For years I know that vBulletin and most other forum software programs have had issues with sending emails to AOL, whether it is registration emails, PM emails, newsletters, etc.
So let me tell you about my issues that happen to me on Friday morning right before the long Labor Day Weekend, which I already planned to head out of town.
I had just woken up and was doing my daily routine before getting the kids ready for school checking emails answering a few when I got the an email that no one ever wants to see:
Your web hosting account for XXXXXXXX has been deactivated, as of 09/02/2011. (reason: terms of service violation – spam)
I called immediately to find out what was going on. Besides waiting on hold forever, I was finally able to get someone on the line.
One of the reasons was that they said it was because I was using a cron job to send out my emails, which is true and I explained to them I use a cron job because they limit how many emails I can send out per hour. Okay, done and they were satisfied.
But there was more…
Next he said that they were going get blacklisted from AOL because I was sending emails to AOL emails addresses and have been for months, which again is true. He was told by AOL that the email contents were related to my domain name and topic, which as soon as he pulled up the email he chuckle because the title and the first few lines were directly related to my site’s topic.
He asked if all the emails were “opt-in” emails. I told him that I have a check box at registration just like all the other vBulletin forums stating “Accept emails from administrators” Well he and I went round and round about this check box, but that’s another post.
So what they suggested is that I no longer accept AOL emails registrations or send any more emails to any forum members using AOL email addresses. Which I have now done and I’ve also posted an announcement on my forum about the AOL issues.
When it was all said and done I was down for about 50 minutes. Which being a business owner can be devastating and embarrassing to say the least.
Tomorrow I’ll post on how to do the SQL query on how to uncheck/check the accept admin emails in vBulletin.