AOL Delivery Trouble

UPDATE (Fri Oct 12 13:01:51 PDT 2012): AOL appears to have resolved their problem (at least for us); everything waiting for them was suddenly delivered.

UPDATE (Fri Oct 12 08:20:38 PDT 2012): Several other providers, organizations, and individuals have conformed this issue in the comments here and privately to us, so it’s definitely an AOL problem. There’s nothing anyone can really do except wait it out and recommend non-email contact methods for anyone using an AOL hosted email address. Our original report continues below.

We are aware of trouble delivering to AOL hosted addresses. The problem appears to be a layered one as the MX being directly communicated with works, but the direct MX is acting as an intermediary and trying to talk to a back end server that returns errors.

The errors are unfortunately not listed on AOL’s list of error messages, so we do not know the cause. We have submitted a support request to the AOL Postmaster in addition to reaching out through other channels in an attempt to find a cause.

The following are samples of some of the errors we’re seeing from AOL:

host mailin-01.mx.aol.com[205.188.146.193] refused to talk to me: 554 mtain-dg03.r1000.mx.aol.com ESMTP not accepting connections

delivery temporarily suspended: host mailin-03.mx.aol.com[64.12.90.33] refused to talk to me: 554 mtain-mg05.r1000.mx.aol.com ESMTP not accepting connections

host mailin-03.mx.aol.com[205.188.190.2] refused to talk to me: 554 mtain-df01.r1000.mx.aol.com ESMTP not accepting connections

delivery temporarily suspended: host mailin-03.mx.aol.com[64.12.90.33] refused to talk to me: 554 mtain-mg05.r1000.mx.aol.com ESMTP not accepting connections

# telnet mailin-01.mx.aol.com 25
Trying 64.12.90.98...
Connected to mailin-01.mx.aol.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
554 mtain-md05.r1000.mx.aol.com ESMTP not accepting connections
421 4.7.0 mtain-md05.r1000.mx.aol.com Error: too many errors
Connection closed by foreign host.

# telnet mailin-03.mx.aol.com 25
Trying 64.12.90.33...
Connected to mailin-03.mx.aol.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
554 mtain-mg05.r1000.mx.aol.com ESMTP not accepting connections
421 4.7.0 mtain-mg05.r1000.mx.aol.com Error: too many errors
Connection closed by foreign host.

6 Comments

  1. Joshua says:

    I concur, we’re having trouble sending to AOL as well, same error messages you show.

    1. Well, it’s good to know it isn’t a problem with anything we’re doing. Thanks for the info.

  2. JMDGS says:

    I confirm the same errors when sending mail to AOL accounts.
    Seems to have started yesterday 10/10/2012.

    Was nice to find this current report!

  3. Stan Forrest says:

    I can also confirm that we are experiencing this problem as well. Started yesterday October 10 and continues today. Our mail queue is filling up with nothing but AOL email addresses all of which are being rejected by AOL.

    Submitted a ticket with the AOL Postmaster but have not heard anything back from them yet.

  4. We are having the same issue in our organization, and the problem started yesterday October 10, 2012. No one from our domain can send to an AOL address. We get the bounce error “mtain-mb04.r1000.mx.aol.com ESMTP not accepting connections” usually in a few hours.

    It’s good to see this current report! Hopefully, the AOL Mail Administrators are awake over there!

  5. David L says:

    As noted we began getting reports from our user community on 10/10/12. The error is the same. I’ve also reported it to the postmaster service on their website. No reply so far. Speaking to AOL support; they won’t talk to you unless you have an AOL screen name.

    As part of the web reporting process you send a message to an address ipconfirm@postmaster.aol.com and it replies with the IP address they see for your sending message server. This exchange of messages worked with no delay; so it appears that the issue is internal to them. If you need some type of evidence that your system overall communicates with AOL; but not for standard mail this may give you what you need.

    It was nice to find this news thread and replies to confirm to our management that it is a problem experienced by multiple organizations. Thanks!