blacklists its own customers

Hosting firm shoots users in the foot

It's been a frustrating week for users of whose email messages were bounced after one of the hosting firm's domains was blacklisted for spamming.

A Web site hosted on one of's servers is selling software which could be used by spammers. Result: a blacklisting of the site and its IP address by subscribes to the open relay list supplied by so from Wednesday this week it began automatically blocking email sent to many of its own legitimate users.

This is because provides a list of IP addresses to block - not domain names of offending site - so "innocent" users whose sites share the same server/IP address for mail forwarding as the spam software sales site were also blocked.

The issue has affected a substantial minority of's small business and home users, and many have expressed their frustration and anger over the problem in the company's forum. There are concerns that blocked emails from potential customers may be lost because of's largely self-inflicted problems.

Promoting spamming software is contrary to's usage policy but the company, which promotes itself as Britain's leading hosts, has been slow to act on the issue. Some members of the forum report they are once again receiving email, but others report continuing problems. ®

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