Short version of a long story/problem...

Discussion in 'Help Desk' started by Walter B, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. Walter B

    Walter B New Email

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    For MONTHS I've been having trouble getting email to TWC (roadrunner.com or rr.com addresses). The usual error message is "too many concurrent connections." For many months, TWC was simply unresponsive. I ultimately enlisted the help of my ISP. Here's a summary of what I've learned:

    The problem (according to TWC) is that I'm on a shared server. They suggested I create a "feedback loop" - my ISP actually helped with that... they are awesome. My feedback loop was not approved because there was a request for more than one server. (TWC also claimed I had failed to respond to email they never sent.)

    After a long discussion with my ISP, it turns out this is a "known problem" that TWC is doing nothing about--other than bs'ing the people who report it. Their feedback loop will not work because commonly shared domains use "rotating servers."

    I have only a handful of contacts using TWC and do not have this problem with any other providers. (It was happening with AOL for a while a year or so ago, but they seem to have fixed it. The only apparent solution is for me to switch to a dedicated server. Even my ISP agrees that it seems ridiculous for me to spend $500 to $1000 per year to solve the problem TWC has created. I've looked into services like SMTP2Go, but it appears they use shared servers as well.

    If anyone thinks they have a workaround (that's not cost prohibitive) I would be all ears. In an "emergency" I've taken to sending email to non-TWC users and asking them to forward, but that's obviously not practical.

    My ISP has assured me I am not the only one experiencing this problem. I'm truly surprised it's not getting more press, although my sense is that most people have pretty much given up on trying to resolve issues with TWC.
     


  2. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    Hi Walter,

    The "too many connections" type of error message is usually the result of an ISP getting to many emails from an smtp relay that isn't eligible for some sort of white listing. Typically an ISP such as Time Warner would put a manual mitigation in place if they investigated and found that the email from your current ISP was OK and the server had good reputations over the long term.

    Can you share the email headers from an email sent using your service? I'd like to know your domain name and outgoing IP address to check it's reputation. I started a private conversation in case you want to keep that information out of the public discussions or need the email address I listed to send a test email so I can get the info from there.

    If you want to skip that step and go straight to the alternate smtp relay service, I recommend the LuxSci dedicated SMTP service.

    What kind of email are you sending? If it's email newsletters I can recommend some services that specialize in that type of email.

    As for getting more press, this is a common issue experiences by high volume outgoing mail servers that do not have good sending reputations.

    I'll be able to help figure out with the headers info requested above if the next steps should be related to your domain configuration, taken back to your ISP, and/or if I can assist you with contacting Time Warner directly.
     

  3. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    Hi Walter,

    I received the test email. The smtp relay that was used to send the test email has a history of spam issues and currently has a sender score of 66.

    A 3rd party view that many ISP's use in their rate limiting and spam filtering decisions can be viewed here - Sender Score | Return Path

    This page contains a report of all the IP addresses being used to send email from WebsiteWelcome near your current IP address - Sender Score | Return Path

    I recommend making an account at sender score so you can review the complete pages at the links above.

    Also, instead of stopping the spam, it appears they're rotating you around a variety of outgoing IP addresses. When your current IP gets too spammy they're moving you to a new IP instead of fixing the problem. Maybe it's always rotating and not a manual fix based on customer complaints.

    Your ISP is having trouble preventing it's customers from spamming. This is not an issue with Time Warner being too aggressive with their email filtering.
     
  4. Walter B

    Walter B New Email

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    (Sorry I just got to checking back here.)

    Thanks... In reply to your first post, I rarely send more than 100 emails a day. I use Mailchimp to send newsletters and rarely have an issue with those. As for dedicated SMTP service, it seems a bit over the top to spend over a thousand dollars per year just to get email delivered to the half dozen people I know who insist on using TWC.

    I'll look into your suggestion in the second post, but I'm not sure I agree with the last statement. Time Warner is the only receiving ISP I have this issue with. If the problem was totally with my ISP I would expect to have difficulty sending email to other addresses. I would also note that it took MONTHS to get TWC to even respond to me--even if only to blame it on my ISP. My ISP has a much better response rate and has always been able to resolve my issues. I'm willing to concur they way they are using rotating servers sounds like it could be part of the issue (when TWC finally did respond it became apparent they couldn't help me because of that), but a similar issue a while back with AOL has been resolved, so a solution must be possible when providers work together.

    I can't, unfortunately, give up on this. I'll post any progress I make. Ironically, over the last couple of days an occasional email to those TWC folks seems to get through, but it's not at all dependable.
     
  5. Walter B

    Walter B New Email

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    Great news! I've "resolved" the problem. (Found a work-around might be more accurate.) I signed up with smtp2go (at the free level because I'm actually not looking to send mass emails) and so far every email I've sent to TWC addresses has gone through without a glitch. I cannot, unfortunately, explain the difference or why it works from a technical perspective, but it does! I had a minor issue with the service at first because I made a typo... tech support at smtp2go was very responsive and helped me get set up quickly!

    This has been quite an education and a real test of my patience and determination! Thanks for your help.
     

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