Bounce "credited" to sender, not recipient

A list owner account, which is also a recipient on their own and other lists, has been marked “unconfirmed” twice since May and our upgrade to v3.3.1, but the history on the owner/recipient account shows only bounces was to a different address (identical info on each below except date and subject):

Action: failed
Final-Recipient: rfc822;
Status: 5.0.0
Remote-MTA: dns;
Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550-5.1.1 <>: Recipient address rejected:
550 User unknown in virtual mailbox table

Content-type: message/rfc822

Return-path: <>
Received: from ourgroup by with local (Exim 4.89)
(envelope-from <>)
id 1dAOX8-0000py-NS
for; Mon, 15 May 2017 18:32:06 -0400
X-PHP-Originating-Script: 508:class.phpmailer.php
Date: Mon, 15 May 2017 22:32:06 +0000
From: "" <>
Message-ID: <>
X-Mailer: PHPMailer 5.2.22 (
X-phpList-version: 3.3.1

Is this a bounce rule issue on my part? Where should I look to correct it?

Thank you for any assistance you can provide.


It’s not clear from your description what’s going on.

You are sending from owner_recipient, and sending to real_bounce, and the bounce message says that the real_bounce address does not exist.

Yes. But, owner_recipient is the address being marked “unconfirmed” by bounce processing rather than real_bounce.

@jocraddock You didn’t show enough of the email headers in your first post. phplist uses the X-ListMember header to identify the subscriber.

You mentioned bounce rules. Is the unconfirmation being done by the consecutive bounces processing or by a bounce rule?

Also, so far as you can tell are other bounces being matched to the correct subscriber?

My apologies for not providing all needed; difficult to maintain privacy and know that I’m sending sufficient info. This is the first “issue” I’ve had with phpList. There follows the entire “header” box as shown in phpList.

The action to mark unconfirmed is a bounce rule: (User unknown|Unknown user|Unknown address|No such recipient|No such user|The email account that you tried to reach is disabled|Recipient not found|Recipient unknown|Invalid recipient|Address unknown|Recipient address rejected)

Other bounces are being processed correctly.

The only difference that is obvious to me with this situation issue is that the sender (the address being incorrectly changed to “unconfirmed”) is a list owner and a subscriber. The only two times the owner_recipient address has been incorrectly changed both resulted when a campaign was initiated by me (admin), putting the owner_recipient address in the from line (as requested/needed for situation) so that the campaign could be sent to two lists, one owned by admin and one owned by owner_recipient.

Return-Path: <>
Received: from
by (Dovecot) with LMTP id Ec8XNpl4Wll2FQAA6S2kpg
for <>; Mon, 03 Jul 2017 13:02:17 -0400
Return-path: <>
Delivery-date: Mon, 03 Jul 2017 13:02:17 -0400
Received: from mailnull by with local (Exim 4.89)
id 1dS4jp-0004ES-RP
for; Mon, 03 Jul 2017 13:02:17 -0400
Auto-Submitted: auto-replied
From: Mail Delivery System <>
Content-Type: multipart/report; report-type=delivery-status; boundary=1499101337-eximdsn-523866005
MIME-Version: 1.0
Subject: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 03 Jul 2017 13:02:17 -0400

Thank you for your attention.


@jocraddock In your first post, you didn’t appear to show all of the headers of the original email - the X-ListMember header is the one used to identify the subscriber. Can you confirm that the bounce does contain that?

You are right; I’m using a different interface (the “new” one) at one office, but not at the other. I copied the info from the body section.

My message of earlier today included the “entire header” section of the phpList interface regarding the bounce. I’m attaching an image. The circled area contains the address that bounced (it is an invalid address; I’ve since removed it from our list), but it was the address in the “from” line of the email that was marked as “unconfirmed.” I see that address is nowhere in the header section shown.

Thanks, and


@jocraddock You are still misunderstanding. I will try once more only. In your first post you showed headers of the orginal email that bounced. The headers stop with “X-phpList-version”. Is that literally all that are present, as there should be others specifically X-ListMember.

Yes, I can confirm that.

X-Mailer: PHPMailer 5.2.22 (
X-phpList-version: 3.3.1
X-MessageID: 251
Precedence: bulk

@jocraddock phplist uses the X-ListMember header to find the subscriber. It appears that it cannot find that header. Then it tries to find anything that looks like an email address and is also a subscriber and uses that for the subscriber.

Possibly there is something odd about the structure of that particular bounce which is causing this.