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Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

italytic
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Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

During 2019 (possibly 2018 also) I have been receiving letters from Virgin Money telling me that their e-mails to my F9 email address (sent from savings@email.virginmoney.com) are being returned to them as undelivered.

I download emails into Outlook; where I note that I have successfully received 19 emails from this exact same email sender address, between 24/11/14 and 19/04/17. There have been none received since, though I know they have been sent.

I notice also that throughout the period 2014 to present, I appear to have been receiving all the other emails from Virginmoney's other sender addresses: VMMAR/MVM/customerinfo/autoreminder@email.virginmoney.com. There are 100's of these!

Hence it appears to be only the savings@email.virginmoney.com sender address that is being rejected, and there appears to be nothing intermittent about it!

I have had enough of this now! So I have today changed my contact e-mail address with Virginmoney to that of another provider. However, I'd like Plusnet to provide an explanation of these rejections. To continue using Plusnet email I need more confidence in it that I currently have!

The thread 'Plusnet Email servers giving random SMTP 550 errors for inbound emails' was active from 22/11/17 to 16/4/19, then it went quiet. Why? My experience might indicate the problem continues (latest VM letter received only today).

Thanks

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Superuser
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Re: Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

I notice also that throughout the period 2014 to present, I appear to have been receiving all the other emails from Virginmoney's other sender addresses: VMMAR/MVM/customerinfo/autoreminder@email.virginmoney.com. There are 100's of these!

Hence it appears to be only the savings@email.virginmoney.com sender address that is being rejected, and there appears to be nothing intermittent about it!

@italytic interesting that it's only the savings address that's being rejected. I wouldn't have expected any recipient to be interested in the address when making a decision to reject, rather just the domain part , which in this case is the same.

However doing a bit of digging , the email.virginmoney.com domain has a VERY restrictive SPF record ( description of SPF here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sender_Policy_Framework )

v=spf1 ip4:195.140.184.0/22 ip4:91.192.40.0/22 ip4:91.222.96.0/22 ip4:141.206.144.0/20 -all

Basically this means that any email sent from email.virginmoney.com should ONLY come from those 4 mail server subnets

The '-all' is a hard-fail , which means that any recipient should reject email from any other servers. That is very unusual, normally spf records specify a soft-fail '~all' which means treat as suspect but don't reject. This normally causes such email to be accepted but  marked as spam.

My guess ( and it's only a guess! ) is that mail from savings@email.virginmoney.com is coming from a different source to all the others and is not covered by the SPF record, hence it's likely to be rejected.

edit:

I've just remembered that I have a virginmoney savings account and have recently received emails

They came from savings@emailsavings.virginmoney.com

and according to the headers were sent from unusquattuornovem.mu.eccluster.com ([91.192.42.149]) by Plusnet Cloudmark Gateway

That address IS covered by the 91.192.40.0/22

Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

Hi there.

I'm sorry to see you're not receiving emails from a particular Virgin Money email address. I'd like to raise this with our NetOps team but ideally I'd need the headers first so we can investigate further.

@MisterW Could I ask that you PM me the headers of that email you've received from savings@email.virginmoney.com?

[edit]

I mis-read your response and the address you've received emails from is different.

I'm looking into this further

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 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
italytic
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Re: Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

Thank you MisterW for your reply. 

I have also received emails from savings@emailsavings.virginmoney.com, but only two: back on 6/11/17 and 17/10/17, then these also stopped. My last email from savings@email.virginmoney.com was actually on 28/6/17 (not 10/4/17 as I originally stated).

Interestingly the above two emails stated: 'To make sure our emails don't get caught in your junk filter, please add savings@email.virginmoney.com to your address book'. My recent letters from them also advise the same.

I wonder! Noting the chronology, maybe the savings@email.virginmoney.com address was actually superceded in mid 2017, being replaced by savings@emailsavings.virginmoney.com; and VM simply forgot to update their customer advice accordingly?

If this is the case, the emails I am now missing are actually coming from savings@emailsavings.virginmoney.com and the problem started after 6/11/17 (the same month as the wide-scale email rejection issues appear to have started).

My VM account actually migrated across for Northern Rock, so potentially, VM could be sending my emails from a different server (to yours): which lends weight to your theory, I think. But if their SPF record is wrong, would it not be affecting a huge number of their customers (with a whole range of ISP's)? Wouldn't they have twigged by now?

My guess is that this issue is likely only to be affecting a subset of Plusnet customers, but not just me!

Anyone else had issues with VM emails?

Superuser
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Re: Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

@Gandalf  in light of @italytic  s latest reply , my headers may be useful? Let me know and I'd be happy to PM them

italytic
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Re: Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

Hi Gandalf,

I could also send you the headers from the last email I received form VM savings on 17/10/17. If you ask MisterW to send his headers, would a comparison then be helpful?

As it would be better to be certain, maybe someone should approach VM for confirmation of their actual sender address which is being rejected? I can do this if you agree.

Cheers.

Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

Yup if you can both PM me the headers I'll raise a task with NetOps to investigate further.

[edit]

As it would be better to be certain, maybe someone should approach VM for confirmation of their actual sender address which is being rejected? I can do this if you agree.

If you're able to that may be good. Smiley

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 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
italytic
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Re: Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

Thanks Gandalf.

My last VM 'savings' header is attached. I have substituted references to my email address with XXX.

I will approach VM and try and obtain confirmation of the sending address, plus try and solicit further details on how many similarly affected customers they have with Plusnet. 

Regards

Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

Thanks for the headers @italytic 

I've passed that on and the information from this thread over on a task to our NetOps team (Our ref INFOPS-19640)

I'll let you know if we need any more information to investigate this further, should be within 3 working days.

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 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

@Gandalf  I'll get my headers to you hopefully later today...

Superuser
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Re: Email non-delivery to my F9 email address


@italytic wrote:

I will approach VM and try and obtain confirmation of the sending address, plus try and solicit further details on how many similarly affected customers they have with Plusnet. 

For clarity, it is not the sending address which is of concern, but rather the SMTP server which sends on behalf of this address.

Consider the possibility that VM are using an outsourced marketing company for these communications wemarketyou.com - it is quite feasible (and indeed reasonable) that for their VM campaign, they send emails using the email  address savings@email.virginmoney.com or savings@emailsavings.virginmoney.com sending the email out via their own SMTP server smtp.wemarketyou.com


This is a reasonably sound approach so long as the SPF rules for the VM email addresses include the wemarketyou.com SMTP server as a permitted SMTP service for the VM email domains.  If the SPF rules do not permit this, then the rejection of emails would be a reasonable act.

italytic
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Re: Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

Hi Townman, thanks for your input.

Both you and MisterW are theorising that VM, or a partner, are using a sending server address which does not conform to their SPF rules. Whilst this is certainly possible, I find it hard to imagine that VM would not have twigged after all this time, simply because all their customers, who they address through this server, would be affected: unless of course most other ISPs ignore the SPF's 'hard fail' rule - when Plusnet don't. Likely?

If this is unlikely, then VM should be receiving failure notifications for most of their customers and be having to go to the trouble of printing and posting all their missed communications. Would they then still be assuming the receiving ends are at fault? Particularly with most of their other emails probably being delivered OK!

I remember a similar problem with my last employer, where certain inbound emails were being rejected, even through the addresses and content were entirely valid. I recall the issue related to the use of Messagelabs and how their validation worked, and was updated. I note VM are Messagelab users. Do Plusnet use such third parties? It seems to greatly complicate resolution!

It may be relevant to note that I use the email address: name1@name2.f9.co.uk (so I log in to webmail with name2+name1). Could inbound emails to this address construct be going through a different validation route to other constructs?

Superuser
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Re: Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

I believe PlusNET uses CloudMark for inbound mail processing.

When I looked up some of the SPF addresses none of the ones I checked clearly reported as belonging to VM. I surmise therefore that they are using third parties to supply their email services.
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

Thanks for the headers @MisterW and getting back to us @italytic 

I've received a response back advising that we're unable to find those Virgin Money email addresses in our logs. To investigate further and this may require a bit of digging with Virgin Money but we'll need:

  • Date and time the email was sent
  • Subject line
  • Exact email address they've used

Apologies for the hassle this causes.

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 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Email non-delivery to my F9 email address

@Gandalf  surely all that info is in the header I sent! I deliberately included down to and including the subject line