So, about two weeks ago, we had another problem with AOL's mail servers again. Over the course of Elliquiy's life outside of the realm of shared hosting, this would be the third time.
In each case - and the last two were pretty small - following their instructions got the issue resolved within two business days.
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 15:40:07 +0530
Subject: AOL HVU Ticket # 1641754
1 OK 18 lines Text
2 Shown 23 lines Text
I am contacting you regarding the ticket you opened with AOL concerning a mail delivery .
Thank you for providing the information we requested. At this time, we believe we have resolved your delivery problem.
There was an issue affecting several mailers that may have temporarily caused email delays or denials.
If you continue to experience a HVU B1 bounce after 24 hours from the onset of this issue, please forward the actual mail that received the HVU bounce to @postmaster.aol.com.
I removed the name and local part of the email. There's also another one from March 23rd that was pretty much identical.
Now, Elliquiy's email load is significant by the standards of many sites (~8k emails a day now), but I'm not under any particular illusions about our size. I'm effectively nobody.
I should point out, that at Elliquiy's previous host, a lot of our emails were getting dropped because someone considered our host to be a spammer - I had no control over the mail server then, so that was just something I had to live with. Legitimate emails getting tossed into nowhere because someone on Anaconda went on a spree.
So here is this company that I spent the majority of my net youth reviling for all sorts of reasons. 'The September that never ended'. AOL's customer lock-in methods, shady cancellation procedures early on, their software. Their proxy system drives me absolutely nuts as a webmaster - and everyone who becomes a moderator here ends up finding out about that nuisance.
When we had our first issue with AOL, shortly after we moved to the VPS back in November, I was basically expecting to be ignored. I thought I would have to give up AOL members entirely, the way I had to give up Yahoo while we were still on the shared host.
Instead I got a message like the above and was somewhat blindsided.
Somewhere, someone along the line of AOL's decision making process, some fairly intelligent, technically inclined bureaucrat wrote out AOL's spam resolution policy, and it was actually a good one.
Behind every faceless corporation are a lot of faces.
Behind almost every face is a person who genuinely wants to see their world become a better place.
The trick, of course, is knowing how.