What must one do to avoid Gmail's retarded non-spam filtering?

Erik L erik_list at caneris.com
Wed Sep 29 04:05:33 UTC 2010

Google appears to have blacklisted our domain. From the edge MTA, I sent three messages, differing only in the From header:
1. valid email @klssys.com
2. valid email @caneris.com
3. abc123 at caneris.com

1 not spam; 2 & 3 spam

Return-Path of all three was still another address @caneris.com and the two SPF passed headers were still there. The body & subject of all messages was simply "testing5". The recipient even clicked on "not spam" on #2 prior to #3 being sent.

At least it explains why all the other standard stuff we all looked at didn't explain the issue.

The next (and last) question is: does anyone have a clueful Google mail ops contact?

Thanks again for all the help and sorry for the OT noise. 


----- Original Message -----
From: "Erik L" <erik_list at caneris.com>
To: "William Pitcock" <nenolod at systeminplace.net>
Cc: nanog at nanog.org
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 7:17:45 PM
Subject: Re: What must one do to avoid Gmail's retarded non-spam filtering?

Hi William,

I do so for our entire IP space on a regular basis. The edge MTA I
mentioned in the reply to Bill shows up as "Neutral" there.



----- Original Message -----
From: "William Pitcock" <nenolod at systeminplace.net>
To: "Erik L" <erik_list at caneris.com>
Cc: nanog at nanog.org
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 6:06:49 PM
Subject: Re: What must one do to avoid Gmail's retarded non-spam


Have you checked the IronPort reputation scores for your mailserver IPs?
Google uses this data as part of it's spam detection method.


On Tue, 2010-09-28 at 16:15 -0400, Erik L wrote:
> I realize that this is somewhat OT, but I'm sure that others on the
> list encounter the same issues and that at least some folks might have
> useful comments.
> An increasingly large number of our customers are using Gmail or
> Google Apps and almost all of our OSS/BSS mail is getting spam
> filtered by Google. Among others, these e-mails include invoices,
> order confirmations, payment notifications, customer portal logins,
> and tickets. Almost anything we send to customers on Google ends up in
> their spam folder. This results in a lot of calls and makes much of
> our automation pointless, never mind all the lost sales.
> The problem is compounded by those who use mail clients and do not log
> in to the webmail at all, since they would never see the contents of
> the Google spam folder.
> We have proper A+PTR records on the edge MTAs, proper SPF records for
> the originating domain, proper Return-Path and other headers, and so
> on. There isn't anything that I can think of other than the content
> itself which would be abnormal, and obviously the content is
> repetitive and can't be changed much. Is there something obvious which
> we've missed?
> Aside from the following clearly impractical solutions, what can we
> do? 1. Asking everyone (including those we don't even know yet) to
> whitelist all of our addresses, to check their spam folders, and to
> click on "this is not spam"
> 2. Providing our own free e-mail service to everyone (including those
> we don't even know yet) and putting up "don't use Google" ads on all
> of our customer-facing systems
> At least this isn't Hotmail where mail is just silently deleted with
> no NDR after it's accepted by their MTAs.
> The call volume has been going up instead of down lately and it's
> gotten to the point where we're sending MTA log extracts to people to
> prove to them that we really did e-mail them.
> Would greatly appreciate any advice.
> Erik

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