Problem 1 - RBL bounces from TWC and Comcast
This isn't Gazzin's fault, I know... it's brain-dead RBL management on the receiving end. Still, it could have been handled better by Gazzin's support staff. The first to answer the support request about the bounces contacted Time Warner and got the server off of their RBL, but didn't do anything about Comcast.
I replied, pointing that out. At that point, the first of the short bus guys took over, pointing me to an excerpt from Gazzin's log of RBL-based blocks of some of Comcast's IP addresses, and calling that the reason that I wasn't able to send to Comcast email addresses. Who the hell do they think they're trying to fool?
I tried again, this time emailing a different department and mentioning the badly handled ticket number as well as throwing in the fact that they were on the verge of losing a customer. That must have done the trick, because a level 3 person replied saying that he was going to look into it, and the next thing I know they're actually doing something about the problem.
Problem 2 - Mailing list not working
This one was Gazzin's fault. I do remember a mailing list I set up for the domain working that first evening last week but, after the adventure with getting Comcast to accept email from the server, it had somehow become a black hole, swallowing any email trying to move in or out of mailing list system.
The initial "short bus" response to the problem? They had limited the number of subscribers to 20, I had 23 at the time, and that's why it wasn't working. That doesn't explain why it didn't work when there were only TWO people on the list, though. I pointed this out, and got silence until getting in touch with the level 3 person mentioned above.
The mailing list problem was never fixed, though. Days of work on it, and it still wasn't working. I don't know if it's working even now.
In the end, I gave up trying to work with the host's IT staff, and put together my own solution for outgoing mail. My own server does outgoing mail rather well, and I have 3 different routing options depending on the sender or receiver, so all I had to do was set up authentication and point my scripts to send email through it. Problems solved.
I would just host the damn site myself, but where my server is located there isn't a large enough uplink to handle the traffic. They might also start charging me more if I start causing more traffic than I already do.