Internet Email can be a pain at times. You can never be sure that someone has actually seen an email you have sent them, unless they have replied specifically to it, and then sometimes not even then. Thanks to SPAM, many companies are doing things with email that cause Email not to be as reliable as it once was. For instance, some mail servers accept all mail no matter who it is addressed to, and then silently delete it. This is too bad if you get the address wrong.

Then if an email bounces, sometimes it will go into my SPAM box under outlook, and I will be wainting on a reply and not know it has bounced.

Alternately some email severs ‘Grey List’ emails from servers the first time that server connects saying that the server is not available. The idea is that SPAM servers will not try again if the email fails the first time. This is not a major problem…

Even if the email does get through you can never be sure that the anti-spam software has not deleted the email anyway. I know that I never look at my incoming SPAM. I cannot be bothered unfortunately.

Some email’s include delivery notifications or read receipts. I *NEVER* send either. They are turned off. Some people like these. Unless you are in a big company with an Exchange server generally I don’t use this.

Sometimes I get an email where the first word on the line is changed from “From” to “>From”. This is because of an issue with the mail server in the middle somewhere changing the email because it is using the ‘From’ to work out the start of the next email on the server.

So, why does all this happen. Mostly because internet email uses a thing called the ‘Simple Mail Transfer Protocol’ called SMTP. The idea that after a short time the protocol would be replaced by a more complex one. That was probably 20 years ago, and SMTP is still the standard.

Email is great when it works. When it does not it is a pain.