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I am getting this message when I send an email to a corporate email address from my google-apps account:

Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 5.4.1 Relay Access Denied (state 14).

Maybe it just means the address is bad, but if I try a definite bad email I get:

Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 5.4.1 @.com: Recipient address rejected: Access Denied (state 14).

Can anyone suggest why the slightly different responses?

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A relay error means that the destination domain is not on the permitted relay list on the SMTP server you are sending through. Were both emails in the same domain? – Paul Oct 19 '11 at 21:09
up vote 3 down vote accepted

550 Relay Access Denied is often a catch-all response for when mail is rejected, commonly due to falling into a spam filter.

Reasons could include actual spam detection (bulk mailing, or perhaps an overzealous spam filter setting), or a misconfiguration on your Google Apps domain settings where your domain's MX records don't match what IP the server is connecting from (seems unlikely).

I would definitely mention it to the mail administrator of your corporation. You may have uncovered a configuration issue that is also preventing a bunch of other people's email from arriving properly, possibly losing your company business.

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This could also happen if your exchange server happens to fill up with logs that have not truncated. If you have an application that does your back ups of Microsoft Exchange and those back ups fail then they won't truncate. Your server well essentially fill up with logs and you'll run out of Disc space and then your server will stop receiving / sending emails. Careful though: The reaction on our exchange server is not always the same; sometimes it will allow intra-emails and other times not. Sometimes after four attempts we can send an outbound but we cannot receive an inbound or vice versa.

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