Recently, an abuse desk rep asked what to do when customers were complaining about being assigned an IP address located on a blocklist. Because not every blocklist actually affects mail delivery it’s helpful to identify if the listing is causing a problem before diving in and trying to resolve the issue.
- Find out whether mail is actually being blocked, or whether the customer just went to one of the jumbo economy blacklist checker sites.
- If no mail is being blocked, it’s not an issue.
- If mail is being deferred (Yahoo…) it’s not the same issue as being blocked, and likely isn’t worth pursuing.
- If mail is being blocked, don’t take the customers word for why. If they got an email rejected by, say, Earthlink for some reason and then went to the blacklist checker and discovered that they’re listed on FIVETEN, they might grab onto that listing like a rabid terrier when it’s really an irrelevant rathole.
- Start with the rejection message. If it has a URL in it, that’s all you need to start with.
- If not, see if it’s consistent – does test mail get rejected. If not, it’s either a transient issue or it’s a content-based block rather than an IP based block, and hence not your problem.
- If there’s no URL in the rejection, contact the entity that blocked the mail, perhaps.
- Make a good judgement call about whether it’s worth caring. If it’s just one guy in his Mom’s basement blocking mail then it’s not worth the time or energy to care about the issue.
- If this is really business-critical for the customer then they should talk to a decent consultant rather than relying on their abuse desk for assistance.