I was talking to a customer yesterday who was looking for a solution for a problem he was having getting his campaigns out to customers. His website is hosted by Network Solutions, one of the larger domain and web hosting providers around. Recently, he has been running into problems getting his emails out to customers through his domain server at Network Solutions.
Recently, Network Solutions partnered with Cloudmark and the new antispam filters they are using is making it difficult for domain holders to both send and receive email through the Network Solutions mail server.
Not only that, but apparently, they are discouraging customers from sending business email through their server at all and actually encouraging their customers to spend money on a third party email service provider for their email communication – even though they advertise email as part of their hosting solution.
No, I’m not kidding. It’s right on their website:
“…Here are some steps you can take to help avoid getting blocked: Consider using a service like Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com) to send out your newsletters. This will help you ensure that your emails are sent out safely and that you do not end up getting blocked…”
It appears that Network Solutions is positioning themselves as a host-only solution like GoDaddy (who have a daily send limit of 250 messages per day) and telling small businesses that they should spend some more money on another mail provider if they want a reliable business email solution.
Of course, Network Solutions customers have responded with a WTF!
“…Since your new system has been put in place I cannot even receive a copy of my own email newsletter…”
“…I am so disappointed. I noticed a change in my emails and was contacted by several customers that I had not responded to their email messages. Needless to say, I lost thousands of dollars in one week. I figured out that reply emails became spam and I had no way to look at this spam to correct. I contacted Network Solutions 3 times inquiring as to what was going on and to get help. Not one time did any of the customer services technicians tell me that NS had made changes to spam filtering. Did they not know? After several days and no help form NS, I moved my email…”
“…I have missed a great number of emails from many of my major clients since the installment of new spam filter. And my emails to them never reached them either in the past ten days. Please know that we rely on Network Solutions to run a business and we simply cannot afford to have this happen and lose credibility with our clients. This is a major embarrassment and I strongly urge Network Solutions to take tremendous care and caution as you make changes to our email services…”
“…I can’t even get email from myself now! I have never had an issue with spam, b ut since these changes have taken place, I am not receiving email from several other people….who are not spammers…”
“…Since the implementation of Cloudmark by Network Solutions not only did my so called spam go down but a lot of my work related emails disappeared as well. A mailing I have been sending out every two weeks for years, all of the sudden won’t reach me if I send it to myself. Any company that responds to that email also gets killed by the spam engine. So I now find I have more time on my hands because Network Solutions/Cloudmark have in effect killed my business until I can move to a web host which is not so intent on driving their customers away…”
“…What kind of morons sat around the table at Network Solutions and decided this was good for your customer’s businesses?…”
“…My hosting services with NS are due for renewal. I plan to switch to another provider ASAP if I am not given a satisfactory response to this disaster of a change NS has foisted on us… your customers…”
People are obviously upset. The ironic thing is that this type of spam filtering doesn’t dissuade the big spammers from sending spam. Eighty percent of spam sent in the world is sent from 100 spam gangs who don’t give a hoot about new antispam filters or rules which cause disruption to the many legitimate small businesses trying to communicate with their customers via email.
The spam gangs who send 80 percent of the worlds spam will get around all of those things in time. They have the technology and the knowledge to bypass Cloudmark and other antispam agents who are making life miserable for legitimate senders. But the temporary fix that these filters provide necessitates the filtering of a lot of legitimate email from customers and making it unfairly difficult to send and receive important email.
It’s like shooting everyone in the auditorium to get the gunman to stop shooting people in the auditorium.