550-Verification Failed from Google Apps

July 3rd, 2012

I woke up this morning and sent an email to my wife.  I used Gmail, particularly for a Google Aps account @handsomeweb.com.  A few seconds later I received the rejection.  Not from my wife, but from Google.  And being rejected by Google always feels bad.  Here is the note from mailer-daemon@googlemail.com.

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

mywife@mywifesdomain.org

Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550-Verification failed for <me@handsomeweb.com>
550-No Such User Here
550 Sender verify failed (state 13).

—– Original message —–

The odd thing is no user @handsomeweb.com could send email to any account on that web server, but any other gmail account or google apps account worked fine. I spent time on chat with my hosting company, then on the phone, and the best they could tell me was that my web server saw my account at gmail as a spammer.  They gave me what they claimed was a Google IP address (I checked – it was not a Google IP address).  But they even told me the blacklist it was on.

My problem and solution.

I caused the problem.  I was in the process of building a new website for handsomeweb.com on this same server.  It was, at the time, on another host.  I changed my hosts file on my PC so I could use the handsomeweb.com domain.  But the server only thinks it is hosting handsomeweb.com, thinks it has the proper A record and the propoer MX records.  And as far as the server could tell, it was the host of the site and the email.  So, when it received email from “handsomeweb.com”, it immediately rejected it for coming from another server.  It did not check SPF records that had all googlemail addresses.

My solution, I put the correct MX records in the new hosting account, and it accepted them fine.

At least Google gave me the rejection.  I have a client that has his email server in his office and his website off site.  If an email is generated from his webserver (contact form) and sent to his mail server it is deleted with no bounce message.  I wonder if he lost much business.  Of course, I can blame that on his network guy – not the web server (or search engine success specialist).