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Let me first say that I do not like America Online. I have had (well-documented) experiences with that company sufficient to justify my dislike.
I have previously written about the very large number of consumer complaints directed at AOL by customers and former customers. I spent a full day on the Internet investigating them before writing my article. Based on what I saw, I am not the Lone Ranger in my disdain for what I perceive to be a lack of business ethics at this company.
I have saved numerous letters to my internet service provider about e-mail delivery problems. I keep getting returned e-mails sent to valid addresses. I keep copies of my e-mails and my server's responses. It happened so often, I began to watch for trends.
After reading some criticism (ridicule actually) regarding accusations made by the author of this article at another website, I decided to revise my previous comments as follows:
Disregard the reasons why the author of this article claims that her e-mail's are blocked. The fact is that AOL is blocking e-mail based on content. I addressed an e-mail containing both the text of her article and its URL to nine AOL users. AOL blocked all nine users from receiving my mail. I tried four different versions before it finally got through without the text and with the URL in plain text. When the text was included in the e-mail - whether or not the URL was hot - AOL blocked my mail. I also sent mail to a single AOL address (number ten) - and it also was blocked (no spam here). I don't consider this behavior to be reasonable spam blocking. If an individual sends anyone an e-mail containing a mere URL, it should not be blocked. That URL is content and that action is censorship, but as I stated earlier the text of this message was blocked as well - again content and again censorship. Precisely what content AOL objected to and why is unknown. What is sure is that the same could happen to any of us regardless of our religious or political affiliation.
I tested this story out thoroughly. I was interested because AOL blocks all of my e-mails that contain a URL to any of my webpages. If the URL is in plain text (not a hot link), it will get past AOL's screening (more accurately - censoring). I tested this out with the URL for this article and got the same results. However AOL is not only censoring the URL to this article. It is also censoring the text. If the text is included in the e-mail whether or not the URL is hot, AOL will (and has) blocked this message. I sent it to ten AOL addresses and I sent it to a single AOL address - all were blocked. I tried four versions before it finally got through without the text and with the URL in plain text. This is the way the URL gets through [www.businessreform.com/article.php?articleID=10659]. If you are an AOL user, I recommend that you discontinue your relationship with this organization including dumping any stock you may hold in it. There are so many other alternative Internet and e-mail service providers available to you. Why tolerate and sanction injustice and unethical business practice? And missing out on mail that may be desired by you?
Spam isn't spam because of its content. It's because the sender has elected to send thousands of the same thing to people he/she doesn't even know. E-mail is a personal messaging system, not a broadcast medium. If you have something to say to thousands, then use a web forum, like this one.
"Read this when you get a chance. http://www.businessreform.com/article.php?articleID=10659
Got it from here... http://www.sermonaudio.com/new_details.asp?ID=17165
Have a good day...talk to you later.
It got sent back to me. Here is the reason...
"This Message was undeliverable due to the following reason:
Your message was not delivered because the destination computer refused to accept it (the error message is reproduced below). This type of error is usually due to a mis-configured account or mail delivery system on the destination computer; however, it could be caused by your message since some mail systems refuse messages with invalid header information, or if they are too large.
Your message was rejected by mailin-03.mx.aol.com for the following reason:
I don't do a huge amount of emailing BUT this is interesting because I had noticed this same thing to a lesser degree. I'm excited because we are now going to use this as a home school mini-investigation or project. Edward, I'll post our results although I'm not sure how long our project should take. Still working out the details.
I have had the same problem with aol and I was sending them to Christian relatives and friends that are on aol. I was very upset about this but did not know what to do but tell the people about it so they could change Internet providers! Thanks for bringing this to the attention of other Christians throughout the country. Thank you in Christian love, Myrna
Edward, there are several reasons I'm going to stop and AOL account I have. None of these have been mentioned. One however, is that there are tracking cookies put on your computer. I'm not sure what they are tracking, but I don't want them there. I will have to say that Netzero is very much worse in this regard. I believe in use their free service.
I am not used it that much, but Access-4-free is almost nationwide, and is very low-priced. I've had good luck with it so far.
I respect your observation regarding AOL, however my experiance with AOL has been completely positive and I can say with sincerety that they have been darn near perfect in all my attempts at receiving from Christian sites. The fine line may be ones personal computers set up with filtering offensive mail. Again I respect your opinion but it is unfair for you to denigrate one of the better internet providers!