well, probably not.

I have a VPS and run websites for several clients. I got an email this morning from one of my oldest clients asking why their email to one of their customers was being returned undelivered. Inspecting that email reveals this (names and IP addresses have been altered to protect the guilty)

SMTP error from remote mail server after RCPT TO::
host frontend2.client-company [123.456.789.0]:
550-Your message was rejected by this user and was not delivered.
550-Reason: This system uses BMS to check your IP address reputation, and was rejected by the user. IP=[987.654.321.0]
550-Protection provided by: MagicMail version 1.3.2 (http://magicmail.linuxmagic.com)
550-For more information, please visit the URL:
550-or contact your ISP or mail server operator.

MagicMail.LinuxMagic is mail server software that uses several “blacklists” to determine if mail should be allowed through.

Following the info given, I visited http://www.linuxmagic.com/power_of_ip_reputation.html which explains why they do what they do. On that page is a link to actually check your “IP reputation”.

Doing that showed me a list of 9 different “blacklists” – our IP is clean on all of them but one named MIPSpace.

Digging around, I quickly find that MIPSpace and LinuxMagic are related companies and I find that to be very unethical at best.

MIPSpace has a policy of either not responding to inquiries about why an IP is on their list, and/or flat out telling people that they can list anyone they decide meets their fluid criteria. According to one source, MIPSpace blocks “commercial email marketing” which according their definition includes monthly newsletters, monthly billing, etc.

So what we have here is a case of my client’s customer actually paid for this MagicMail product and pays for it to use the MIPSpace blacklist. I don’t know if those are one-time, monthly or annual fees.

I explained to my client that there was nothing I could do to resolve the situation. Her only choices are to email from a different email domain and hope it is not on the MIPSpace blacklist (or one of the others MagicMail uses), or to send it to an email domain that is not “protected” by MagicMail.

One last note that I find interesting – they block incoming mail, but still allow my client’s customer to email my client. So why does a company that decides to be so “hard core” about “commercial email marketing” choose NOT to block those IPs in both directions?

THE FINAL SOLUTION: My client called her customer who in turn gave her a “personal email address” that was not protected by MagicMail. Her note back to me said,

I got them to give a[sic] another email address…it was one of their personal address. I finally got the info to them. I told them what you said about the blacklist and whitelist. They said they would have their computer guy get it fixed… in the meantime they are going to set up an email account outside of their system for us to send […] info to.

So, my client’s customer’s company (say that fast 5 times) is paying to use MagicMail from LinuxMagic and paying for a subscription to MIPSpace, and then circumventing their own decision to purchase and use such software.

My advice to anyone considering the use of MagicMail, LinuxMagic, or MIPSpace – please review the following links – or Google it yourself and be sure you want to pay those companies to block legitimate incoming mail.

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