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Topic: Account put on hold. Has this happened to anyone here?

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Subject: Account put on hold. Has this happened to anyone here?
Date Posted: 5/6/2011 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2009
Posts: 129
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This morning at 9AM  I was merrily playing on PBS for 15 minutes.  At 11AM I went to get on PBS to see if a book held for "buyer's remorse" had been requested so I could print out the label and take it, with others, to the post office.  I got this message:

 

We've placed this account on hold because AOL reports that you are marking system emails as spam. AOL requires us to close accounts that tell them we are sending spam.
 

What the heck??  I never marked any PBS mail as spam.  The only PBS mail I get are notifications of book transactions which I read, the occasional news item, and once in a great while an email about a wishlisted book in a different edition.  I couldn't access online help.  I couldn't even access PBS home page from Google.  I called AOL and after explaining again and again my problem to an outsourced tech person I was assured that AOL did not contact PBS about my reporting PBS as spam.  AOL gave me a PBS phone number to call to straighten this out.  (It was just a message to leave a message; no live person.  so I did)

 

Then I wrote emails to "contact us", the only thing I could access.  Three hours later, my account was reinstated with this warning:



AOL has given you some incorrect information. They did indeed report to us that you marked three different emails as spam. No, we have not been hacked. AOL is telling us that you clicked the spam button. You may have meant to click the delete button, but you did not do so.

We have reopened your account, but if AOL continues to report that you are marking our incoming emails as spam, we will have to close your account permanently. If we don't do this, AOL will block all our emails to all our other members who use their service.

You may wish to switch to a different email provider, such as Gmail, if you are unable to figure out what happened with your AOL account.

 

I'm back and happy.  And I did change my email to an alternate account.  But what the heck happened.  In my cynicism, I suspect AOL is at fault but it is a little scary to think that my pending transactions and all my credits could be lost so easily.

 

E

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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This is why I stopped using AOL for my emails. I belonged to a gaming group that required you to sign up for some forum. But for some reason AOL always marked those "you've got a PM" emails as spam. So I got booted from that site claiming I was marking them as spam. Never did because I NEVER got the emails because AOL flagged them as spam before I even saw them. I did enter the email into my contacts and still I'd get a few then they'd be flagged again.

So thats when I switched to gmail and had NO issues since. I hate AOL as I lost many import emails from legit sites because they said it was spam.
I can see AOL making something up to cover there butts and they never admit to mistakes from what I've seen.

My hubby uses AOL and has these problems too but uses another account for those sites.

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Typical AOL shenanigans. I stopped using them around 1998. I've never had a problem with Yahoo mail. I've had the same email account for years and never had a single problem. Everything spammy goes to the spam folder. If I move anything out of the spam folder and into my regular inbox, it is never marked as spam again.



Last Edited on: 5/6/11 5:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/6/2011 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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I have AOL, and have never had a problem between AOL and PBS.  It sounds like AOL is marking the e-mails as spam, not you.  Very occasionally I have a non-spam e-mail get put in the spam folder by AOL.  (From what I hear this happens will all e-mail providers.) I simply restore it if it isn't SPAM.  I am sorry to hear that PBS temporarily closed your account over this, and very disappointed that PBS would close your account permanently if this happens again.  This is ridiculous as many e-mail providers make mistakes and flag non-spam e-mails as spam from time to time.  It is also ridiculous that AOL would contact PBS and say you marked the e-mail as spam when you didn't.

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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PBS has to follow a policy that's in the best interest of the club as a whole. If NOT closing an account causes ALL members with AOL e-mail addresses to never get any of their PBS messages, then they really don't seem to have much choice.

It sounds to me like AOL is the one in the wrong here, not PBS. They seem to be the ones that laid down the ultimatum.

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I didn't know anyone still used AOL.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 5/6/2011 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,117
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AOL is a big problem for businesses that send a lot of email. They are notorious for black-listing email senders, and once you're blacklisted, no email from you is going to get to any of your customers on AOL. I'm fighting a problem like this at my own workplace now. It's not easy to get on AOL's whitelist, and even if you do, they can still decide to block all your email again if people start marking it as spam.

Here's a link that may help you understand what happens when you mark an email as spam at AOL: http://postmaster.aol.com/Postmaster.FeedbackLoop.php Basically, AOL sends a copy of the message back to PBS and says "this person is telling us they don't want to receive email from you any more, so stop sending to them." From PBS' point of view, that means they have to close your account, because they don't have a way to send you no emails at all.

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2009
Posts: 129
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After I spoke to the offshore tech who took a very long time to even understand my question,  I figured that AOL must be the problem.  I never marked anything from PBS as spam.  Just never did because it is not spam.  That is the puzzle to me.  I can only suspect some messages must have gone into my spam folder and then were dumped along with the 60 or so for penis expansion, Christian singles and cheap car insurance 

 

I have changed the email address used here from AOL to another server, so I am no longer a danger to PBS!

 

E

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't use AOL and I still have the occasional PBS email going into my Junk folder. Even though I've marked PBS as non-junk.

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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I didn't know anyone still used AOL.

Me either!  We dropped that service 10 years ago. 

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,455
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My daughter got a book oncfreating the best resume's and that book said not to include an e-mail address from AOL because it would make you "as a job candidate" look" old fashioned"  and  "not up to date or trendy". I thought that was so so funny

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 10:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,493
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I have used a yahoo address as an alternate for years and I find they are excellent in separating real spam from real email.

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,596
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Ditto what Kathy said, I have used nothing but my Yahoo email since I signed up here and haven't had a problem...there may have been one time a few years ago they put a PBS mail into my spam folder, but once I clicked "not spam" it's been fine.

laugh at Mary's comment about AOL...lordy, I remember 15 years or so ago when I lived out in the boonies, AOL was the only thing I could get for an ISP, and had to dial up long distance to get that...horrible, horrible...I think I had a 9kps modem...ha ha ha ha! That lasted about 6 months before some techie nerd set up his own ISP in our town...man, was I happy!

Cheryl

Date Posted: 5/7/2011 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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Really, I do still use AOL.  I've had it for more than 20 years.  Years ago, (more thant 5, but less than 10) we were thinking of switching to Mindspring.  We tried it out without dumping our AOL first.  Oh my!  It took is forever to even figure our how to access our e-mail in messages.  Then, we couldn't create separate screen names for my husband and myself.  We contacted Mindspring, and they said they must have sent us an "old" version.  They sent us a newer version, which did allow us to create separate screen names.  But really, in this day and age, an e-mail provider that sends out software that only allows one screen name per account??  I've had AOL since 1990, and right from the start you could have multiple screen names.  So we stuck with AOL.  Some years ago, I became friends with a woman from church who had Earthlink.  She was going to be hosting a small group that my husband and I were joining.  She sent out an introductory e-mail about the group.  When I tried to respond, an Earthlink-generated response came into my in box requiring me to fill out a form with my name address, etc., etc, and why/how I know the person.  Then either the recipient or Earthlink decide whethetrmy e-mail is legit or spam.  Really??  She sent me an e-mail first!!  Not the other way around, and now I have to convince her that I an legit and not spam.  Wow!  My friend was very apologetic, and said that is just the way earthlink works to protect its customers from spam.  I could see it if the non-earthlink user sent an e-mail to the Earthlink user first.  But in this case, it was the Earthlink user than first contacted me.  This has been a problem in our church when the church has sent out e-mail reminders for Nursery duty, etc.  Earthlink treats is as spam until you then sender fill out their form, begging the recipient to treat your e-mail as non-spam. I decided I would never switch to Earthlink.  So, I've stayed with AOL.

Subject: I always take a fast look at my spam folder before emptying it...
Date Posted: 5/7/2011 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2005
Posts: 608
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to rescue any non-spam stuff that might have gone in there.

Date Posted: 5/7/2011 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,321
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For years, my daughter had a wall in her bedroom entirely covered with AOL CDs, shiny side out.