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Branded Address - Rejected Emails

THE SYMPTOM

  • The email generated from the FaceToFace module were being rejected by our mail server with a reason of SPF fail
  • Although the sender email address had been changed on the Face-to-Face admin page (https://siteurl.clcmoodle.org/admin/settings.php?section=modsettingfacetoface) the emails were still being rejected by our mail server
  • A specific peculiarity was that the rejection notice was being sent to john.doe@organisation.org.uk, even though the sender email address was noreply@charitylearning.org

THE ISSUE

  • Even though the Face-To-Face sender email address had been changed, the email header still had john.dow@organisation.org.uk as the address - see the message header below
  • The Face-To-Face admin setting only changes the From name NOT the sender email address
  • organisation.org.uk may have an SPF record to ensure that only authorised emails are sent from this address
  • As the CLC Moodle server IP address is not in the SPF record, the email was being rejected with a hard SFL fail
  • As the CLC Moodle servers use a dynamic IP address, it would not be possible to add it to the SPF record

THE RESOLUTION (SHORT TERM)

  • We can change the email address on the support record to noreply@charitylearning.org
  • Emails are now being sent from this address
  • As there is no SPF record for the charitylearning.org domain, it only comes back with a soft fail and therefore gets through our spam filter


This is not a great long term solution as we'd really like the support contact address to be a live address. The longer term solution would probably be to set up an new address that can be used to handle support calls. The other alternative would be to figure out a way to get the moodle site added to the organisation.org.uk SPF record. However, as there is no immediate need for this it'll probably be left as it is. 

EXAMPLE MESSAGE HEADER 

Delivered-To: phil@organisation.org.uk
Received: by 10.112.20.11 with SMTP id k3csp1901305lbe;
       Tue, 23 Feb 2016 09:17:58 -0800 (PST)
X-Received: by 10.28.140.202 with SMTP id o193m420569887wmd.102.1452344877056;
       Tue, 23 Feb 2016 09:17:57 -0800 (PST)
Return-Path: <john.dow@organisation.org.uk>
Received: from webnode.localdomain ([162.13.190.190])
       by mx.google.com with ESMTP id i10si40788760jmc.50.2016.02.23.09.17.56
       for <phil@organisation.org.uk>;
       Tue, 23 Feb 2016 09:17:56 -0800 (PST)
Received-SPF: fail (google.com: domain of john.doe@organisation.org.uk does not designate 162.13.190.190 as permitted sender) client-ip=162.13.190.190;
Authentication-Results: mx.google.com;
      spf=fail (google.com: domain of joh.doe@organisation.org.uk does not designate 162.13.100.100 as permitted sender) smtp.mailfrom=john.doe@organisation.org.uk
Received: by webnode.localdomain (Postfix, from userid 48)
                id C41832035A; Tue, 23 Feb 2016 17:17:56 +0000 (GMT)
To: "Test User WV" <phil@organisation.org.uk>
Subject: Course booking confirmation: Day Zero Induction Training , 2:00 PM-5:00 PM, 24 December 2016
X-PHP-Originating-Script: 0:class.phpmailer.php
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2016 17:17:56 +0000

J
Josh is the author of this solution article.

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