Xtra and Yahoo causing major problems with email in New Zealand

October 24, 2007

After their considerable teething problems with their new “Xtra Bubble” service, it is astounding that Xtra (or maybe it’s Yahoo) have implemented new spamming techniques that seem to prevent emails from being delivered if redirected through a shared web server. This is a very common technique for email delivery for small to medium-sized companies who wish to get emails @theirdomain.co.nz without having to setup a whole new email account.In a way it almost feels like the golden age of email has passed and it is no longer a reliable method of communication. We have all become so reliant on email and we assume our messages get delivered if we don’t get a bounced message but many many people are reporting that they simply are not getting their emails.After a call to Xtra’s help desk (where it is acknowledged that there is a problem due to Xtra now using Yahoo’s mail services), I was required to fill out a form followed by a very comprehensive email survey about my emailing techniques basically to clarify that I am not a spammer…. It does seem, however, that they have actually taken it on board and possibly moved our servers and IP address off their “black list” but I’m not convinced and have no choice but to basically advise clients to move away from Xtra for their emails as it’s just not reliable enough.I’m even wondering if they’re scanning emails for viruses and spam when sending through Xtra as I have cases of people’s emails not being sent (with no error!)….Very bad form from such a big company that so many people rely upon.If someone would like to clarify any of this or share their experiences with this problem, we would be very grateful to hear from you. 

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8 Responses to “Xtra and Yahoo causing major problems with email in New Zealand”

  1. [...] read more | digg story Posted by Galen Filed in New Websites [...]

  2. Robby said

    We are discussing this same problem with Yahoo Xtra/Telecom email services here http://pressf1.co.nz/showthread.php?t=84221

  3. Paul said

    We have had the same troubles. I run a small web server which is only used for my business customers. I do all administration – for one of them I send out emails to people who have subscribed to their newsletter – always with clear unsubscribe options and always removing email addresses that bounce. My server has never been compromised and has never been used to send out spam.

    My server’s IP has been put on Yahoo’s blacklist – along with the other 4 IP addresses hosted by my server which have NEVER been used to send emails… period.

    Look at the headers of a message put in the Bulk Mail – you will see ‘X-YahooFilteredBulk: ‘ with the IP Address being the address of the server that has been black-listed.

    Xtra say, just get the customer to add you to their address book… all very well, sure the email gets to their inbox – eventually… If your server is on the black-list, it gets a ‘defer’ message (basically a ‘try again later’ message) as soon as it tries to connect to Yahoo to send a message to a Yahoo customer. So even for customers who have added your address to their contact list, it can take hours for Yahoo to let you even try to send the message through.

    Totally unacceptable – and yet what can be done?

    My question is, how did we end up on the list in the first place? My best guess – a server in a range close to mine was used by a spammer, and Yahoo have just closed down everyone in that IP range vacinity. Now I have to spend 1/2 hour to 1 hour to fill out that request form at our own cost for a problem that is actually Yahoos.

    Yahoo! :-&

  4. Nygllhuw said

    My small hosting company also has this problem. Xtra are so unresponsive it is not funny. One week in and I have filled out all the forms, been promised it will change and still no nearer a solution. In frustration I have emailed TV3 Campbell Live and the Dominion Post. Hope others will do the same. Recent history has shown the only way to deal with Xtra is to shame them into action.

    In the meantime our work around for Xtra clients has been to create two mail accounts in outlook, the first receives mail on our system and the second sends using their Xtra (with an email alias)

  5. Paul said

    Just a follow up on how things are going with my server.

    I mentioned the blacklisting – but my terminology was incorrect. The correct term is Greylisting – as I was told by one of Xtra’s Complex Technical support team. Interesting because if you google ‘Yahoo greylisting’, Yahoo say that they don’t engage in this practice. I have it in writing from Xtra Complex Technical Support that they do.

    I went through the process of filling out Yahoo’s form. My server has been put in testing mode, which means that my email is getting through again – and guess what, my email is no longer being deferred when I send it! So, if Yahoo don’t “greylist”, they obviously must have redefined the word. Here is the correct definition, and something they indeed practice (or at the very least Xtra practice it): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greylisting

    I have been told by a friend, who was involved in a successful law case against a service which placed servers under a similar situation, that what Xtra/Yahoo are doing may actually be illegal. Any yet, if this were true, who has the capital to take on these multinational beasts.

    All the best to those who are engaged in this struggle.

  6. Paul said

    Update…

    My server is back to having its email binned in the Bulk Mail. Oh the joys of dealing with Xtra/Yahoo. No explanation why and only one small legitimate mailout has been sent in the last 2 months (yes, being based in NZ means I have to abide by the new antispam laws – although this hasn’t changed anything for me as I have always hated spam.)

    Xtra haven’t answered my latest emails to them, so I guess I will have to email Yahoo again and wait 48 hours to get a form email sent back to me… Can’t wait to read it!

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