We monitor just about everything at Modwest, and one of the types of alerts we occasionally receive is that one or more of the servers in our mail cluster has a backlog of messages awaiting delivery to remote destinations. That happened this week, and upon investigation we discovered just the latest occurrence of a phenomenon with which we're well acquainted by now: due to spam complaints, AOL was blocking all email from all Modwest customers hosted on our shared system.
How could this happen? Surely Modwest has strong anti-spam policies! (Yes, we do.)
Well, there is a small loophole: We allow our customers to set up mail forwarding, which means you can have mail addressed to yourdomain.com (hosted by Modwest) automatically forwarded to another email address elsewhere (such as AOL). Sometimes, messages that get forwarded to a customer's AOL account are then reported via the "This is Spam" button at AOL; this results in Modwest being identified as the source of that message. Enough complaints, and AOL blocks Modwest altogether.
Therefore, beginning July 27th, 2007, we are going to reconfigure all forwarding rules destined for AOL addresses to deposit received messages in the main account mailbox. Further, we will be disallowing all new forwarding rules with an AOL address as the destination. We'll notify Modwest customers who currently have AOL forwarding rules soon.
We hate to make any changes that restrict features, but due to AOL's policies, continuing to allow these types of forwarding rules can adversely affect every customer of ours. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.