Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 611983 times)

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CuriousParty

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I don't think that's how these programs work, though, or at least not all of them. My dad has one at one of his email addresses and I've had to do the same thing to reply to a question he asked me. I'm pretty sure I'd be on any list he creates of "approved" senders, but the program is just automatic.

If there's truly no way to deliberately indicate certain email addresses are safe, then that's just crappy programming and my opinion of the program and it's probable utility are even lower.

Ooookay, not trying to defend the utility of all programs here, I was just offering my experience since your seemed to take this so personally.  The way to deliberately indicate an email is safe is, as far as I can tell, to have the sender verify that the email is safe, which does take the extra step you (and I, and others) have been asked to take.  I see it as little different than the "type the code" boxes that you see that are supposed to weed out bots, obviously you see it as more of an imposition. Both valid viewpoints, IMHO.

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« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 08:53:48 AM by CuriousParty »

sevenday

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The point other posters are trying to make is this: If you email joebob@help.com to ask for help with something and you know joebob@help.com is going to be responding with the same email address... go in and add joebob@help.com to your approved list of email addresses.  That way whoever is at that address does not have to jump through that verification hoop just to answer the question YOU solicited.  If your program has no manual entry option for adding addresses, it's a pretty cruddy program and needs to be replaced with a more flexible, functional one. 

MissRose

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I work for an ISP, and deal with basic email issues.  Some of our customers do not understand that our junk filters will work better if people do things like add email addresses to the safe list and use the other options as needed.  Apparently, they must think we are to always let through certain things and auto block certain things.

o_gal

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The point other posters are trying to make is this: If you email joebob@help.com to ask for help with something and you know joebob@help.com is going to be responding with the same email address... go in and add joebob@help.com to your approved list of email addresses.  That way whoever is at that address does not have to jump through that verification hoop just to answer the question YOU solicited.  If your program has no manual entry option for adding addresses, it's a pretty cruddy program and needs to be replaced with a more flexible, functional one.

But there is an underlying problem here - you email joebob@help.com to ask a question, and you are expecting a reply from joebob@help.com so you add it to your email address white list. However, due to the way that a lot of web and email senders are set up, the email address you send it to, joebob@help.com, is a generic address. The actual reply is going to come from joe.bob.ctr@helpsysetemsinc.com, which you had no way of predicting. You can be as proactive as you want in adding email addresses to your white list, but if you can't predict where the reply is going to come from, there's nothing you can do.

The best thing to do is have a spam-catcher email without a filter that you use to email joebob@help.com, and forward any useful stuff to your regular, spam-filtering email.

CuriousParty

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The point other posters are trying to make is this: If you email joebob@help.com to ask for help with something and you know joebob@help.com is going to be responding with the same email address... go in and add joebob@help.com to your approved list of email addresses.  That way whoever is at that address does not have to jump through that verification hoop just to answer the question YOU solicited.  If your program has no manual entry option for adding addresses, it's a pretty cruddy program and needs to be replaced with a more flexible, functional one.
I understand that point of view, I just don't happen to agree that the use of verification programs, or the less-than-ideal use of verification programs (due to user or program limitations) is offensive.  Apparently other people do find it offensive, which is interesting information to have.

MariaE

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The point other posters are trying to make is this: If you email joebob@help.com to ask for help with something and you know joebob@help.com is going to be responding with the same email address... go in and add joebob@help.com to your approved list of email addresses.  That way whoever is at that address does not have to jump through that verification hoop just to answer the question YOU solicited.  If your program has no manual entry option for adding addresses, it's a pretty cruddy program and needs to be replaced with a more flexible, functional one.
I understand that point of view, I just don't happen to agree that the use of verification programs, or the less-than-ideal use of verification programs (due to user or program limitations) is offensive.  Apparently other people do find it offensive, which is interesting information to have.

I don't think I'd call it offensive, I just wouldn't bother jumping through those hoops. Like PeterM, I'd do it for work, because I'd have to, but in personal correspondence I'd find another way to connect with the person.
 
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wolfie

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The point other posters are trying to make is this: If you email joebob@help.com to ask for help with something and you know joebob@help.com is going to be responding with the same email address... go in and add joebob@help.com to your approved list of email addresses.  That way whoever is at that address does not have to jump through that verification hoop just to answer the question YOU solicited.  If your program has no manual entry option for adding addresses, it's a pretty cruddy program and needs to be replaced with a more flexible, functional one.
I understand that point of view, I just don't happen to agree that the use of verification programs, or the less-than-ideal use of verification programs (due to user or program limitations) is offensive.  Apparently other people do find it offensive, which is interesting information to have.

I don't think I'd call it offensive, I just wouldn't bother jumping through those hoops. Like PeterM, I'd do it for work, because I'd have to, but in personal correspondence I'd find another way to connect with the person.

I wouldn't even bother doing that - I would wait for the person to contact me again through a different means. If it is important to them to get the information then they can do it in a way that doesn't put a burden an me.

PeterM

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But there is an underlying problem here - you email joebob@help.com to ask a question, and you are expecting a reply from joebob@help.com so you add it to your email address white list. However, due to the way that a lot of web and email senders are set up, the email address you send it to, joebob@help.com, is a generic address. The actual reply is going to come from joe.bob.ctr@helpsysetemsinc.com, which you had no way of predicting. You can be as proactive as you want in adding email addresses to your white list, but if you can't predict where the reply is going to come from, there's nothing you can do.

In my case, and in many others, the reply will actually come from the exact same address the person sent the first email to. So adding that address to a safe list will in fact solve the problem. It won't work every time, granted, but if a person makes the conscious decision that extra effort should be expended in his email correspondence, I think he should exert as much of that extra effort as he reasonably can. If he white-lists every email address he sends to, but some of the responses come from different addresses, at least he's done the work for some of the people he deliberately chose to contact. That's when he's done all he can, given the restraints of the service he chose to use. Saying "I can't make it easier for everyone in advance, so I won't bother to do it for anyone" does not impress me much.

If he doesn't white-list the email addresses he sends to, he makes literally everyone he contacts by email work harder to reply to him than he's bothered to work to contact them in the first place. In my example, he's literally saying "I want help from you, but you have to jump through hoops to give it to me." Now, I was on the clock, so I did the extra work. If it were a personal email from someone I didn't know well, I wouldn't have bothered to make the effort, and I think that'd be a pretty common reaction.

Someone brought up being offended. Honestly, it's not as big a deal to me as my repeated postings would indicate. I just think it's an interesting situation and am enjoying discussing its ramifications. It does color my perceptions of the guy, though, and moves him into the "potentially annoying patron" category rather than the "just another patron" category occupied by the vast majority of the people I encounter at work.

PeterM

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I wouldn't even bother doing that - I would wait for the person to contact me again through a different means. If it is important to them to get the information then they can do it in a way that doesn't put a burden an me.

Yeah. I have to wonder what happens when someone with this sort of set-up contacts a potential employer, or a teacher, or someone who has information he actually needs but isn't obligated to give it to him.

Ceallach

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I wouldn't even bother doing that - I would wait for the person to contact me again through a different means. If it is important to them to get the information then they can do it in a way that doesn't put a burden an me.

Yeah. I have to wonder what happens when someone with this sort of set-up contacts a potential employer, or a teacher, or someone who has information he actually needs but isn't obligated to give it to him.

Oh yeah - I can assure you, if a candidate were to expect me jump through hoops like that they'd have to be pretty awesome in every other way for me to waste my time!   It would be eye roll and move on. 

It's not "offensive" but it's poor etiquette as it's requiring  the recipient to put extra effort into replying to you.  Essentially, it's saying "I don't want to have to screen my emails, so instead I'll make you notify me separately when you want to reply to me". 
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Slartibartfast

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I wouldn't even bother doing that - I would wait for the person to contact me again through a different means. If it is important to them to get the information then they can do it in a way that doesn't put a burden an me.

Yeah. I have to wonder what happens when someone with this sort of set-up contacts a potential employer, or a teacher, or someone who has information he actually needs but isn't obligated to give it to him.

I've seen several editors and agents say that people query them with novels they want published, but then have this setup.  More than one editor has stated on her blog that she never bothers if it's a rejection (meaning the author sits around waiting for months wondering what happened), and it strongly discourages her from requesting the full manuscript if she was at all on the fence about it.

MommyPenguin

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Specifically for PeterM's library situation, though, it may have been from an "unknown" email address.  At least, I know that I did virtual reference while I worked at the library, and the person is basically online chatting with you, and then they get a follow-up email sent to whatever email they logged on with.  But I'm not sure it would be clear, or that I'd even know what to tell the patron if they asked, for what email their reply would come from.  At best I might be able to give them a domain, in case they could put that domain on their safe list.  I don't know if Peter uses the same system, though, and this was also when I worked at the library back before my oldest little penguin was born, some 6 years ago, when it was fairly new.

PeterM

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Specifically for PeterM's library situation, though, it may have been from an "unknown" email address.  At least, I know that I did virtual reference while I worked at the library, and the person is basically online chatting with you, and then they get a follow-up email sent to whatever email they logged on with.  But I'm not sure it would be clear, or that I'd even know what to tell the patron if they asked, for what email their reply would come from.  At best I might be able to give them a domain, in case they could put that domain on their safe list.  I don't know if Peter uses the same system, though, and this was also when I worked at the library back before my oldest little penguin was born, some 6 years ago, when it was fairly new.

In this case the patron would have looked up the address to send his email to, either online or in one of the brochures we provide on the subject. Even if he clicked on the link online to start his email, all of those links display the entire email address. They're not just "Click here to send an email." And all of our replies come from the exact same address.

I'm guessing this was simple carelessness on the part of the guy who contacted me, and it's far from a big deal. The overall ramifications of this sort of service, though, those annoy me.

Dazi

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PeterM's email post reminds me of strange situation I run into from time to time at my job.  Someone will send me a inquiry request and ask me to call them at # provided...only when I call, I get the message "this subscriber is not accepting incoming calls".

What?!?! Then they call griping that you never got back with them. 

Same thing happens with addresses.  I'll get a fax that states something like "I've moved recently and never received my paperwork from your office".  That's it, no name, no address, no phone number, no reference#.  Drives me bananas.
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HorseFreak

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PeterM's email post reminds me of strange situation I run into from time to time at my job.  Someone will send me a inquiry request and ask me to call them at # provided...only when I call, I get the message "this subscriber is not accepting incoming calls".

What?!?! Then they call griping that you never got back with them. 

Same thing happens with addresses.  I'll get a fax that states something like "I've moved recently and never received my paperwork from your office".  That's it, no name, no address, no phone number, no reference#.  Drives me bananas.

I get that all the time! People call for information or to set up an appointment, but when I call back their voicemail is either full or not set up. I usually just toss those out since I don't have time to chase people all day. It's also frustrating when I leave a message that says, "...please call me back on my direct line at 555-555-5555," and they call back two hours later on the main line. It can take hours or even until the next business day for me to get a message like that since our receptionist can't forward calls. I gave you my cell number for a reason!