AOL Mail

I know DreamHost sent a notice saying email to AOL accounts probably wouldn’t work for a while. But this notice was sent out on Oct 22 and they said a while was only going to be a few hours. I sent email to my list of 200 people yesterday (10/26) and all the AOL addresses (12 of them) bounced back. I wrote customer support after this happend but they have not responded in over 24 hours.

Does any one know what the problem is in sending mail to AOL address and how I fix it? Does any one know if customer support is feeling OK? It’s very unusual for them not to respond promptly. Thanks.

Is it only on some mail servers? My emails are getting to my AOL clients.

I’m not sure what a mail server is. Any email I send from any email address that ends in my domain name doesn’t seem to be getting to aol users. I first noticed it when I sent an email to a list of members of my website.

Most of AOL’s blocks are based on the sending IP address (i.e., the mail server you’re sending through), and not on the domain name. So ultimately, the domain name you’re sending mail “from” doesn’t usually matter.

Where are you sending the email from (a web program on your site, your email client, announcement list feature in the panel, webmail)? Do you receive a reject message saying that the message was rejected? If an AOL user checks their “junk mail” folder, is the message there?

I don’t know a lot of the terminology so I’m going to have to spell this out (for my benifit, not yours). I contract with a third party to run an aspect of my website. I go to this third party’s page (, write my email through them, pick the users I want to send the mail to (my member list is kept on their server), enter my email address in the “from” section, and hit send. I have sent several emails this way without problem. This time all the AOL mails bounced back. I got a message saying that delivery failed. I don’t have an AOL account so I can’t do a lot of testing on what is getting through. I guess I assumed it was a DreamHost problem because of the notice we got saying that DH was having a problem with AOL addresses. TheDataBank says it couldn’t be a problem on their end. HELP!!! Thank you.

If it was sent through another organization, the block would likely be of their servers, and not of your domain (and blocks affecting our servers would definitely not be relevant here).

Also, the mail logs, and quite possibly any bounce message probably ended up with them. Regardless of fault, they have the information at their disposal to figure out what’s going on, and we don’t.

Side note - please make sure that their list management practices are good, and that they comply with our spam policy ( - particularly the stuff under “Subscriptions”.

The announcement was specific to mail sent via our discussion list system.

Well, quite frankly, that’s not true.

Problem solved. What was happening was I was putting a comma in the “from” field to separate names. I was putting “Jane, John & Acme Shipping” AOL saw these commas as separating the names into separate email addresses. If I put “Jane & Acme Shipping” it works fine.

Thank you for your feedback.

Now why do you think DH never got back to me when I asked my question of customer support?

When did you write in? They probably just haven’t responded yet. Hard for me to tell without knowing your domain name, user ID, or the case ID of the support message. If you let me know one of those, I’d be happy to check into the status of the support case and close it out for you.

Actually, the proper syntax would be:

“Jane, John & Acme Shipping”

The quotes go around the human-readable part of the address, required if special characters are included. The computer-readable part goes in angle brackets without quotes around it.

In the above example, AOL {gag,vomit,retch} wouldn’t be involved at all, since the destination address is in, not

– Dan

That was the From address.

Sorry… I didn’t notice that they were describing the from address, rather than the to address. (The syntax rules, as defined in the RFC series, are the same for both cases, by the way; you’re even allowed to have multiple comma-separated addresses in the From line, though I’m not sure why anybody would ever need to do this.)

More discussion:

– Dan