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I'm migrating e-mail for my domains to Google Apps' e-mail. Most everything seems to work except e-mail sent to any user at (at least) is rejected with a message of the form (where any-address has been substituted for my friend's address):

From: Mail Delivery Subsystem <>
Date: March 11, 2010 10:04:48 AM PST
Subject: Delivery Status Notification (Failure)
Received: by with SMTP id dw26cs8717qcb; Thu, 11 Mar 2010 10:04:48 -0800 (PST)
Received: by with SMTP id v15mr3841599fai.62.1268330688325; Thu, 11 Mar 2010 10:04:48 -0800 (PST)
Received: by with SMTP id v15mr5119424fai.62; Thu, 11 Mar 2010  10:04:48 -0800 (PST)
Mime-Version: 1.0
Return-Path: <>
Message-Id: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

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 5.1.1
<>... No such user here (state 13).

And here are the headers from the message it bounces back:

Received: by with SMTP id s7mr2515885anl.176.1267979929490;
       Sun, 07 Mar 2010 08:38:49 -0800 (PST)
Return-Path: <>
Received: from [] ( [])
       by with ESMTPS id 4sm1046550yxd.70.2010.
       (version=TLSv1/SSLv3 cipher=RC4-MD5);
       Sun, 07 Mar 2010 08:38:49 -0800 (PST)
From: "Paul J. Lucas" <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Subject: Some fascinating subject
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 2010 08:38:46 -0800
References: <>
Message-Id: <>
Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v1077)
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.1077)

However, I am able to send mail to a user at using my old e-mail account. Also, my company uses Google Apps for e-mail and I can send e-mail to a user at from my company. The differences between my personal e-mail and my company's are:

  • My company's domain has no SPF record whereas mine does.
  • My company's domain has an A record whereas mine does not.

My SPF record initially was as prescribed by Google here. However, this guy claims Google is wrong and gives a fix. I've tried it both ways with no difference. My SPF record is currently:

v=spf1 mx ~all

As for the lack of an A record, you wouldn't think that a mail host would care about that so long as mx records are defined.

However, the funny thing is that if you look at the error message, why does Google state that the recipient's domain stated that there is "No such user here" for my address? That makes no sense. Of course there is no user having my address at

Also, I assume that I just discovered that I can't send mail to users at by accident and that there are probably other domains I can't send e-mail to.

So... anybody have any idea what's going on? And how I can get mail to users at

share|improve this question
Another friend of mine who also uses Google Apps for e-mail added an SPF record and he has no problems sending mail to One difference is that he has an A record for his domain. I'll see about adding an A record and then seeing what happens. – Paul J. Lucas Mar 11 '10 at 1:10
I just got off the phone with's tech support. They don't check SPF, but do check A records. However, they see no evidence in their logs that they ever received any delivery attempt. This means the problem has to be on Google's end. – Paul J. Lucas Mar 11 '10 at 18:27

I got a subsequent e-mail from's tech support (impressive, especially since I'm not even a customer of theirs) and they said that "the odd IP entries I was seeing smoothing into a more normal setup."

I've since sent test messages, got no bounces, and gotten replies. So it seems mail to is working. So the cause was one of 3 things:

  1. My domain lacked an A record (shouldn't matter, but they're using it as an anti-spam measure).
  2. My other DNS changes had not fully propagated.
  3. Maybe Google fixed something (I did contact them with a report of my troubles).

I could delete the A record and see if my problems return to confirm or deny #1. The reason I'm suspicious about it is because I never had an A record with my old mail provider either, and yet could send mail to However, since it's working now, I'm reluctant to touch it.

share|improve this answer

Maybe is doing a reverse DNS lookup and checking to see if that user exists on the sender's mail server (*, which returns false.

share|improve this answer
But that doesn't explain why it would work when sending e-mail from my company which also uses Google Apps mail (as I stated). – Paul J. Lucas Mar 10 '10 at 4:12

Can you clarify whether or not you are actually sending to a real in use user on that specific domain of

A wild card can be set up to catch all non-used users and direct those messages to an admin or whatever user you specify. This has to be done manually if I am not mistaken.

share|improve this answer
Yes, I am sending to a specific user: a friend of mine, which is how I noticed that it didn't work when the mail bounced. The mail also bounced by sending to – Paul J. Lucas Mar 10 '10 at 8:16
Also, I don't understand the relevance of creating a catch-all user. – Paul J. Lucas Mar 10 '10 at 8:17 is using 8 different MX servers. It may be possible that one is misconfigured and Google Apps is unlucky enough to keep hitting the bad server(s).       MX preference = 10, mail exchanger =       MX preference = 10, mail exchanger =  internet address =  internet address =  internet address =  internet address =  internet address =  internet address =  internet address =  internet address = 

If it were me, I would telnet to each of those servers on port 25 and send a test message to the failing address to narrow down the problem.

Edit: Another possibility that just occurred to me - has their domain configured on Gmail. This could prevent Google from querying DNS for MX records to submit to and would be a reason why support do not see connection attempts.

share|improve this answer
The problem with that idea is that I'd be connecting from my desktop machine which obviously isn't the same as connecting from Google's MX servers. – Paul J. Lucas Mar 12 '10 at 16:56
Very true, but it narrows down the problem. If were to get 550 errors on one of the servers from your desktop, you can rule out Google's servers and SPF. – Doug Luxem Mar 12 '10 at 17:40

We reject almost all Google Apps and Amazon ECS servers for email due to the amount of spam that both kick out. Both are listed on numerous blacklists as a result.

Due to abuse, most of Google Apps and Amazon ECS is also blocked at our border since it is a haven for poorly written web bots that don't have the first clue about distributed computing.

share|improve this answer
This isn't Google's cloud application hosting service, but the service that used to be known as Google Apps For Your Domain where you redirect your mail domain to Google's GMail and they give you a branded GMail and Google Docs. – GAThrawn Jun 30 '10 at 15:08
Insane, you block google mail? You must be missing a lot of legit mail? – Doc Mar 17 '13 at 5:10

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