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Helper I

How to block sender and let him know he's blocked

How do I block a specific email address (sender) and let him know that his email was blocked?

GoDaddy is my domain hosting service (.com domain) and I use cPanel.

Thanks in advance for any help.

31 REPLIES 31
Advocate VII

Hi @ascanio1 ,

 

Start with this help guide.   https://www.godaddy.com/help/create-cpanel-email-filters-in-my-linux-hosting-account-8865?

 

When I've blocked domains, etc I have never bothered to contact them.  It's my right and responsibility to do so, particularly in the case of bots, spoofs, etc.  

 

If the blocking is over a legal issue or business issue, consult your attorney.

 

Given the volume of spam and email problems perhaps GoDaddy can provide a guide, tutorial, and or webinar.

 

Great topic!

James

Not Just Pretty Sites, Pretty Doggone Smart Sites

Thank you.

I followed the instructions in the link but it did not work. The emails keep arriving in my outlook inbox and the sender does not receive any automated response.

Strangely, the cPanel test results were positive and showed exactly the test that I wanted to send automatically.

Under rules:
I selected: FROM (and added the email address) but I did not select anything for CONTAINS and left the option as it was.

Under Actions:
I selected: FAIL WITH MESSAGE (and added my message, which appears correctly in the cPanel test)

Please, can you help me solve this problem?

Hi @ascanio1 ,

 

Be sure to take a look at the full email header to try to trace the true origin of the email.  There are so many ways to spoof an address that what you see is not always what is actually going on.

 

Hope this helps,

James

Not Just Pretty Sites, Pretty Doggone Smart Sites

Thank you James,

 

Once I enabled the spam filter too, the undesired email account is now correctly blocked and the email does not arrive into my inbox.

However, this does not solve the issue.

The blocked message does not generate a notification to the sender that his message was not delivered.

Here (https://documentation.cpanel.net/display/CKB/How+to+Configure+Mail+Filters), under actions, it states that when I choose FAIL WITH MESSAGE the sender should receive a message (notice of delivery failure, in my case).

This notification is paramount.

The undesired account owner has the bad habit of sending me instructions (Pay tax, utilities, etc., ) that must be addressed. If the sender is not notified that his message was not delivered, he will assume that I will act on his instructions.

Kindly, could you look into what I am doing wrong and try to offer a solution?

Tommaso

Hi @ascanio1 ,

 

As mentioned earlier, probably the best way to handle this particular situation may be direct person-to-person communications or if need be a legal council if this is disrupting your business.  This kind of stuff gets kind of messy for sure.

 

On the tech, side I'll look around and see what I can find.   Are the submissions direct or from a form?

 

Hope to help,

James

Not Just Pretty Sites, Pretty Doggone Smart Sites

Dear James,

 

Thank you for following up. I edited my initial reply to you, kindly, revise it.

The undesired emails are sent directly by a person whom I know very well (my mother's secretary) and I choose to not act differently. I want to block her and ensure that she knows that I never received her message. I do not want to resolve this issue with direct person-to-person communications for reasons that are not useful to be shared.

And, no, the email does not come from a form.

Again, thank you sharing your time and expertise.

Tommaso






Got it and understood!  Good call it sounds like...

 

Okay for the tech side,  are you using cPanel workspace email or an Outlook/Microsoft account from GoDaddy?

 

May sound a bit basic.  Have you marked the email as spam?  This provides a first level protection.  

 

Also, check this article out.  It has some screen shots of WebMail clients with blocking a specific sender.

https://help.one.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005586489-How-can-I-blacklist-an-email-address-

 

Let me know!

James

Not Just Pretty Sites, Pretty Doggone Smart Sites

James, again, thank you.
I am using cPanel.
I cannot mark this email account as spam as I cannot receive it in the first place. If I receive the email, it is irrelevant if it goes in a spam folder or inbox, I will have to read it and act on its instructions. Hence the requirement to block it at server level AND ensure that the sender is informed that her message was not delivered.

I tried this webmail blacklist but it does not send a notification to the sender. I do not want to blacklist as spam, from webmail or other email client .

I need to ensure that the sender receives a non-delivery notification. He must be aware that his email was blocked and not delivered.

Hello James,

 

Again thank you. But, kindly, could you follow up with a solution?

Tommaso

Hi @ascanio1 ,

 

Unfortunately, I'm not sure there is a good technical solution.  I have conferred with a couple of others as well.  Please keep in mind, the purpose of blocking is so that you do not have to deal with unwanted emails without having to provide any SPECIFIC message sent to a SPECIFIC user.  If you want to do something like this, you might need to get into coding the response, but that's a huge overhead.

 

You might try using blocking at the time of form submission, but it still requires coding that provides email address specific filtering AND the specific message back to form submission.

 

Wish that I had a better technical solution.  Perhaps a true email expert might.  This one is over my head a bit in how to handle the details of this specific situation.  Thanks @PL281 for helping on this with your testing!

 

Continuing to look, but not hopeful right now.

James

 

 

 

 

Not Just Pretty Sites, Pretty Doggone Smart Sites

Hello James,

Once more, thank you for investing your time for my benefit. Allow me to respond contrary to your indications. While I truly appreciate that you are offering your time and expertise voluntarily and I do not wish to appear ungrateful or, worse, rude, I also wish to benefit others who, in future, may read this thread with the information that I gathered .

"the purpose of blocking is so that you do not have to deal with unwanted emails without having to provide any SPECIFIC message sent to a SPECIFIC user"
I spoke to a GoDaddy operator who dissents. The purpose is also to inform the sender that his message has been blocked. Unfortunately, he was unable to resolve the GoDaddy software glitch and a ticket was opened.

"If you want to do something like this, you might need to get into coding the response, but that's a huge overhead!"
Again, the GoDaddy operator dissents. The menu offers the option to 'FAIL WITH MESSAGE' so no complicated overheads.

Unfortunately the telephone operator was insufficiently proficient to resolve the issue and I am waiting for a call back.

If you can help me solve this problem I will appreciate it immensely.

Tommaso

Hi @ascanio1,

 

Sorry, I haven't been able to solve your problem.  I'll have to let someone at GoDaddy fully handle this one.   I don't think your comments are rude, so all is good.

 

While what you say is true about the options, etc. being there, it doesn't mean they always work even as described.   I have been on the phone with GoDaddy help and both be reading the documentation to no avail.  Note what you said about the GoDaddy operator's expertise.  Perhaps its a bit over his head as well because its not so simple.  If this were so simple, we'd already have this solved.   I do hope this does get kicked up to next level support so that we can all find an answer.

 

Like you, I hope that this thread is educational to others and will result in a solution.

 

Exhausted my expertise!
James

 

 

 

Not Just Pretty Sites, Pretty Doggone Smart Sites

Hello James,


Thank you for your time and expertise.

I am glad that you suggested that someone from GoDaddy should escalate and engage this problem. Kindly, could you solicit what you recommend (GoDaddy step in this conversation) as you, certainly, have greater means than I do, to obtain it!

Let us keep this thread open until someone from GoDaddy intervenes.

Tommaso

Helper I

I like to add that notifying someone that his communication has been blocked or rejected is not such a secondary issue.

Legal and other motives suggest that GoDaddy fix this problem.

Imagine the legal consequences of a GoDaddy account holder who blocks an undesired inbound communication, using this GoDaddy functionality (fail with message), if that inbound message contained actionable instructions, which omission could cause consequences... The GoDaddy account holder could believe that the sender is aware that he never received them and feel safe. The sender, on the other hand, could believe that the instructions were received. Neither would act and damages could ensue.

Imagine, for example, a utility bill...

This FAIL WITH MESSAGE malfunction can cause undesirable consequences.

Hi @ascanio1,

 

I think the point of this divergence in discussion centers around this statement and reply,

 

The undesired emails are sent directly by a person whom I know very well (my mother's secretary) and I choose to not act differently. I want to block her and ensure that she knows that I never received her message. I do not want to resolve this issue with direct person-to-person communications for reasons that are not useful to be shared.

 

So, let's get back on track.   There is a critical word in your response above -- received.   Please keep in mind that I do not work for GoDaddy,  just a customer like you.   As the owner of that cPanel email account, your server received it whether you read it or not.  

 

cPanel email settings and responses are programmable if you know how to do it and you are on the correct plan.  GoDaddy documentation provides a guide.  You have to learn the details for your own server configuration.  If you are running an entry-level cPanel plan, you may not have full access to ALL server programming.  Basic cPanel hosting has many more restrictions and is NOT the same as business cPanel.  If you need complete server programming try the Business cPanel or a VPS.   

 

Here are a couple of links to some of the code that may be involved.

https://documentation.cpanel.net/display/CKB/How+to+Customize+the+Exim+System+Filter+File

 

https://documentation.cpanel.net/display/CKB/How+to+Create+Mail+Filter+Rules+For+Mailing+Lists

 

While, you've stated you want to block this at the server level, perhaps there might be other alternatives.  The real issue is not blocking, but that you do not want to actually communicate with this one person.  For example, I use Outlook/Norton -- mark the email as junk and report to Norton.  After all, the person does not have your permission to send the emails.

 

Another simple solution would be to use Zapier to send some sort of email back to this user every time you receive one from her.  Also, by learning Zapier, you'll have a tool to handle some of your more difficult/automated replies and actions.  Jimmy Rose at ContentSnare.com has an outstanding Zapier course on doing tasks similar to this.  Another alternative is IFTTT.

 

As far as the legal motives; if you read the details of the agreement,  GoDaddy doesn't have any responsibilities anywhere in these situations.  This will be true of every single hosting company on the planet.  The reliability and validity of any solution you as a business owner present to your customer is 100% your responsibility.   

 

Using your example of utility companies.  In my humble opinion I would think that an automated CRM system integrated with a billing system may be more practical than server based coding for such customer interactions.  If the communication is that important, it is the company responsibility to facilitate it.   Keep in mind that just because something "technically can be done" does not mean it is the best solution to the problem.

 

So, in the end there is a solution.  Its yours to choose how you handle this situation.  It is not GoDaddy's responsibility to provide the solution.  Their responsibility is to provide you a business tool and platform.  cPanel server management is no cakewalk.  I used it for years and years, but have migrated to managed hosting platforms surrounded by integrated email services.  Why switch? cPanel server management is no cakewalk.

 

Just asking you to be fair!

James

 

Not Just Pretty Sites, Pretty Doggone Smart Sites

Thank you, again, for the time and expertise that you invest for my benefit.

> As the owner of that cPanel email account, your server received it whether you read it or not.
# Whether the  server received it or not, is irrelevant in this context. What is relevant is if the sender becomes aware or not that his message was blocked.

> cPanel email settings and responses are programmable if you know how to do it and you are on the correct plan.  GoDaddy documentation provides a guide.  ... CUT ... If you need complete server programming try the Business cPanel or a VPS.
# I read and followed instructions correctly so much so that the GoDaddy representative on the phone had to open a case as, she too, recognized a malfunction. I do not need Business cPanel or a VPS. All I need is for GoDaddy to fix its malfunctioning 'FAIL WITH MESSAGE' option.  Let's not start shifting responsibilities.

> Here are a couple of links to some of the code that may be involved https://documentation.cpanel.net/display/CKB/How+to+Customize+the+Exim+System+Filter+File
# Thank you for this link but it is not pertinent to this case as I am not a developer nor do I want to become one to fix a GoDaddy malfunction. This thread is useful to end users who are trying to implement the end user 'FAIL WITH MESSAGE' option and not to learn how to develop new options or customize the panel.

> This link may prove more pertinent to this thread: https://documentation.cpanel.net/display/CKB/How+to+Create+Mail+Filter+Rules+For+Mailing+Lists
# The challenge, here, is that the Spam Filter Rule 1 text box, where you enter a regular expression (regex) that matches the messages to which to apply an action is not what I need. What I need is to a rule to recognize, block and notify an incoming mail account, not text. Kindly, could you help me understand how I can use this link to resolve the 'FAIL WITH MESSAGE' GoDaddy malfunction?

> While, you've stated you want to block this at the server level, perhaps there might be other alternatives.  The real issue is not blocking, but that you do not want to actually communicate with this one person.  For example, I use Outlook/Norton -- mark the email as junk and report to Norton.  After all, the person does not have your permission to send the emails.

# Blocking incoming unwanted messages at mail client level may not remove legal liabilities on my end. I have been advised to use the GoDaddy 'FAIL WITH MESSAGE' option as this response is easier to defend in court.

> Another simple solution would be to use Zapier to send some sort of email back to this user every time you receive one from her.  Also, by learning Zapier, you'll have a tool to handle some of your more difficult/automated replies and actions.  Jimmy Rose at ContentSnare.com has an outstanding Zapier course on doing tasks similar to this.  Another alternative is IFTTT.

# Once more, thank you for a work around to this GoDaddy malfunction but it is, again, at a lower lever than my server and less suited for legal reasons.

 

> As far as the legal motives; if you read the details of the agreement,  GoDaddy doesn't have any responsibilities anywhere in these situations.  This will be true of every single hosting company on the planet.  The reliability and validity of any solution you as a business owner present to your customer is 100% your responsibility.   
# This is arguable. I am on the Italian account and Italian laws on civil liabilities render invalid any so called "leonine" clauses. This is, clearly, one of them. GoDaddy, at least in Italy, would be legally liable if GoDaddy's facilities and tools were malfunctioning, regardless of contractual wording that I sign. Thank God in Italy we are well protected against tech giants overbearing legal power. But this too is not pertinent (at least at this point) as I am not trying or even thinking of suing GoDaddy for ensuing damages as none have (yet) arisen. All I am trying to do is to fix a bug on GoDaddy's cPanel.

> Using your example of utility companies.  In my humble opinion I would think that an automated CRM system integrated with a billing system may be more practical than server based coding for such customer interactions. 
# I appreciate the advice but it is outside of the scope of this thread. This thread's purpose is to fix a bug in the 'FAIL WITH MESSAGE' options' panel.

> If the communication is that important, it is the company responsibility to facilitate it. 
# Which company?

> Keep in mind that just because something "technically can be done" does not mean it is the best solution to the problem.
# I agree. But in this case the 'FAIL WITH MESSAGE' solution is perfectly suitable, appropriate and sufficient.

> So, in the end there is a solution.  Its yours to choose how you handle this situation. 
# Again, I agree.

> It is not GoDaddy's responsibility to provide the solution. 
# I disagree. GoDaddy's responsibility is to fix a malfunction and, more importantly, to ensure that what is offered to the end user, actually works in the first place without having to asm the end user to open a thread and invest hours to work out how to make an option work!

> Their responsibility is to provide you a business tool and platform.

# Correct. This specific GoDaddy's platform is not performing its job.


cPanel server management is no cakewalk.  I used it for years and years, but have migrated to managed hosting platforms surrounded by integrated email services. 
# I agree. But this fact is not an excuse but, rather, an aggravating circumstance. Ease of use is a paramount aspect of any platform and GoDaddy may want to improve this area.

> Why switch? cPanel server management is no cakewalk.
# I do not want to switch companies or platforms. All I ask is for GoDaddy to fix this platform.

Just asking you to be fair!
# I am being fair. I pay regularly and I expect regular functionalities. This is a fair expectation.


I appreciate the sentiments that move you to advocate for GoDaddy but, in the interest of the readers of this thread, please, let us avoid comments that are generic or non pertinent to the specific 'FAIL WITH MESSAGE' malfunction. It is in the interest of readers to avoid introducing information that is not directly useful to solve the 'FAIL WITH MESSAGE' bug.

I would really appreciate if you could solicit a GoDaddy specialist to enter this conversation to solve the 'FAIL WITH MESSAGE' problem so that we may leave a solution for future readers.

Again, thank you for investing your time and expertise,

Tommaso

@ascanio1 

 

Just jumping in here ...

1) If GoDaddy opened a case for you than they should be working on it - I am a End User / Super User like @JMPepper  and will see if I can bump this at all

 

2) I tested this on my VPS as I had never used the Fail with Message functionality before and I was curious how it worked - based on the test I ran (which was just the internal test - not actually sending) what it does is a reply from the server with whatever message you type in -

 

The flag I would would raise is from a technical perspective this is very different than a bounce / undeliverable message. Additionally in googling for some information someone stated that when they got this to work it went to spam. 

 

I just wanted to make sure you were aware of that limitation and what would be expected. 

 

As mentioned I'm going to bump this to GD staff.

 

I am a GoDaddy End User - Just Like You
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Hello PL281,

 

Thank you for investing your time and expertise in trying to resolve this thread's problem.

1. As I mentioned, a GoDaddy operator, from Italy, recognized a system malfunction but was unable to resolve the issue. She therefore escalated the case to a higher tier. I subsequently received a confirmation message that my case had been opened and escalated, but I am still waiting for a representative to revert with a solution.

2. Also I receive a reply from the server that shows the message that I edited, when I test the functionality from my cPanel configuration panel. But when I test with a real email, the block functionality works (the inbound email goes to the spam folder) but the automated reply message functionality does not work. It is the second functionality that is paramount to me.
>> Kindly, if you have time and if you are willing to, could you please test with a real email?

Thank you for helping me understand the limitations. Yes, as I mentioned before, I am aware that this is not a bounce functionality but a spam + automated reply functionality. I understand that unwanted inbound messages are moved to the spam folder with an automated reply message. Again, it is this second part (the automated reply message) that is not working.

My expectation is for the FAIL WITH MESSAGE functionality to do what it says: fail undesired inbound emails with a reply message.

Thank you in advance for your time if you are willing to test the functionality with a real email from a different server.


@ascanio1 

100% understand and I tested on a cPanel I have access to

 

If you could just reconfirm - I'm pretty sure this is correct and I saw the same thing you are.

 

1) Setup email test@domain.com on the cPanel server

 

2) Setup a filter for FROM:me@mydomain.com does FAIL WITH MESSAGE - put in the message "Your message was not delivered"

 

3) Send email from me@mydomain.com to test@domain.com - No bounce message / no auto reply and no email posted into the mailbox

 

4) Send email from me@gmail.com to test@domain.com and it went through just fine

 

The issue is at #3 where I should have gotten a reply back with not delivered.

 

My point about the spam was actually on the "reply" going to spam. 

 

I've bumped this up to GoDaddy hopefully between that and your open ticket we can get this looked at. 

I am a GoDaddy End User - Just Like You
Check out my site! | I currently manage over 300 WordPress Websites
* Please note that I offer free advice on this forum. Thank You Info If you would like personalized help, please contact me. Otherwise, please ask your question in the proper forum so the answer can assist EVERYONE in the community and not just you. Thanks! *

Once your issue is resolved,
please be sure to come back and click accept for the solution

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Hello PL281,

 

Again, thank you for kindly investing your time in this thread and yes, your iteration of the problem is accurate if my assumptions are correct.

Thank you, I was not aware that the bug is causing the reply to the sender to go to the recipient's spam folder instead of to the sender.

I assume:
me@mydomain.com = undesired inbound account
test@domain.com = my account that I want to protect
me@gmail.com = any other account

Just to reiterate my steps:
I select my cPanel Admin;
I select Email Filters;
I select the account that is receiving the undesired mail [tommaso@something.com];

I select 'manage filters';

> Create a new filter
>> Name: "Any test name"
>> Rules:

>>> From: [spammer@other.com]
>>> Contains: I do not select this filed
>>> Action: [FAIL WITH MESSAGE]

Please note that the spam filters menu of the cPanel Admin, the Apache Spam Assassin option is activated.