10,780 apologies

mtkang/Shutterstock
mtkang/Shutterstock
10,780.

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 chris@elliott.org were deposited into a queue, where they remained, unread and unanswered. (I use another address, elliottc@gmail.com, 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.

3 secrets for dealing with the scammiest industry on Earth

Nomad Soul/Shutterstock
Nomad Soul/Shutterstock
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.

It’s travel.
Read more “3 secrets for dealing with the scammiest industry on Earth”

When is a confirmation actually confirmed?

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.
Read more “When is a confirmation actually confirmed?”

Ridiculous or not? Form letters that fail

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.
Read more “Ridiculous or not? Form letters that fail”

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(Photo: Jos de Fil ippi/Flickr)

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