Issues with AOL

From time to time AOL subscribers report missing their Corgi-L emails. There are a few steps you might take to help.

AOL is causing our list management software to delete AOL Corgi-L subscribers. You may without warning get a notification that you’ve been unsubscribed, even though you’ve been receiving Corgi-L normally.

Important: We have no control over this process.

We did not unsubscribe you. An automated process unsubscribed you because of AOL’s behavior.

AOL is also, apparently, blocking some Corgi-L messages as spam, while giving the subscriber no recourse.

We recommend you subscribe to Corgi-L using an email address other than


AOL has been rejecting all subscription probes from our Listserv software. Subscription probes are email messages sent to subscribers to ensure that their subscription is valid. If a subscription probes are rejected 5 times in a row, the listserv software assumes that all email to that address is being rejected, and automatically unsubscribes that email address.

Since AOL appears to be rejecting all subscription probes, the listserv software is slowly unsubscribing all AOL subscribers.

On top of this subscription probe issue, another issue appears to be that when a certain Corgi-L member posts, AOL objects to either their email address or a url in their signature (that we know is innocuous).

The normal advice is that list managers should contact AOL and work through the issue. Many AOL subscribers have forwarded this information on to us and asked us to deal with AOL as the list owners.

We have. Repeatedly. It doesn’t work.

TAMU (Texas A&M University), whose listserv software we are using, has been repeatedly doing so on our behalf and on behalf of other lists that are experiencing the same issue. AOL has NOT been co-operative in getting this issue resolved.

There is nothing we can do.

If you get dropped, you can certainly rejoin … but you’ll probably just get dropped again. As a result, we strongly recommend that you use an email address other than an AOL account.

If you do plan to rejoin with the same AOL address, due to the greatly increasing number of times AOLers are getting deleted, we ask that you please learn how to resubscribe yourself so we’re not flooded with requests for us to resubscribe you. When you receive a notice that you’re kicked off, go to: How Do I Subscribe To Corgi-L?. We’re a volunteer crew and have lives that don’t need to be taken up by AOL’s constant and increasing issues. Some lists have outright banned AOL email addresses as dealing with such took up too much of the list owners time.

We’re sorry to have to take these positions, but it’s a sad reality of dealing with AOL.

The Admin Team is happy that you are sticking with us and appreciate your patience. This has been very difficult for all.

Please let us know if you need more info, or help – corgi-ad <at>

Your Corgi-L Admin Team

Previous and Other Corgi-L Delivery Problems and AOL

Many AOL subscribers to Corgi-L have found their mail frequently interrupted or stopped altogether in past months. In addition, we’ve also seen Corgi-L mail blocked on other services such as Yahoo because the mail list server was, perhaps temporarily, placed on one of the internet’s spam blacklists. Not everyone is affected, but many seem to be, at random.

If you’re having delivery problems, remember that as long as your subscription exists, you can always read Corgi-L on the archives at You can read and reply to messages on the site, and search, too. However, you must ALREADY have set yourself a password, as we cannot set one for you, and if your ISP is blocking email from the listserv, then they’ll block any email from the server confirming your password application. 🙁

At one AOL was rate-limiting incoming and outgoing emails from/to Listserv addresses. This would, of course, include Corgi-L mail, which runs on Listserv software based at Texas A&M University – TAMU. (‘Rate-limiting’ is explained in this Wikipedia article:

Here’s a statement from TAMU’s tech folks (reconfirmed 23-Mar-2006):

AOL is currently limiting the number of e-mail messages it will receive per day from Texas A&M e-mail addresses. This can cause significant delays in delivery, or delivery failures, for all messages from “” addresses destined for “” addresses. This will include any messages automatically forwarded from Neo to personal AOL accounts. Currently, CIS mail administrators are working with America OnLine to revise their policy. America OnLine customers should direct questions about this policy to America OnLine customer support.

The Corgi-L Admin Team has received many delivery errors for AOL addresses because of this practice and we have been trying to trace the problem for quite a while. The postmaster at TAMU is working vigorously with the AOL postmaster to try and get peoples’ Corgi-L (and many other TAMU lists’ mail) through. This isn’t working perfectly yet, and many AOL customers are still having problems.

For everyone, AOL or not, here’s an article that discusses the more general problem of not getting the email you’ve signed up for, and has several steps to take if you suspect a problem: Why am I Not Getting the Email I Signed Up For?. It also includes important things not to do, like use a “This is Spam” button on Corgi-L mail.

So, what do you do now to continue to receive your Corgi-L?

If you already have a password, you can go read us on the Archives.

Our very strong suggestion is that you get yourself a free web-based email address, and then subscribe to Corgi-L with that address. Our suggestions include Hotmail, Yahoo, Excite, or GMail.

Subscription instructions can be found at: How Do I Subscribe To Corgi-L?.

Once you have your webmail address, you can:

  • Login to the archives with that address
  • Change your subscription options for that address (Digest or Individual mails or whatever)
  • If the service supports it, you could even forward your Corgi-L mail from that address to your AOL or other ISP’s account <g>

If and when your ISP stops blocking us, you can sign off the second address or you can set it to Nomail and save it in reserve to get you out of future problems.