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Have my emails fallen into a sinkhole?

(3 Posts)
BlogOnTheTyne Wed 19-Feb-14 08:05:52

So what's going on when someone sends you an email and has evidence that this has left their mailbox - but it doesn't arrive? This keeps happening to me and I'm losing work this way. I don't know if people are emailing, getting no response because I never receive their posts and then giving up. I only know that this is happening at all because of people telephoning to say they've not received a reply to their email to me - emails which I've never got.

I've got a system set up whereby work emails go to an email connected to my business website but to safeguard never missing/losing any emails, that email address is also connected to 2 separate other personal emails. So when I actually get a work email, I usually get 3 copies of it. I can also check work emails on a fasthosts site and also check the back ups on the virginmedia website - which is what I use for personal emails.

Yet, with all this in place, there are still people emailing - from a variety of email addresses and their emails never arrive - not even delayed.

Where might their emails be going to - a sinkhole in cyberspace? Why aren't they getting through, if they do actually leave their mail outbox?

Most of all, technically, is there anything at all I can do to ensure that I know someone has sent me an email?

Is there's anyone here with technical knowledge, can you help me?

prh47bridge Wed 19-Feb-14 09:44:45

Email is not a reliable communications medium. Most emails are delivered successfully but a proportion are not.

You say you have connected your work email address to separate personal emails. Those are not independent delivery routes. If an email fails to arrive at your work email address it will also fail to arrive at the personal addresses. To explain, imagine your work address is fred@abc.com. You set it up to deliver emails to fred@hotmail.com and fred@gmail.com as well. The sender composes an email to fred@abc.com and hits send. The email system finds the server for abc.com (your website) and delivers the email to it. The server for abc.com then puts it in the fred mailbox and also generates additional copies to go to hotmail.com and gmail.com. So if the email isn't delivered to abc.com it won't be delivered to the other addresses. The only way to get genuine independent delivery to multiple addresses is for the sender to send the email to all three addresses.

Some possible explanations (and sticking with abc.com as the domain for your emails):

- The spam filtering on abc.com is too strict and is filtering out messages you need
- Email is not correctly set up on abc.com and is being dropped, either by abc.com itself or by other servers that aren't happy with abc.com
- You are simply unfortunate and a proportion of your incoming emails are being lost

If the supplier of your business website allows you to control spam filtering I would turn it off and see if that helps. If that isn't possible or makes no difference you need to contact the supplier and ask them to investigate the issue. The more information you can give them about missing emails the better - sender, date, time, subject, etc.

Don't tell me you are on a free mail service?

If email is vital to your business get a proper paid for service with real technical support. They should then be able to provide logs showing whether it reached them and what happened to it after that.

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