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Just When You Thought GMail Couldn't Cause More Grief

For over a year now mail has been getting lost to the ALL MAIL folder.. the folder we never asked for but got anyway. Buried in there are most of the important messages that GMail thought better placed than my InBox.

Did we ever imagine they could make matters worse?

Enter.. threads.

Your mail, should you choose to continue to us it at GMail, is now threaded with no setting to undo that. Threading is based on the subject line, and to some master mind out there this seemed like a good idea to make mandatory.

It's the idea from hell for most of us.

Recently a client asked why they are not receiving their email money transfer notices. Now that the mail is only forwarding to GMail from the COOLCOM Premium server means .. really we have little to do with the issue. It's really between the bank and gmail. However, most customers also know they will never reach any support from either, but we are very approachable and want to help.

So I looked into it, and here is what I found.

The email money transfer from two months from the same sender.. had captured this new one and called it a thread. Yes, buried in two-month-old email was todays mail.

Bank transfers are hardly the only sender to use the same subject, in fact most important business notifications do. The more GMail tries to "manage" your experience the more they mess with your day to day information flow.

Using it because it installs easy on your phone? Stop that! When was easy ever the best way? I might add that setting up REAL mail on your phone takes only a couple steps more and most providers have great instructions (we even have pictoral step by step walk throughs to keep it super simple)

Do we use filters to catch spam for you? Absolutely not.

So how do we block those 1000s of spams every day?

Easy. We set our server to require mail is sent by an actual address. Not a made up "not working" address. Voila.. 90% of all spam comes from fakes. It's called Sender Verification and it's the industry standard.

The only catch in that ointment is that some places (like Kijiji for instance) likes to send mail from an address that doesn’t exist. Their "no-reply" really is a face account when it should be a real one. (if they don't want to read the mail that comes back they could dump it but this is easier for them and so the problems start)

How do we get around that? Why do you still get mail from Kijiji? Also easy! We find all those who play in the misconfigured sandbox and keep their IPs on bypass here at COOLCOM. :)

All clients of COOLCOM aslo have a very cool mail tracking feature.. it lets you check to see if you missed mail (and then we add that IP to our bypass too).

In a world of choice (and one where blocking spam is expected) the best choice is not to filter client mail but to expect all senders to send from a box.

Takes us right back to GMail, the myriad of roadblocks added annually are rarely designed to help you. AS an example, the ALL Mail box is not for you, its a nice convenient box that captures all activity and that is the box Google sends to the US Government each quarter. It conveniences them.. not more having to sift through your folders.. it’s all right there. I'm certainly not commenting on the practice of sending your mail for US Government review.. but I am dismayed at what they are happy to put you through. to make it easy for them.. even if using GMail is now harder for you.

WHY the threads?

Only GMail knows. But what ever your choice in provider, the time will eventually arrive when having your own mail at your own space with your own rules.. will be the move best made.