Recommend Adding Detail to Spam Bounceback Message
Idea shared by Ron Raley - 1/20/2021 at 9:23 AM
Recently, we have been doing alot of troubleshooting and analysis of logs for customers with delivery issues. It is usually because they are blacklisted.

Currently, bouncebacks look like this:
554 Sending address not accepted due to spam filter

My proposal is to add an option to make a bounceback look like this:
554 Sending address not accepted due to spam filter(s): HostKarma, Reverse DNS, Sorbs

This would help reduce support tickets for us.  As always, thank you for listening!


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Gabriele Maoret - Head of SysAdmins at SERSIS
Currently manages 6 SmarterMail installations (1 in the cloud for SERSIS which provides services to a few hundred third-party email domains + 5 on-premise for customers who prefer to have their mail server in-house)
The reason I really want this is because we recently had a standoff with a company that communicates with our customer.

They blasted us and told our customer how strict our spam filtering system was.  They even hinted to our customer that they should change email providers.  We received voicemails and support tickets for 2 days.  They claimed their nightly e-mail alerts were critical.  They are a company that provides utility maps when digging.

In the end, THEY were the ones that showed up HostKarma, Truncate, and Sorbs.  When I was able to locate this and send them the proof and proper removal links, we got no further response from them.  Screw em!

But I do believe that had they received more than just "554 Sending address not accepted due to spam filter", we could have avoided the entire circus.

I know that giving too much details about what blocks a message can be an issue as it gives hint to spammers what to fix on their side for the mails to get through, so there are cons and pros to return detailed reject message.
But still I agree with Ron here, the spam reject reason should be a little more verbose as it generates complaints from customers saying the Spam filter is "shitty" because we reject messages they are waiting for and they don't understand the reason (why it was considered spam).

Also I'm the first to bark on generic spam reject messages when trying to help customers to understand why their outgoing mails are rejected by some recipients servers that doesn't give any infos about why.

As some sysadmins might not want these reject messages to be verbose, maybe a toggle could be added somewhere in SM (spam settings, smtp settings?) to enable or disable the feature ?

Kind regards.
Sébastien Riccio
System & Network Admin

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