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[epub] A cautionary tale....
Here's a cautionary tale for you (and a half).

I manage a couple of mailing lists for other people. From time to time people eMail me and say "can we change the address you send it to" or whatever. I oblige, the customers like it, subscribers appreciate it, I like it, etc, etc, etc.

Anyways, I reply to one of these messages and the next thing I know all hell has broken out. The customer is on the phone wanting to know what I've just done. I explained the person concerned probably had mail forwarding which was why the change of address didn't seem to have worked, but I didn't think it was anything to worry about.

When I finally see the eMail "I sent" I'm like - wow. This is a press release for an adult publication that has somehow managed to swap itself with my message about mail forwarding and come out the other side.

What then emerged is this was the second time this had happened, only everyone thought I was having a laugh the first time.

Red faces all round, much groveling and 2 customers walking.

So What Happened?

As far as I can tell a good customer of mine had a little "side line" going and was using the eMail gateway I'd provided to his "mainstream" business to forward messages. Under certain circumstances (which seems to involve software crashes) the mail server got all confused and held on to the message he was sending. When I connected to the mail server to send my messages the first one carried his material instead of mine.

The circumstances are such that I have identified 3 instances in the past 4 months when this might have happened, 2 to the same customer, 1 an unsub request to an eZine.

Lessons Learnt?

Oh yeah, and then some. Check the damned mail server works. In this case it is out of my hands as it is hosted by an ISP, but the server should have cleared messages out after they were sent, not hang on to them.

For my part I should have been a bit more careful about what people were pushing through. There is a Data Protection issue with watching individual messages, but something should have triggered, like the odd mailing time.

Anyways, lessons learnt and there is nothing that can be done now but keep an eye on what is happening for the future.



Ross Hall, editor of

G A R O L . B U S I N E S S . R E V I E W

Managing opportunities, the essence of leadership and tips to get
published all in the August issue.

Out Now!

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