Jump to content
jmcmike

Mail Forwarders Going Belly Up?

Recommended Posts

Hi, I have been a customer for several months. Really just using this account for parking my domains and forwarding my mail.

 

Well today I realize that I am not getting email for my hosted domain. Mail is being bounced with:

PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 10): 550-"The recipient cannot be verified"

 

So I log into CPanel and what do you know? ALL of my forwarders are gone. Bye bye, see ya later.

 

I have opened an urgent ticket (I have (had?) quite a few mail forwarders) but while I am waiting I figured I'd ask if anyone has had this happen to them.

 

 

Regards,

Justin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum and the family Justin :o

 

I have not heard of this happening.

 

When the techs get this straightened out

you can go into your cpanel>backup and download email alias for your own backup

and if need be upload them in the same place.

you can also Download a home directory Backup

to have a backup of your web site files including e-mail

 

And don't forget database if you use them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forums Justin.

 

Sorry, I use several forwards and have never had them just disappear.

 

Are you sure nobody logged into your account and removed them? How secure is your password? Just a thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the welcome and the tips. I sure hope my account hasn't been compromised. The default addresses were also mostly messed up. One of the parked domains still had the right default forward but the main domain and the other parked domain were marked as :fail:

 

Strange...

 

I also verified (thankfully) that this is as recent as today. I have mail delivered through TCH yesterday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another tidbit, a mail filter I added a while back is still there. Only the forwarders and the two default forwarders went AWOL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I got my response. Quick and to the point, but less than helpful. It seems that an errant script destroyed the mail forwarders for some accounts on my server. They have since taken care of the script but their backups do not contain the missing information. Hard to fathom given that everything was working only yesterday.

 

Strike one! :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW...TCH runs backups once a week. When did you make backups of your data? It's ultimately up to the individual to ensure that they have current backup's. Once it's happened to you, you'll be a lot more cognizent of the need to do it. (I'm speaking from experience here...twice!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just talking to someone on AIM who said they couldnt email me, I didnt believe them so I tried, and sure enough, the mail bounced back. So I checked in Cpanel, and all my mail forwarders are gone too! Ahh!

 

It's not so much a pain restoring them all (there was only like 10), but I hope you plan on sending an email to everyone on that server letting them know of this possible issue... If I wasnt told who knows how long it would of been before I realized it, and who knows what I could of missed :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have more than 20 forwards

thats why I back them up through cpanel>backup>download alias (forwards)

If I need to restore its just a few mouse clicks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... It's ultimately up to the individual to ensure that they have current backup's...

True enough. Technically you're right. I have no legal recourse (nor would I want it for so trivial a matter) as this sort of thing is standard boilerplate stuff for hosting TOS.

 

However, it still troubles me that there was no backup available. Sure, they don't have to provide good backups, but it sure goes a long way in a situation like this to keep my business long term. It's a distinguishing characteristic that was, unfortunately, not displayed today.

Edited by jmcmike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The same happened to me the other day I went to my cPanel forwarder sections to only find out that they had all vanished... Wonder what could have happened. :)

 

No big deal in my case, I only have a handfull and could remember them all. ;)

 

For what its worth, although it might only be a coincidenece, this seems to have happen roughly around the same time one of the webmail system was removed from cPanel (don't remember the name)... Could this be the "errant" script mentioned about earlier in the post? ;)

 

Anyhow repaired for me now but I am going to watch it more closely from now on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In answer to a few questions in the recent replies, the problem is not related to the removal of NeoMail. NeoMail was disabled at the beginning of the month and the errors with forwarders did not occur until three weeks or more later.

 

The issue was not one with all accounts, many accounts were not affected at all, only a few lost the forwarders. In most cases it a ticket was submitted fairly quickly and we restored from the backups.

 

However, it still troubles me that there was no backup available. Sure, they don't have to provide good backups, but it sure goes a long way in a situation like this to keep my business long term. It's a distinguishing characteristic that was, unfortunately, not displayed today.

 

There were backups available. Both, however, were made after the problem occurred so the file backed up was missing the forwarders. Part of the reason it took a bit longer to reply (although the reply was in under an hour if I recall) was that we were checking both the backup available on the server and the backup on the offsite server. I also checked to see if there was a backup that you have made in your server space.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... Part of the reason it took a bit longer to reply (although the reply was in under an hour if I recall) was that we were checking both the backup available on the server and the backup on the offsite server...

And I appreciate that, I am not at all unhappy with the speed of your reply and I have noted as much here. I am dissapointed overall but I am not going to try to drag you or anyone else into a public debate. As far as I am concerned, I am moving on. Perhaps there is something you and your team have learned from this incident to prevent similar data loss in the future.

 

Regards,

Justin

Edited by jmcmike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got an E-mail bounce from my contact form. I tried to send E-mail to that address and that failed. I logged into my account and found that all of my forwarders were gone and my catch-all was set to :fail: no such address here.

 

I looked in my logs and the only strange thing I saw was this:

Host: 216.7.171.16

 

/svvglink.html&&di=293&ig=3d7a04dbf2d8403eae1e9c6ea376164f&pos=1&cm=wpu&ce=1&cs=aw

Http Code: 404 Date: Feb 03 00:55:11 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 3563

Referer: -

Agent: PEAR HTTP_Request class ( http://pear.php.net/ )

What happened? Is there something I can do to recover the forwarders? (I didn't back them up myself, of course.)

 

Thanks,

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve: Submit a ticket to the help desk and have them look into it for you. The mods don't have access to the servers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same deal here. It seems I'm dropping a forwarder or two per week. I am sending emails to coaching staffs and volunteers that I do a few times per week and now 3 came up that were working last week.

 

I know them as well and can add them back in. It just bothers me that they're dropping. Is it my fault or TCH? Just curious what else is going to disappear?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unbelievable. My forwarders are now worthless as 90% of mine needed to point at Comcast or AOL.

 

Spammers win again and paying customers get less and less!

 

I understand this whole ordeal. As a paying customer that uses forwarders a lot it's just put me at a loss!

 

</rant>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel your pain, I too was forwarding to a comcast account on one of my domains. Not for myself mind you. But just creating an account for the user and having them POP it was no problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Spammers win again and paying customers get less and less!

 

I'm afraid that this is just the beginning, pretty soon other ISP's will also start doing this and forwarding will be a thing of the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same here. I use these primarily for my Pop Warner coaches for one site. They don't want to / don't know how to / add the POP account to Outlook like I do and don't want to go through Webmail for yet another email account. I wanted to keep their home email address private.

 

Maybe I'll switch to a selection box menu type deal. That should also help with a lot of the spam getting through. I hope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to the original topic,

 

I have had forwarders disappear at least twice. I have Blogger notify me of our family blog and then I forward that out to several other email addresses. The forwarders disappeared. I put them back and now they are gone again. Very frustrating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you forwarding to comcast or aol? If you are they will constantly be deleted.

 

If not open a ticket with the help desk and ask them to check you account.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you forwarding to comcast or aol? If you are they will constantly be deleted.

 

I remember the announcement a long time ago that AOL forwards were going to be deleted, but I never received a recent notice that Comcast forwards were going to be deleted now. I have 2 reseller accounts and several additional standalone accounts as well - shouldn't I have been warned about this change? This is very frustrating that I had to find out about this when someone had email bounce - fortunately it was a family member, and not a customer. Now, when a customer asks me about it, I've at least done the research so that I'll at least know what has happened! I wish I had been warned BEFORE this change was implemented, so that I could go through all of my 60+ domains and find out which ones had email forwarded to Comcast addresses.

 

As a thought about that - I assume that all of these deletions are being logged, so that I can put in a ticket to request a list of all the forwarder deletions that were made to my accounts? Please tell me yes...

 

PK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can´t answer the question if they are logged, since this would be a question for the help desk I think, but the announcement was made on august,26. Read more here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was announced on August 26 about Comcast forwarders that they would be deleted in the forums.

 

As for logs of the deletion no, there are none. There may be a backup that can be recovered with the forwards in it. You would have to check with the help desk.

 

As a reseller you should subscribe to the Support Announcements forum to receive notifications of change. Actually all users should subscribe to that forum as well as the server forum they are hosted on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the quick responses. When I began researching this issue, I did find the official announcement about the deletions - but the announcement was made THE SAME DAY the forwarders were deleted. Even if I HAD subscribed to the announcements, I still wouldn't have had time to check all of my accounts. And since there WAS 48 hours warning via email when the AOL change was made, I KNOW that you can send out such announcements - why wasn't this done? I shouldn't have to check your website every 2 hours just to keep up to date! (I know, I know, I can subscribe, but should I have to subscribe in order to receive VERY IMPORTANT notices?) Why was the AOL email sent, but the Comcast notification just put in the forums?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had problems on my two sites with mail from the forms not getting through. I was sending the form content to my ISP account. My ISP is one mentioned above. My autoresponse to the sender was working but the form wasn't getting to me. The autoresponse was getting to me through my ISP on tests but not the form content.

 

I also had to learn the hard way that my mail wasn't working. A potential client told me he submitted the form and got the autoresponse but I never got the form.

 

Not long ago, I looked and my default address vanished about two weeks after I set it.

 

I'm now using Outlook Express with mail dot mydomain dot com as the pop and smtp servers. It seems to be working fine for the past couple weeks.

 

biff :)

Edited by biff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you were forwarding to comcast you can no longer. Please see this announcement.

 

Same for AOL.

 

That sucks. I had no idea about this. I had a few people ask about emails I never received. I guess that explains it. I guess I now need to change all the email addresses on my site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry you did not recieve the notification.

 

Best thing to do is to subscribe to the announcement forums and you will get any future notices posted on the forums directly to your email.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe I will do that. I knew nothing about this, which explains why my business has dropped off in recent weeks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is very annoying. I have had forwards disappear several times now.

 

Can you clarify the expected behavior? If I have 10 forwarders and 1 of them forwards to AOL, should I expect all 10 to simply disappear with no warning?

 

And ONLY Comcast and AOL are the domains affected? Not Google, Yahoo or EarthLink?

 

Thank you,

 

R.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You cannot add forwards to AOL or Comcast. Please see the 2-month old posted notice about this.

 

If you add them they will be deleted with no warning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, my post was not clear. I understand about the AOL and Comcast forwarding situation.

 

A few times now I have set up a set of forwarders to my family. I believe I kept all of the AOL ones out, and all of my forwarders disappeared. While I mentioned the "no warning" aspect in my post, what i was really trying to clarify is whether all 10 forwarders would disappear as mine did. So my poor wording diverted the intent of my question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have set up forwards on your account and they have disappeared and are not AOL or Comcast please open a ticket with the help desk and have the techs take a look.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you are all fixed up by the help desk

in cpanel > backup

you can download the alias file

and later if need be upload it to restore it.

You will find it in text format that is easy to edit on you computer

then upload.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was doing some research trying to figure out why the heck one of my two forwarders kept being dropped. It would be fine for a few days and then disappear. The other forwarder has been consistently fine for the three year life of my account. Wasn't finding answers as I made my way through the labyrinthine search options for "forwarder" help. Finally, after reading in this topic that others were having trouble and that they resolved them through the help desk (which always wants you to search for help first anyway) I began submitting a help ticket and only then did I get a link to specifically relevant information regarding my situation. I'm reprinting it here for your edification, but I also want to know why the heck this information (some kind of alert) doesn't automatically appear on the cpanel email forwarder page so that others don't have to spin their wheels trying to figure out why their forwarders aren't working. (And a direct email to comcast customers would have been nice too, but that's probably asking too much.)

 

Comcast Forwards Policy

Solution Due to the increase in complaints, effective August 26, 2006, we will no longer allow forwards from TotalChoice accounts to Comcast accounts.

 

Forwards to Comcast accounts have resulted in several blacklisted servers over the past two months. Often times a server is blacklisted by Comcast because their system doesn�t make any distinction between forwarded mail and mail sent directly to a Comcast address.

 

We have worked with Comcast's Customer Security Assurance department to resolve this issue. They have requested that Comcast subscribers keep their TotalChoice email separate from their Comcast email by not forwarding from TotalChoice to Comcast.

 

Fighting SPAM and keeping our servers off of any blacklists is a never ending battle. We understand that some of our customers wont be very happy with this choice but we feel it is in the best interest of TCH and our servers, and will help us to continue to provide the best service we possibly can.

 

Thank you for your continued support

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the note so others can be reminded of the policy.

 

For reference, this information has been available in the TotalChoice Web Hosting Policies forum, under the sticky "Email Forwarding Policies", as well as directly under Support Announcements.

 

The control panels do not contain policy information within them, due to the way the control panel is designed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is probably one of my few complaints with TCH, an email would be nice about some of this stuff. Not all of us live in these forums. It's actually a tribute to how reliable your service has been in the couple of years I've been a member that I rarely need to come to the forums.

 

I don't think I've gotten a single email about any changes in policy or server issues. With the email forwarders I did the same spinning of the wheels. We get enough SPAM mail, I wouldn't mind a piece of mail that would actually benefit me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you subscribe to the forums where changes are announced you will get an email when a new thread is posted. The forums TCH-MikeJ references. You should also subscribe to your server's forum as well as any others you deem important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I am subscribed to the server forum and I don't get any email updates. I've checked it a few times when I've had issues and it tells me that I'm already subscribed to the forum. I still think some of these very important announcements should be automatically sent out to the users. You shouldn't count on users to be registered in forums to get that kind of information out. There are many not so savvy out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know you probably already checked this, but have you made sure you are subscribing with

 

1) a valid/correct email address?

 

2) a email address that is not your domain name?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the past, I've also had occasional problems not getting notices for topics/forums I was subscribed to. Once, unsubscribing and resubscribing seemed to fix it, but other times it hasn't so it may have just been a coincidence. Eventually, it started working again on its own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You cannot add forwards to AOL or Comcast. Please see the 2-month old posted notice about this.

 

If you add them they will be deleted with no warning.

 

I have spent hours over the last few weeks trying to figure out why some of my customers' forwarded email was being bounced, and why a few of my forwarders kept disappearing. I had been trying to figure out if it was data corruption or some unpublished limit regarding the maximum number of forwarders, or something else. After searching through the forums, I finally found the answer.

 

I don't have a problem with the forwarder policy re AOL/Comcast/Hotmail/MSN and understand why it is there. My frustration is that it broke my customers' function for an extended period of time and I didn't know why. There is a really simple solution to this that I am asking you to implement: in the cpanel, check if an admin is trying to add a forwarder to aol/comcast/hotmail/msn and either give them a warning "this will be removed" or prevent the add, and show a link to the forum entry that explains the policy.

 

Having data silently stripped out nightly without understanding what is going on is very frustrating. Preventing the data from being entered in the first place, or at a minimum giving a warning at the time of data entry is the solution that will remove that frustration. Even lesser, if your cron job strips an email address from my forwarders can you send email to the webmaster/owner to let them know that it happened and why? TCH has been good to me so far, this is the first bad experience I've had here. I suspect others are going to bump into this issue. Being proactively open about it (i.e., at the time the forwarder is created, not expecting me to know to subscribe to a particular forum or having to investigate what first appears to be a bug) is the best way to keep your customers happy and keep support costs down.

 

Can you do this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forums marcelk :)

 

I'm sorry that it took you so long to find the information. Cpanel is pushed out onto the servers by the cPanel people so there is not much that can be done at the moment as you suggest.

 

I would recommend that you subscribe to several forums here and you will receive email notices when new threads are created. Subscribe to your servers forum as well as the web hosting policies and the general announcent forums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought about this a little more the other night and wondered if I was being unreasonable or not. I wondered of a all of TCH's customers, what percentage of them actually register in this forum and then of them how many actually visit it?

 

Posting notices about this issue in the forum is great, but I think you owe it to your customers to let them know this functionality is being taken away via email. Too many people have encoutered the same issues with lost time to not help us out in this way. Yes, eventually most of us came to the forum and found out, but it's just not a good method, especially when we then sometimes have to go back and explain it to our customers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The welcome email clearly states:

*PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE SERVER FORUMS FOR UPDATES ON ANY SERVER RELEATED ISSUES.

 

Service announcements, Network and Data Center maintenance announcements are posted to our discussion groups. Always check in the forums before submitting a technical support ticket.

 

Our discussion group can be a great place to learn more.

Which includes policy changes and basically everything that have to do with your TCH-account.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what TCH's issue is with emailing it's paying customers about very important policy changes, but clearly there is one. I know I was upset at first with this policy as I saw it as losing something I was paying for, but I do understand dropping the email forwarders.

 

Although this statement about subscribing to the forums is given, I would still be curious what percentage of your customers do this and visit. Plus, there are still the issues of not getting email notices even when we do subscribe, and I did go down the previous check list and have done them all.

 

From a support point of view, isn't it easier to alert your users rather than answer these same forum questions and support tickets over and over again? I work in IT for a living and the first thing I would do in this case is send out an email announcement to all of the users. The only thing I can think of to not do this would be that TCH doesn't want to give their users the impression that they are cutting back on their services.

 

Am I looking the right place? I just checked under the Server32 forum and there are no topics listed other than subscribe to this. The email policy is under the "Service Announcements" forum which isn't what the welcome email refers to. Again, I think it's poor customer service to rely on users/customers to subscribe to a forum.

 

</soapbox>

Edited by cheapwebsolutions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We currently have no plans to change our notification process, however, we appreciate the feedback and will take it into consideration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Am I looking the right place? I just checked under the Server32 forum and there are no topics listed other than subscribe to this. The email policy is under the "Service Announcements" forum which isn't what the welcome email refers to.

 

At the top of every forum there is a Forum Options button. You can subscribe to any forum using that button.

 

The server forums have dedicated posts to remind users to subscribe to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The welcome email clearly states:

 

I'm just an average knucklehead that is excited to get a new hosting account. And knuckleheads like me scan the welcome email for the IP address of the server, ftp userid and password, and DNS server, then let the ftp uploads loose. The rest of the documentation is superfulous as long as the ftp login works. Yes, I am probably setting myself up for future problems by not reading the whole welcome email closely and following all the instructions exactly. But walking in the customer's shoes it is probably good to expect them to do the minimum and have some robustness when they don't do the minimum. The forwarder policy is not what I expected, but I can live with it. I just didn't know about it.

 

I checked Wikipedia for "cpanel" and it appears to be closed-source, so I understand that it might not be possible to run a check when a forwarder is created. But if the cron job to strip out the aol/comcast/hotmail/msn forwarders is yours, that would seem to be a reasonable place to trigger an email notification to the webmaster to let them know that something was modified, and include a pointer to the policy description.

 

I've got it figured out now, but is there an elegant way to avoid future customers from having to figure it out too (assuming I'm not the only knucklehead out there)?

 

-- Marcel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum marcelk :)

 

I understand fully where you are coming from. The challenge from our perspective becomes ... who do you email?

 

Let us take the example where it is an email address within a reseller account.

 

Do you email the email address that the forward is to? (Who has never heard of TotalChoice Hosting .... and the "reseller" doesn't really want them to know they are just a reseller)

 

Do you email the address in cpanel for the owner of the account ? (assuming they have set a contact address in cpanel and who again, may not be the reseller, but someone who has never heard of TotalChoice Hosting and the reseller would like to keep it that way)

 

Do you try and identify the reseller ..... try and link up with our billing software to try and find the correct email address for them ....

 

I'm not saying it would be impossible (because when the policy was brought in - we did go through and identify the person it should be sent to in each case - and email them to let them know the policy was about to come in ) - but I remember that was not a trivial task, and hence wouldn't really want to do it on every occasion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why wouldn't you simply use the addresses from billing? An Invoice is already being sent out to that address every month.

 

Perhaps a little off topic, but what addresses were you going to use for the "TCH E-News" that was supposed to go out the beginning of March? Maybe that's why it never went out??? (Or maybe it did go out and I just missed it?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW. just to add something about the removal of the mail forwarders. I understand that some of the forwards were removed immediately without prior notice because you were trying to get some servers off blacklists, but more notice, or better yet, logging what forwards were removed or changing them to some nonexistent local address -- something to mark which forwards had been removed -- would have been very helpful. I am subscribed to the forums but still had to go through several accounts trying to think of anyone that might have possibly had a forward set up that was now gone.

Edited by click

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't have a problem with the forwarder policy re AOL/Comcast/Hotmail/MSN and understand why it is there. My frustration is that it broke my customers' function for an extended period of time and I didn't know why. There is a really simple solution to this that I am asking you to implement: in the cpanel, check if an admin is trying to add a forwarder to aol/comcast/hotmail/msn and either give them a warning "this will be removed" or prevent the add, and show a link to the forum entry that explains the policy.

 

That's an interesting feature request, but not currently doable (at least in an easy way) with cPanel 10 or cPanel 11 since there are no hooks provided to the email admin handling with cPanel. At this time the easiest way would likely be to use the API2 Framework (http://www.cpanel.net/plugins/devel/) to handle the adding of the forwards/filters This way policy could be defined and applied in a TCH Module, then passed to cPanel upon success, or a message returned to the user upon failure (e.g. "Current AUP does not allow fowarders to send to aol.com, comcast.net ....")

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...