Finding Incorrect or 'Bounced Back' error emails you sent that erred trying to reach a guest
Posted by Jeff Tweddale on 01 Sep 2015 10:42 AM

Some customers send Letters (such as Confirmation Letters, Group Contracts, Registration Letters, etc) to email addresses that aren't valid but don't receive a 'bounce back' notification.  They want to know 'Why?'

No one will really know with 100% certainty why and whether a bounced email will come back to you when emailed from our BookingCenter servers (or any email service). A 100% level of ‘guarantee is inherently non-guaranteeable due to the anarchist nature of the Internet.

But you can understand the dynamics:

First BookingCenter sends an email to an address, and it has a "Reply-To:" address built into it, which is the email address used in the Settings | Site Details field ( All email servers are supposed to adhere to this, as it's published in the RFC spec that any bounce back emails are notified to the "Reply-To:" email address. If there is no "Reply-To:" address, the rules state to use the "FROM:" address, which is also the email address used in the Settings | Site Details field.

This process is the normal behavior for a 'bounced email'. But there is no way to insure that the domain name (such as '') is adhering to the RFC rules. The best way to test for bounced emails, and how they will appear to you and your staff, is to send some from your BookingCenter system to unknown users at your own domain name (such as and see how the 'bounce back' works.

Remember, BookingCenter has no control over your email provider and how they route 'bounced emails' or 'spam' emails sent to unknown addresses on your domain. Nor do we have control over whether the RFC rules are being followed by the email servers you are sending incorrect emails to. But hopefully, this article will help 'shed light' on the issue and allow you to practice for this rare eventuality.


For properties that choose to use their domain based email, and have SPF enabled with a hard fail condition, we recommend they add an SPF record for our netblock .  

A sample SPF record if you didn't already have one defined could look like this 

v=spf1 mx a ip4: -all

Breaking this down this defines allowed senders as any of the MX records (inbound mail servers) for your domain, as well as the IP address of the root A record of your domain, and any server in our netblock.

If you aren't familiar with SPF we recommend you use a generator tool like that can pull your existing SPF record and allow you to make modifications. If you have an existing SPF record and aren't sure of what to change, you can open a support ticket providing the domain in question and our support team can assist you in determining what to add to the record.  Please be aware BookingCenter doesn't control the DNS for your domain, and cannot make those changes for you.

MyPMS currently does not support DKIM signing of emails.


Updating your SPF records involve changing your DNS settings. Depending on the company hosts or is the registrar for your website (i.e. GoDaddy, 1&1, etc), the steps below may differ somewhat, but are consistent.


  1. Login to your Domain and go to your DNS Records
  2. Click ‘Add a DNS Record’
    1. Often you will be presented with a list, such as the first screen shot (1_DNS_Record_List.jpg)
  3. Choose a TXT record (not SPF (TXT); second screen shot (2_DNS_Add_Record.jpg)
  4. In the screen shot example (3_DNS_Add_TXT_Record.jpg), enter the following:
    1. The Host Name will be blank
    2. The value will be: v=spf1 mx a ip4: -all
    3. TTL: We recommend an hour
    4. Click ‘Save’
  5. We would recommend waiting about an hour and then you can check your SPF and DNS records at:
    1. Final screen shot (4_DNS_Record_check_dns_tools.jpg)


 1_dns_record_list.jpg (126.97 KB)
 2_dns_add_record.jpg (118.91 KB)
 3_dns_add_txt_record.jpg (56.69 KB)
 4_dns_record_check_dns_tools.jpg (205.23 KB)
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