Welcome to the March! It's been a busy start to 2006. I took a lot of support calls this past month concerning email delivery problems. So for this months newsletter, I thought I would enlighten my readers on some of the reasons an email will bounce.
Sometimes, the receiver is using a service that limits the amount of email they can receive. I have a friend with this problem. The organization she works for has set the mailbox size to something so low that just a few small attachments will cause all other incoming email to be 'returned to sender'. Why? Her mailbox is full. Similar to a bucket of water, once the bucket is full, it doesn't matter how badly you want to add more water, it isn't going to stay in the bucket! Fortunately, the sender is alerted that the email was not received. The bounce message will say something like Mailbox full, or Quota Exceeded.
You might receive a bounce message with an attachment for emails you have not sent. Be very careful. The attachment is normally a carrier of a virus.
Sometimes you receive a bounce message for emails you haven't sent. This is most probably the cause of a 'spoofed' from address. The same way I can mail a real letter and put someone else's return address on it, spammers and virus propagators have figured out a way to use your address. This is annoying. I don't have a cure for this problem.
Sometimes it is a real bounce. You might receive a message similar to:
Hi. This is the qmail-send program at completehowto.com.
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.
10.10.10.10. does not like recipient.
Remote host said: 550 MAILBOX NOT FOUND
Giving up on 10.10.10.10.
This message means the mailbox and/or address you are sending to does not exist. Check your spelling. If you are a good speller, then check your typing!
Sometimes you are using the wrong email server. This happens most frequently when there are multiple email addresses on the same computer. Each email address has a designated server that it must use in order to send email. If you try to send email using the wrong server, the email will be returned to you. Trying to send email via the wrong server is known as relaying. Possible solutions include using the web based version of email for your account, or correcting the email account settings inside your email program ie: Outlook Express or Netscape. Work with your email provider to determine the correct settings.