Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blocked by ""

I just discovered that my mail to some folks on mindspring and earthlink is getting blocked by I'm hoping somebody else can explain what's going on, or maybe this will help somebody, I dunno.

This is what they sent me with the bounced email:

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently: [person]

Technical details of permanent failure:
PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 8): 550 550 Dynamic/zombied/spam IPs blocked. Write

So of course I tried to write to that address and this is what I got back (extracts). Feel free to skip over it if it makes your eyes glaze over and if you don't know what it's talking about - that's what I did!


EarthLink may be blocking your mail server because the server is listed in a dynamic IP range, is listed as an open proxy, is listed as a compromised machine, or is major source of spam.

If you do not know what IP address your server is sending with, please contact the mail administrator of your company or your ISP and have them follow the instructions below.

If you are the administrator of the email server being blocked, please know you may be able to expedite unblocking by checking to see if your mail server is listed in the following lists and resolving before emailing us:
Other spam databases to determine if your mail server IP has spam issues:

If your IP is not on any of these lists, is not dynamic, is not an open relay/proxy/zombie, please reply back to with "BLOCKED " in the subject line with the IP inserted. All reports sent to this address, not using this format will receive this auto response.

Thank you for your cooperation,
EarthLink Abuse

So the point is, they will not even read my email unless I know what my IP is. Which I don't!

So I tried calling Earthlink. I went to the "Get a Human" database and followed the instructions and did get a human, who transferred me to another human, who transferred me to another human, then the line went dead. Elapsed time: about half an hour.

So I called again. I got a human, who transferred me to another human, who transferred me to another human, who asked: "Did the guys you've been talking to have foreign accents?" I said they sounded like they were in India. He said, "I'll transfer you to a guy who's right here in the room with me." That sounded hopeful.

I waited. The next guy, the "one right here in the room," said, "Oh, you have cable? I'm the DSL guy. Wait." He transferred me to another guy. I was up to about 16 guys at this point.

I got one more. He actually started taking down my email addresses. That seemed even MORE hopeful. But then HE said, "Wait," and I waited, and then - a dial tone.

I screamed out loud. Elapsed time: another half hour.

I googled this problem and here are some others folks complaining about earthlink mindspring mail rejection. At the bottom, find an update with some actual helpful information I got the third time I called.

Does anyone know why gmail is marked on earthlink as being spam? I'm trying to send one of my cousins an email and I get back:

PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 8): 550 550 Dynamic/zombied/spam IPs blocked. Write

So I sent them an email and got a message back that basically says I need to be the administrator to get the IP removed from their spam block. I went into gmail's support and sent them a message with the information, and I got told that I can find a solution on their help page...which tells you to contact the ISP you were trying to email. Which takes me back into a HUGE circle of automated messages. ARGH!!!

In search of brains

Night before last, I sent an email to a friend of mine who has an Earthlink account; it bounced with the following curt notice:
550 550 Dynamic/zombied/spam IPs blocked. Write (in reply to MAIL FROM command)

As it happens, Earthlink is blocking mail from DreamHost mail servers, and DH hasn't been able to get the block removed. This isn't exactly earth-shaking news — and I can send mail, if I have to, from Hotmail, from my cable provider, even through Earthlink itself (I have a dialup account there for backup) — but I still feel just slightly insulted.

Then again, if you fuse all those complaints together, you get Dynamic Zombie Spam, which I think is a helluva good band name.

Blocked by Earthlink

I guess it’s started. I have my E-mail server connected to using a static IP number. I’ve tried to send E-mail to two different people at Earthlink in the past week. Both of those messages are now bouncing because:

(reason: 550 550 Dynamic/zombied/spam IPs blocked. Write

So, I’m stuck with trying to get Earthlink to accept my E-mail now. It seems that a number of other folks are experiencing this problem, including the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system in North Carolina. What jokers.

Their blacklist is too strict and will have a detrimental affect on their customers.

ISP eMail Blockage

Various ISP's are implementing eMail blocking polices that are not based upon any proven abuse. For example MSN (and Hotmail) are blocking "Yahoo Groups" for "policy" reasons. Strangely they have a new service that you can signup for at a couple thousand bucks that "improves" your "deliverability."

We will begin listing the known blockage, since that means those of you who have signed up for either our Automatic Notification or for our Yahoo Groups Update service WILL NOT RECEIVE the messages you have signed up for., - For "policy" reasons MSN is blocking Yahoo Groups. Apparently Microsoft also owns Hotmail as these addresses are also bounced with the same MSN "policy" message. - TDS Telecom is blocking Earthlink (& mindspring) eMail. If you have earthlink or mindspring and have emailed the SP webmaster in the last month (or any email address) it was not received. Please use instead of to send messages to the SP webmaster.

Such policies mean that corporations are now getting involved in determining what eMail will make it to you based upon arbitrary criteria they establish without notification. In such cases it is no longer your decision.

On January 8, earthlink and mindspring joined the blockage of yahoogroups, with a spam message as follows:

Remote host said: 550 550 Dynamic/zombied/spam IPs blocked. Write

The interesting thing is that "NO" messages were sent on either January 7th or 8th - NONE.

If I am not mistaken didn't AOL buy out Earthlink??? If they did that is probably the reason for all this. Everyone knows how AOL is about blocking stuff. You cannot even send email from a gmail account to earthlink or AOL nowadays.

Me personally I wouldn't use either service if it was the last on earth. It might be a wise Idea to put a disclaimer on your site telling people who use earthlink or aol to get another email from someplace else if they want to receive email from you.

UPDATE: The THIRD time I called, I got a tech guy in India who refused to help me go up the chain of command, but did have one helpful piece of information: To find your IP number, go to the DOS Command prompt and type IPconfig[enter]. Then you may be able to get some help from earthlink's reject email department.



At 5:45 PM, Blogger Hannah said...

Or how about this - visit your own website, then go to your account and see who just visited, and look at their/your IP address? or is that another number entirely?

At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use this link, just click on it and it'll tell you what your IP address is

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...


At 3:17 PM, Blogger melinama said...

Hey, that's cool! Thanks.

At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

try also or just I used to use, but everytime I need it to use it I couldn't remember it. I always thought it was and would fail. is so silly that it made smile and made it easy to remember.

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Kirk said...

The IP Address needs is that of your mail server, not the IP Address (dynamic or static) that your ISP has assigned for your Internet connection. Check the Full Headers outgoing email (send yourself a test message) and your mail server's IP Address will be listed.

At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Robert said...

I am in the process of going through ALL the transfers you went through with earthlink. Last time (currently on hold - wait time is approx. 20 mins), I asked specifically for their ABUSE ADMINISTRATOR. We'll see if thats who I actually get. Let me know if you had any luck getting earthlink to unblock you.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger melinama said...

Yes, I did. They didn't say anything, but next day my mail went through!

At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since most people are not familiar with the DOS command line, another way that you can find your IP address is to go to It will tell you your local IP address which you are using to connect to the Internet.

At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my god. What retards you dealt with. This is basic computer stuff; they should NOT be working where they are, or Earthlink should spend a little money on actually training them. IPCONFIG? That's not going to do anything! Go to and that's your IP. Enter it into the SORBS, RBL, etc. checks that they give you links to.

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous The Geek said...

I'll be glad to help anyone who has trouble with this type of thing. Just go to, find the link that says "Click here to Ask the Geek," and describe your problem. Be sure to give me a valid email address so I can reply to you.

At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

use ths command, replace with your own mail server settings out of your mail clients pop or smtp settings. Even if it doesnt resolve the ttyl, it will convert it from text to numeric

ping your.mail.server /a

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

next time contact your ISP. It is not your computer's ip that is blocked, it is your ISP's mailserver's IP that is being blocked. Call your ISP and tell them Earthlink is blocking them. They will want a copy of your bounced email with full headers. They can usually have it cleared within 48 hours.

At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Techie said...

You can get your IP from
or else you can go to the command prompt and type ipconfig/all (windows)
ifconfig (linux)
hostname -i
Probably the range of IPs on your ISP may have got blocked.
Contact the ISP and they will look into it.
If you want to change your IP then you can make it dynamic and then you may change the ip by turning off and on your modem.
If you need any more help mail me:
Gtalk : kiranraj222
Y! mesenger : archie.hottie

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Lorie said...

Hmmm, when you are using AOL, Earthlink, MindSpring, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail on and on email to send outbound - you are using "their" IPs and not the IP assigned to your computer.

At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Carol, Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair said...

Thanks for posting this! I started getting blocked messages yesterday and had an interesting (and not fruitful) discussion with Earthlink via their Live Chat today. So, the problem persists. I am a legitimate web business running a national art event and so my materials are very time sensitive...I used your example to point out that this problem is not new and should not be continuing to occur. I hope I get fast results like you did!

Anyway, just wanted to thank you - gave me a heads up when dealing with them!

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Martin, I am writing from Berlin, Germany. I wanted to write my daughter at, and I am writing from one of Germany's largest ISP, My email was "blocked", and when writing to the address mentioned in the error mail I also got the automated mail quoted above, i.e. check this and check that and do this...

I find this pretty bold. Fighting Spam is fine, but please not on the expenses of the normal guy who simply wants to send a mail.

Being a German I also see "the typical American arrogance" behind this. I am told: "Hey, you can't get through to us - so what, check your premises." I would like to respond: Earthlink, check your f... business attitude."

Martin, Berlin, Germany

At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Mike B said...

I just had the same problem after setting a new hosting account for my business. I actually have a personal Mindspring account and discovered this problem when trying to send a test message to myself.

Earthlink (Mindspring for us older customers) has a support article that describes what needs to be done to un-block your mail server. If you don't know your SMTP mail server IP address, just ping it (ex. ping Assuming it isn't a dynamic IP address, the ping should return the correct address for you to send to Earthlink.

The support article is located at:

At 9:05 PM, Blogger sirius said...

I have been dealing with this 550/zombie thing for a number of weeks now. I use Charter Cable and Verizon DSL to access the internet and a mail server that is on my web server account. The problem for me is Verizon and Charter both have set policy at saying their users must use (Charter or Verizon) to send mail, mail may not be sent through any other smtp server.

I am only having the 550/zombie thing happen with earthlink at the moment but it is not just earthlink that is the cause, it is also Verizon and Charter.

So, if you are using a third party mail server that may be what you have to change to get mail to earthlink. The instructions mentioned above at earthlink's website will do you no good if your case is like mine (I have been there many times in the past weeks). If you do follow those instructions be sure to do it (in separate e-mails) for both your mail server IP and the IP address that you use to access the internet(the one that the IP reporting websites will return to you).

I use I use this site to check my IP address:

Good Luck!

Here is the link to pertaining to Charter Cable:

At 11:27 AM, Blogger mkg said...

jeez. so much misinformation here.

its not your ip you need to find. its the ip of your smtp gateway.

if your using an email client eg outlook or thunderbird its in the account settings.

ironically, its also in the message that bounces back.


Original message headers:

Received: from

you may need to resolve this, as non of you seem to be technical, the easiest way is from the command prompt you mentioned earlier.


will result in something like

PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.

The ip address is that bit in brackets.

The only way these people posting comments here about finding it via ip chicken or whats my ip etc are helping is if you are browsing from your smtp gateway.

all the information you need is in the bounce back email.

I only post this so that the cycle of mis information can stop.

Hope that helps.


At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Follow this link
You need to submit your IP address to earth link and the mail headders from the origional bounce back. find your IP here

Hope this helps


At 8:28 AM, Anonymous achingknee said...

I don't think AOL's owning Earthlink is the problem: it rejects, which is the free mail service of AOL! Go figure.

At 3:49 AM, Anonymous kimdawn said...

I am just trying to make contact with a potential customer through Craigs List. Everytime I try to email to mindspring, I am redirected to earthlink. And contacting this person ends up appearing impossible. Are mindspring & earthlink one in the same? Has mindspring become earthlink? And if so, why is mindspring still being used? Shouldn't one have ceased to use mindspring and instead be using earthlink? At this point I am giving up on trying to contact this person. It is up to them to find a reliable & reasonable mode of communication. I won't be bothered with dealing with anyone using a mindspring or earthlink address. Thanks for letting me vent!


At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the same problem with two friends and two email address' I made one call to Earthlink and the guy told me it was now unblocked. These folks in Wisconsin were from Norway. Maybe they thought that was in Iran.


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