Forum Discussion

John2222's avatar
6 years ago

552 5.2.0 bounce error sending group emails!

I'm using Outlook 2016 (Office 365).  I've have had no problems receiving emails or sending emails during this last security change by Cox.

HOWEVER, today as I do each Sunday, I tried to send a short email announcement to a group of our church choir members, the number is 33.  The email got bounced back with Error 552 5.2.0 internal errors.

Through trial and error, I discovered that if I break my email into groups of 9 choir members or less, the email is delivered ok.  But 10 or more recipients and the everything is rejected.

Why is the Cox limiting me to sending emails to church friends of only 9 or less?  It's not a spam email.  If it were, the group-of-less-than-10 would have been rejected as well.

Cox, we need some flexibility here.  I belong to several social groups, all larger than 9.  HELP!  How about an exclusion list for verified customers?  (I've been Cox cable subscriber for 40 years, even before it was Cox)!

44 Replies

  • DChase's avatar
    New Contributor

    I am having the same issue concerning group emails, but have noticed that I am only having this problem with my imap account and not a pop3 account. Out of curiosity, are you using imap or pop3? Thanks

    Eagerly awaiting an answer from Cox support.

  • OMAQman's avatar
    New Contributor II

    Hey, john2222.  Just jumping in here to commiserate.  I had it confirmed in a telephone call with Tier II yesterday that the 'new' limit is 'under 10' recipients.  Which is WAY over the top in aggressiveness as an anti-spam measure.  It cripples the utility of using email, especially the utility of as mature and robust an email client as Outlook.  Expecting all of us to move our contact lists and distribution lists to the web interface is EXTREMELY heavy-handed.  One might even cast it as uncaring, in a "let them eat cake" sort of way.

    I researched the 552 5.2.0 error.  Many sysadmins customize the error to "automated process detected unsolicited content" or something similar, meaning "suspected spam".  You have 10 recipients, you hit the algorithmic tripwire = automated bounce.  As others have noted, this is ridiculous and effectively kills email as a functional means of communication.

    I'm guessing Cox has had to over time deal with getting periodically blacklisted.  And it is a huge chore to get off a blacklist.  But what they have implemented (and I suspect purchased from a third-party "anti-spam" vendor) is overkill.  To the extreme.  Once all the customers are gone, maybe they'll wake up.

  • Thanks OMAQman for your comments.  I'm hoping Cox management will quickly realize how unrealistic this restriction is once more customers with baseball teams, girl scout troops, and other neighborhood groups discover this less-than-10 recipients limitation.

  • OMAQman's avatar
    New Contributor II

    An amusing speculation -- if a Cox family member actually used for personal email this problem would be fixed in a heartbeat.  But it is my understanding the leadership of the Cox family still involved in the business live in Atlanta . . . a COMCAST monopolized locale!  Hahahahahahaha!  OMG, that is funny!

  • Why no reply from COX?  This is the second event involving horrible decisions by Cox that I have encountered in the last month and in both cases, no one from Cox would respond.

    I'm guessing that I need to find another internet provider as Cox is not interested in my business.

  • OMAQman's avatar
    New Contributor II

    Nice find, john2222!  Very interesting.  I get Cox's "don't look behind the curtain" approach, though.  You publish your parameters and every "spammer" is going to know how to fly under the radar.  I'm sure that's the logic.  Only makes sense.  My problem is that there is no human, but a robot, pulling the levers behind the curtains.  And the robot is using a machete, not a scalpel.  Robots can't say, "Oh!  Church choir. Not spam." or, "Oh! Little League baseball team. Not spam."  You know, the way 'normal' people use email.  And, no, I am not recommending Cox hire a bunch of humans to start looking at email.  Cost prohibitive and invasive.  I'm just saying stop swinging the machete, for cryin' out loud.  You are lopping off the hand that feeds you!  Be reasonable.  Like the vast majority of ISPs you point out in that link.  Are they all getting blacklisted?  I'm thinking not.

    Hopefully a Forum Moderator will drop by as you have asked.  My guess is, though, their hands are tied and they will give you all the fudge/hedge lingo here:

    That's the party line.  We can argue the wisdom of it all day long.  Regrettably, they hold all the trump cards.  For people who do not have any ISP choice in their locales, that really, really stinks.   

  • Same here in Ohio.  I updated the SMTP settings as required by COX and then the problems occurred.  Cox help said it may be an Outlook limit - it is not.

    My e-mails are sent to 30 or so each time and have not worked since the mandatory SMTP changes this month.

    Seems like it would be a simple change to a server to correct.  Let's make it 100 or 200!

  • Yes, OMAQman and others, interesting find in Cox's own article:

    Speeds and Data Plans Information for High Speed Internet Service

    The best part is in the section titled:
    Understanding speeds and data plans

    towards the bottom of the Cox article.

    Email Account Message Sending Limits
    To combat spam, Cox places various limits on email, including limiting the maximum number of recipients per message and maximum number of messages per server connection.

    This is very understandable.  However at the bottom of the Cox article is this statement: (#8)

    Email Account Message Sending Limits: 
    8. To control automated spam messages ... Again, typical users should not be impacted by these limits.

    Please read the entire #8 policy statement (#8).

    I have no problem with that Cox management policy.  I agree.

    However, it is clear that the new Cox security change and limitation of 9 or less email recipients is NOT in compliance with this management policy.

    Forum Moderators:  please help us by informing management of this obvious conflict and correcting it.  It IS impacting typical users!