aohell-guy asks: "I handle the mail servers for a business that has 20% of our members using AOL. We regularly send out email that our members have agreed to receive. In AOL 8.0, it was possible to click a single message and report it as spam. You would be prompted to confirm the spam report, although no details explaining what happens with the report are given to the user. Through AOL's Postmaster site, it is possible to get in on the spam 'Feedback Loop,' where AOL will send you the spam reports it receives for mail sent from your servers. When you receive a report, you are supposed to immediately cease the sending of email to that AOL address. The only problem is, we have found that most of the time the AOL users are reporting our email as spam on accident! These complaints can negatively impact your ability to send email to AOL members. How are you handling the false reports?""In version 9.0, AOL made two incredibly stupid mistakes which make false positive spam reports skyrocket. First is they now allow their users to select multiple messages at once and report them all as spam. Second, when you hit the spam report button (which is located DIRECTLY next to the delete button), it IMMEDIATELY files the spam report -- there is no confirmation required. Sure, the AOL user can see they made a mistake and move your email back out of their spam folder...but the report is still filed against your server. Rack up enough of these reports, and you will not be able to send mail to AOL. We have had plenty of complaints come in, and we delete their accounts as they do -- except with our paying members. We ask them if they really want to cancel? In ALL cases but one, we have received replies stating it was an accident.
We have spoken to people within AOL that deal with the mail. (Amazingly, it is not too hard to speak with them if you are a business sending email to AOL users.) The ones we've spoken to are not happy with these changes in AOL 9.0, and admit they result in many false positives.
If you are sending a lot of email to AOL users, you will want to get in on their feedback loop ASAP, and also look into getting on AOL's 'whitelist,' which ensures that your mail will not be silently filtered into the bit bucket, as long as you keep your mail bounces and spam reports (ahem!) at a low level."