I have a question for all of you.
We had a few email addresses that were used since 1997. As many email addresses do, they eventually gathered a lot of spam. We discontinued using those email addresses, but when we did, we put an autoresponder on them.
The autoresponder did not include the original email so that it could not be used as a way to re-send spam messages. Instead, it informed the sender that they needed to use the "contact" form on our web site. The autoresponder also gave "More information about this message", informing the "sender" that they received this automatic response because either they themselves sent us an email, or because their address was used as the FROM address. The autoresponder also gave two methods for people to report any problems are abuses (telephone and direct web link), and lastly, we setup the server so that people would only get the autoresponse message once per day, regardless of how many emails our server received.
This worked well for a while, but recently my ISP began receiving complaints that this autoresponse was spam. Not too many complants (only two so far, from two separate people), and I don't think our ISP was ever blocked. But still, it made us nervous, so we discontinued the autoresponder, at least for now...
I realize that autoresponders can be a nuiscence, but still it does beg the question, are autoresponders ALWAYS considered to be "bad" in the eyes of Spamcop and similar organizations? Will an ISP eventually be blocked for something like a "on vacation" message?
In this case, something like an autoresponder is absolutely necessary, to let our legitimate customers know how to contact us. Also, it gave those who were victims of spammers using their emaill address as the FROM line a way to report the abuse (although it seems they would rather report it to Spamcop than using our methods).
In any case, I am wondering if we could turn back on our autoresponder under some condition -- some additional information that we would include or something like that. Or maybe we were already doing the right thing by not including the original message and already giving them a few ways to report abuses.
Would someone (preferably official) please let me know if there are boundaries to this type of situation?