Steve Kurtz
~ It's a beautiful world ~

Do Yourself a Favor – Read your SPAM

December 30th, 2019

SPAM. It’s ugly. No one wants it. And it can be downright hurtful. At least SPAM of the email variety. The likes of Comquest, AHOL, Veryson, Yeehoo (names changed to protect their privacy – hereafter CAVitY), know this and want to make you, the customer, happy. CAVitY’s idea of making you happy is to block spam as much as possible.

But there’s a catch: When you start blocking SPAM, you will likely block legitimate email. And over the last six months or so, that’s increasingly what’s been going on. Email you WANT to see is getting tagged as SPAM. In doing what they think is a good thing, CAVitY is keeping you from reading email that you really do want to see.

Imagine … Your doctor’s office reaches out via email and it’s tagged as SPAM. What were the results of that test? You’re on edge. You don’t know. You’re worried. Why didn’t they get in touch? Truth is they did get in touch – weeks ago.

OR … You’re waiting for a reply for a job interview. They sent it – weeks ago. And you never replied so you missed your chance at that great job.

OR … Everyone got an invitation to the wedding except you. Wow, they are real a$#hole$. That’s OK, you didn’t really want to go … or ever speak to them again!

These are real examples, and there is an excellent chance that you have other examples in your own SPAM folder. Email that you really want to see, but is tagged as SPAM and is forgotten.

So what’s the solution? You may not want to hear this. If you are faint of heart, you might want to stop reading and go on missing those important emails.

I’ll wait … go ahead … click off …

OK. Here it is. The answer. Take a breath … Open your SPAM folder.

Take a bigger breath …

Wow. CAVitY really screwed up! There’s that email from my cousin inviting me to the wedding. And that job opportunity! CAVitY really screwed me!

You keep going. Hmmm. The SPAM folder isn’t really that long. Wait … why does the SPAM folder go back only one month? What about earlier emails I missed? I’m sorry to say … they are gone. Most providers, CAVitY included, delete email older than a month from your SPAM folder, whether you like it or not.

Yea … I agree. CAVitY really screwed up, especially the last 6-12 months. They got overprotective and threw way to much into … well … their respective cavities.

So what can you do? Here’s the Tough Love part.

1) The SPAM folder was never put there to be forgotten. It was a way to HELP sort legitimate email from unwanted email. It’s inevitable that something good lands in SPAM, and visa versa. So go through it from time to time to make sure you aren’t missing anything important.

2) Most providers give you an option to mark things as “Not SPAM”, and they will try to learn from your teachings. The hope is that you will see more legitimate email in your Inbox, and less going to the SPAM folder.

3) If you are aware you are missing legitimate email, contact your provider. Yea … I said it wouldn’t be easy. But if they don’t hear from their customers, they think they are doing a good job. The more they hear from you (and others) the more likely they will be to take action.

I get it. SPAM is a pain. No one wants to see it. But once it’s under control, a quick peak at it every couple of days won’t be so painful.

I do wish there was a perfect solution for SPAM. And though the internet at large is getting better, so are the SPAMers. It’s likely to be a problem for a long time. As much as I like to fault CAVitY for keeping legitimate email from people, it mostly comes down to YOU. As with most things, you are your own last line of defense. Stay informed. Stay aware.

© 2009-2024, Steve Kurtz. All rights reserved.