Robin Fundinger asked,
| I have the problem that bounced mails are not sent back to the sender. They
| only come back to the POP on our server.
That's where they should go.
| For example:
| We the the following forwarding:
| * (^TO|for)(_dot_)*monica(_at_)lewinsky(_dot_)com
| ! billy(_at_)house(_dot_)gov
| If ken(_at_)starr(_dot_)com is sending a mail to
monica(_at_)lewinsky(_dot_)com, it is forwarded
| to bill(_at_)house(_dot_)gov(_dot_) If the mail server of house.gov is
bouncing the mail, it
| is not forwarded to ken(_at_)starr(_dot_)com, as it would be correct.
No, that would be very, very wrong. It should be returned to the person
doing the forwarding. The current behavior are correct.
Let's call the sender Ken, the forwardee Bill (because that's what Robin
called them, except that Bill was "Billy" once), and, just to have a name,
let's call the addressee who forwards Ken's mail on to Bill Monica.
If the address that Monica is using for Bill is bouncing, Monica is the one
who needs to know it. Monica is the one who can turn off her forwarding
recipe until she learns Bill's new address or until Bill's mail problems are
corrected, and Monica is the one who can reinstate it the recipe when she
can get mail to Bill again.
Ken can't do anything about Monica's .procmailrc, and Ken didn't even send
a message to Bill.
If Ken gets a non-delivery notification that tells him that mail to
bill(_at_)house(_dot_)gov bounced, what can he do? He didn't write to
If he can see that the letter was routed to Bill by Monica, now he knows
what she is doing, which she may not want him to know. If Bill's site
doesn't return enough information to show that the original message was
forwarded through Monica (some don't return Received: headers, some don't
return text, and if Ken sent that letter to a large number of people
[including Monica], the text alone won't tell him which of those people tried
to forward it to bill(_at_)house(_dot_)gov), Ken can only scratch his head over
can't do a thing about fixing Monica's .procmailrc. Meanwhile, Monica, who
CAN fix her .procmailrc, doesn't find out about the problem because the NDNs
don't reach her.
| It remains in the POP account, where the procmail-forwarding is
That is exactly where it belongs. Monica, not Ken, is the one who directed
mail to Bill and what she, not necessarily Ken, thought to be Bill's address.
Ken sent mail to Monica. It reached Monica, so it should not be returned
to Ken. Monica sent it to Bill. It did not get to Bill, so it should be
returned to Monica.
| Is there any possibility to give it back to the sender?
Yes, it could be done, but it is the wrong thing to do. Undeliverable mail
should be returned to the party who sent it to the address that cannot
Here's an example: suppose you post to a mailing list and one member of the
list loses his or her account. Should the NDN for his or her copy of your
post be sent back to you? No, of course not. You can't fix the list's
subscriber roster. It has to be sent back to the list administrator.