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General Chat Thread, Can we rely on email anymore? in General; More and more I am finding myself having to send faxes to people because emails are not getting through. The ...
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    limbo's Avatar
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    Can we rely on email anymore?

    More and more I am finding myself having to send faxes to people because emails are not getting through.

    The is a whole range or reasons for the emails not getting through, but the vast majority of them are because of various spam filters at different places in the chain.

    I cannot even email our LEA reliably - and they control the only spam filter between us and them. They cancelled some work they were meant to be doing for us over Easter because I did not reply to their email, which it turns out they filtered because of dubious content.

    Our main supplier gets no emails because they use messagelabs who are filtering everything our LEA send out, regardless of its content.

    Last year we could not send any emails from the LEA to any AOL address (which included several of our governors) because they had decided that they might be a spam server.

    It would not be so bad if it was consistent - we had an email that was sent to a bunch of our staff from an external email address - it was the same email they were sent (as in they were all copied in on the same email, not seperate emails to each of them) and some it filtered, others it did not with no difference in their personal settings.

    I had a message from the LEA and my reply was filtered, but not because of my added content, but the original content of the message they sent me - so it worked one way and not the other.

    Although a lot of the examples I have given are related to our LEA, I have many others from other accounts that do not involve the LEA.

    Does anybody else have this kind of problem, because it is getting to the point where I do not use emails for anything important - and it is all out of my control!

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Can we rely on email anymore?

    Losing email is a cardinal sin. At worst you should bounce mail. Your LEAs mail system is fundamentally flawed. Tell them to fix it.

    If required I shall pull out the relevant sections of the mail RFCs.

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    Re: Can we rely on email anymore?

    It drives me mad as well

    Someone will send me an email and sometimes I'll get it instantly, other times half hour later.

    Whats worse though is we constantly have staff who come and blame us for them not receiving emails when we really cant do anything

    And to make it worse, while we used to be able to go on the LEA support site and view what had been caught in the spam filter, so we coulc at least ask for it to get unblocked, they decided to remove that.
    So now we have to email them and wait 2 days for a response, then another 2 days for them to let stuff through

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    Re: Can we rely on email anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    Losing email is a cardinal sin. At worst you should bounce mail. Your LEAs mail system is fundamentally flawed. Tell them to fix it.

    If required I shall pull out the relevant sections of the mail RFCs.
    Aaahhhh the joys of being in BGFL world

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    limbo's Avatar
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    Re: Can we rely on email anymore?

    @Geoff - it is not just the LEA though, my supplier emails are getting bounced by messagelabs - it is possible that they are sending a bounce, and that in turn is getting filtered so it does not get through to me.

    It also seems to be general practice not to send bounce messages to spam by many ISP's - which is great as long as it really is spam.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Can we rely on email anymore?

    This is true. However you then should either have the mail tagged in some way (usually in the subject line) as spam and sent to you anyway. Or have a separate mail box you can check that has all the mail in it that was classed as spam.

    More sensible setups also have email aliases set up where you can send mail as spam or ham to further train the mail filter.

    Anyway, this doesn't change anything. Your LEAs mail system is still broken by design.

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    limbo's Avatar
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    Re: Can we rely on email anymore?

    @alan-d - I called the LEA helpdesk up to chase this today, and at the same time got updated on the other calls I had open - most of which I had forgotten I had got open because they went back so far. We have found work arounds instead.

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    limbo's Avatar
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    Re: Can we rely on email anymore?

    @geoff - I know that, you know that - getting them to realise it is no mean feat. But now they are a joint commercial venture with Capita - then our problems are going to be solved, aren't they? Why are you laughing? Come one seriously, get up of the floor! Look at Capita's track record - it is unrivalled, I mean you have got SIMS for starters. Oh - now I get it. Ah. Now where is that fax machine catalogue.

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    Re: Can we rely on email anymore?

    We have the exact same problem down here. So much email gets filtered it is unbelievable. For example, confirmation emails from Apple were filtered and I asked them to whitelist the address but was told they wouldn't as 'Apple sends spam'.

    I am been driven closer and closer to considering sorting out our own ISP and our own email server. There would be some disadvantages but the advantages are piling up quite rapidly.

    Our LEA stores filtered emails for 5 days, and take anything upto 2 days to reply to a request to check the filters for something. So if you only find out that you are missing something the day after it is sent you could lose it by the time they check the filters.

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    limbo's Avatar
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    Re: Can we rely on email anymore?

    Just heard from the LEA on the messagelabs problem which is now resolved - but there is a twist.

    They were already looking into it when I logged it last week, and now I have found out why. The LEA network (bgfl) uses one email solution and the Corporate Council network uses another. The Corporate network uses messagelabs to provide their email, which is the same ISP as my supplier (can you see where this is going) so nobody at the LEA could email anyone on the Coroporate network because messagelabs had blocked the entire domain as a spam source.

    But this, it turns out, is a good thing because Messagelabs will not discuss this kind of problem with anyone that is not a customer - the LEA were able to ask the Council to investigate it for us with Messagelabs. Quite how you are supposed to get yourself of their blacklist if you are not a customer I do not know - rely on the person you are trying to send the emails to I guess, but depending on how important you are to that person they may not always bother.

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    Re: Can we rely on email anymore?

    Quite how you are supposed to get yourself of their blacklist if you are not a customer I do not know
    Normally they charge a fee. I believe this is commonly known as extortion.

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    limbo's Avatar
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    Re: Can we rely on email anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    Quite how you are supposed to get yourself of their blacklist if you are not a customer I do not know
    Normally they charge a fee. I believe this is commonly known as extortion.
    Here on to be known as the spam scam

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    Re: Can we rely on email anymore?

    We have the same problems here example:

    Monday no one in the school can email the LEA NDR

    #5.7.1 smtp;550 5.7.1 This system is configured to reject mail from xx.xx.xx.xx (DNS reverse lookup failed)

    We run our own mail server and our domain hosting has its MX records pointing to our external IP, the LEA point the External IP through the network to our internal IP as we use their broadband.

    Now I come in on Tuesday and we can email fine to the LEA again.

    This happens all the time on and off we also get the same problem emailing Portsmouth Uni.

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    Re: Can we rely on email anymore?

    Try emailing anyone at @defford-cum-besford.worcs.sch.uk like one of our teachers is doing....

    Im sure you can all guess what happens and why lol!

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    Re: Can we rely on email anymore?

    Apple send SPAM? ooh ... I would love to see the email that says that. I am sure that Apple would too.

    Spam should be appropriately tagged and released to the user to filter or delete as they wish.

    People should not falsify their email addresses, eg tonyREMOVEMEsheppard@lodgeparkIHATESPAMtc.com. People should have an additional account that they may use for on public spaces (forums / newsgroups) if they worry about harvesting.

    And I hate ... truly hate ... even so far as to detest ... people who only ever put spam@spam.net as their reply email address ...

    We can rely on email. Get your RBC to allow you to manage your own filters so you can check for false positives (and just plain out of the box fsck ups!).

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