Although an ISP does provide email service, the email service provider a person may be using may different from that person's ISP. For sake of simplicity, I'll use the term ISP to represent any email service provider (though it's highly confusing to do so).
I'm one of the correspondents whose email to pwhaughey has bounced by pwhaughey's ISP. I don't blame pwhaughey's ISP. After all, they are using the only effective method against spam. (A rather arrogant statement designed to justify the raison d'etre of a spam block list company and to stifle any development of a better method.)
We all hate spam. We all want effective methods to stop spam. SpamCop's listing and removal process is significantly more fair than BlarsBL. The email server I used to correspond with pwhaughey was removed from SpamCop in 48 hours. I doubt it will ever be removed from BlarsBL who is an arrogant _____ out to block anyone and everyone on a whim (word directly from his website). BlarsBL won't listen to any innocent party affected by his BL unless that party chooses to pay $1000 deposit and a minimum of $500 at a rate of $250/hr. I'm sure my ISP has received the report from both SpamCop and BlarsBL and is working on resolving the problem. It would be expedient if these self-appointed spam police would provide some better reason to the affected party other than "your email server has been blocked for some mysterious reason that we can't tell you" and "don't ask to be removed before 48 hours because we're too busy to hear from you" (read "we won't get any money from you"). Again my only caveat is that my email server is automatically removed from SpamCop after 48 hours. I don't have any kind of hard evidence to give to my ISP to encourage them to remove the offending website (who also may be a victim of an accidental security breach).
Direct quotes from SpamCop's pages
...followed later with
The facts are:
SpamCop is used in production environments where legitimate email must be delivered.
Any warning to users is always vague and mysterious.
Here's the exact bounce message (masking the email server name and IP addresses because I don't trust you people to not be malicious):
As you can see, the email "bounced" back to me from pwhaughey's ISP. It gave a reason that it was blocked (see red above) and that SpamCop knows something about it. This is the first time I even heard of SpamCop. Naturally I started investigating. Apparently, my email server has been added to SpamCop's database somehow. The indication was that they really didn't know why it had been added and that they really didn't care. After 48 hours of no further reports, my email server would be automatically removed. In any case, it was futile to pursue asking to having my email server removed because SpamCop would ignore any requests within 48 hours of a last known report. I deserve a better explanation. I deserve a better recourse for investigation into how I could be mistakenly added to their database.
SpamCop introduced me to ORDB (open relay database). That website informed me that there are many such spam block list databases in existence. It provided me with a way to search all of them. The result of my lookup was that my email server has been listed on SpamCop and on BlarsBL. (Note that at the time of this posting my email server is no longer on SpamCop but is still on BlarsBL.)
BlarsBL's user website is confusing and insists that the confusion is my fault. (The blame always lies with the innocent by block list providers.) In spite of my confusion, I plod through all the links to get the information I need to properly jump through BlarsBL's magic hoops. I eventually decipher BlarsBL's cryptic mathematical jargon to learn that my email server is listed in the BlarsBL's database with a code of 127.1.0.33 (the 33 is the only meaningful number and corresponds to 32 for hosting a spammers website plus 1 for being a domain that sends spam). That's all fine. It certainly doesn't apply to my website. I don't even know how to find out how that applies to anyone else that might be hosted by my hosting provider. How can I even be sure that code is valid? It doesn't say "32 because my ISP is hosting xyzspammer.com" or "1 because xyzspammer.com is sending spam"). Why am I punished because my ISP allegedly is hosting a spammer? Why can't BlarsBL tell me which spammer is being hosted so I can complain directly to my ISP?
Then there's all that talk about how BlarsBL blocks an entire range of IP addresses. That's like blowing up an entire neighborhood because a kidnapper is found in one of the houses. Again... why am I being punished?
In all my research, I've noticed a few major problems with these self-appointed block list databases:
Email servers are blocked by IP addresses. Why can't you simply block mail.xyzspammer.com?
This entire category of self-appointed spam police have been secretly sneaking around behind everyone's back.
There's no detail records provided to someone like me who wants to know how my email server got blocked.
Reporting a problem to a block list provider is futile and may result in my email server being permanently blocked.
Other problems (which may only affect SpamCop and BlarsBL):
IP addresses seem to be added either randomly or on a whim.
There's no direct recourse for resolving the problem.
The user of an email server is declared guilty until proven innocent (and in BlarsBL's case even checking for innocence requires a $1000 deposit).
As you can read, I have far more issues with BlarsBL. Maybe BlarsBL is the only bad seed among you. Somehow I doubt it. SpamCop's pages are filled with arrogance and self-righteousness. The idea portrayed is "Block lists exist because of spammers. It's a shame that innocents get punished but shut the ___ up. We are protecting you. Go talk to your ISP. Maybe if they are good people they will acknowledge the problem and resolve it. In either case, we don't ____ care."
It wouldn't be so bad if I had a work-around while block list providers and/or my ISP fixes the problem. I checked the email server for my other ISP and they are listed as well. I've received spam from all kinds of sources. There may be no simple solution to the problem of spam. I know that this block list solution is not even a fair solution.
I've got one solution provided by my email client software. If the sender's name isn't in my address book, drop it in my suspect folder. This has been my best defense against spam. Until there's a better method, this is the only method I want. At least I get to choose whose email gets through.