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If you cannot send emails to AT&T, SBC Global or other AT&T related email servers, your server may have been blacklisted. Here are some tips to get removed from the AT&T blacklist. This is another installment of our Spam Blacklist Removal Series, so be sure to check out the series for other ISPs.
Spam blacklist removal often requires you to follow specific steps established by the ISP. While the process is generally the same for most ISPs, finding their abuse forms and their methods of handling removal differ. I find AT&T to be one of the more responsive of the major ISPs. Typically, you will see your IP removed from AT&T’s spam blacklist within 24-72 hours, provided of course you are not spamming again.
Getting delisted from the AT&T email blacklist requires a few steps:
- Verify you are on the AT&T’s blacklist.
- Perform preliminary blacklist removal checks.
- Submit AT&T blacklist delisting request.
AT&T Blacklist Verification
If you are blacklisted at AT&T, you will get a bounced email from them. In this email or in the server logs, you will see something like:
Remote_host_said:_521-192.168.1.1_blocked_by_ldap: ou=rblmx,dc=AT&T,dc=net/521_Error_-_Blocked_for_abuse._ Contact_abuse_rbl@abuse-att.net./
The exact format of the error will vary depending on your email system. This error is from a Plesk server running Qmail.
If AT&T’s email servers return this blocked email message, then your server’s IP has likely been blocked by AT&T. There could be other response codes, but typically all AT&T blacklist notifications will include a 500 series error plus a link to the email@example.com email address.
If you are not getting a bounce or seeing 550 type error, then you may not be on a spam blacklist but have some other email delivery issue.
Preliminary Blacklist Removal Tasks
Before requesting removal from AT&T’s blacklist, you will want to stop what has caused the listing in the first place. Here are a few items to check:
*Make sure there is no unauthorized email going from your server.
- Check the daily volume of email going to AT&T.
- Look for compromised user accounts.
- Look for people forwarding email to AT&T.net, Bellsouth.net, or SBCGlobal.net.
You will often need to dig through your server maillogs and access logs to try to identify the cause of the listing. The sooner you respond to bounces the greater the chance you can catch the problem before it becomes too severe. If you flood 1000’s of spam or phishing emails, your email sender reputation will drop. If you have a low sender reputation, AT&T may not remove you from their spam blacklist.
AT&T Blacklist Removal Process
While the rejected emails tell you to email firstname.lastname@example.org, the information you want is located on AT&T’s block inqury website. Here you will find a list of AT&T email error codes as well as a AT&T blacklist removal request form:
After completing the form, you will usually get a reply from AT&T within a few hours. The removal of your server IP from AT&T’s spam blacklist may take a few more days. If you do not see any response within 72 hours, you will want to confirm the spamming has stopped and then email email@example.com with a request about your removal request.
Your AT&T Spam Blacklist Experiences?
If you have AT&T, BellSouth, or SBC Global delivery tips or blacklist removal tips, please let me know. I deal with email blacklisting every week and am trying to document the processes at major email providers.