Site_Feedback

Topic   Emails are not working in some case, disabled, etc.

bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
* 25-Apr-2018(#1)
The server move went well except for email. Currently GameTZ is not able to send or receive emails. So, any notifications you might get (for new offers, trade updates, pms, etc.) are not going out. Also, if you email the site in some way (this is rare), it won't work either.

I'm working on it.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
25-Apr-2018(#2)
I'm trying to sign up with Google's G Suite to relay the mail. I'm running into delays. So, it may be a day before it works (if it works).

They provide the service on a per-domain basis. So, I'm trying to focus on just @kenyonhill.com emails. I changed the site to use email from @kenyonhill.com as the from address when sending notifications and such. Most of them had been @gametz.com which is not likely to ever work again at this point. I'm glad I at least warned people about phasing those out last week. I thought I might keep it going a bit longer, but it's not looking likely.

I had to delete a lot of emails that were generated since the were from @gametz.com addresses. I thing new notification emails wil at least have @kenyonhill.com as the from address and hopefully will work once I clear the delays.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
25-Apr-2018(#3)
Using G Suite to receive kenyonhill.com emails is starting to work now.

Sending emails is still not working and I'm unsure why. Also, I found they have limits for relay users like me that are lower than our current usage. I think they are limiting it to 130 emails sent per day (according to https://support.google.com/a/answer/2956491#sendin... we have 1 user license [which are $5/mo each] ) A quick check of the old server showed that 672 emails were sent out yesterday and that seemed typical.

I could cut back on outgoing emails to try to get under the limit. It looks like a lot go out in the morning (~250), probably abandoned account reminders (could just stop doing that). Also, I suspect immediate pm notifications might be generating a lot of emails. It's not something I could fix fast, but over time I could probably cut it down to a smaller number.

Another provider, Sendgrid has a relay service that lets you send 40k emails/mo for $10/mo. So, that may be an alternative, maybe just temporarily until I can get out number down. Receiving emails would still be an issue, but G Suite can probably handle that (for $5/mo).

It might be a few days before I can it working again. I wasn't prepared for this. At least the website seems to be working well.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
25-Apr-2018(#4)
I think I have it sending mail out via G Suite. I assume the limit will kick in eventually, though. I also disabled email notifications in the daily/morning script (was 250 emails yesterday). That's for abandoned account, expiring subscriptions, old draft reviews, a new user follow-up email, forum replies, new matches, and daily pms -- none of which seem especially important, though the daily pm one maybe.

I'll try to put code in to see where the other emails are going out from too.
ryanflucas
GameTZ Subscriber 1000 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader
25-Apr-2018(#5)
I don't have emails turned on, I read everything on-site so I can't comment on that. Otherwise the site overall is loading faster for me then a week ago.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
26-Apr-2018(#6)
It appears the 130/day limit with G Suite is real and we easily hit it yesterday within hours after I got outgoing mails working.

There are a lot of messages piling up in the queue again (74 at the moment). I may need to delete them all or turn off out going emails for a while until things are under control again. Many have already failed after hitting the limit as well.

I'm going to look more seriously at SendGrid as a solution. It's $10/mo but seems like it would cover what is needed. The way they handle incoming mail mat be better than G Suite as well (instead of using gmail, I can have it send the mail to my via web page submit -- so, I can integrate that into my own system that allows me to get/respond to such emails on-site). I guess I'll sign up with them and see how it goes.

If that doesn't work out, my plan would be to keep using G Suite but remove most cases of email notifications from the site and just keep the absolutely essential ones. I can try to replace emails with on-site notifications (e.g. pm) in many cases. It is an option, so I'll just make it the only way those messages go out.

Gypsy
GameTZ Gold Subscriber Quadruple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Happy Birthday to Me
26-Apr-2018(#7)
I was about to make a thread panicking that I didn't get my new posts email, good thing I saw this thread first lol.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
26-Apr-2018(#8)
I'm trying to set up SendGrid today. It's looking good, so far.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
26-Apr-2018(#9)
Emails are at least partly working again now. We did lose lots of outgoing notification emails. But, I just sent a bunch out with the new SendGrid way and they seemed to mostly work.

Also, I put back the @gametz.com emails for emails moderators and such. I think those partly work again now too.

I'll do the same for @kenyonhill.com emails and shutdown the G Suite thing I had setup yesterday.

I still need to work on processing incoming emails better. Also, I'm getting spam as well, so will need to filter that somehow.

Also, some of the outgoing emails were blocked apparently. I'm still looking into this, but it seemed that sendgrid may be tagged as a spammer by some (live.com's email system for one). We'll have to see if there's a way to improve this.

I'll restore the daily/morning alerts and reminders for tomorrow too. I think SendGrid has a much more generous quota.
ryanflucas
GameTZ Subscriber 1000 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader
26-Apr-2018(#10)
Could you set it so all outgoing emails are digested (each user gets only 1 a day at end of day)?
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
27-Apr-2018(#11)
Well, I'm past the limit per day issues since I've switched to SendGrid and have it working mostly. G Suite has the limits (as do others). Though, the limit was actually per-recipient-email, so digesting doesn't really help either.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
27-Apr-2018(#12)
I'm still working on this email issue. Emails are going out now and seem to work in most cases. Yesterday, the emails had some tracking gunk in them (e.g. the links I put in them were replaced with wrappers that track if you clicked or not). Also, there was an invisible pixel in them that tracked if you opened the email. SendGrid did this by default but I've turned it off this morning.

I still need to do a lot for sorting out incoming emails, but that's mostly an internal thing for me (won't affect people).

Probably the toughest problem is that email notifications from gametz to users that have Microsoft-based emails (e.g. hotmail.cim, live.com, or outlook.com ), are being blocked. I found a form to submit to them asking them to let me emails go through, so I did that. But, it's hard to tell if it will work and I don't have much control over what Microsoft does. So, that sucks. But, with a little luck, they may unblock me. Searching for the issue, you can find tons of people complaining about it in forums. I think I had the issue in the past too and the form worked. We'll see.
Grenadier
GameTZ Full Moderator Triple Gold Good Trader Has Written 3 Reviews
27-Apr-2018(#13)
Seems like there were times when various e-mail providers (Hotmail & Yahoo, especially) blocked you because the domain the mail came from and the domain it claimed to come from didn't match. (gametz.com vs kenyonhill.com). Could that be tripping you up again, with the added mix that maybe it detects that it's really coming from SendGrid?
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
27-Apr-2018(#14)
Maybe, but it's probably more complicated than that. Email is just this convoluted thing these days with various systems in place to try to block spammers.

It's not that uncommon for a domain to use another to send email for them. When I used G Suite, it was google's mail servers that also don't match my domain. Given that many hosting providers are blocking mail ports in some way, many sites are going to be in this position. There are companies that provide mail services to help them, so it's also a business opportunity.

To get G Suite and SendGrid to take over GameTZ's email, I have to put a MX record into my DNS that tells everyone that they are my mail server. So, that's pretty official and it could generally only be done by the domain owner. So, it's not a case of hijacking a domain to spam. I don't think domains not matching the best indicators that someone is spamming. There is also some trick that SendGrid had me do that I think causes it to look at bit like it really is my domain too (some odd CNAME records).

It seems pretty clear to me that SendGrid is used primarily by "email marketers" as their UI caters to that sort of thing. So, it also seems likely that emails from their servers get reported as spam (because they are, in a sense, to some people [including myself]). So, I suspect it's as simple as Microsoft getting lots of reports of spam from SendGrid's servers, so they block their server's IPs. Thus, I am affected. But, perhaps telling them I'm legit will help them separate my emails... hoping. It is Draconian of them to block all from SendGrid a surely there are plenty of legit emails coming from those servers too. And, I assume even Microsoft is OK with email marketing.

In other news, it appears there may also be an issue with yahoo@com emails. I'm getting multiple deferrals from them that don't seem to be resolving. Maybe there's some form I can fill out for them as well..

gmail emails are working fine at least. Also, most uncommon email providers are working.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
* 27-Apr-2018(#15)
Note that SendGrid has a "Pro" plan that includes a dedicated IP address. The plan I'm using now is $10/mo. Pro is $90/mo.

Also, I'm currently working on coping with all the incoming spam I get. I'm using RBLs which I can test the sender IP address against to tell if they are spam. When I put SendGrid's mail server IP (from the hotmail.com rejection notice I got), it comes up in some of the RBLs I'm using. Also, server's current and previous IP address comes up on some of them too (rarely).
ryanflucas
GameTZ Subscriber 1000 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader
27-Apr-2018(#16)
Between the app and onsite messaging, why is email still so popular? I turned that off long ago. Is there some upside I'm overlooking?
willyum
GameTZ Gold Subscriber 300 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (17) This user is on the site NOW (19 seconds ago)
27-Apr-2018(#17)
I've always used the @gametz address because I liked having the @gametz. But I've since edited most of my online accounts to use another address.

bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
28-Apr-2018(#18)
I found a form I could fill out with yahoo, so I did that as well. Again, crossing fingers that they'll unblock me.
I have not heard back from microsoft.

I may try to beg google cloud for them to open my mail ports. It's worth a shot.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
29-Apr-2018(#19)
I got a reply back from yahoo, so I provided them with more info, but their last reply was essentially boiler plate brush off. So, that's not looking good. I got a reply back from Microsoft that told me to resubmit correctly. So, I'll try that again. Part of the issue with both of them is that they want me to give them info that only a mail server has. I'm no longer a mail server, so I can't even answer some of their questions. SendGrid is my mail server. I contacted their support to try to get the info from them. Their answer was also boiler plate and suggested I upgrade my plan with them (as noted before this would be from $10/mo to $90/mo [more than it costs to host the server with google cloud]). Even with the upgrade, I'm unsure it would fix the problem. But, $90 is just way too much in my opinion.

Today, I'm trying to drill down more into Google Cloud to see if there's some way to get the ports unblocked. Yesterday, I sent a very whiny suggestion to them about the situation, assuming they would not even consider it. This morning, after looking at their support forums, I found that the blocks of email ports is a top issue for them (based on customer votes). And, I think I'm seeing some sign that they do open ports if you can make a case for being legitimate. I am legit, so I'm going to do my best to try to get that. Though, contacting Google Cloud support does not seem easy or even possible from what I can tell so far. I may need to pay more for support? wtf

Meanwhile, emails to hotmail, live, outlook, aol, and yahoo are not working. So, for example, if someone has an email with one of these and they try to make a new account, they will be unable to get access to the site because you have to verify your email to get a password and login. I just got an email this morning from a guy with a hotmail email address saying that he hasn't got his password and doesn't know what's wrong. I can't even reply to him because my reply will get blocked too. I was going to email him from my private gmail account just to let him know, but looking him up he actually had past account with bans for piracy and BTRs. So, yeah... whatever, I'll just let that one go.

Existing users with those blocked emails aren't getting notifications (maybe not so bad but may cause people to be slow to respond to offers/trade we'll see).

I've actually done a fair bit of work to integrate with SendGrid. They have an API that is quite good, a nice solution to the problem of blocked ports. So, I'm able to use that effectively. But, their mail servers being blocked undermines this. Clearly, the business model is a sort of bait-and-switch where the promise email services for free or $10/mo, but ultimately, if you want it to actually work, you need to pay at least $90/mo.

If we're stuck with SendGrid (hey it works with gmail users and many others), I could try to notify gtz users with hotmail, yahoo, aol, etc,. emails to let them know the situation at least. Many can likely get by without email notifications. For new accounts, I could just not allow email addresses from them to be used. Maybe, I could get rid of the email verification step for new accounts. Though, that would likely trigger more forum spammers to come here and that's a pain in the butt to deal with. I don't love this situation (e.g. trying to workaround the blocked emails), but may have to accept it.

I could try different hosting, but it will cost a bit more than Google from what I can tell and I think I'm seeing similar restrictions on emails with most of them. It's hard to tell what the limits are and how they would affect what GTZ does until I set it all up. Setting it up is a ton of work. So, I'm disinclined to do this unless I'm more sure. Google Cloud seems really good otherwise too, so I'd like to stay with them.

Hopefully, I can get through to Google Cloud Support and get my email ports opened.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
29-Apr-2018(#20)
I tried to contact google cloud support, but it blocked me because I'm only at bronze/free level. To get support I need to pay $150/mo for silver level support. I still have most of the free trial $300 they gave me, so I could burn half of it just to request they open my mail ports. I have no idea if they will do that, though. So, it could be a waste.

I should consider moving everything to AWS. I do seem to see that they "throttle" the mail ports, but that they also have a form to request the throttling removed. Azure blocks the mail ports and seems similar to Google Cloud (recommend people use SendGrid).

I'm fairly frustrated at this point. Maybe Monday or Tuesday I'll bit the bullet and pony up the $150 to try to talk Google into unblocking me.
ryanflucas
GameTZ Subscriber 1000 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader
29-Apr-2018(#21)
Open a free tier mail chimp account and import all user addresses. Use that to send a message telling "what's going on" status messages. No need to use a personal account then.

The security is overly restrictive because it's very easy for foreign hackers to break into legitimate sites, assume control, setup spam/ddos points. Most hosts blanket block everything and then cash in on requests.

CAG is having the same issue. Their notifications were sparratic 6 months ago and are pretty dead now.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
30-Apr-2018(#22)
I did the Google Cloud support thing for $150 and filed a case. I got a response that was encouraging. They are going to pass is on to the group responsible and consider it.

*crossing fingers*
ryanflucas
GameTZ Subscriber 1000 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader
30-Apr-2018(#23)
Did you offer them part of your soul? Tech companies eat those for breakfast.
JD
400 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally
30-Apr-2018(#24)
If it helps with lowering emails sending out i can turn email option off if theres any
Because i have app giving me notifications for almost everything

ryanflucas
GameTZ Subscriber 1000 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader
30-Apr-2018(#25)
Since you technically renewed the iOS app, you have both apps that can deliver notifications. Why not say that's the future and turn off email notifications other then an occasional newsletter? Or make notification emails a subscriber perk?
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
30-Apr-2018(#26)
They said it will probably be Wednesday before I get a reply from the group it's being passed off to. I'm still hopeful.

JD - thanks for the offer. Let's see how it goes. Hopefully, I'll just be able to keep doing emails as always. If they say yes to my request, that's how it will go.

I have turned off some reminder emails. And, I plan to review other email cases.

I'm sure some people just prefer email. I don't want to punish them by taking it away unless I don't have much choice. I use email a fair bit myself.

I do agree the app(s) are very good for getting notifications. There may be more that can be done with that sort of thing too. For example, I think notifications can be channel through web browsers too. So, there are other options besides email.

It would actually be a fair bit of work to remove email from GameTZ's system.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
2-May-2018(#27)
Google is now saying they'll check back on Monday. My hope is starting to fade.

I may start setting up a server with AWS meanwhile.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
3-May-2018(#28)
Hm. SendGrid emails seem to be getting delivered now, most of them anyway... and for domains that had been blocked before like hotmail, aol, yahoo.
Grenadier
GameTZ Full Moderator Triple Gold Good Trader Has Written 3 Reviews
3-May-2018(#29)
Is there any DNS propagation or similar server change process that might have caused e-mails to be rejected until the server change was "finalized?"
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
3-May-2018(#30)
I don't think so. There were some DNS propagation waits initially to get my MX records hooked up with them, but that was under an hour. I've have my TTLs turned way down so DNS records expire in 5 minutes.


From the support emails I exchanged with yahoo, microsoft and sendgrid; the issue was generally agreed by all to be that yahoo & microsoft were blocking sendgrid's IPs because they had been used to send spam. Though, it was never quite stated clearly (instead they all danced around this, but implied it at the same time). One email said they had been unblocked once before but that spam continued, so they reblocked it and weren't planning to do that again.

SendGrid did say they were working hard to get their IPs unblocked. I urged yahoo/microsoft to make an exception for me, but they kept replying obtusely that I should following their tips on how to look less like a spammer.


My best guess at this point is that SendGrid has a number of IPs in use by their mail servers. For the shared IPs that I'm using, some are blocked, some are not. Some are dedicated and cost a lot and likely aren't blocked. Possibly, it's just random which SendGrid server sends my mail and thus I might get lucky and get a non-blocked one sometimes. Or, SendGrid may be selecting the server in some way and may move me to better IPs over time if they think I'm not a spammer. I think that's too much to expect as I'm also not a paying customer yet and I'm not likely to ever pay them much.

Checking again just not it seems that hotmail is blocking again (sometimes, not always, seems to flip back and forth within the last few hours). Yahoo is working more consistently, though. I do see a different IP on the working hotmails than the blocking ones, though it's hard to be too scientific (takes multiple click to drill down in their UI for each email to get the IP of the server.


I'm trying not to care so much. For a week (since I moved the server), about 40% of emails going out were not delivered, but I got very few complaints about it. It has bothered me a lot, but maybe I'm overreacting. I'm not sure users care that much and even if they do, maybe they can deal with it, work around it, whatever. The site is honestly in decline and maybe part of that is things will not work as well as we go forward. It's not for lack of trying on my part, but I'm running into a lot of brick walls. I can keep trying, but maybe I'll just throw in the towel instead of doing a ton more work (like moving to AWS).

I'm still hoping Google will open my ports. If they do, I think we're fine (just like it was before -- though, I'll have to do some work to set that back up and I think they'll want me to upgrade a few things too). If they say "no", we'll see. Maybe they'll give me some recommendation otherwise that will help me. Or, I could work hard to minimize emails and emphasize alternatives.

Someone just suggested I try to setup a Web Push API thing. That could help replace emails notifications for many people. I'd need to look into it more, but I think it's like app notifications except for browsers (thus, more universal perhaps). It still doesn't seem like it would replace email verification. But, perhaps emails could only be used for that and almost no other notifications. It would be a lot more work on my part. I'm not sure I'm up for it or that it makes sense given the site's decline. But, I like to program stuff, so maybe.
Grenadier
GameTZ Full Moderator Triple Gold Good Trader Has Written 3 Reviews
3-May-2018(#31)
bill wrote:
> I'm trying not to care so much. For a week (since I moved the server), about 40%
> of emails going out were not delivered, but I got very few complaints about it.

Thanks for all the insight on everything. Interesting, and a little depressing to hear again that the site is sliding slowly downhill.

I think the above line though might be a problem for you eventually, though. I'm guessing that you're getting few complaints because people haven't noticed that they didn't get their mail. How would they know if a mail wasn't delivered that should have been? Nothing to complain about it if you can't figure out there's a problem.

Yes, they might come to the site and see pending PM's or trade messages, but they might not. Without the e-mail, you're missing that vital notification step, and I wonder if sooner or later someone's going to miss a trade message that leads to a bad situation (BTR).
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
3-May-2018(#32)
I agree, this may be causing some issues that are hidden or subtle and not yet noticed. Though, I also think there are likely lots of emails going on that essentially don't matter (e.g. "Trade Message" for active members -- I think I'm seeing lots of these when I look at activity on sendgrid).

I did just see an old regular user with hotmail contact us saying he couldn't reactivate his account. I replied via my personal gmail account just now. That is the sort of thing that's important and yet hard to replace with alternative notification systems.

I could put warnings into the system about known emails that don't work. I haven't because I'm still hoping I can get it working. But, if we ended up having to live with bad email, I could at least warn people that stuff won't work. For example, if you try to reactivate your account and the system sees you use hotmail, it could say, "hey, do you have an alternate email we could use because hotmail addresses often block us..."
Grenadier
GameTZ Full Moderator Triple Gold Good Trader Has Written 3 Reviews
* 3-May-2018(#33)
I think you did this already, but you could also cut certain classes of e-mail. PM's, birthdays, "you got your gold star", that sort of thing. Cut it back to subscription reminders and trade messages. The birthday and milestone messages could be sent as on-site PM's instead.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
3-May-2018(#34)
Agreed. I may try to put in some sort of metrics to get counts for what type of emails are being sent out and why. But, from looking at the SendGrid activity list, most of it is trade related (e.g. subjects like, "New offer from.." "Offer Message Added", "Offer Declined", "Offer Agreed Upon"). Those are clearly for important core features of the site, but at the same time, may not be essential or even being read by the people getting them.

It's hard to say, but initially sendgrid was putting in tracking (like an invisible image load when an email is read and a wrapper around clicks) and the percents were fairly low. I suspect some people just turn on all notifications, then ignore them or don't check their email or are just on the site so it's wasted.

Still, I'm sure others rely on it, so I can't make assumptions. It will be hard to sort out. Which is why, I'm still hoping to use my own mail server again.
WithinTemptation
GameTZ Subscriber 250 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader
4-May-2018(#35)
bill wrote:
> Agreed. I may try to put in some sort of metrics to get counts for what type of
> emails are being sent out and why. But, from looking at the SendGrid activity list,
> most of it is trade related (e.g. subjects like, "New offer from.." "Offer Message
> Added", "Offer Declined", "Offer Agreed Upon"). Those are clearly for important
> core features of the site, but at the same time, may not be essential or even being
> read by the people getting them.
>
> It's hard to say, but initially sendgrid was putting in tracking (like an invisible
> image load when an email is read and a wrapper around clicks) and the percents were
> fairly low. I suspect some people just turn on all notifications, then ignore them
> or don't check their email or are just on the site so it's wasted.
>
> Still, I'm sure others rely on it, so I can't make assumptions. It will be hard
> to sort out. Which is why, I'm still hoping to use my own mail server again.

You could probably only send the "New offer from" emails and eliminate the rest. Even if I don't actually read the email I still see the "New offer from" subject and know to come check the site. I also like to get emails for a PM. I think those are the only 2 important emails for me.
ryanflucas
GameTZ Subscriber 1000 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader
4-May-2018(#36)
Could you send an email that says "You have new private message(s) waiting" and leave it at that? Then don't send any additional emails regarding that for any more messages until the user logs in to read the first ones.

When I subscribe to email notifications for a forum topic over on NintengoAge, it sends me a similar message but no more until I log into the site.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
4-May-2018(#37)
Yeah, decent ideas.
Scott
GameTZ Gold Subscriber Quadruple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Has Written 1 Review
4-May-2018(#38)
Haven't been on Site_Feedback in a while so I'm pretty late to the party here. Have you considered turning all PM/offer/etc emails off and then making a thread telling everybody that you turned them off, and if they actually want/need them just turn them back on? That could filter out a ton of people who don't really need them. Or, it could encourage some people who do use them to switch to just using the app and PMs for that stuff.

bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
4-May-2018(#39)
Another decent idea.



bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
5-May-2018(#40)
I checked SendGrid this morning and it says this at the top: "Your account has been suspended. Please contact Support to regain access. [Contact Support]" The support page about it seems to imply that I'd get an email about it, but I haven't yet. It also says, "In most cases, SendGrid Support cannot reactivate a warned, suspended, deactivated or banned account, so contacting them directly may delay reactivation." So, I guess I'll wait to see if they contact me. Some emails still seem to be work (gmail at least), others not so much.

Maybe this is just timing as most of the emails sent after 6am are about "New Matches". Maybe a bunch went out all at once (normal for GTZ mornings, so this probably happens every day) and SendGrid sees that as suspicious perhaps.

*shrug* I could try to slow them down or something or not send them or send them by alternate notification method. Matches aren't generally seen as so great by most traders anyway, as far as I know.
Grenadier
GameTZ Full Moderator Triple Gold Good Trader Has Written 3 Reviews
5-May-2018(#41)
Seems odd that a mail provider that apparently is on the crap list with Yahoo and Microsoft for hosting spammers would call you out for what it sees as spam activity.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
5-May-2018(#42)
Well, the likely police their own members a lot as many are likely spammers (even from their point of view).

I still haven't gotten an email about it and there's no ticket on their site, so I submitted a support request just now.

I'm still hoping that Google Cloud will open my ports (Monday?) and I can stop using SendGrid.

I don't think emails are going out at all at this point.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
6-May-2018(#43)
SendGrid replied to my support request saying they had detected suspicious activity from me and thus suspended. They gave me a lot of questions to answer (basically asking if I'm a spammer in various ways). I have now answered them explaining how I'm not a spammer at all.

No emails were getting through most of yesterday, so I stopped sending emails. GameTZ is currently not sending any emails for anything.

If SendGrid unsuspends me, I'll probably delete the emails waiting (most are probably stale and if they all go out at once, it may look suspicious again), then restart emails.

I'm still hoping for Google to unblock my mail ports... maybe Monday? If that happens, I can stop using SendGrid and hopefully go back to emailing the same way we used to.

If Google says, "no" ... I'm not sure what I'll do. Perhaps reduce emailing in general, encourage alternate ways to notify members and stay with SendGrid despite inconsistent delivery. Or, move the server to AWS and hope they let me run my own mail server. Maybe I can somehow partially setup the AWS server then make the request to open the mail server first, then move if they say "yes".

If Google continues to stall, I may still consider some of the above "solutions" as it has been a long time since I initially asked them to unblock me and the longer I wait, the less likely it seems they'll help.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
6-May-2018(#44)
I decided to bite the bullet and disable most of the email notifications, at least for now. In some cases, if it made sense, I replaced them with system pms. The emails I kept were for account creation, suspension, password reset, moderator emails, payments, and rating requests (tricky as I need a reply... might try to do this as a pm from me, but that has issues too... )

But, pm/offer/trades not longer notify by email, which I understand is a loss. Not that any emails is going out now, but assuming it gets unsuspended, I'm trying to focus on the bare minimum. I think this could help in other situations too (looking at AWS, they have limits as well).

I can also try to work on web API notifications as yet another way to get notified...
willyum
GameTZ Gold Subscriber 300 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (17) This user is on the site NOW (19 seconds ago)
6-May-2018(#45)
yes

bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
6-May-2018(#46)
I found a handful of password-related emails that were stuck, so I replied to each of them from my private gmail account (gave them the link to reset their pw and get access to the site).
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
7-May-2018(#47)
SendGrid seems to have unsuspended GameTZ emails because I just saw some go through (old emails from over 24 hours ago). It not longer says "Suspended" on my account there either. But, the support ticket hasn't been updated, so I'm unsure what's what. Looks good, though. I'll probably reactivate the essential password/new-account/etc emails soon.

Today is potentially a day when Google may get back to me about unblocking ports (or may put me off until Wednesday and urge me to be patient as they did twice before).

bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
8-May-2018(#48)
Nothing new from Google Cloud - they told me they'd update me again as soon as they heard something from the group that would open the mail ports or Thursday otherwise.

SendGrid continues to work though ticket is still open and no reason or response given.

Password reset and new account emails seem to be generally working (via SendGrid).

I just changed the site to send emails for new offers as well ... I tend agree that's the most important notification. I estimate there are about 50/day of these.

Many other email notifications are off and may remain so.
Scott
GameTZ Gold Subscriber Quadruple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Has Written 1 Review
8-May-2018(#49)
Hang in there Bill!

bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
8-May-2018(#50)
Google said no to port 25 but yes to the other ports. I wasn't expecting that. And, it's actually no good. I'm not an expert in mail config, but if I can't use port 25 outgoing from my server, I can't send mail (mostly, as far as I know). I replied to them, trying to explain it again and expressing my frustration. Maybe I'm missing something, we'll see.

So, I don't know. SendGrid is still kind of working. And, I am sending out less emails now. I could stay with them. I think it would be free and I like their API for other reasons. Though, emails definitely still get blocked sometimes too (bad).

I could move the who site to AWS and go through the process with them, hoping they unblock my ports. Crap shoot basically.

I'll keep trying to talk to Google about it too. Maybe it is possible to do mail without 25? Or maybe I can talk them into it (doesn't seem likely). Honestly, waiting 8 days for this reply had lowered my opinion on them. They don't seem to really understand my problem. I wonder if they read what I wrote even.

One important thing to keep in mind is I haven't had to pay either Google Cloud or SendGrid, so yeah, hard to complain exactly.

I can try to post in a google cloud forum about it too...
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
8-May-2018(#51)
SendGrid has closed the ticket and that suspension seems resolved/over. Maybe I've solid with them from now on. A quick check just now showed most emails being delivered as well (including hotmail and yahoo). If SendGrid worked like this all the time, I could just stay with them and be fine. Or, if the percent working was like 90%, I could live with that. It had been as low as 60% which didn't seem good enough.

Google Support just said, "I understand the importance of using the port 25 within your project. I'll provide your reply to our Compute Engine team to request opening the port 25 within your project according to your scenario. Keep in mind that is not guaranteed open it due security reasons. I'll give you an update on Friday or as soon as I have a reply from our Compute Engine team."

So, maybe there's still a chance they'll unblock me. Just an hour before it seemed fairly hopeless.

Looking at AWS again, they have something called SES which seems like an in-house SendGrid-like service. The limits are very high to use it for free, so I could that. But, they also offer dedicated IP for $25/mo. So, that seems to imply the shared IPs get blocked (like SendGrid). But, $25/mo for a dedicated IP is the cheapest price I've seen too (still more than I'd prefer to pay, but could just do it). Moving to AWS would be some work, but mostly just repeating what I already did for Google Cloud (twice, since I did it as a test first). And, I'd get to say I used AWS EC2 (fun!?). Also, using Google Cloud is a little annoying because it keeps making me switch my google account between personal/business (in Chrome/gmail/sheets/etc -- I use a ton of google stuff for personal things)...

Anyway... thanks for reading this (not even sure why I keep posting about it, but I guess it helps to talk about it or something).
John
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 400 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (13) Secret Santa
9-May-2018(#52)
We appreciate the updates. yes
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
9-May-2018(#53)
Google just replied saying they will open all my mail ports, including 25 (" within 4 days starting on the next Monday" ...wat?) Anyway, shock and hopefully this means we can go back to how things were... in a week or so. Though, I shouldn't count my chickens given all the bad luck I've had with this. I'll believe it when I see it, but this is potentially great news.

I will likely keep some of the emails off and scale back somewhat regardless as it did seem like many of the emails were kind of random and likely not appreciated (e.g. reminders and such). And, that may help me avoid being reported as spammer in the future.

Also, I'd still like to see if I can get the web push api thing going as yet another notification alternative for people to use.
Scott
GameTZ Gold Subscriber Quadruple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Has Written 1 Review
9-May-2018(#54)
bill wrote:
> Google just replied saying they will open all my mail ports, including 25 (" within
> 4 days starting on the next Monday" ...wat?)

lol, depending on the person, "this Monday" would be the 14th, making "next Monday" the 21st. Which will it be??

bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
9-May-2018(#55)
Also, within 4 days ... of when, next Monday? So, by next Friday?
Gypsy
GameTZ Gold Subscriber Quadruple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Happy Birthday to Me
9-May-2018(#56)
@bill maybe this was already covered but I was curious how trade notification e-mails still work, are they handled differently? Just curious about this since all other e-mails are not working.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
9-May-2018(#57)
At the moment, only new offer notification emails are going out.
Once I get my own mail server back, I can start putting back more email notifications. I'd certainly prioritize offer/trade notifications as they seem important. Though, some may be noise. I'll have to think about each type.

If you have feedback on which notifications are most helpful to you, I'm listening.

Probably, the most questionable are the new offer/trade message emails as there can be a lot of them and they often aren't important.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
9-May-2018(#58)
PM (immediate) email notifications are also tricky. There can be lots of them and can be of low value (redundant if you're on the site or just unimportant stuff). But, some pms are really important too and getting notified when they happen is great.

I think for stuff like that it may be better to rely on app and/or web notifications as they are more ephemeral and will clear themselves in some cases (e.g. if you read the pm, the notification thingy or badge number goes away).

Someone had suggested I turn off email notifications for everyone, then let them turn them back on if they still want them. That seemed like a decent idea as it would clean out all the non-serious users.

There's also the daily/morning New Replies and New Matches emails. Not sure about those. I noticed a lot go out one day (the day SendGrid suspended me), so that gave me pause. I know someone said they love getting their New Replies email every morning.

For some stuff, I migrated it to a "system pm". For example, if a mod moved your topic, it will now just pm you about it instead of emailing. I'll probably keep that like that. Maybe there are other cases where I can replace an email with a pm like that. System pms are odd as you can't reply and are not with another user, just a single message.

I'd like to rethink/rework notifications, in general. But, it's also complicated with many ways to do them and many personal preferences.

If I'm able to add Web Push notifications into the mix, I'm if the existing on-site pop-ups will still make sense.

I may make a new topic about it next week or whenever I have my mail server back. I'd definitely like to get more feedback about it and explain it more to people (I'm sure this topic has been hard to follow).
JD
400 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally
9-May-2018(#59)
I saw some mails ended up in spam I didn't notice till now I marked them not spam
Scott
GameTZ Gold Subscriber Quadruple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Has Written 1 Review
9-May-2018(#60)
bill wrote:
> Someone had suggested I turn off email notifications for everyone, then let them
> turn them back on if they still want them. That seemed like a decent idea as it
> would clean out all the non-serious users.

image

Boss
GameTZ Gold Subscriber 700 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (8)
10-May-2018(#61)
I agree with the email notification approach of being Off by default.
The only thing that should go out is the welcome email with user login info.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
19-May-2018(#62)
It was been 10 days since they said they'd open the mail port. The mail port is still blocked. So, I added another comment to the support ticket asking when it will be opened.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
20-May-2018(#63)
SendGrid is reporting 95% delivery rate (things seem to have improved, unsure why). So, I just re-enabled trade-related emails (e.g. other trader sent/received or a trade message was added). This doesn't include offer message or pms, but if this goes well I can try to turn those back on and see. I'm sure this will increase the messages/day we're doing, but if SendGrid can maintain 95%, I could just stay with them.

This is assuming Google is flaking on me and not actually unblocking the mail ports. The delays have be absurdly long and I'm somewhat paranoid that I've been interacting with some bot designed to stall me. But, switching to AWS is not a great option (lots of work and may not be any better)...
Gypsy
GameTZ Gold Subscriber Quadruple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Happy Birthday to Me
20-May-2018(#64)
Thank you for the updates @bill

Just noticed I actually got an email for a trade message and came to check on this thread. :)
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
22-May-2018(#65)
Google responded to the support ticket yesterday saying something had gone wrong and they'd try again.. that I should give it until Friday. I've lost faith that anything will happen, but I'm tired and just want to give up. I think SendGrid may be fine, so will just do that assuming Google is just blowing hot air. I'm still paying for Google silver support (to access this so-far useless ticket). I'll cancel that on Friday either way.


I just enabled offer-related emails today. So, emails will go out (if enabled in settings) for offer updates like agreed upon, declined, new message, etc. Previously, it was just for new offers (which I'd prioritized).

After I enabled the trade-related emails, the daily emails sent by GameTZ jumped from ~50 to ~200. We'll see how much this increases that number.

Next, if all goes well, I'll try restoring pm-related emails. I'm unsure about the rest.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
22-May-2018(#66)
Well, I'm now seeing a lot of email sent via SendGrid to yahoo/aol addresses getting deferred indefinitely (same as the original issue -- essentially being blocked because they think it's spam). Was it because I increased the amount I was sending out? ...probably. gmail still works, as before. Hotmail/msn/Microsoft-based emails are working too (better than the original problem). It may not be related to my increasing (by enabling offer notifications), but it had been OK for over a week before this.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
24-May-2018(#67)
Ports are still blocked, but it's not Friday yet.

Percent email delivered via SendGrid has dropped from ~95% to ~82% because Yahoo emails are not getting through.

I've changed the code to stop sending to yahoo-owned (e.g. including aol.com and others) email services for the non-essential cases (stopped trade/offer related notifications which I'd re-enabled in the last week). I'm assuming the the amount being sent is triggering the deferrals (throttling) from Yahoo I'm seeing and if I can get it back down to just essential (new account, pw reset), low levels, more will get through. The deferrals gum up the system as well (since SendGrid keeps retrying them and I can't stop that, I see them over and over and it's hard to tell what's happening with other cases).
ryanflucas
GameTZ Subscriber 1000 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader
24-May-2018(#68)
I still can't get over how people still use yahoo or aol for anything.
bonanza125
700 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally
25-May-2018(#69)
SirConnery wrote:
> I still can't get over how people still use yahoo or aol for anything.

Benefits packages that are offered through aol is why I am still with them. I would be paying more money elsewhere otherwise for those benefits.
ryanflucas
GameTZ Subscriber 1000 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader
25-May-2018(#70)
What kind of benefits?

"You've got mail."

?
bonanza125
700 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally
25-May-2018(#71)
Tech Support on by computers and laptop, anti virus, and identity thief. The tech support is pretty useful cause if there is anything wrong they look it over. I remember having like 3 issues that took a long time to correct. Best Buy offers that tech support service for $100 a year but its included in as an aol member.
ryanflucas
GameTZ Subscriber 1000 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader
25-May-2018(#72)
It's probably the same call center in India no matter which you choose.
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
26-May-2018(#73)
I tried pressing Google Cloud Support to escalate the case or get me in contact with a manager perhaps by phone. He said I'd need to upgrade to gold support for that ($400/mo... I'm currently at silver for $150 [until my ports are open]). Ports are still not open. The support person said it should be done by next Friday (another week -- I mentioned this cost me $35). Also, that I could chat with him, but I declined. I also told him this was like being in a Kafka novel (felt kind of good to say that).

SendGrid status - pretty good. Since I limited emailing yahoo-based(aol, etc) emails to just essentials, my delivered rate is going back up. So, that seems like a decent solution (except for people who use aol/yahoo). I got nowhere with yahoo email support last month, so I don't think there's much that can be done to fix this.

I'm still hoping Google will open the ports, then I don't need to use SendGrid at all. But Kafka stories rarely have happy endings.
Gypsy
GameTZ Gold Subscriber Quadruple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Happy Birthday to Me
26-May-2018(#74)
People that still use yahoo and aol should just switch to something that doesn't suck, tbh.
JD
400 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally
26-May-2018(#75)
Yeah thats why i switched to gmail, yahoo/aol mails are dead anyway since they got rid of IMs
ryanflucas
GameTZ Subscriber 1000 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader
26-May-2018(#76)
Gypsy wrote:
> People that still use yahoo and aol should just switch to something that doesn't
> suck, tbh.

But benefits!
bill
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (15) Has Written 26 Reviews
26-May-2018(#77)
Changing email is a lot to ask of someone. It's not something I'd expect a user to do.
Gypsy
GameTZ Gold Subscriber Quadruple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Happy Birthday to Me
26-May-2018(#78)
bill wrote:
> Changing email is a lot to ask of someone. It's not something I'd expect a user
> to do.

Right, but they should still want to do it. I get that it's a pain, because I've done it but AOL, Yahoo, hotmail etc... are actively terrible.
John
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 400 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (13) Secret Santa
27-May-2018(#79)
Remember that people said the same thing in the past though. When people were using AOL, others went to Yahoo or Hotmail and said that AOL people were outdated and should switch away from an email where you are tied to a paid provider. Now, people are saying that Yahoo and Hotmail are outdated/terrible/whatever and that they should use something like GMail. One day, we'll probably be saying the same thing about the GMail users, of course -- because they didn't switch to MagicHyper3DMail.
Gypsy
GameTZ Gold Subscriber Quadruple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Happy Birthday to Me
27-May-2018(#80)
John wrote:
> Remember that people said the same thing in the past though. When people were using
> AOL, others went to Yahoo or Hotmail and said that AOL people were outdated and should
> switch away from an email where you are tied to a paid provider. Now, people are
> saying that Yahoo and Hotmail are outdated/terrible/whatever and that they should
> use something like GMail. One day, we'll probably be saying the same thing about
> the GMail users, of course -- because they didn't switch to MagicHyper3DMail.
>

You are likely absolutely right. Technology changes, and improves. I've switched my main email twice.

Topic   Emails are not working in some case, disabled, etc.