email delays from Google

We have been experiencing delays / failures receiving email from domains hosted by Google and *only* domains hosted by Google.

This is happening to customers for whom we host the authoritative DNS servers. For some reason, Google is not able to look up the MX and/or A record *sometimes* from our servers.

Customers are getting an error like this:
DNS Error: 49391460 DNS type ‘mx’ lookup of <domain hosted with us> responded with code NOERROR 49391460 DNS type ‘aaaa’ lookup of <>. responded with code SERVFAIL 49391460 DNS type ‘a’ lookup of <>. responded with code SERVFAIL


In the above case, Google is saying they can't find our mail server. There is no AAAA record, so that part is normal.

However, we have other customers who are hosting their own mail servers or are using relay services such as Trend Micro who are also having a similar issue. The only thing these customers have in common is our DNS and the fact that Google is trying to send email to them.

I can query Google's public servers at and and they always give the correct answers, but it seems that internally, Google is unable to make these lookups. Reaching out to their support agents online, the agents confirm that the correct entries are in place and that *some* of Google's servers can't do the resolution resulting in sporadic email delivery. They suggest that we reach out to the DNS provider to find out why (Grrr)

We've also had reports from customers that the failures seem to be location oriented with western US emails being held up and eastern US emails coming through. I can't independently confirm that, though.

A full 100% of the email delivery issues have been Google hosted domains. It seems that every other ISP can do the lookups just fine, but getting in touch with someone at Google who can troubleshoot this is impossible for a small ISP like us.

If anyone can point me to somone at Google who could help me out, I'd be very thankful.

Trey Nolen

Trey, the bees behind the hive say:
  "Please open an issue in this system:"

From what I can tell there are other folk with similar problems so

some triangulation on 'what is actually wrong here?' is in order.