Changes in the way emails are being handled - FaunaClassifieds
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FaunaClassifieds Site HELP & Feedback Forum Anything of a nature concerning this website, moderators, admin, or anything having to do with how it is being run, should go here. Criticism is welcome, but abusive antagonism is not. THIS IS NOT THE FORUM FOR FEEDBACK CONCERNING BUYERS AND SELLERS! THERE IS NO LONGER ANY PLACE ON THIS SITE FOR THAT PURPOSE.

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Old 09-06-2017, 06:45 PM   #1
Exclamation Changes in the way emails are being handled

For nearly forever, this site (and all of my other active forums, to be honest) have been plagued with problems from email providers like gmail and yahoo (among others) where some of the emails generated by this site and by members will go through to the intended destination and others will not. This has been pretty aggravating, because quite a few new memberships will be caught in a limbo state every day as they never receive the verification emailed to their account email address, and I would have to go in and try to verify that they were a legit user as much as possible, and then manually approve their registration. Not much of a real big deal, but sometimes the number of little deals I have to do is more than I want to deal with some days.

I'm still not sure why some worked and some didn't, but one of the things I've learned from the new server tech guys I am working with is that using the internal PHP mail() function will often send incomplete email headers that some mail services will just reject. So they suggested that I use my SMTP email service and faunaclassifieds email account already set up on the server for this function, as it should prove to be much more reliable at delivering emails to nearly everyone. Theoretically, anyway.

Soooo, I am giving that suggestion a whirl. I figure it will either make things better, make no difference at all, or make things worse. I'll just have to wait and see which it is and go from there.

This is just a fyi in case you happen to notice anything different in reference to email messages and the like around here.
Old 01-08-2019, 03:17 PM   #2

About emails again.

Apparently if this made a positive change, it's not really a substantial change. Still getting bounced emails from some members, and I am trying to reduce that number as much as possible. So I may need some help from all of you that might be affected by this problem.

I've been reviewing the bounced emails and it appears that quite a few of them are from members with email accounts they apparently no longer use, and in some cases, no longer have access to. With that in mind, I will be contacting those members as I get those bounce notices and requesting that they update their email information to a current working email address.

Those that ignore my request and neglect or just refuse to update that information will leave me no choice but to block them from this site in order to try to eliminate this email problem as much as possible. Bounced and/or rejected emails cause their own issues with email providers, in that they tend to presume that the sender of such emails is likely bogus itself as a spam source. Which, of course, is really not good for this site, and those people contributing to this problem just have to be dealt with to try to correct the problems. It becomes a spiraling problem with bounced emails causing more restrictions applied to this site, causing even more emails to be rejected. Obviously I do have to do something about it.

There is also the situation of an inherent problem with Yahoo email handling that I recently became aware of. Apparently they have made a policy change in that all emails claiming to be from Yahoo, MUST actually be coming from a Yahoo mail server. So when emails are issued from this site by someone using the email service in vBulletin to contact another member via email, and their email address is a Yahoo address, other email services such as gmail and the like will reject such emails because of Yahoo's policy. And quite likely gmail and others will probably follow suit with similar internal policies as well. As such, I am strongly considering terminating the option of members contacting other members via email, and leave only the Private Messaging system intact for member to member contacts outside of the standard functions of this message board.

I do not believe the above will affect such things as notifications issued from this site, such as thread reply notifications, private message notifications, and any administrative email related functions. But since some members using gmail and others do receive emails, and others do not, I strongly suggest that anyone not receiving emails to check their settings in their email accounts with gmail, yahoo, hotmail, AOL, etc. to make certain that they do not have the spam levels set too high, and therefore blocking this site, or having the emails wind up in their trash folder. You can also white list too, to help bypass this sort of problem.

Please note that if your email information you have tied to your account here becomes invalid, then if you should forget your account password, you are pretty much locked out of your account. There is a function here to reset your password if you should forget it, but it requires that you have a working email account on record here in order for that to work. So I strongly suggest that you keep that information current and up to date to prevent such problems causing you to lose access to your FaunaClassifieds account. Seriously, there is only so much I can do with stuff of this nature. You really need to do your part, too. If you change your email address, PLEASE remember to update that information in your account here.
Old 01-08-2019, 03:49 PM   #3
On the "user side", I experienced an email notification stoppage related to several shooting-oriented websites and had to get away from Verizon web mail to get uninterrupted service. My paranoia says they were filtering for their own political purposes, but maybe they experienced similar issues.
Old 01-08-2019, 08:35 PM   #4
Socratic Monologue
Originally Posted by WebSlave View Post

I am strongly considering terminating the option of members contacting other members via email, and leave only the Private Messaging system intact for member to member contacts outside of the standard functions of this message board.
I would wholeheartedly support this.

There seems to be no downside, since users can set up email notification of PMs; users could even request that senders of PMs provide email addresses so that the switch from PM to email communications could be made without delay.

One benefit would be that users could easily see which other user is contacting them, perhaps reducing the scam attempts that come through email from people pretending to be someone or something they are not. This of course wouldn't help those folks who put their email addresses right in the body of their classified ads, but there will always be some way or other for people to make their own lives much more difficult.
Old 01-09-2019, 11:44 AM   #5
I would also be fine with removing the email contact option, prefer using the PM system.
Old 01-09-2019, 02:12 PM   #6
I have disabled the option that allows members to email each other. That only leaves private messages for contact between members outside of forum postings and visitor messages.

There is another, sort of "shotgun effect", admin option available concerning email handling that I am still leaving enabled, however.

Enable the following email-sending features:
Report Bad Post
'Contact Us' Link
Email a Member
Email this Page to a Friend
New Post Notifications to Members

So for now, they are still working.
Old 01-09-2019, 02:30 PM   #7
I am now auditing the bouncebacks I get of emails where a member is using one that is apparently invalid. I will contact that member about correcting the email address in their FaunaClassifieds account. If they do not correct it, then I will have little choice but to do something about it myself concerning their account here.

Sorry, but I have to do what I have to do. So one warning, and that is it. The next bounced email will trigger a ban. Then they will NEED to use a valid email address just to contact me. Interestingly enough, if their ISP is blocking emails from this site, then they will NEVER be able to contact me at all.

So please get your email accounts in order.
Old 01-14-2019, 08:48 PM   #8
I have issued notices to everyone I have received bouncedback emails from recently. I encourage everyone to keep their email addresses current and valid in their accounts here.

Some of the codes I see in the bounceback messages indicate that the email address was just pulled out of their, ahem, hat, and is purposely not valid. I will be considering this as an indicator of a spammer or scammer, and the account will be treated as such if the bogus email address is not soon corrected. Of course, some will just be spelling errors, as I saw a few that were obviously supposed to be gmail addresses, but the "g" got inadvertently dropped while typing it in. Unfortunately, if you spell the email address incorrectly upon registration, there isn't a whole lot you can do about it till I manually approve the account.

BTW, I audit all new registrations and often get some that are in a state of limbo awaiting the email verification process to be completed. Normally this indicates that the recipient did not receive that verification email, or it could be in their "trash" folder, depending on how strictly they have set them spam blocking options. Regardless, the email address has not been verified at that point, but rather than keep the prospective member in limbo, I tend to approve them manually if they do not appear to be a spammer or otherwise bogus. That being said, I will be analyzing them much more closely than I have in the past, and any that even hint at being bogus will be rejected.

Oh, FYI, if you try to update your old email address and keep getting a rather arcane seeming error message, just back up a page in your USER CP, and fill in ALL the blanks in your user profile. I had to make them all mandatory for entry rather recently in order to get a hack my programmer did for me in the member verification process to get it to work properly. So they are mandatory during initial registration AND when your profile details are edited later. The error message you get doesn't make that very clear, unfortunately.

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