Anybody here know about Email error 550: Service unavailable?


Active Member
Feb 20, 2007
This is possibly a question for another forum on another site, but given the number of tech savvy folk here, I wonder if anyone can help me out...

I’ve had an ongoing issue with a company of solicitors who misused my personal data. I’m chipping away at it, but they’re dragging feet and making it deliberately hard to gather all the evidence. Anyhow, the short story is that they claimed that my email wasn’t encrypted (which it is) and I would have to write a letter and post it every time I wanted to speak to them...

Then my email address seemingly got blocked by the solicitor dealing with it . I forwarded it to their sales department to see if I was blocked there, and of course I wasn’t. in England there is a governing body for data protection called ICO. I called them and within half an hour I got an email from the solicitor saying that their yahoo filter accidentally corrupted my email and it should work again now.

So my question to anyone who knows about email..... is there a way to show if they are telling lies from a log or something like that? Mailer Daemon returned the mail with loads of encryption or whatever that stuff is. If I could show that they were dishonest, I wouldn’t have to spend the next 10 years being harassed and can give the case to the ICO immediately.


Editorial Team
Nov 21, 2005
United Kingdom
While I can well believe they know every delaying and frustrating tactic and trick in the book to make you want to give up then knowing most in house emails and attempts at encryption* I can't get away from "never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity" just yet. Sales and actual fun stuff could also plausibly be walled off from each other and not share data (more secure you know). You might also try asking them if they have an email service they recommend as known as working for them, do your due diligence on it though (while they would be insane to try something there if their back is against the wall...) -- it might be a £15 a year job but eh.

*I am no spring chicken and have been dealing in tech for decades but the only faxes I have ever sent/been seen sent in my life were to lawyers and a pharmacy, data protection or verification both times being the reason and this was in more recent times as well. The often bizarre requirements for encryption types that they get made as a result then making life a thousand times harder than it has to be, though I have shied away from dealing with specifics here so I don't know what is required here (and it might be different to the gnupg stuff that you and I might use if we figured we needed something). That fax is somehow an acceptable thing is as odd to me as you might imagine; the hardest part about hacking faxes is how old it is and having to play to that, and a child with scissors, pritt stick and a potato can likely fake a fax where all I am and do would have a hard time facing off against a properly done email setup.

It might be time to get your own solicitor involved if you can afford that. If the ultimate goal is to hand it off to the ICO then it should not be too many hours, and they might have alternative remedies (while the ICO is a good goal there are also professional standards bodies) and abilities to construct a proper request, and know when people are yanking their chain. Collect all correspondence you have, and your overall complaint, and lay it out as best you can (raw form as well) if you want as well and that will reduce time. I don't know if there will be any professional ethics solicitors around you (it might even be something you can approach a relevant barrister yourself with but do check first on that one). is the authority governing professional conduct, and do be aware they changed their handbook late last year so you might be dealing with slightly different breaches of ethics depending upon the timeframe of events. They will also have more info on people you can speak to.

The 550 in and of itself probably does not mean too much, especially if they subscribe to a third party filter.
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