failed.
The first client took responsibility for their problems, looked at the issues and resolved things without relying on Spamhaus to tell them how to fix things. Even though they had a problem, and is statistically going to have the occasional problem in the future, this interaction was very positive for them. Their reputation with the Spamhaus volunteers is improved because of their actions.
The second client didn’t do any of that. And the people they were dealing with at the blocking entity know it. Their reputation with the people behind the blocking entity was not improved by their actions.
These two clients are quite representative of what I’ve seen over the years. Some senders see blocking as a sign that somehow, somewhere there is a flaw in their process and a sign they need to figure out how to fix it. Others see blocking as an inconvenience. Their only involvement is finding out the minimum they need to do to get unblocked, doing it and then returning to business as usual. Unsurprisingly, the first type of client has a much better delivery rate than the second.

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By laura

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