550 Die verwendete Absenderadresse gehoert nicht zu Ihrem authentifizierten STRATO Paket.

by Christoph Herold 16. November 2009 17:08

Today, one of my customers noticed, that the contact form on his site was not working anymore. Since nothing had changed for quite a while, I went to look, and it was actually so. A short check with the error returned from the SMTP mail library (PEAR_Mail) told me, the error was

550 Die verwendete Absenderadresse gehoert nicht zu Ihrem authentifizierten STRATO Paket.

For those of you who don't understand german, it translates roughly to "The used sender's address does not belong to your authenticated STRATO account." So I thought, no sh*t, it never has been, because I send the mails using the email address the user enters, so my customer can simply click "reply" in his mail program. This had never been a problem before, so why was it now. What complicated the matter even more, was that there is another form on the page, that also uses data entered by the user as the sender's address, and it worked perfectly well.

To keep things short: After tracing the tcp communication, I could not find any relevant difference. So, I tested sending a mail with a simple "This is a test" message. What can I say: It worked! Björn's an my guess is, that the STRATO mail server uses a spam filter and did not accept my mail due to its content. I removed some superfluous server data always submitted when sending a contact mail, and now things are working again. That error message, though, is really misleading, and I hope they change it to something more meaningful.

So, if anyone else has this problem, try checking your mails content. It might be "spammy" :-)



Outlook 2007 stationeries and image spacing

by Christoph Herold 14. December 2008 23:50

Today, I had to make a template for a mailing. I decided to create it as a stationery for Outlook, since this was the desired way of sending the mails. Not much to it, one might think. I created the HTML for the template (of course using the dreaded layout tables, since OL2007 went back to the stone age with its rendering engine), and copied it and the required images to the stationery folder. Having done that, the stationery showed in my list and I was able to create a mail using the template.

But what's this?! Were do the gaps in between the images come from?! And why are my shadows not aligned anymore?! Outlook simply went on and pratically destroyed my layout. I basically tried everything that came to my mind, trying to fix the gaps: modified paddings and margins using css, html attributes, added fixed widths and heights, nothing seemed to work. I even removed all the tables and simply placed two images after one another, no white space in between. Still, I got my gaps.

When everything seemed hopeless, I decided to simply send the mail the way it was. Guess what: everything is in perfect shape, when the mail arrives. No gaps, everything is aligned perfectly. I can even simply forward this mail, and it looks great in the editor. So the gaps only show, when you first create the mail using the stationery. Afterwards, everything is as it should be.

<rant>Now that's what I call a consistent user experience! Great job from the folks at Microsoft. I wasted a whole day trying to work around this bug.</rant>

And by the way, using stationery is probably not the best solution, since Outlook completely reformats your code and places all those unneccessary MSO* css styles in your mail's code. So if something goes wrong with your mail, you might consider NOT using Outlook to send it in the first place.

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Christoph Herold

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