December 22, 2005

Road Runner e-mail

Did I mention how cranky I am with Road Runner right now? It gets worse.

Our master e-mail list has around 9,000 subscribers. All of a sudden, the number of subscribers dropped significantly yesterday. Upon investigation, 1,400 of our 1,700 Road Runner subscribers are bounced.

Road Runner tech support is clueless - we might as well be talking to a wall. Our IP addresses aren't getting blocked. We aren't on any blacklists that we can determine. We are having a temporary problem with our DNS service that messed up our SPF record, but that doesn't explain the issue. Is it related to the issue we had last week? Who knows?

Our e-mail service is Intellicontact. They are nice and helpful, but they haven't been able to figure it out either. The problem is, they send huge numbers of e-mails for thousands of clients, so figuring out why one ISP is bouncing the e-mails from one client is a needle-in-a-haystack problem for them. According to Intellicontact, they are on the Road Runner whitelist. If so, it isn't helping us. Their web interface shows the number of times bounced for each subscriber, but it doesn't show the last date/time bounced or the bounce reason - both of these pieces of information are critical to figuring out why Road Runner is bouncing us. So Intellicontact is investigating.

But in the meantime, we can't send e-mail to 1,400 people - 16% of our entire list. Christmas Eve is 36 hours away and we can't communicate with 16% of the congregation. I've spent a full day on this and I don't feel any closer to resolution. Road Runner, your spam Nazis are making it impossible for us to communicate with 16% of our congregation. Would it get your attention if they started switching to other providers?

2 comments:

The Anti-Poverty Campaign said...

Clif... I'm so sorry you had this difficulty last week. It is certainly a frustrating situation from both sides I know and false positive blocking has been a big issue generally for ISPs and ESPs alike. I want to assure you we're doing everything we can to figure things out with RoadRunner. Please let me know if I can do anything to help.

Regards,
Ryan Allis, CEO
Broadwick Corp.
http://www.intellicontact.com

Clif Guy said...

Ryan,

In addition to the last bounce time and reason for each subscriber, we need a way to mass unbounce. I presume the reason you don't have that feature already is that you're concerned customers might misuse/abuse it. That concern could be mitigated by requiring someone on your tech support staff to review the requested update and approve it before any such mass unbounce changes would be committed to the database.

Clif