Lost emails and Anti-Spam

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If you used our contact form in the last few days, please resend your inquiry. Going off my usual topic, here's why:

Everyone knows how much of a pain SPAM is. Without anti-spam software many of us would lose important emails among a sea of junk. What few, including the media, have failed to realize is that antispam software itself can easily cause many good emails to be lost. We often get cases where we send responses to customer emails and they never receive it because their antispam software thought it was spam, rejected it, and more importantly, never sent us a notification that it failed, so we never know that the customer never received the email and the customer thinks we are ignoring them.

This was compounded the past few days when our webserver email server, which is different than our regular email server, was listed on an antispam site that claims that it never makes mistakes. Of course it was mistaken. It listed it because the server lists our IP address as the header instead of our domain, but of course, the domain email server is actually somewhere else. We have to use a second outgoing email server on our web server to handle forum, and contact us notifications. So, all our notification emails have been rejected and more importantly, any customer that used our contact form for the last few days will never get a response because we never got the email. Only a sudden drop in contacts gave us an indication of something wrong, but alas it was a holiday weekend here in the states, so a drop was expected.

So, something that was supposed to protect us from spam instead resulted in many valid emails going unanswered, and probably many good customer relations lost. I doubt the media or anyone else ever considers these costs when determining the detrimental affect of spam.

Anyhow, if you used our contact form in the last few days, please resend your inquiry. We are not ignoring you, but instead got duped by the anti-spam folks. This actually applies to anyone. If you don't receive a reply to your email, order, or contact form submission within a couple days, please resend. We are not ignoring you, but either never got your email, or our response was rejected by your anti-spam. Note, however, that forum submissions are moderated and won't appear until we approve them, which typically is within 24 hours.

As long as I'm griping: why does anti-virus software reject emails with .dll attachments? Yes, obviously many users get duped into opening executables in attachments, but a .dll is not executable. Unless you are like me with a dependency walker installed, running a DLL won't do anything. The only way a DLL could do damage to your system is if it was copied to your system directory or one of your program's directories where it would get loaded on reboot. I suppose if the virus email actually instructed the user to copy the DLL into their system32 directory and someone followed it, it would cause harm, but so would if the virus email said to go to the dos prompt and type format c:. At what point do computer users have to learn a few basics before using the computer? I guess I'm just unrealistic, as email computer virus are still rampant, so users still haven't learned. But boy does it make it a pain for the rest of us! Its almost like requiring everyone to use training wheels when riding a bike because some users refuse to learn.

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