Can't send to AOL addresses? Email on Dreamhost? Here's why.

This is for folks that have websites I maintain and for the general public.

It seems that AOL and Dreamhost are having a bit of snit, and AOL is blocking email from some Dreamhost servers. I guess some DH customers (or folks who have figured out a way into their SMTP servers) are spamming, and being on a shared server this is the price that one pays.

There’s a post about this on the Dreamhost status blog:

AOL is currently blocking emails sent from some Dreamhost mailservers. We are working to get the block removed. This happens a lot, and no one is more frustrated about the situation then us. We have complied with everything AOL has asked us to do to prevent this from happening and they continue to block us regularly.

Currently it seems forwards are the problem, so if you have a forward on one of your Dreamhost email addresses to an AOL email address please consider removing it or at least enabling spam filtering.

If you find that emails you send through us to AOL are getting blocked you can write support with the full headers of the blocked email.

If your server is blocked, you get this email bounce from Dreamhost (reporting that AOL said “get the heck outta here”):

This is the Postfix program at host

I’m sorry to have to inform you that your message could not be be delivered to one or more recipients. It’s attached below.

For further assistance, please send mail to <postmaster>

If you do so, please include this problem report. You can delete your own text from the attached returned message.

The Postfix program

<>: host[] said: 554-:(ISP:B2) 554TRANSACTION FAILED (in reply to end of DATA command)

I sent an email in to DH support, and here’s the answer:


We apologize for the inconvenience.

Unfortunately, we have been working through this issue with AOL for the last few weeks. We are just waiting for AOL to clear our mail server IP addresses and all should be well. We have made repeated phone calls to AOL, each time being told that our servers should be removed from their blacklist shortly. We will continue doing everything possible to clear up this problem and apologize for the inconvenience.

So what can be done until AOL and DH figure out how to play nicely? Use your ISP’s SMTP server (i.e. or and not There’s nothing else I can do. Sorry.