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Giving people what they want: violence and sloppy eating

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Why is it that firms that can't send email correctly, can't receive it correctly either?
mini me + poo
lovingboth
The usual failing for the latter is not accepting postmaster@ email. That one goes back to RFC822 in 1982:
This standard specifies a single, reserved mailbox address (local-part) which is to be valid at each site. .. "Postmaster@domain" is required to be valid.


The latest bunch of losers are The Works, who send their marketing emails properly but not the rather more important order acknowledgement and - what I was missing - the 'it's ready to collect' ones: they're 'from' somewhere that doesn't match the IP address they're sent from. As that's what loads of spambots do, such email gets blocked by lots of places.

(The other annoying bunch are the ones who do the equally important 'here's your ticket' email for the local arts cinema. They ignore the 'MUST' in 'must retry' sending emails that get a 'not ready at the moment' message from the destination mail server.)

This entry was originally posted at http://lovingboth.dreamwidth.org/534147.html, because despite having a permanent account, I have had enough of LJ's current owners trying to be evil. Please comment there using OpenID - comment count unavailable have and if you have an LJ account, you can use it for your OpenID account. Or just join Dreamwidth! It only took a couple of minutes to copy all my entries here to there.

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I guess these days the Postmaster@ address is no longer valid and now mostly redundant excepting for a reply from a server to say "Yes I have this email" when sent with a delivery receipt.
Certainly it's pretty much null and void at least in small business space.
And in the SaaS arena, it's an email address that has a cost.

As to "The Works" - It sounds like they haven't got an SPF record set up.

Odd that the arts cinema doesn't retry... Was the "server not ready" an SMTP tarpit? Or was it a "server is offline"?

It used to be that SMTP's default was to retry for 3 days, but I'm finding those windows are now closing - 1 or 2 days outage without a failover solution, and you'll get hard bounces.


If someone doesn't want to have postmaster@ be a valid address, the process for changing that is simple enough - get a new RFC accepted. (Good luck.) Until then, trust you don't miss an email from your domain's registry and lose the domain. Or just follow the fucking rules that enable different systems to communicate.

No, it's greylisting. If they resent the email a few minutes later, it would have been accepted (assuming the sender address resolved to the IP address etc...)

Somewhere, when I was engaged in trying to get Yahoo! to follow the rules, I found a fabulous article saying 'don't adapt your systems for lusers who can't follow the rules, block 'em - everyone wins in the end'. I remember asking for permission to repost it, but I can't find the article or the 'please do!' that I got.

The other 'not a coincidence' is that both use Microsoft Exchange.

I guess, as per the SaaS thread - the times they are a changing...
Spam has killed off the catch all email address...
Postmaster still exists in Exchange as that's what delivery and read reciepts come through - But it isn't an address that is checked.

As to missing domain renewals - I don't believe that most modern registrars use postmaster for a contact address...

But indeed, alot of the RFC stuff is "a guideline" rather than a rule... And modern spamming just means you can't use them.

NDR's being a biggie as I have had servers drown in backscatter.

See comment there :) but I'm seriously wondering if someone has done a milter that checks if the sender of mail to you receives mail for postmaster@ and, if not, tells them to fuck off the internet until they can follow the rules that enable the internet to work. They've only had 32 years for this one.

Nominet does. Annoyingly (for me) they will also paper post something if it's really important, but postmaster@ is specifically there as the contact email address they'll use.

If people followed the RFCs, there'd be less spamming. Failing to do so to accommodate lusers using non-RFC compliant mail servers like most Exchange setups allows spammers to ignore them too.

And it's not like there is a great deal of spam going to postmaster@ - for virtually all my domains, it (and the also compulsory abuse@ etc) goes to a single Gmail account and for over 50 domains, it's currently got 23 emails in the spam folder - that's less than one per two domains per month. (And some of those weren't actually spam, but it's been so long since I looked there that some ham has got in there.)

I have had one or two clients have paper from Nominet, as have I myself, but not for years and years...

Usually I get all the reminders from the registrar rather than Nominet.

But hey ho.

As to spam, it's not going to go away sadly :-/ RFC compliant servers or not.
But Exchange servers' aren't not RFC compliant, it's just the postmaster@ doesn't really get checked / used other than delivery reports and so on.

If it rejects postmaster@ email, it's not RFC-compliant.

One reason for replying is that I have finally found the 'don't bend the rules for crappy systems - nearly all of which are running Exchange - reject them until they get it right' article...

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