Fusemail auto-suspends spam-suspect accounts!

My troubles with Fusemail were caused by automated outbound spam filtering system Fusemail utilizes!  Fusemail filters all outbound email for spam and when their system thinks an email you’re sending is spam, it incredibly deactivates your account, automatically! According to their tech support (who finally returned my call 15 hours later) the block from a suspected spammer account is removed usually very quickly, and in case of my yesterday’s troubles the block removal, somehow, slipped through the cracks.

Once the account was reactivated, I tried re-sending the email that triggered the trouble, and sure enough, the account became blocked again! This time it was unblocked within minutes, but what’s concerning is that it’s just a standard business email with few paragraphs of text, a bulleted list, and few domain names mentioned.  I also sent it to an internal distribution list that I had defined in Fusemail.  No external recipients.

So, basically, it seems I’m not allowed to send this email because the email is rejected before it’s sent, and then my account becomes blocked until they unblock it.  What an incredibly, incredibly stupid way of operating an email gateway service!! Because any outbound message that you send can be considered spam and thus lead to the automated account suspension—and if you run a spam filter you know that ‘good’ emails get trapped in the spam filter now and then while an occasional spam mail gets through—Fusemail can in a business setting be only considered a mail RECEIVING service.  Imagine sending a completely innocuous email in the middle of a busy day, and your account becomes suspended if their automated filtering system deems your email spam! Perhaps they’ll unblock it in a few minutes, but how many inbound messages bounce during that time? Or, like in my case, you send an email on Saturday evening and your account is suspended until the next morning — both for sending and receiving.

It is reasonable for a mail service provider to monitor outbound mail for spam to prevent abuse of their systems.  But rather than having an automated system block accounts on its own, it should absolutely work in reverse where potential spammer accounts would be flagged for suspension, and then a technician would assess whether the user was indeed sending spam.  My guess is that false positives occur way more often than actual spammers being shut down; and besides, it’s much less of a problem if a spammer get few messages out before being shut down than legitimate users being shut down on suspicion. Otherwise, like in the case of my email that triggered the trouble, I can never send the message without reformatting it (or, perhaps, sending it individually to all intended recipients). For all I care I should be able to send GTUBE message through the system without it getting blocked. I’m not sending spam.

Fusemail is still a reasonably good solution for receiving mail; it has integrated spam-filter even with an optional sender confirmation, and there is [supposedly] reasonable amount of redundancy so mail reception for multiple accounts is more stable than, say, running an internal singular mail server.

But for outbound email I will be setting up an internal SMTP server.  I can’t risk an outbound email disabling mail reception for an unknown period of time. If you’re considering Fusemail, then consider running Postfix on *NIX, or perhaps some simple Windows SMTP server like Corporate SMTP Server locally for outbound mail.

Fusemail, this sucks! Fix it!

8 thoughts on “Fusemail auto-suspends spam-suspect accounts!”

  1. FYI, our fraud monitoring system is much more sophisticated now. Both in how it detects outbound spam, and how it affects your account. The most visible change is that we don’t actually suspend the account, we only stop outbound email. Additionally if the block is not reviewed in a set period of time, the block is automatically removed. Also, this is not new, but we whitelist after reviewing to prevent multiple blocks.

    I imagine this all seems pretty draconian, but unfortunately it is necessary. We have people signing up using stolen credit cards to send nigerian spam, viagra spam, every kind of spam that you could imagine. This gets us blocked from sending mail to other major email services, and affects all of our customers.


      1. @Pat – I gave up on Fusemail couple of years ago, and moved to FastMail, and have been very happy with their service! Highly recommended (and such a difference to Fusemail)!!

  2. Thanks for the update! It is good to hear that the problem has been addressed. I continue to use Fusemail for inbound mail, but have since switched to sending outbound mail using my own mail server to ensure that my inbound mail is never blocked like it was after the indicent described in my original post.

    The delay with incident response was the other gripe in my original post – my account got erroneously blocked and it took 15 hours to remove the block. I understand that it was and is not the normal operating procedure, but somehow response to that incident fell through the cracks. Needless to say, it was incredibly frustrating.

    Nevertheless, I would and do continue to recommend Fusemail. There are some improvements that would be nice to see (such as sortable Mail Aliases list — with many aliases defined management of the list is pretty cumbersome when the addresses on the list cannot be sorted), but overall I’m fairly satisfied with the service that I’ve now been using some 4+ months.

  3. I’ve subsequently been told by Fusemail tech support that the automated system has been disengaged from being able to disable the entire account (and hence also the mail reception) when a suspect outbound spam is detected. Since I currently only use Fusemail to receive mail and send outbound emails (also for the Fusemail-received domains) from my own mail server, I haven’t had the opportunity to test the claim.

  4. The Fusemail still sucks. Badly.

    We sent the usual 560 invitations to the gallery opening, a list which has been used for years. All recipients in a BCC. All opt-in customers.

    We got “544 too many recipients” error from Fusemail.

    Fusemail repeatedly said that they do not have any limit on how many people one can send a single email.

    After we insisted for about one hour that there truly is a limit, and the error comes from Fusemail, they agreed that “yes, you can send one email to max 200 recipients. So yo must split up the recipient list to multiple emails”.

    So, we sent four mails, roughly 160+160+140+140 BCC recipients in each. After that I got some mails thru, and two Fusemail errors to the Fusemail-admin account indicating that their “automatic system had detected spamming”, and no more mail can be sent. Even with the attached indicated Spam-score 0.00 in that Fusemail error mail.

    There is no way now to know which of the recipients received the email, and which were filtered by Fusemail. Fusemail does not even see that information about blocked deliveries in Fusemiail outbound SMTP server would be critical to any real business. Spammers are the ones who do not care about SMTP logs, 99.99999% of their customers do care. And still all of the paying customers are treated like spammers.

    Fusemail has placed our account account to “HighVolume”, which means we “can send 1000 emails with same content in a time frame”. And subsequently: “Fusemail can not tell you what the time frame is”. I hate these candid cameras, they must be joking or collectively having a bad trip.

    Despite of what Fusemail claims to have improved over this, they absolutely have not.

  5. Fusemail is probably not the right service for any “volume” use. After the troubles last year I haven’t really had any issues with Fusemail to speak of.. but then I don’t push hundreds of emails through (or, “any”, for that matter.. details below 🙂 ).

    Last year I also tested a local mail proxy (set up with Postfix & Dovecot) which worked perfectly, but in the end there was no need for inbound buffering. The proxy would’ve both localized inbound mail on the LAN so both mail access would’ve been virtually instantaneous. But accessing Fusemail directly ended up being only marginally slower, so the maintenance overhead of a proxy setup was not worth it.

    However, after an outbound email triggered account suspension including suspending mail reception (the reason for the original post), I switched sending all outbound mail through an internal/local SMTP server to ensure it would not happen again. Postfix has served in that role well.

    As for mass emails – even when it’s just few hundred emails – you should give MailChimp a try!

  6. Fusemail continues to do this. I’m commenting here as this still comes up as a top google result and people considering fusemail need to be aware. They blocked one of my users on December 10th, since they don’t notify anyone it took a couple of days to figure out why his SMTP wasn’t working. I contacted them about the issue on December 12th and as of December 17th they have still not reinstated his account. His machine is free of malware and his passwords have been changed as was their requested actions on the 12th. It’s going to take me a while but I will be moving all my email away from Fusemail as soon as possible. It’s too bad because aside from this issue they provide very good value.

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