Dear God, PLEASE Fix The Email Problem

Emails that were sent to me at 9:30 this morning arrived at 6:45 tonight. I run several businesses on Dreamhost, and I’ve been recommending them to others for years. But this email snafu with the spam filters has been going on for almost two months, and is just getting worse.

Emails are lost. Emails are delayed. Emails never get sent. Emails never arrive.


I don’t know what magic process Dreamhost did to set forth this horrible problem, but if it doesn’t end soon…like within DAYS if not HOURS…we’re packing up our sites and bailing.

It really sucks because I’ve been with Dreamhost for too many years and was always their biggest fan. And now that loyalty is being rewarded with our businesses being ruined because we have to redirect everyone to our personal iCloud or Gmail accounts.

Come on, guys. If your email system is permanently damaged, just freakin’ TELL US so we can make other plans. We have lives, time and business being lost here and we can’t afford to stay with you.

I mean really guys…you DO realize a class-action suit is going to be the upshot here unless you can shoot straight with us. Tell us the truth. That’s the least you can do.

Anyone can cut and paste “Our Technical Operations Team is working on alleviating delays for email through the junk mail filtering system. During peak hours (7am – 7pm PDT) we are seeing junk mail filtering queues fill up. This causes delays for incoming and outgoing mail. This also causes intermittent connectivity and delays for Webmail/IMAP/POP. We are working diligently to alleviate these problems, including on fixing these problems in a more permanent manner.”

See? And that’s all you’ve been doing in your status updates for the past two months.

Please. level with us. If it’s unfixable then TELL US. Thanks.

I could not agree with you more. And now it looks like they are quietly admitting it’s broken, with this notice appearing in the panel:

“A much needed mail upgrade that will solidify our mail services as a whole, will begin being rolled out in the coming months.”

The takeaway from that is a) Dreamhost mail services are hopelessly broken, and b) it’s going to be months before they get it fixed.

I for one don’t think I’ll be sticking around for that. But I do think I wouldn’t say no to a class action suit. This has already cost me time, money, and stress, and a month’s worth of cut/pasted baloney doesn’t count as compensation in my books.

Sad, really.

Dreamhost mail services have been hopelessly broken for years.

Dreamhost does amazing web hosting however.

Few years ago I figured out how to separate the two. You should too.

Care to share this secret?

I’ve shared my solution in this forum more than once over the last several years.

Microsoft hosted exchange server for $4/month/user.

It always surprises me the number of users that are surprised dreamhost email is crappy… It’s not news.

Actually Dreamhost mail has worked flawlessly for my until this spam filter issue came up a few months ago, and it’s become chronic in the past month.

In any event, since I’m not familiar with anyone’s posting history on any forum or message board, nor do I desire to be, I do appreciate the info. Thanks.

I agree that Dreamhost offers amazing web hosting. But they also offer email as a part of it. The fact that we have to split the two doesn’t speak well for DH. A truly amazing host would offer flawless performance for both.

And a truly amazing host would not gloss over the problem with months worth of apologies and platitudes (actually more like half-truths).

Does anyone else find it curious that these email problems cropped up at the same time as the (disastrous) switch to Atmail?

Given the ineptitude shown in managing this email debacle, it feels like Dreamhost is a rudderless ship. Too bad Simon Anderson left; we’re living with the fallout.

They’ve had issues with the Sub4 cluster way before the switch at Atmail.

The big picture conundrum is that dreamhost offers low cost shared web hosting which in addition to legitimate users also attracts spammers. The current mail issues are slightly different than they have been in recent years. Currently, nobody likes Atmail and sub-4 weirdness got worse.

Sub-4 issues have popped up in threads over the last few years to the point that I’ve never understood why measures like replacing it haven’t been undertaken… lately the sub-4 issues seem different but that only a general sense because I haven’t been tracking it specifically but I’ve read every post in the forum since 2008.

Before the current issues there have always been issue of servers blacklisted. Dreamhost got serious about that and lately it doesn’t seem like there are as many blacklist complaints. Blacklist complaints were also an issue just because of the wording of the email that a user would get back from support when they forwarded blacklist information. The wording was basically thanks, you won’t hear back anymore about this, there is no way to ask us for an update, we don’t know when it will be un-blacklisted etc. It was not very customer service friendly, and some would complain in this forum about that.

Some years ago (maybe 3-5) there was a post in this forum that I can’t find anymore where a Green Named employee that had been around dreamhost forever admitted email service was less than it should be, and that they were addressing it. 3-5 years later, nothing much changed at least from the POV we have from the outside looking in.

There has always been weird issues of forwarding and sending email to certain domains… including gmail.

Delays and outbound mail that was just purged from backed up mail queues are the reasons why I finally pointed my MX records elsewhere. That was 3 years ago, and I’m still very happy with the results.

At some point I suggested that dreamhost should offer tiered email. The shared service currently offered for the current price, and a premium business class email on all different servers, domains and IPs, etc. for an extra per user fee. Then those that wanted better email could pay for it, and those that didn’t care and wanted to stay on the shared servers could.

After reading a recent post in a different thread, I’ve wondered if dreamhost could offer a pre-rolled roll your own mail server image as part of it’s dreamcompute offerings. Probably not an option for everyone because dreamhost really couldn’t provide support it or maintain it beyond the initial config.

As you can see, I don’t think dreamhosts email problems are new. In fact they pre-date Simon Anderson. I’ll concede that recent complaints have a new melody, but it’s really the same song that’s been playing like a broken record for years, not months.

LakeRat is right, Dreamhost has had issues with their email services since I first started using them in 2007, although not as bad as it has been recently! They never had the type of problems they have now. Complete outages and delayed emails, I don’t recall that happening every other month or so. If I remember correctly it was mostly to do with email being bounced as spam. Easy to fix, find the spam blocker service that bounced your email and convince them that you are a legit domain sending legit email.

Found it - Thanks! LakeRat, what is the provider for your email, I’m very interested and can’t find your post regarding the subject matter. At $4/user that is a steal! Most offer $10/user solutions, and that adds up. I’ve been looking into the Google option for handling email at $5/user, if anyone has experience with Google Apps for Business, please let me know! Thanks again!

I too would love to see Dreamhost offer a tiered solution for email. I dislike keeping up with the many service/solution providers I already have to keep up with for the company I work for (Microsoft, Dreamhost, Comcast, AT&T, the list goes on…). And yes, adding one more would tick me off! I like things simple and easy when it comes to how I spend my time and money. Specially since I have to gather all of the invoices every month to report my expenses…not all are sent with ready to print style for reporting purposes.

Paying more for email than for my current DreamHost unlimited plan that’s supposed to include email is hard to swallow. At $5/user, it adds up fast. It’d be cheaper to get a plan at, say, Bluehost, then use that plan for email only. As I dig around, I see that Hover sells email plans for $20/yr per user.

For anyone else looking:

It’s pretty full featured… supports aliases, multiple domains, shared mailboxes (i.e.customer service).

think of the $4.00 per user license as it buys login credentials. things like aliases and shared mailboxes don’t need there own lisc, just the user that needs to log in. You can pretty much customize to your needs at no extra cost.

Since I signed up, I’ve only needed support from a person once, it was during initial setup. I opened a ticket and someone called me back within 30-60 minutes. The issue was solved with a workaround at the time, but after that the issue completely vanished.

I don’t know if any providers gotten better, but before I made my move, I did some pretty extensive digging. My conclusion was that all the providers that roll unlimited mail in with a low cost shared hosting all attract spammers. Some deal with it better than others, but all end up RBL’d from time to time and have users complaining of delays.

I’ll admit my judgement may have been swayed a little bit by the fact I preferred a hosted Exchange solution. (At the time that was the only non-Apple push email solution for iOS users). 2nd runner up in my choices was Intermedia ( also hosted exchange with the added advantage of reseller accounts available), third was Google apps for price, but I really have a problem with ad cookies influencing search results based on email content…and makes me steer clear of gmail)

I didn’t knew DreamHost was so bad at emails. I’m experiencing this now, i have a customer that is very upset because of all the important emails get lost. They have over 70 email accounts, we moved from a shared hosting account to a VPS believing this would help with the emails getting trapped in a bottleneck (we’re aware that shared hosting accounts have some limitations), but after reading all of your comments i see that they’re definitely better off just getting Exchange, even if it means a hefty investment, when emails are so vital to a company’s operations you can’t be cheap about that.

How did you move email from a shared hosting account to a VPS? VPS users here still have their email hosted by the same DreamHost servers.

I’ve been experimenting with Not fancy, but it seems to work.

Not only the email services!
Generally, bad performance…

I disagree.
IMO, the only thing hopelessly broken is email.

At @sdayman’s suggestion, I checked out MXRoute and they’re (still) having a killer promotion: $40 bi-annually for 40GB of storage (unlimited domains/email addresses). So far so good.

The trick is that their documentation is … pretty sub-standard. In the event you want to move your email hosting there as well and need some help, I wrote up a how-to guide.

I just now found out that emails have been bouncing as ‘no user found’ for over THREE WEEKS
I can login fine, and polling with a mail app on my phones dos not cause a problem, OUTBOUND email is fine, but nothing can be received.
This is causing me an incredible amount of stress as I have been using that address to apply for jobs.
What the fuck is going on?!

a ‘misconfiguration’, what a bunch of jokers

I hear you Todd - I had a weird 72 hour delay on an email a recruiter sent me too; fortunately he was generous enough to call me to let me know when I sent him a follow-up citing not having heard from him. DH Support ruled it as something that must’ve happened on the recruiter’s end, and only later do I find these threads citing long standing email hosting problems. Who knows how many emails I may have also missed?

I strongly recommend you consider moving your email hosting to a dedicated email provider. It appears that DH isn’t motivated to resolve these deliverability issues; at least an email provider is getting paid to specifically do that.

I’m happy to help if you have any questions (although I’ll put the disclaimer up front that I’m not a professional admin, just a technically-minded enthusiast who was able to sort it all out on his own).