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We are investigating an issue whereby on occasion our email system and our customer's email system occasionally do not receive a copy of a third party invoice. We are using Google Apps and don't have access to inbound SMTP logs but the email is definitely not in our All Mail.

The third party provided the following SMTP logs. Do they verify with certainty that the email was delivered? (email prefixes replaced)

2011-09-18 11:40:02 To:obscuredaccount@cogeco.ca Stat:Sent Full Details
2011-09-18 11:40:01 from=<obscuredaccount@softvoyage.com>
2011-09-18 11:40:02 to=<obscuredaccount@cogeco.ca> stat=Sent (ok: Message 622358550 accepted)
2011-09-18 11:40:03 to=<obscuredaccount@targetvacations.ca> stat=Sent (OK 1316360403 c8si9093664pbl.43)
Sep 18 11:40:03 mail3 sendmail[24063]: p8IFe1vP024060: to=<obscuredaccount@targetvacations.ca>, delay=00:00:02, xdelay=00:00:01, mailer=esmtp, pri=159505, relay=aspmx.l.google.com. [74.125.53.26], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (OK 1316360403 c8si9093664pbl.43)
Sep 18 11:40:02 mail3 sendmail[24063]: p8IFe1vP024060: to=<obscuredaccount@cogeco.ca>, delay=00:00:01, xdelay=00:00:01, mailer=esmtp, pri=159505, relay=mx.cogeco.ca. [216.221.81.26], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (ok: Message 622358550 accepted)
Sep 18 11:40:01 mail3 sendmail[24060]: p8IFe1vP024060: from=<obscuredaccount@softvoyage.com>, size=9505, class=0, nrcpts=2, msgid=<201109181540.p8IFe1TS015641@localhost.localdomain>, proto=ESMTP, daemon=MTA, relay=cleopatra.softvoyage.com [172.28.73.12]
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Strictly speaking: no, they don't really verify anything at all, since they're just text. It depends on how much you trust your 3rd party.

That said, the log does appear to show that a message with the ID 201109181540.p8IFe1TS015641@localhost.localdomain, addressed to obscuredaccount@targetvacations.ca was accepted for delivery by aspmx.l.google.com.

If you have no way to check the logs or to watch incoming traffic then your next step is to contact Google and ask them to look for the message ID shown. They'll be able to verify if it came in and what happened to it afterwards. Perhaps something in the sent messages is violating their filters and falling into a spam trap or other black hole.

You may also want to talk to your customer (I'm assuming they are mx.cogeco.ca) and ask them if they can verify delivery in their logs, as they appear to run their own MX.

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Strictly speaking: yes, it seems as clean and fair extraction from my POV, but it means almost nothing for incident. Trusting foreing log is bad in common, but if we trust these strings, we can say only: "message was accepted by mx.cogeco.ca in SMTP-session" (See relay=mx.cogeco.ca. [216.221.81.26], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (ok: Message 622358550 accepted)) Period.

Postmaster of mx.cogeco.ca only can shed some lights on the fate of this e-mail

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