Monday, August 10, 2009

Microsoft Junk Mail Reporting Program (JMRP) Sucks!

Anyone else frustrated with Microsoft's Junk Mail Reporting Program (JMRP)?

It's a feedback loop that lets legitimate email senders receive junk mail reports from email users.

Well, that's how it's supposed to work.

We have been on this feedback loop for years now, and our company sends only legitimate email that our subscribers specifically request. As any mail sender knows, you can't avoid a few people each day that hit the "Report Spam" button for your email rather than "Delete." (Usually it's an accident since they put the buttons so close together, and don't tell them what a negative impact the Report Spam button has in the first place.)

So this JMRP program is supposed to solve this. You get on this program, and Microsoft will forward any spam reports to you for your email, and you can unsubscribe the user. Perfect!

Unfortunately, Microsoft routinely fails to send all the reports to us. If someone is reporting us as spam, and we aren't alerted to this, how can we unsubscribe the user? Now we're being punished for the spam report that we seem to be ignoring, because we're not getting the report in the first place!

We have confirmed this is happening by reviewing example reports Microsoft shows for us in their web interface (called SNDS -- "Smart" Network Data Services). We routinely see junk reports for emails that were never sent to us. We've even researched our mail server logs to make sure that no attempt from Microsoft was accidentally rejected or not processed. Nope. Everything is fine on our end.

Within a few days, our 'level' on JMRP (in the "SNDS" interface) shows as yellow or even red, even though our email routines have not changed one iota. This must be due to these missing reports.

It gets worse. When we've tried to explain what's happening, no one at JMRP gets it. Either they get confused and think we aren't on the feedback loop yet, and send us to the 30 part form that subscribes you to the program, or they simply do not get it, and I have to explain the problem again. And again. And again.

This time I thought it was different -- we actually got someone to repeat back the problem to us as if they understood it (after only 5 or 6 emails back and forth). AWESOME right? Nope. The next email we received was someone saying now they understand the problem and are doing research to help us fix it. What questions do they ask us to fill out (again)? Oh, the same 30 part questionnaire you fill out when you join the JMRP program.... nothing at all that would help them actually figure out what is wrong on their end.

I lost it at this point and berated the support drone for failing to grasp the problem. What do I get back? A response from a different drone saying, "I'm sorry you're [insert totally incorrect description of our problem here]." This is after there must be a paper trail a mile long of me repeatedly explaining the problem in very simple terms:


It never reaches anyone with a clue. And if it does, that person is never to be heard from again.

So we are stuck with thousands of our subscribers not receiving email from us that they want.

I understand fighting spam is a top priority for Microsoft, but the system they've devised is routinely blocking non-spam email from a company like ours, that has been sending only legitimate email for 15 years now, a company that is jumping through every single hoop they hold in front of us. What good is this system?

If you have any complaints about JMRP or the SNDS system, please post them as comments here. If Microsoft wants to contact me, please leave a comment and I will contact you in whatever way you wish.

Right now, JMRP is a big fat failure. It's worse than a failure, people actually think it's working, and it's seriously damaging the ability for legitimate senders to get through.

P.S. My favorite part of JMRP is the SNDS web interface. Check out the unreadable header, complete with nearly invisible white navigation links laid over a light blue background. You can just about make out "View Data," but I defy you to read the rest of the links:


fredp said...

JMRP program is a shame for internet industry. It is everything but profesionnal tools.
What Microsoft is doing is a big amateurism. Everyone can have its business down due to a malicious competior who genertae fake reports.
They should take the security and spam problem more seriously !

On my hand a complaint will be filled again MSFT. What they are doing is compltetely illegal ! They do not have the right to block, delete private conversations. It is in the laws.

I asked them maybe 10 times, give me one single element wich can make you believe my emails are spam. No answer. No answer ! They don't ! My emails are considered as Ham by spamassassin with a score of 0.7 / 5 !!
My emails pass all the test (dkim, domainkeys, spf, senderID ) and are PASS.


Anonymous said...

I have advised all of the users of my websites to avoid MSN and hotmail accounts since they will not have an adequate user experience. I think we should gather enough people to start a class action action against them. Their arrogance is incredible there actions is restraint of trade and they should be held accountable. Anyone interested in seeing if we can get enough people to file a class action. I can be reached at

Anonymous said...

We had a user account get hijacked and send thousands of spam email which got us on Hotmail's "list"... we were able to control the outbound spam pretty quickly, but our IP is now identified as a spammer. What upsets me the most is that they accept the email, but never deliver it! So my legitmate senders think they are sending email and then complain to me that it is never being delivered. We are a university that communicates with potential students who have hotmail accounts.... I hate hotmail now.

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rvance said...

We have also been sending legitimate email to clients at their request for over 9 years. We do not have any way to opt out of a mailing list because we do not use a mailing list. All emails are to individuals.
Microsoft fails the Turing test. It is impossible to reach a human with any intelligence.

Anonymous said...

I have had the same problems with Microsoft blocking Emails for no good reason.

We are trying to operate a high quality website but due to Microsoft blocking emails people have requested it makes us look like idiots. The only idiots are Microsoft.

We have tried to talk to Microsoft but we hit a brick wall every time.

After months of trying to comply with Microsofts stupid rules we are still having problems.

Unlike Microsoft we don't have time to waste on this rubbish.

Email Spam Protection said...

we cant stop this kind of things....

Anonymous said...

I have a similar problem.
I've been accepted into the program multiple times and never sent the link to digitally sign the agreement.

Now SDNS is flagging legit email.
HELLO... If I don't know somebody reported spam, how can I blacklist them?

Anonymous said...

Same here. Come on, Microsoft. Please sort this out - I haven't even had the sign-up form through yet!! You are stopping our mail arriving, but not providing any tools to allow us to see why.