How often do emails get 'lost'?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Jeromino, Jun 15, 2003.

  1. Jeromino macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    #1
    This is one of those things that always intrigues me..

    Ever have a friend/significant other/acquaintance/coworker report that they didn't get your email? Sometimes it's simple:

    Person A sends file/memo in an email to person B, tells person B in... person
    Person B reports back, via email, that no such file/memo ever got there

    And sometimes it can be dramatic:
    Person A sends critical message via email because person B can't be reached at the moment. Message may have important ramifications in one or more spheres of person A's life. (In other words, it's important.)
    Person B fails to respond to critical message, forcing Person A to either call/contact/send another email, some time later. Person B reports "I'm sorry, but I never got that email."

    A few times in my life, I've seen these situations occur, over things of various importance. Sometimes they occur in those lovely situations where both the chosen medium and the number of successive contacts are vitally important to the scenario. And so, I was thinking about it today and I'm wondering how many of you have experienced these types of things, and if anyone can explain the process of an email getting lost, what the percentages are, and what the balance of human error/computer error can be.

    Fortunately I'm only musing right now. But maybe it'll provide some of us ammunition the next time we hear "I didn't get it." ;)

    -Steve
     
  2. cc bcc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2001
    Location:
    nl
    #2
    It happend to me once, I sent a mail that didn't arrive. I'm still not sure if the recepient was telling the truth.. It was quite important..

    On another occasion someone sent me a mail that I didn't get. It took about 3 days for him to get the mail back with an "unable to deliver" error message. It had a large attachment, probably too large. It was strange though that it took so long to bounce back. I'm sure that this was true, he's a friend.
     
  3. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #3
    E-mail by its nature can't just get "lost," there has to be a server error at one end or the other. It doesn't vanish into the ether after being sent from the outgoing server, it either doesn't make it out or the incoming server doesn't get it in.

    E-mail is designed to survive nuclear war.
     
  4. cc bcc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2001
    Location:
    nl
    #4
    Does that cover MS Outlook screwing up halfway downloading the email? :D
     
  5. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #5
    Funny it can survive nuclear war but not Microsoft's vulns.
     
  6. cc bcc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2001
    Location:
    nl
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #7
    If somebody, a company, etc. is using spam filtering and the sender ends up in a black listed domain -- there's a chance that the e-mail will get nuked at the receiving end as spam, after all it's coming from a spam provider.

    And depending on the way somebody fills out the subject title, another form of spam subject title filtering could be triggered. ie, using some of the common keywords or ALL CAPS in the subject.

    So somebody sending a URGENT MUST READ e-mail could mean it'll get nuked without ever getting read.
     
  8. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #8
    unless you're using Apple's Mail, in that case that won't happen especially if you've gotten tons of legit e-mail from that one person. However it will get trashed if you use Outlook :p
    depends on the spam filter :)
     
  9. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #9
    how about very very malicious viruses and stuff like that? and how about human nature?
     
  10. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #10
    So far to my knowlege no E.Mail has been lost incoming or outgoing! My understanding has been that if you send a message it has to be somewhere!
     
  11. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #11
    Re: How often do emails get 'lost'?

    the emails that don't always seem to make it to their destination are those unsubscribe emails i send to spam operators...some of whom are reputable companies like norton, the anti virus people

    using a mac, i don't feel an excrutiating need for anti virus stuff...i already have one that is good enough for me:)
     
  12. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #12
    Re: Re: How often do emails get 'lost'?

    the unsubcribe emails get there. then they just use them to know its a valid email address and send you even more spam.
     

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