Back on April 17th, AFANA e-mailed everyone who is on any of our mailing lists (except for those who were members of the old chat room or BBS). In that notice we said this:
"AFANA can no longer provide any assurance that you will receive our newsletters if you are a member of AOL. While we have honored all of AOL's requirements to avoid AFANA's newsletters and other mail being considered unsolicited commercial mail (i.e. spam) and have been on their enhanced "whitelist" as an approved sender this is no longer sufficient.
AOL is implementing a new requirement very soon ("Certified E- mail") that requires all mass e-mailers PAY to guarantee our mail will be delivered. AFANA estimates this could cost us from $125 to $500 per year. In addition, there is an application fee of $199. AFANA does not feel this is a good use of the funds you provide us to support footy and we object to this on principle. Accordingly, we will not be participating in this. AOL may block our mail to you without any notice whatsoever to either you or us. As a result, if you are on AOL, we strongly suggest you get an e-mail address on another service if you wish to continue to receive our newsletters.
... If you continue to use an AOL address you may, at some future point, be removed from our lists without warning. "
Since that time, the situation hasn't improved. The good news is that we estimate less than 120 subscribers of the thousands of AFANA readers remain on AOL. The bad news is that a relatively high percentage of our bounced mail and undelivered mail is from AOL. Often with no apparent explanation. How much of our mail is neither delivered nor bounced by AOL, we have no way of knowing.
To make matters worse, there are several serious issues that are now apparent:
- AOL users have either intentionally or accidentally reported some legitimate AFANA mail to AOL as spam including subscription and confirmation messages as well as newsletters they forgot they subscribed to.
- Spammers sometimes spoof our addresses as the sender or return addresses on their spam. AOL's anti-spam button is too stupid to recognize we weren't the sender and instead of the spammer getting blammed, we do.
We encourage all of our readers on AOL to use an alternative e-mail address to receive your newsletters from us and as your contact address if you are a member of this site or AFANA. We recommend Gmail.com as a reliable alternative.
We will also be making available a free afana.com address for interested site members soon.
--Rob de Santos, AFANA Chairman