Email Forwarding Without Returning any Errors


Here’s my setup:

I have an email address (let’s say it’s that I don’t give out; this is associated with a DH mailbox.

I have a cellphone that can receive email (

I have a forwarding-only address ( that forwards to both the private mailbox and to the cellphone.

I have a number of other secondary forwarding-only addresses that I give out. Depending on whether I want to be paged about mail to a particular id or not, these forward to either directly the private address or to pageme (which then reforwards to the private address as well as the phone).

All of the above works great. (For anyone reading this who wants to do the same for some reason, there’s some additional work on the mail client – I use Thunderbird – to make sure that the private address isn’t revealed when you send mail.)

My problem is, under some circumstances that I can’t figure out, forwarding to the address fails. The sender gets back a bounce message: host[x.x.x.x] said: 550 SMTP connection refused

Obviously this is very confusing to the sender. And although I won’t get paged in this case, the email isn’t lost since the forward to my private box still works, so I don’t care about the failure either.

So I’m looking for suggestions on how to set up this functionality of being able to send notifications of email to my pager wihout troubling the sender if it fails. I have not yet tried using a keyword filter to forward the email, but I suspect it will have the same potential for problems.

One possible workaround that occurs to me is to ALSO forward to another mailbox with an auto responder for that address that says “ignore any bounce messages you might get from”, and then direct that copy of the mail into the bit bucket (by setting that mailbox to delete messages older than 1 day) . But that’s still pretty annoying to the sender, I think.

Any suggestions appreciated!



I’d contact your cell phone company and ask why they are giving this connecting refused error.

Seems to me that if it rejects one forwarded message, there’s a chance it will do it to an other - and if you’re paying for service it shouldn’t be that way. They’re not keeping up with their end of the bargan.

Aside from that, an auto responder could work out well, letting people know that you did actually recieve their message.



[quote]I’d contact your cell phone company and ask why they are giving this connecting refused error.


I’d not bother. Mail delivery failures are a fact of life and I think it better to put effort into supressing the DFRs. I have a similar setup, and likewise want failure of delivery to secondary addresses NOT to be reported to the sender, not just because such DFRs strongly imply that the receipient person did not receive the message (false) but because they breach security by revealing the private destination address to the sender.

The solution should be a forwarder which rewrites the return-path from the sender to the literal address of me, the primary recipient. I’ve not found such a service or program. But the snag is that destination mail servers cannot be trusted to respect the return-path - I’ve seen some stupid enough to reply to an other originator address from the message, rather as many rubbish ‘vacation’ programs do.

So I think the only safe solution is a forwarder that puts the original message as an attachment in a new message with all originator fields having the recicpient’s address, not the originator.

I’ve not found such a service or program.


This problem went away for a while, but now it’s back and it’s still very annoying.

I can’t believe someone hasn’t written a working utility to monitor an IMAP mailbox and send SMS alerts. I found ABS Mailbox Monitor (shareware from a company that’s gone defunct) SpreadMsg Lite ( which has the worst UI I’ve seen in a long time AND after spending 20 minutes trying to get it configured, crashes.

Any pointers greatly appreciated.