Microsoft, with their Hotmail service are leveraging their enormous weight to dictate e-mail policy of other companies. The unfortunate thing is they seem unwilling to share what that policy actually is.
Throughout various hosting forums I am reading that people are having more and more trouble sending legitimate e-mails to owners of Hotmail accounts. Anyone that runs a mail server located on someone elses network is likely to have significant issues getting e-mails to Hotmail.
The bounce message from Hotmail comes back with;
SMTP error from remote mail server after MAIL FROM:
host mx2.hotmail.com [188.8.131.52]: 550 Command rejected for policy reasons.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing telling you what the policy is. Presumably so that spammers can’t get around it.
If you try doing things manually you can see that the connection is closed immediately after you’ve issued the MAIL FROM command. So you have no chance whatsoever to send your message. All mail is therefore rejected. Done. Hotmail doesn’t want to know you. It doesn’t care if you mail is legitimate or spam, it considers everything you or your customers send is always spam.
Which of course it isn’t.
After nearly two weeks of writing to their email@example.com address which apparently is where you should deal with if you’re not a spammer and want to get the ability to send to them back again – and following all their requests I’m finally over it.
My recommendation? Tell everyone you know to avoid Hotmail and use a provider that doesn’t believe it rules the world. Try Yahoo, GMail or heck, even AOL. But avoid MSN Hotmail, they’re a waste of time.