Sometimes, the most effective emails are the ones you don’t send at all. “Don’t send that email until you’ve read this. Seriously, don’t.”
Gavin Sullivan’s parents are missing four months worth of emails, and they think Comcast is to blame. What should they do?
“Four months of emails are MIA — what should we do?”
I’ve combed through more than 10,000 emails trapped in a queue and responded to every one.
For those of you following along at home: I haven’t been getting all of your messages. Since January, some emails were landing in an unchecked “in” box instead of getting forwarded.
Yeah, it’s pretty embarrassing.
You’ll never believe it, but I’ve managed to sift through all of the June and July emails this weekend. And I haven’t thrown my laptop out the window yet.
The Readers Digest version so far: Since January, 10,000 emails have been stuck in a digital limbo. It’s a mother lode of messages – everything from requests for help from consumers to hate mail.
The most embarrassing email? That would be the one from my sister in Phoenix with pictures of my newborn niece. I’m so sorry I missed that one, Aimee. And a very belated thanks for sending snapshots of the new baby. She’s a cutie.
“I know what you sent me this summer”
It took the better part of this weekend, but it looks like I’ve sorted through my September mailbag. And I found a few surprises.
For those of you just tuning in, one of my email addresses experienced a total malfunction, holding more than 10,000 messages in a queue since January. I explain everything in this post.
Of course, there are numerous other ways of reaching me — social media, my primary gmail address, [email protected], or phone. But often, people assume a single email always gets to me. Sadly, technology can sometimes let you down.
“A few shockers in my September mailbox”
That’s how many emails you’ve sent me since Jan. 1. It’s 2.4 GB worth of feedback, problems, story tips and criticisms I didn’t see — until today.
Thanks to a mail server glitch, any messages sent to [email protected] were deposited into a queue, where they remained, unread and unanswered. (I use another address, [email protected], which experienced no outages.)
How did it happen? It’s really hard to say. My webmaster has assured me that all the emails were being forwarded to my primary address, and had received a verification from his Google Apps account. Apparently “verified” doesn’t actually mean verified to Google.
(For those of you who are wondering if anyone warned me my email wasn’t working, they did. Repeatedly. But for some reason, Google always forwarded my own test emails to me without a problem, leading me to believe the problem was on the other end. Thanks, Google!)
Over the next few days, I’ll be responding to each email, offering my personal apology and asking if there’s anything I can do to help. I’ll assure them that I wasn’t ignoring them.
Not to belabor the point, but I read every email I receive. I respond to all of them.
For future reference, I have a form on my site that always gets to me. If for some reason I don’t respond to an email, use the form or call me directly at (202) 370-7934.
I’m sorry for the breakdown. It won’t happen again.
When it comes to email, which industry do you trust the most?
If you guessed social media, congratulations. It topped the latest Agari Email TrustIndex, which measures the adoption of essential email authentication standards across several industries. It revealed the pains to which social networking companies like Facebook and Twitter go to prevent fraud. Given that these online communities are built on trust, no one was really surprised.
But how about the lowest score? That didn’t come as a shock to me either, since I spend a good part of my consumer advocacy practice swimming in its waters. But it might surprise you.
When Lefteris Michailidis didn’t get a confirmation email from Priceline for a recent three-night hotel stay in London, he thought his bid wasn’t accepted.
“When is a confirmation actually confirmed?”
I‘ve waged a long and lonely campaign against mindless form letters sent to customers by uncaring corporations.
It looks like I finally have some company.
“Ridiculous or not? Form letters that fail”
Every morning, there’s a lively discussion online about travel and consumer advocacy. And unless you’re signed up for my free daily email newsletter, you’re missing it.
It’s easy. At 9 a.m. sharp, you’ll get a link to the latest story.
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(Photo: Jos de Fil ippi/Flickr)