Open letter to anyone still using an AOL email address

Stop that!

First, web hosts are having to turn off forwards to AOL.com e-mail addresses because AOL’s mail servers are complaining. Now I get brilliance like this:

EXPLANATION:

There is at least one URL in your email that is generating substantial complaints from AOL members.

SOLUTION:

If you own all the domains linked to in your e-mail, please contact us to discuss more effective management of your complaint levels. You can start by setting up a free complaint loop through this form. This will allow you to receive AOL member complaints against your domain.

If you do not own the domain, please have the owner of that domain contact us.

I got this error in sending an e-mail to a client explaining to him how to set up his new e-mail. There was exactly one URL in the message…the temporary URL for the new site. (http://ss95.shared.server-system.net/~domainname.com/) AOL is positive that a website that doesn’t exist yet is generating a lot of complaints? AOL brags about how wonderful they are at protecting their customers against spam while they aggressively throw out legitimate e-mail. Riiiigggghhhht.

Do AOL customers really like the body of their incoming email to be policed in this way?!? Come on, you do know that Gmail offers 2 GB+ of email for free and they let you see what they call spam if you want to?!? Why why why why would you stay with an aol.com address and put up with this when you don’t have to?!?

I sent in a support ticket to Media Temple since there’s something about ss95.shared.server-system.net that AOL doesn’t appear to like. In the meantime, I got around the problem by using tinyurl.com to create a URL that would pass the AOL dogs. At least I think it passed. It hasn’t bounced. Yet.

Maybe it’s just me, but I like having control over all incoming e-mail that’s addressed to me. It’s fine if my ISP determines that something is spam and puts it in a holding space that I can review if I so choose that automatically deletes after a set amount of time. But give me a chance to make that determination.I don’t presume to have the answer to the spam problem, all I can say is that a lot of the current solutions don’t work and end up penalizing the wrong people.

Update: Just got a response back from MediaTemple:

We would strongly suggest having that person sign up with one of many free email services. They should at least do this for now in order to help this process move along. Gmail or hotmail or yahoo would all be suitable choices for this.

I don’t blame them…the problem is AOL’s and they must be as sick and tired of dealing with the brain-dead bots at AOL as I am in getting their bounces. I replied back that they were “preachin’ to the choir.”

So morale of the story…if you have an email address that ends in aol.com you obviously don’t care about the email you receive. Think about it…if you get an email message that mentions a URL that may just happen to be on the same server as a domain that someone complained about (maybe they didn’t like the purple widgets, maybe the complainer has an axe to grind…who knows, who cares?) AOL will decide for you that you shouldn’t get that email. Sound ridiculous? Of course it is. Get a new email address. Pronto. You won’t be sorry.

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3 thoughts on “Open letter to anyone still using an AOL email address

  1. Anonymous says:

    Actually, the entire domain server-system.net was blocked for exessive complaints. It’s unblocked now.

    You know, you could have just called us and we would have unblocked it….

  2. Anonymous says:

    Actually, the entire domain server-system.net was blocked for excessive complaints. It’s unblocked now.

    You know, you could have just called us and we would have unblocked it….

  3. Judi Sohn says:

    by “us” I assume you mean AOL? And how on earth is that something that I should have done? I am a customer. Helping AOL keep its mail servers from being stupid and blocking email containing temporary URLs from brand new domains is not my responsibility.

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