Sunday, July 31, 2005

Don't bother writing to me if you have AOL

Don't send me a review. Don't send me a question. Don't send me hate mail or compliments.

Don't bother.

I won't be able to write back to you.

I hate America Online.

I hate AOL with a passion I can’t even begin to express in mere words. Everything about America Online, from its network-adaptor hijacking, to its pedophile-ridden chat rooms, to its resource-hogging interface: I hate it beyond all human endurance.

I do tech support for a living. When someone suddenly can’t access the network on their laptop, many times a view of their network adaptors will show that they’ve installed AOL on their machines over the weekend and screwed everything up. That’s one of the reasons I hate AOL.

I used to sell on eBay back when you could actually make money out of it. 9 times out of 10, any deadbeat bidders (those who win auctions and never pay up) or those who couldn’t follow simple rules (like NO CHECKS) had an email address. There’s another reason I hate AOL.

Every time my kids upgrade their AIM, that nefarious
WeatherBug and/or WildTangent and/or Viewpoint comes along, even though I’ve told them to, please, for the love of God, choose the advanced installation so they can uncheck thoese boxes. But do they listen to me? Noooo. So there’s another reason I hate AOL.

Now I have another reason to hate AOL. It comes in my email once a day:

To: tmdwarped at yahoo dot com
Subject: failure notice

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

x.x.x.x failed after I sent the message.
Remote host said: 554-: (HVU:B1)

And what does 554 TRANSACTION FAILED mean, friends? Well let’s take a look:

Error 554 HVU:B1

554 HVU:B1

There is at least one URL in your email that is generating substantial complaints from AOL members.


If you own all the domains linked to in your e-mail, please contact us to discuss more effective management of your complaint levels. You can start by setting up a free complaint loop through this form. This will allow you to receive AOL member complaints against your domain.

If you do not own the domain, please have the owner of that domain contact us.

Does this mean that your hardworking and SPAM-hating webmistress has a URL in her email that is causing grief, woe and complaints among the subscribers of this atrocity that passes itself off as an ISP? No, not at all. I get this even when my signature is turned off. There’s only one URL in the emails I send to AOL members, and that’s this:

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around

I don’t put that there. It’s put in automatically by Yahoo.

I am unable to write back to anyone who has an AOL email address, simply because the AOL SPAM team has configured their software to automatically block email addresses that have the URL in them. It is frustrating beyond belief. I wrote to support at Yahoo to let them know, but I highly doubt anything will be done about it.

So… if you are any of the following people, here’s what I was unable to write to you:

Nicole from NJ - Hi Nicole, and thanks so much for writing! Thanks for pointing that out to me. I didn't mean to imply that everyone in the pit is a moron, but rather, as stated, the larger any activity, the larger the number of morons. And yes, even as you wrote – you could apply this even to gardening! Those who mosh are not morons. Those who grope women and hit out at others who are not participating in HXC in the pit ARE. Anyway, thanks again for writing. I'll definitely edit my page a bit so people reading don’t think I’m calling everyone in the pit a moron. Thanks for your feedback!

Robert from GA - Robert - Great review - thanks! I've posted it and please let me know if you'd like any changes made. If you have the time, would love it if you'd do a follow-up on how your second go 'round at Warped went this year! Thanks again for taking the time to write such a great review.

Susan from NY – Hi Susan! I would really suggest you call the Tweeter Center in NJ and ask to speak with the office there. Randall’s Island would be really hard to navigate with a wheelchair. I’ve never been to Tweeter but their website does mention they have accessible seating. You can contact them at (856) 365-1300

Angela from MA – Yes, you are correct! I was in that group a long, long time ago! Thanks for the memories! Write back to me (not from an AOL address) and let me know how you put two and two together! Are you still making music?

Joe from PA – No.

To anyone who has an email address and is thinking of writing to me – don’t bother. I won’t be able to reply. Take two minutes and set yourself up a free email account at Yahoo, where they don’t bounce back emails, or send me a message via MySpace.


I’m not alone. These fine folks hate AOL as well:

Ben hates AOL because they spy on you

Viganos hates the stupid subnet policy too

And all these people at TechSupportGuy hate it too

Is there any reason at all to still have this joke as your primary means of internet access? Why do people still use this - I'm truly curious.

In any event, because it is becoming a daily occurrence, I am looking into another free web-based email so that I can write back to users. Hotmail is not an option because from surfing around, I've heard other people have the same problems with addresses trying to send to aol. Anyone have any suggestions?


Blogger MomOf2 said...

I had AOL. About two months ago I was trying to write to a friend at a yahoo email address. He's 8,000 miles away. Getting word from him was vital.
But AOL continuously bounced all my mails back. I got the same exact returns as you just posted. I dumped aol.
Now I use gmail. Everyone seems to get my mail now. I love it.
PS.. I got a little present in the mail. Was that you?

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Viganos said...

It's good to know that I'm not the only IT person out there who wants to throttle the collective neck of AOL. It just seems to get worse and worse. It's a stinking virus/worm/trojan/8th deadly sin as far as I can tell. Yet people still use it. Hey, get NetZero it's cheaper, better and not AOL for the love of all things Holy.

We should band together and create a Public Service Announcement warning the masses of the evil nature of AOhelL.

4:40 PM  
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