[Title not accurate] MailChannels no longer retries email when rejected for IP reputation

Edit: This was resolved by their team, and a new reply was sent out to me:

Hi Jarland,

Our system normally routes around addresses being temp blocked and should have caught that this IP was listed and removed it from service so that we could purge the bad players and repair the reputation. When we hit an IP response such as yours the action is to requeue which failed in this case. We are constantly making small adjustments to combat abuse and appear to have missed this condition in our logic.

This does not happen frequently and we apologize for the IP block based upon another sender’s behavior. This should never have impacted your messages and we have adjusted our filters to help ensure that we don’t miss similar events in the future.

Thank you for the report that helped us correct this behavior and we appreciate your patience and business!

Regards,
Swathi Karun
MailChannels Support

Original post:

This was just confirmed by their support team:

Hi Jarland,

As mentioned by my colleague, the mail was rejected with the error “554 sorry, your IP is rejected because it was flagged as an open-relay or abuser; o seu IP foi rejeitado por estar listado como open-relay ou spammer (005) (in reply to RCPT TO command))”. On checking in detail I found that this mail was sent using an IP that belongs to a low reputation pool. As you are aware, we separate traffic based on different parameters and send it out of set of IP’s. Decision to assign a pool to a particular mail is based on its behavior/reputation. The junk pool ip can get into blacklists because of the nature of emails sent from this pool. So I would recommend you to improve the reputation of your email so that good reputation IP’s will be assigned to your emails.

Regards,
Swathi Karun
MailChannels Support

This was a feature advertised and championed by them for a long time, and frankly was the feature that made their service attractive. It seems they’ve silently changed this behavior.

In this case the email simply remained listed as queued for delivery in their panel, and never was listed as rejected. The customer had to inform me of the bounce error, I wouldn’t have otherwise known. The customer is absolutely not a bad one or one that sends poorly written emails, but is actually a high quality and low volume sender.

It may be in poor taste to write this when I consider myself a competitor, but I’m also a customer and have been using their service as a fallback. I’ve always been supportive of competitors that deserved it and I’ve openly championed their service for the feature that was removed. I want to correct the record. Frankly it’s rather upsetting to receive no notice of such a dramatic change.

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This is in their feature sheet now:

image

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Ouch. I wanted to be the alternative, not the only one doing it. I’m not ready for that kind of pressure.

Website has been blank like this for me all day.

Everything works other than the homepage.

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Surely the whole point of using someone to relay email. I have servers at OVH and other low cost providers and I need a reliable mail partner so I don’t have to spend my whole life getting IPs reputation up. If they start blacklisting my IP because of its reputation why would I need their service at all?

Incidentally I’m an MX Route customer, so am probably biased and spoilt. I tend to use Amazon SES for sending mail from server services.

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from https://aws.amazon.com/ses/pricing :

AWS Free Usage Tier

When you call Amazon SES from an application hosted in Amazon EC2, you can send 62,000 messages per month at no charge. This Free Usage Tier benefit does not expire.

Note: You pay for outgoing mail data, incoming mail chunks, and EC2 data transfer fees, even if your usage of Amazon SES qualifies for the AWS Free Usage Tier.

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@holyballs I don’t understand… I use SES already for relaying mail from servers. I know how it works and how much I have to pay (I get a bill). The free tier is only for sending mail from other servers in the AWS ecosystem. You can however have a free compute instance, which is a relay that then relays via SES if you want to do it all for free. I don’t I just relay straight to SES and get a bill of about $0.25 a month. :slight_smile:

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I just posted this for others to test it out

oh ok :slight_smile:

This has the potential to make MailChannels spectacularly useless. @Jarland , any hope of relays? Am also asking from the general viewpoint, since the only other option right now is SES.

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Yeah honestly I’m just gonna drop them. They haven’t been valuable in the stack for a while. I’ve left them out of the stack for half a day and no one even noticed it was gone. I’m excited to get there, but I was quite happy to have them as the backup.

My biggest hurdles with relaying right now are these:

  1. Even though I’m running a ton of IPs right now, it’s not enough to sustain the kind of allocations that are sold elsewhere for a reasonable cost, because I have higher standards than just “a dedicated IP.” I want my standards and affordability, and I’m sure I’ll make it work eventually.

  2. Most of my handling of compromised accounts is currently managed on the sending server rather than the relays. With the way things are right now, if I didn’t have access to the sending server to halt it, I’d either have to turn off an entire relay account or IP reputation would tank.

These are just hurdles to get over but I’m certain that once it happens, I’ll have the best you can get at a price that still challenges that market too.

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Just to reiterate - This is only true if you’re sending from EC2. EC2 and EC2 only, Lightsail does NOT count / does not get any free tier.
If you’re sending from elsewhere you get no free tier, aka 1000 messages for $0.10 + bandwidth

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Thanks for clarifying :wink:

Post updated.

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