Monday, September 24, 2007

Bars on the e-Mail Windows?

I'm seeing this more and more lately, where we get a reader e-mail that really calls for a response, and we give a nice, detailed response, and then we hit the send button, and a couple of minutes later we get this auto-reply:

    I apologize for this automatic reply to your email.

    To control spam, I now allow incoming messages only from senders I have approved beforehand.

    If you would like to be added to my list of approved senders, please fill out the short request form (see link below). Once I approve you, I will receive your original message in my inbox. You do not need to resend your message. I apologize for this one-time inconvenience.

    Click the link below to fill out the request:

Of course, I'm not giving the link in the e-mail. But to describe it to you, I'm supposed to fill out my first name, middle initial, last name, all my e-mail addresses I could possibly use to send e-mails to this recipient, an up-to-100-character message explaining why I want access to send e-mails to this person, and finally to do one of those "Type the text from the image below into the box to the right" things. Uuuuuhhhhhhhh...nah.

Yeah, I just had this happen. Again. It's been going on for a while. Not too often, but it's starting to get under my skin. I have a little picture in my head of people sitting in a little "computer" house with bars on the windows, keeping the e-mail intruders out. But also keeping away the people that these "homeowners" WANT visitors from, too.

If I'm being honest, then you should know that most times (like, 99.9999999%), I'm probably not going to take the time to fill out these forms just to get my e-mail response through.

As someone who sends and receives lots of personal e-mail, too, that has nothing to do with TVShowsOnDVD, then I would REALLY hesitate to set up some system where the person I want to respond to me has to do work to get that e-mail to me. Most people aren't going to do it, and I'll be waiting for a response that therefore would never come.

And, if I DID decide to set it up because I felt spam was driving me to just that level of crazy, then I might at least include a mention in outgoing messages that such a system was in place, and forewarn the people I e-mailed to let them know to expect this when they replied.

What do you guys think?


At September 24, 2007 7:05 AM, Blogger Bob Jones said...

gMail ... the solution!

It has the best spam filter, I get lots of spam but around 3 a week end up in my inbox - a very good rate.

I can't believe some people, that fill in a form would be tedious quickly. I shall be ignoring them.

At September 24, 2007 3:39 PM, Anonymous Bill Frugge said...

I have seen this email blocking done before... When I have written to an abuse account to complain about the spam coming from their domain.

At September 26, 2007 1:28 PM, Anonymous Wesley Mead said...

Frustrating, isn't it? In my experience, the people who set it up in the first place have completely forgotten about it, too!

At October 04, 2007 10:42 AM, Anonymous Rick Truell said...

I can understand someone wanting to set up such a system to deal with spam. But anyone so stupid as to send a message without pre-clearing the recipient in case they want to respond is a moron who deserves to have their computer taken away. It hasn't happened to me yet, but it'll only happen once per person...the sender immediately gets put into my killfile!!


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