Do not use Hotmail / Outlook — you will not get important email

published Feb 28, 2020, last modified Dec 03, 2020

Microsoft's Postmaster services have blocked my e-mail domain.

Do not use Hotmail / Outlook — you will not get important email

As of approximately last week, all e-mail originating from this domain is 100% blocked by Outlook and Hotmail servers.

This struck me as extremely weird, of course, since my domain is:

  1. not a spam sender (in fact, hardly sends e-mail),
  2. not in any RBL block lists,
  3. not in violation of any known e-mail sending policy,
  4. fully protected using Sender Permitted From and DKIM e-mail signatures,
  5. pointed at by the proper reverse DNS record,
  6. not running any sort of e-mail subscription, forwarding service, or mailing list,
  7. in correct operation for years.

Well, that's not Microsoft's opinion, of course:

As you can see, Microsoft's opinion is oddly outside the norm.  No other major mail provider is blocking my domain (why would they?):

What's even richer is that Microsoft's own systems show no evidence of any spamming, or of user complaints (no matter which date I select, nothing comes up):

In short: they are either lying (possibly with somebody on the inside deliberately blocking me for malicious reasons), or their antispam systems are just broken.

So I decided to submit a request to be unblocked, as per their web site.  Here is the Kafkaesque conversation that ensued, for your amusement:

For the record, "mitigation" is Newspeak for "letting you send e-mail like we let anyone else send e-mail".  Here's the rest of the conversation:

Total waste of my time — this Seat Warmer is effectively parroting to me what their own computer systems had already told me.  It's worth nothing that he does not at all address my question.  So I reply again.

Total bullshit response.  Completely unhelpful.  Kafka would be proud.  My final e-mail to them:

So, I guess that's it.  I'm giving up.  My father and other family members will just have to get a different e-mail provider.

If you are using Hotmail or Outlook:

  • Find a different provider.  Their staff in charge of ensuring you get e-mail sucks.  You get what you pay for.
  • Expect to never receive e-mail from my own domain.
  • Expect this situation to get worse for other independent e-mail services.  Microsoft has no financial incentive to accept e-mail from anyone other than the Big Two (Gmail and Yahoo! Mail), so it is 100% reasonable to assume that they'll start blacklisting other folks without explanation.  It's less work for them, since all they have to do is block, then pay a Name-Changing Seat Warmer in charge of saying polite "fuck yous" to you, when you ask them why they've blocked you.  If they did it to me, then (unless you're Gmail or Yahoo! Mail) they'll probably do it to you too.

That concludes my note.