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29 posts

Geek
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# 249452 11-May-2019 16:06
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Hi There,

 

We're an online business using Shopify but Spark blocks all emails to the customers we have in common including:

 

  • Purchase notification emails
  • Invoice emails
  • Shipping notification emails
  • Review notification emails
  • Even straight B2B emails with no attachments of any kind

1. It wastes a lot of time for us and creates a lot of confusion for the customers we have in common, many of whom are aged 65+.

 

2.
We only send about 8-12 marketing emails per year (tiny for an ecom business) and have never sent emails to illegitimate or purchased email lists of any kind.

 

3.
When sending marketing emails to our legitimate, opted-in customers, we've always authorised the services (Campaign Monitor & Klaviyo) using SPF or _domainkey 

 

4.
We've gone 30 rounds with Spark support on two seperate occasions and got nowhere. Truly mind-numbing sorry.

 

 

 

Question

 

Is there any way to cut through the endless layers of bureaucracy to talk to the people responsible for blocking our emails, so we can understand what the problem is?

We're completely stuck and can't face talking to another support agent and are even happy to bribe someone to just understand what the issue is. No joke.

 

Any help or pointers in the right direction would be much appreciated.

 

Cheers

 

Ben

 

 

 

 


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'That VDSL Cat'
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  # 2235064 11-May-2019 17:01
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Give the Business email folk a call on monday morning.

 

 

 

0800 110 062

 

Ask for Business email, explain to them your issue. they will take some example emails and put it through to get it cleared or look at if there is another reason.

 

 

 

More than likely there is an element that appears spammy.





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.




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  # 2235077 11-May-2019 17:32
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Thanks fo the reply, will try them again but we've been through this twice.

 

If anyone has a contact or a way to reach people with knowledge, that wold be better. Happy to pay someone if we could just understand why. e.g. did someone send spam but use our email as the reply-to address?

 

And there's nothing spammy about our business correspondence, there are no images/logos, no slogans etc. They're literally hand written emails like the ones you would write every day but they still get blocked.


 
 
 
 


'That VDSL Cat'
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  # 2235081 11-May-2019 17:36
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The Business email folk know exactly how to deal with this, if your having trouble with it though will ask what's up....





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.


defiant
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  # 2235092 11-May-2019 18:11
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What is the sending domain name out of interest



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  # 2235103 11-May-2019 18:27
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Have pm'd you the domain. It sounds dumb but I don't want to link our domain with the term 'spam' from an SEO point of view and make things worse.

 

I understand that's probably not how it works but who knows.




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  # 2235109 11-May-2019 19:04
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@defiant Thanks for the PM.

 

Is DKIM the same as a _domainkey? Campaign Monitor (Email marketing) use both SPF and domainkeys.

 

Here's the guts of the bounce-back we keep receiving from xtra:

 

Action: failed
Status: 5.7.1
Remote-MTA: dns; mx.xtra.co.nz
Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 554 5.7.1 Message rejected due to possible spam content

 

And I got that bounce-back after sending an email about bed sheet sizes to a customer from my laptop - this wasn't email marketing of any kind.

 

With regard to asking customers to contact xtra, the problem is that xtra rejects messages before they arrive. I did a test with a customer standing right next to me this afternoon; no notification, nothing in the junk folder, nothing at all in his email.

 

Also, many of our customers (especially the most valued ones) are 65+ so don't understand whats going on, and aren't going to spend hours on hold. And if you contact xtra's front-line staff, you spend the first few days trying to explain that its xtra's server which is rejecting the message.

 

Anyway, I'll contact the business email team tomorrow but I agree, if you're not a customer, it's usually a very polite 'talk to the hand'.

 

This has become a big problems for us (we're a tiny 2 person company) I just wish we knew why.

 

 


defiant
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  # 2235122 11-May-2019 20:18
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That is annoying, and yes it sounds like you have dkim setup.

 

Good luck with Spark/SMX


 
 
 
 


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  # 2235161 11-May-2019 21:15
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We’ve had a client with issues like this recently, even with correct dns spf records etc.
So have setup SMTP2Go for them, for their outgoing emails from their LOB app and all working beautifully now.



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  # 2235163 11-May-2019 21:19
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Thanks heaps for the suggestion, much appreciated and will look into it.

 

I guess we'll have to see if Shopify's order/shipping confirmation emails can be sent via a third-party SMTP server.


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  # 2235172 11-May-2019 21:58
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I don't know whether this is a similar problem, but I keep getting snailmail (I know it is snailmail, because they have usually eaten some of it) from IRD saying they are having difficulty getting emails to Xtra.co.nz customers.  IRD know there is a problem, and this started before they upgraded their systems.  You'd have thought Spark would have sorted this forthwith -- but apparently not.  Not only is this costing me money via my tax (OK, not much, but you too), its damned annoying when I have then to scan partially-digested letters in order to save them.





gml




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  # 2235242 12-May-2019 08:31
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Thanks for the replies, I’ve since found these articles:
https://processit.co.nz/blog/2019/03/xtra-anti-spam-blocks-business-how-to-fix-this-by-white-listing/
https://www.websitebuilder.nz/blog/xtra-blocking-email

So it seems like all this frustration is caused by draconian spam filter settings on Spark’s servers, no doubt to save money/storage/processing costs.

I get it but it’s causing so much confusion and frustration for the older customers we have in common.


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  # 2235260 12-May-2019 10:12
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I've said it loads before, SMX just need to pull their heads put of their as5es!

There is absolutely no justification for the ridiculous level of spam filtering they employ. Google and Microsoft seem to manage spam filtering just fine, Spark should have gone to a provider that can actually provide a proper email service rather than just the virtue signaling move of 'emails are coming back to NZ'.

And perhaps their users should be more careful who they give their emails to. But I guess that ship sailed a long time ago.

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  # 2235262 12-May-2019 10:16
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I had a stoush with SMX about a year ago..... they are honestly the worst spam filter service I can think of. They absolutely don’t care about correcting problems with genuine emails being flagged. They just tell you to sort it out yourself....

defiant
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  # 2235289 12-May-2019 11:30
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I imagine whatever spam filtering solution they're using isn't in the least bit sophisticated and requires a lot of manual tweaking

 

Probably using spamassassin with bayesian filters




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  # 2235304 12-May-2019 13:20
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Thanks guys, the experiences shared seem to be common and certainly backup up our experience with Spark support - the polite ‘talk to the hand’ method!

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