Diapason Consulting

Customer-No-Service

September 9, 2022

google game over

After some spam issues already with my first email SAAS (Namecheap) for diapason.consulting, I had moved my email services to my Google Workspace subscription, which I had upgraded to the second tier, including a supposedly professional level email server services.

Several weeks of frustration later, after having setup SPF, DKIM, DMARC, with my emails still ending up widely in spams, I contacted google workspace support.

The support chatbot questions, over a couple of minutes, led me to this point with a human support person.

This Kafkaian exchange starts on the 30/08/2022. Times are Sydney (UTC+10).

####
Update 31/8/2022 (24hours after these exchanges)
I have addressed the “body of your message” issue (added a description to the image (diapason logo) in my email signature)
Still the same poor performance with the 4 blacklists
####

####
Update 9/9/2022
Obviously my wife and I exchange many emails and we are in each other’s contacts.
We both use gmail - her with a gmail address.
Tonight she mentioned not having received the second of two emails I sent her in the space of 2 minutes.
It was in her spams.

####

####
Update 16/9/2022
Google workspace support email ended up in my gmail spams.
Preposterous
####

################ Agent 1 ####################

Google Workspace support
Google Workspace Support, Agent1
10:40 PM
Thank you for contacting Google Workspace Support. My name is Agent1 and I’ll be working with you today. While I read over your message, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Google Workspace Support, Agent1
10:40 PM
Hello, I hope you are doing well.
Google Workspace Support, Agent1
10:40 PM
I will be glad to assist you today, Before we start, Can I please know your name, domain name and your phone number with the country code, just in case we get disconnected?

ME
10:40 PM
Hi Agent1
Pierre Lonchampt
diapason.consulting
+61466910950
10:41 PM
My custom domain emails are setup with google workspace

Google Workspace Support, Agent1
10:41 PM
Thank you for sharing the details,Pierre.

ME
10:41 PM
I setup DKIM, SPF, DMARC
10:41 PM
But my emails still end up in the recipients spams in many cases.
10:42 PM
I checked with mail-tester.com and indeed I am blacklisted with REDHAWK, SORBs 28days, SORBS 48hours, BACKSCATTERER
10:42 PM
And yellow listed in Hostkarma
10:43 PM
This is not acceptable
10:44 PM
And really hurting my business

Google Workspace Support, Agent1
10:44 PM
Okay, not to worry. Please allow me 3-4 minutes to check on that
Google Workspace Support, Agent1
10:45 PM
Could you please share the screenshot where it shows your email is blacklisted?

ME
10:46 PM
https://i.imgur.com/dOe8YTp.png
10:47 PM
(209.85.218.67) indeed resolves as mail-ej1-f67.google.com

Google Workspace Support, Agent1
10:47 PM
Thank you. I am checking on that.
Google Workspace Support, Agent1
10:49 PM
Thank you for your patience. I see that this issue requires specialist assistance so, there is a Specialized Team who handles this type of issue. Please allow me some moments to transfer this chat to them so that they can have a deeper look into it and fix the issue, while I do so, I request you not to end the chat.

ME
10:49 PM
OK THX
Please wait. We will transfer you as soon as an agent is available.
Success!

_############### _
So tier 1 is sending me to tier 2 “specialized team”
Took only 9 minutes. Can’t complain.
####################
_Agent 2 _
####################

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
10:52 PM
Thank you for contacting Google Workspace Support. My name is Agent2 and I’ll be working with you today. While I read over your message, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
10:52 PM
Hello Pierre.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
10:53 PM
I see your emails are landing in Spam and your domain is blacklisted.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
10:53 PM
Please don’t worry, I’m here to take care of it and resolve it for you.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
10:55 PM
Would you mind helping me with the message header of the recently sent email?

ME
11:00 PM
I’ll try

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:00 PM
That would be appreciated.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:00 PM

  1. Open the email you want to check the headers for.
  2. Next to Reply, click More and then Show original.
  3. The headers will show in a new window, including fields like authentication results. To get the full message header, click Download original.

ME Introductions.eml (5.05KB)
## That’s me sending what the agent had asked
11:01 PM
This one for instance was in the recipient spam.

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:02 PM
Thank you for the message header, Pierre.

ME
11:02 PM
As you can see the recipient is with a unsw email
11:02 PM
This is a major university here in Australia. They use exchange AFAIK

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:03 PM
Yes, I’m checking on it.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:04 PM
Allow me 4-5 minutes while I check on this.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:09 PM
I appreciate your time.

ME
11:10 PM
Ok

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:10 PM
I’ve checked your account settings and see the email is delivered through SMTP server.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:10 PM
To fix the issue, you will need the add the IP address: 149.171.193.32 to SPF record.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:10 PM
I’ll guide you through the steps.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:10 PM
Will that be okay?

ME
11:11 PM
Thx for guiding me - but why isn’t this explained already in the existing documentation?

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:12 PM
My pleasure.

##### A strange smells becomes noticeable ####

ME
11:12 PM
Plus - the IP address you are giving me is most likely a dynamic address right ?

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:13 PM
Yes, it is.

ME
11:13 PM
So if it is a dynamic address, adding it to my SPF record will only fix the issue temporarily!

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:15 PM
The SPF auto analyses the IP address which we add in the SPF record and the email flow will not be interrupted.

### The smell is strong. But I can’t keep my breath too long. ####

ME
11:15 PM
?
Whatever. Let me know what to do.

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:16 PM
Please login to your domain host.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:16 PM
Locate your domain and click on Manage DNS.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:16 PM
Let me know once you are there.

ME
11:18 PM
All good

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:18 PM
Do you see TXT record with Value: “v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all” ?

ME
11:18 PM
YEp

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:18 PM
Please edit the record.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:19 PM
Replace the Value with: v=spf1 ip4:149.171.193.32/16 include:_spf.google.com ~all
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:19 PM
Then save.

ME
11:19 PM
OK done

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:19 PM
Perfect.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:20 PM
It may take 24-48 hours for the DNS changes to fully propagate.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:20 PM
Please be assured, the issue will be fixed.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:21 PM
I would also like to inform you that your IP address refreshes every 24 hours. So you need not worry about the blacklist.

##### Remembering this is Google Workspace Tier 2 ??? #####

ME
11:23 PM
Are you kidding me?
I just checked the IP you got me to add to the SPF -> it’s the IP of UNSW.
I am telling you that **many **of my emails are not received by **MANY **of my recipients because the google mail server is blacklisted.
And you are giving me a band-aid solution for 1 recipient
11:23 PM
I am not paying google workspace to send emails to 1 recipient.
11:24 PM
I am paying google workspace to provide me with PROFESSIONAL email servers that are not blacklisted by several major anti spam services

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:24 PM
I understand.

ME
11:24 PM
So if you do - why did you give me this fake solution to start with ?
11:26 PM
Is it google policy to trick their clients into believing they receive support for their issue when it is just a band-aid solution they receive ?

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:26 PM
This is a work around for as of now. However regarding IP blacklist, not to worry, the IP address will be changed within 24 hours.

ME
11:27 PM
I am telling you that MANY of my recipients have reported to me that my emails were in their spams.
Even recipients who have a gmail email address, and who are in my contact list, and with whom I had already exchanged email before
11:27 PM
This 24h is BS
11:28 PM
This has happened multiple times in the past month

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:28 PM
I’m checking with my engineer team. Allow me 2-3 minutes here.

ME
11:28 PM
Also, please send me a copy of this chat

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:28 PM
Sure.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:28 PM
Allow me 2-3 minutes while I check with our engineer team.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:31 PM
I appreciate your patience.
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:33 PM
Please open this help article: https://support.google.com/a/answer/60764
Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:33 PM
And update the IP address mentioned below at your fire wall.

ME
11:34 PM
What is this new BS? My firewall has NOTHING to do with the emails that are sent from Google server to my recipients’ servers!

###### What sort of quackery is that??? I can’t even believe what I am reading. Should I also buy oxygen-free speaker cables or burn or candle? #####

Google Workspace Support, Agent2
11:35 PM
Let me get you transferred to our specialized team who will be able to assist you. Please stay connected.

####### _
_ I think I have read the word specialized before _
_ ######

Please wait. We will transfer you as soon as an agent is available.
Success!

_################ _
_Agent 3 _
####################

Google Workspace Support, Agent3
11:36 PM
Thank you for contacting Google Workspace Support. My name is Agent3 and I’ll be working with you today. While I read over your message, is there anything else you’d like to add?

ME
11:36 PM
When the previous persons transferred me to you, it was supposedly the specialised team already!

########
Good on you, what a great start
########

Google Workspace Support, Agent3
11:37 PM
Hi, Pierre. Yes, it was already transferred to me.
Google Workspace Support, Agent3
11:37 PM
May I know the reason of your concern?

####
Ok eventually a crappy start.
Remembering this is Google ‘Tier 3’
####

ME
11:38 PM
You just wrote " While I read over your message" -> my concern is pretty obvious isn’t it?

Google Workspace Support, Agent3
11:39 PM
Can you please tell me more about the concern please.
Google Workspace Support, Agent3
11:40 PM
Do you have any problems with regards to your Billing? Because we are Billing Specialists.

ME
11:40 PM
WTF is this a joke?

Google Workspace Support, Agent3
11:41 PM
On behalf of me, apologies if the previous agent was re-routed to our Department.
Google Workspace Support, Agent3
11:42 PM
Let me double check the chat transcripts, again.
Google Workspace Support, Agent3
11:42 PM
Please bear with me, and I know how frustrated you are as of the moment.

ME
11:42 PM
Yes he did. I want to file a formal complaint for his attitude. He lied to me, served me some BS on a plate, then transfer me to the billing services ?

Google Workspace Support, Agent3
11:43 PM
No worries, we will file a complaint with regards to this one since this is mis-routed to our Department.

######
The root cause of my complaint is far deeper than just the misrouting.
I decided not to raise this point though for the sake of a still hoped-for resolution
######

ME
11:44 PM
I want a copy of this chat to by email, as already requested please :)

Google Workspace Support, Agent3
11:46 PM
Sure thing, Pierre. One moment please. Can I ask for 3-5 minutes to review.
Google Workspace Support, Agent3
11:48 PM
Since this is a Technical Issue with regards to your concern. Let me transfer you over to our Dedicated Support Team for you to assist with your Email Issues.

####
For context, before starting this chat I had already interfaced with half a dozen chatbot questions that had clearly established that my concern was indeed technical and related to my emails being flagged as spams by the recipient’s server.
So in something like 20 seconds with a bot, I was already at the most advanced point along my support case.
More than an hour in, 3 different persons had only managed to circle sideways in all directions without doing any better than the bot.
####

Google Workspace Support, Agent3
11:49 PM
Let me just create a complaint with the previous agent that you’ve chatted to.
Google Workspace Support, Agent3
11:55 PM
Just please stay on the chat while I’m reconnecting you over to our Dedicated Email Support Team.
Please wait. We will transfer you as soon as an agent is available.

##############
Agent 4
##############

Success!

Google Workspace Support, Agent4
11:56 PM
Thank you for contacting Google Workspace Support. My name is Agent4 and I’ll be working with you today. While I read over your message, is there anything else you’d like to add?

ME
11:56 PM
No thx

Google Workspace Support, Agent4
11:57 PM
Hello Pierre, Please allow me 3 - 5 minutes while i check on your previous chat
Google Workspace Support, Agent4
12:00 AM
Please allow me 2 minutes to check the previous conversations.
Google Workspace Support, Agent4
12:06 AM
Thank you for your time and patience.

ME
12:06 AM
OK

Google Workspace Support, Agent4
12:08 AM
The IP is Black listed by 3rd party but Google for every 24 hours it creates a Dynamic IP so the IP 209.85.128.0/17 will be fixed it is still under the process of getting this unfortunately unscrupulous spammers manage to use these servers and recipients will appropriately report the messages so from time to time Gmail servers get on to blacklists. Google monitors these and will have the issue resolved as soon as possible please wait for 24/48 hours.
Google Workspace Support, Agent4
12:09 AM
I will keep your case open for next 72 hours so in case you face the issue after 48 hours you can reply to email regarding this case ID so it will be delivered to me.

ME
12:10 AM
As you can see, the email I attached was from 21/8
12:10 AM
THe screenshot of the blacklisting is from today.
12:11 AM
This happened many times . e.g.:
12:11 AM

_############## _
Extrait of an email from earlier that month, from a friend with whom I had exchanged many emails already
####################

Axxxx Xxxxx
_ _
Tue, 2 Aug, 19:03
_ _
to me
Hi Pierre
Apologies for the slow response - just found your message in the spam box.
XXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Axxxx Xxxxx
axxxx.Xxxxx@gmail.com
Mobile: +61 XXX YYY ZZZ
On Mon, 18 Jul 2022 at 15:10, Pierre Lonchampt pierre@diapason.consulting wrote:
Dear Axxxx,
Hope you are well.
[…]message truncated

ME
12:12 AM
This was with a recipient using gmail!
12:12 AM
as you can see.
12:13 AM
What is the point of paying google workspace for email servers if Google can’t address this problem?

Google Workspace Support, Agent4
12:14 AM
I can understand the importance of the issue as it is affecting your email service.
Google Workspace Support, Agent4
12:14 AM
Google has no control over blocklist databases and cannot remove IP addresses from them directly. However, you can get in touch with these types of services in order to request the removal of your blocklisted IP address from their databases. This may be a temporary issue depending on how long the specific IP is on the blocklist.

ME
12:18 AM
But google has control over who use their email servers. Obviously if google use the same email server with the same IP address for too many users including spammers - then genuine clients are affected. And Google has all the capabilities to monitor the spammers using their service and banning them, instead of letting them affect their genuine customers.
12:23 AM
That’s supposedly the point of using a reputable paid service
12:23 AM
That was the whole reason I migrated to Google workspace from Namecheap email servers.

Google Workspace Support, Agent4
12:24 AM
I really understand your concern however have checked with all resources since the IP is blacklisted by a 3rd party in which we don’t have control on this. I also understand your idea of not using the same ip address to avoid this Issue.
Google Workspace Support, Agent4
12:25 AM
I request you to submit this idea as feature idea and with your help our Engineering team can consider it for future updates.

####
I had hoped that Google’s “all resources” would be a bit more than 4 under-paid under-trained persons. At this point the 2 hours of frustration have had the better of my mental health and it is time to come to terms with the fact that Google has no resources available to their clients who only sacrifice a monthly 2 figure number on Google’s altar.
Time to check Proton’s pricing I think
####

ME
12:25 AM
Ok sounds like we’re not going anywhere.
Please send me a copy of this chat, and I will probably consider a better email service :(
THX

Google Workspace Support, Agent4
12:27 AM
After the chat end you will receive a copy of this chat. You can submit feature ideas using the support article: https://support.google.com/a/answer/6284762