UCEPROTECT-Network Spam List, Is This Extortion?

JVF has never heard about UCEPROTECT until now. Their practices are bordering on extortion. Ourselves, as well as others in our same situation, feel that a class action lawsuit should be brought against them. Their method of blocking the entire ISP’s IP range just because of a similar users IP is unacceptable and against every rule in the spam book. Below you can see the hoops we have been jumping through to get our IP address removed from their blacklist.

JVF Consulting recently upgraded our dedicated server to Liquid Web and was assigned a new IP address. After migrating everyone over one of our customers noticed their emails were bouncing back from an email address that he was normally able to send to. To investigate the reason behind this we did a quick blacklist check using mxtoolbox. As you can see in the screenshot below our IP address is listed on 11 out of 118 known blacklists.

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Of course we were instantly interested in removing our IP to fix our clients email issues. We visited the website we were directed to, and from the first impression you can tell they’re kind of shady and definitely not located in the USA.

UCEPROTECT is just another DNS blacklist. They track IP addresses possibly involved with spam so email server administrators can configure their servers to block email messages. We entered our IP address and ran a scan to see if in fact our IP address is really listed. The results below show that our entire IP range is on their list! Of course this is not due to us, but more than likely someone with a similar IP address. Thanks to UCEPROTECT’s policy they block the entire IP range of /24 and /16 networks with their Level 2 and Level 3 lists. Simply said, JVF Consulting is getting punished by UCEPROTECT because of somebody else’s spam. This is ridiculous!

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OK, so we’re listed on their blacklist, this is not the first time we have had to remove an IP address we manage that has been incorrectly added to a blacklist, so what is the process? As you can see in the screenshot below, they want us to pay 150.00 € Euro’s (EUR) to process our request and remove our IP address. That’s almost $200 dollars! This is totally unacceptable, and quite possibly illegal! We are aware that some IP addresses are definitely more suspicious than others, but you wouldn’t want to filter mail from them without a little further evidence (like seeing some spam from them).

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After further reading UCEPROTECT suggests that we should change our ISP. Why would we ever switch from Liquid Web, they’re by far the best hosting company on the planet. If we don’t want to cough up the $200 to be removed is there another option? Supposedly there is, UCEPROTECT Network claims a 7 day waiting period for removal of blacklisted IP addresses, but we have be waiting for ours to expire for months now. The problem with this situation is that there is no indication as to when the blacklisting began, or when the 7 day ban began. UCEPROTECT does have an adequate IP removal process and their contact form is no help since they will purposefully ignore you and ban your IP if you request help with removal. These are direct quotes taken from their contact us page. “I know that my IP will be listed for further 7 days because of abusing the contact form if i ask for removals here!!”

After this experience we feel that independently operated black lists should not be taken seriously, especially this one. I have submitted an email to them requesting free removal even though we risk them adding us to their blacklist for an additional 7 days. I’m still waiting on a response, so when or if we have any news or updates to this situation we will keep you posted.


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