Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(June 1994)
 

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Subject: Re: How do I treat AOLers mailing to wrong address?
From: Keith Moore <moore @ cs . utk . edu>
Date: Thu, 02 Jun 1994 14:43:38 -0400
To: gess @ knex . mind . org (Gess Shankar)
Cc: list-managers @ greatcircle . com, moore @ cs . utk . edu
In-reply-to: Your message of "Thu, 02 Jun 1994 11:38:44 EDT." <0muaNc1w165w @ knex . mind . org>

> When I scan the mail expecting bounces etc. at that address, I find
> mail meant for lists from aol users. What I have to do is to read
> the mail, figure out which list it may belong to based on either
> a continuing thread or the subject matter and route it there, as
> I run a number of lists from here. I do this because some of the
> contributions of the AOLers are quite good. But this is getting
> tedious.
> 
> Question is: Should I just ignore the mailing?
>              Should I bounce the mail?
>              Should I return the mail with a note about proper
>              addressing etc.?

I haven't had the problem with aol users, but in general when I get a reply
to the envelope from address, I return the mail with a note indicating that
the user's mailer has replied to the wrong address and needs to be fixed, and
telling the user which address should be used for replies.  Usaually I do NOT
forward the message to the list.

Sometimes the user actually gets his site to fix its mail system.  Otherwise,
the user learns to type in the correct reply address by hand.

Currently I do this by hand, but it wouldn't be too hard to automate -- it's
pretty easy to distinguish replies from bounced mail.  (replies usually have
subject beginning with Re:, and bounced mail usually is from one of a small
number of usernames).

This strategy seems to be effective in that users usually manage to resend
with the correct address, and I don't see many repeat offenders.  I think
this strategy is effective because (a) it provides an explanation of what
went wrong, to someone that is at least close to the source of the problem
(i.e. at the same site), and (b) the user's mail doesn't go through unless
the problem is fixed, so there's an incentive.

Keith


References:
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From: Diane Kovacs <DKOVACS @ KENTVM . KENT . EDU>
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