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Tom Muck's Blog: The never-ending email problems -- new ticket system in placeTom Muck's Blog

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The never-ending email problems -- new ticket system in place

Friday, November 19, 2004 12:26:24 PM

Email is a funny thing. You sign up for an address, pass out the address, and you can communicate with anyone else that has an email address. Or can you. . . .

Some of the problems with email are:

Spam. When you get a lot of spam it is hard to go through your email box and weed out the bad and read only the good. Frequently, you will end up wasting time reading the spam, or worse, throw out something that was meant to be read because the subject line made it look like spam. Also, spam filters are not 100% reliable because they will sometimes filter a good message as bad. There are spam services as well that add to the problem -- an online store will typically send out a confirmation message, but if you have a spam service set up with email verification, you may never receive the message.

Bad email servers. You can have a "good" server or a "bad" server. Some email servers will send mail to any address. Other servers will lookup the MX record of the mail server before making a connection to the server to deliver the message. Because of that, some servers will fail to deliver the message and will cause the message to "bounce" back to the sender. Which is good and which is bad? I'll let you decide, but if your email server is not sending an important email to someone because it has determined that the address is not good, you have a problem. Sometimes you can get the message through by simply sending it from another mail account (for example a Yahoo account.)

DNS servers. If the sending mail server uses a DNS server that is faulty, slow, or otherwise unreliable, the mail might not go through.

Full mailboxes. Some accounts limit your available space. If you have a 3 meg limit on incoming mail, and your trash can has 2.5 megs of old emails in it, you are limiting your mailbox to just enough room for a few spams and may not be getting your messages.

Why do I bring this up? Well, I have run into problems occasionally when someone makes an extension purchase or asks a question via email. With a purchase, the user will automatically get a confirmation email with download information in the email. Of course, if the email never gets there, they wonder what happened. So they send another email saying "where is my product?". When I answer that email, it will typically bounce back again. It's a vicious circle. I typically get responses like "Mailbox disk quota exceeded" or "The recipient name is not recognized" or "non-existant domain". Because of this, I've created a new ticket system to answer emails, tied into my contact page.

I can be contacted through the contact form at

Category tags: Dreamweaver

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