Microsoft Hotmail blocking GMX mail for some in Europe

Some European customers of the free GMX Mail service have been reporting ongoing problems with GMX Mail-Hotmail interoperability.

Some European customers of the free GMX Mail service have been reporting ongoing problems with GMX Mail-Hotmail interoperability.

Every time Microsoft seemed to have solved the issue, it ended up recurring a day or two later, with GMX mail users claiming that they're largely unable to send mail to anyone with a Hotmail address. The issue was noted in the Windows Live Help online forums in late March and has continued to crop up throughout April. (When I searched the forums for "GMX," I saw previous reports of this same problem from late 2008, as well.)

I've asked Microsoft for updates a couple of times during the past two weeks about the GMX mail problems readers have been reporting. Last week, a spokeswoman sent me this explanation:

"Over the weekend, our systems and Windows Live Hotmail customers detected another increase in spam coming from GMX's network. In order to protect customers, Microsoft temporarily blocked some of GMX's IP addresses from sending mail to Windows Live customers. We have since removed the temporary block. Microsoft and GMX are working together to reduce and, ultimately, eliminate temporary blocks imposed on GMX's IP addresses due to spam issues. As we work through this process, mail from GMX customers to Microsoft Live Hotmail systems may again be temporarily blocked in the interest of protecting our customers. We sincerely apologize again for any inconvenience this may have caused."

(This was the same statement the spokesperson sent me a week earlier when I first contacted Microsoft about the problem, and officials subsequently reported the GMX issue was resolved.)

GMX Mail is a free webmail service provided by GMX (Global Mail Exchange), a subsidiary of United Internet AG. According to Wikipedia, the GMX FreeMail service is a sizeable one, with 10 million active users in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Given the ongoing reader complaints I've been receiving about this issue (along with requests to publicize it more broadly in the hope that the squeaky wheel might get some grease), I decided to post this item. Let's see if it helps....