What Happened To My Email?

Another Episode in the Continuing Saga of Email Woes and Worries

If you have not had email problems in the past few months, consider yourself one of the lucky ones (plays Fortunate Son by CCR). In their ongoing attempts at stemming the onslaught of spammy and spoofed email, the large service providers (AKA #BigEmail) have instituted a variety of measures to check where email is coming from and verify its validity. These measures include coordinated sets of text records with the sexy and thrilling names of SPF, DMARC, and DKIM. Space is too limited here to go into an in-depth explanation of what they are and how they work (besides the fact that I probably don’t understand it as well as I’d like to think), so Google it if you’re interested.

Once the email has been checked against these records for validity, #BigEmail does one of several things with it:

  1. Pass it – If everything looks good the email is sent happily on its way to its intended recipient.
  2. Quarantine it – If something smells funny in the email, they still send it, but it goes into the recipient’s SPAM or Junk Mail folder where it will sit forlornly hoping someone will retrieve it. My experience has been that most people don’t check their spam folders very often. If that sounds like you, you might want to start checking it more regularly.
  3. Reject it – If the email fails its validity check, it won’t be sent. Instead, it will be returned to the sender with a bunch of codes that hopefully indicate why it could not be sent. That’s assuming the return address is valid. If it’s not a valid return address, it goes to Email Purgatory where it awaits its ultimate destiny along with millions of other emails. My experience has been that no amount of praying or sacrificing will retrieve these lost emails, so don’t even try.

So, what does all that have to do with YOUR email? What it means is that you more than likely have had an increasing volume of email winding up in your spam folder, IF it’s getting to you at all. You may have also noticed an increase in “bounce reports” that tell you your email was not sent, along with those aforementioned codes that indicate why. I have had more customers call in the last few months with email problems than all other issues combined.

AT&T, AOL, Comcast, GoDaddy, and Yahoo have been the most troublesome in my admittedly limited experience, but it’s safe to assume that ALL email, no matter the service provider, is now being affected. I have had a personal email account on my domain with Godaddy for over 20 years and a few months ago was suddenly unable to send email through my email reader. It still worked if I signed into the Web Interface, but not through my preferred email app.

If these things sound familiar, interesting, or simply befuddling, give me a call and I’ll try to help you work out your email issues. No promises — and it may require changing your email provider — but I’m here to help. 706-826-1506 ext.121. Ask for Don, the Customer Service Jedi.

By the way, did you know Powerserve is now an Authorized Google G Suite Reseller? Well, we are. If you are in need of upgrading your email, come talk to me.

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