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I have a reseller hosting account to serve my websites, but use Google Apps for email. I control the DNS on my domain name, so I have an A record pointing www traffic to my reseller account, but MX records so my emails are routed to Google.

My primary domain is mcbwebdesign.co.uk. I host a lot of sites, so I have custom name servers (ns1.mcbwebdesign.co.uk and ns2.mcbwebdesign.co.uk) on these other domains which point to my reseller. I have a second domain, wrestlingnetwork.co.uk, hosted on the same reseller and using the aforementioned name servers.

In my reseller cPanel, I've set up a forwarder for admin@wrestlingnetwork.co.uk to forward to martin@yourfightsite.com (also hosted by Google Apps under the same account as mcbwebdesign.co.uk). But when I try and email admin@wrestlingnetwork.co.uk, I get the following email bounced back:

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-Verification failed for <martin@martinbean.co.uk>
550 Sender verify failed (state 13).

What's going on? Why does this forward (nor any other forwarders set up through my reseller) no longer work?

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Do you have SPF set up? (Sounds like it, and that's my guess as to what's wrong). –  HopelessN00b Aug 24 '12 at 0:15
Would I need to add an SPF record to my DNS settings? If so, for what domain? mcbwebdesign.co.uk? (As I'm using ns1. and ns2.mcbwebdesign.co.uk as the name servers for wrestlingnetwork.co.uk). –  Martin Bean Aug 24 '12 at 8:57

2 Answers 2

The MX record for wrestlingnetwork.co.uk is set to wrestlingnetwork.co.uk. Telneting to port 25 on wrestlingnetwork.co.uk gives me this banner:

Escape character is '^]'.
220-strongbow.dfsv35.com ESMTP Exim 4.77 #2 Fri, 24 Aug 2012 02:01:28 +0100 
220-We do not authorize the use of this system to transport unsolicited, 
220 and/or bulk e-mail.

Exim 4.77 is bundled with CPanel server, so I'm going to assume that strongbow.dfsv35.com is your CPanel server. Are you sure that it's properly configured to receive mail for wrestlingnetwork.co.uk?

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Yeah, strongbow.dfsv35.com is what I use to log into my reseller's cPanel. I've set up wrestlingnetwork.co.uk in my WHM, but how do I now get any forwarders set up in cPanel to work? –  Martin Bean Aug 24 '12 at 8:58

550 Sender Verify Failed has a lot of meanings. It could best be summarized "We did some checks and found that this email does not line up, so for fear of spam, we aren't accepting it". Without any more detail, those checks could potentially be (but may not be, and are not limited to):

  • rDNS failure (the rDNS for the IP address which connected was different from the hostname it specified)
  • SPF failure (the host that connected to deliver mail isn't authorized in the SPF records)
  • DKIM failure (a DKIM signature was required but not present, or wrong)

It is likely that your exim logs will show what specifically failed when validating the message; this information is usually not provided to the remote host in order to make spamming harder.

This will lead you to the rule you need to change in order to accept mail from google apps.

I am assuming you sent the test message from a gmail account and that this is the explanation for google being named in the bounce message; this would be unrelated to the fact that the forwarding is toward google.

If it happens that the forward actually did go through your cpanel exim server, and the bounce reply is from google on the distant end, it's either the case that the forwarder has set the from: header according to the original sender (for whose domain you likely lack permission to send mails, and whose domain name will not be returned for your rDNS); google will not accept such mails (by anecdotal evidence). If this is the case you need to configure an address belonging to your domain to be set in the from: header, and instead ensure the sender's address is in the reply-to: header for your mails to be acceptable to google.

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